A Dark Shadow Looms Large Over UN Talks On Abolishing Nukes

By Rodney Reynolds

WASHINGTON DC (IDN) – The 193-member UN General Assembly is to hold two key sessions – in March and in June – in what is expected to be a do-or-die attempt towards the elimination of nuclear weapons worldwide.

“Whether 2017 will be the year that sees nuclear weapons being banned or whether the effort to achieve this gets turned into a form of “fake news” remains to be seen?,” says a sceptical Tariq Rauf, Director of the Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Programme at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

The dark shadow that looms large over the upcoming General Assembly sessions will be the imposing figure of US President Donald Trump – whose trigger-finger is dangerously close to over 7,000 nuclear weapons, and whose views on nuclear disarmament appear consistently inconsistent, ranging from proliferation to strengthening existing arsenals. [P39] HINDI | JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF | CHINESE TEXT VERSION PDF

Japan's Largest Ever Voluntary Contribution to the CTBTO

By Jamshed Baruah

BERLIN |VIENNA (IDN) – Japan, by far the only country to experience atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, has decided to make the largest ever extra-budgetary contribution to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO).

The funds amounting to about USD 2.43 million will support a range of verification related activities to improve the detection capabilities of the Organisation – and thus pave the way for a world free of nuclear weapons.

A voluntary contribution of this size must be recognized as a strong signal of Japan’s commitment to ‘finish what we started’ – getting the Treaty into force and finalizing the International Monitoring System, said CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo. [P38] JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF | PORTUGUESE

Forthcoming UN Conference Underlines Resistance to Nukes

 By Samantha Sen

LONDON (IDN) - Now that the new world order some of us were talking about threatens to collapse into a new world disorder, the emerging fear is what the U.S and Russia could agree on, rather than what they disagree about. U.S President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin have discovered one another as political twins looking in the same direction from opposite sides – what were thought to be opposing sides anyhow. Nowhere does this union of vision appear more deadly than in the business of nuclear armament, and business it is.

Both leaders have said yes to all the weapons they have, and nodded in the direction of yet more. Both have spoken of “strengthening” their nuclear capabilities. Strengthen how much more to what end? Dire arithmetic abounds on how many times over each can destroy the world. Skip the count; once would be enough. [P37] JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF

The Rapidly Increasing Urgency of Nuclear Zero

By Rick Wayman*

SANTA BARBARA, CA, USA (IDN) - October 24-25, 2016, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation brought together a small group of academics, activists and thought leaders to discuss how to shift the global discourse toward nuclear disarmament. The symposium, entitled “The Fierce Urgency of Nuclear Zero: Changing the Discourse,” discussed the current state of nuclear threats, geopolitical and psychological obstacles to nuclear zero, and the path forward.

The symposium’s final statement was delayed in order to incorporate the new political realities following the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, which took place just two weeks after the symposium. [P36] JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF

An Eminent Buddhist Leader Urges Nuke Disarmament Summit

By Ramesh Jaura and Katsuhiro Asagiri

BERLIN | TOKYO (IDN) - Japanese Buddhist philosopher and peace builder Daisaku Ikeda has urged the U.S. and Russian leaders to come together for a summit meeting as soon as possible to pledge a global drift toward nuclear disarmament. The two countries together hold more than 90% of the world’s nuclear arsenal.

The advice by Ikeda, who is the President of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) Buddhist association, is contained in his 35th annual peace proposal titled “The Global Solidarity of Youth: Ushering in a New Era of Hope” issued on January 26, 2017. [P35] JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF

Iran’s Nuke Agreement Survives Without a Shot Being Fired

By Rodney Reynolds

WASHINGTON, DC (IDN) – During the height of the U.S. presidential election campaign last year, Republican candidate Donald Trump threatened to tear up the 159-page Iran nuclear agreement on live television.

In characteristic “Trumpism”, he dismissed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the agreement was formally known, as “stupid”, “a lopsided disgrace” and “the worst deal ever negotiated.”

With Trump moving into the White House on January 20, will he abide by his threats and swear by his rhetoric? Or was it all political bluster? [P34]  JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF

Trump's Nuclear Twitter Menacing Ahead of UN Talks in March

By Ramesh Jaura

BERLIN | NEW YORK (IDN) – Ahead of the inauguration of Donald Trump as 45th President of the United States on January 20, analysts are far from certain whether he would take to policies that reduce nuclear dangers or resort to actions resulting in a suicidal arms race.

The guessing game is taking place against the backdrop of the United Nations General Assembly having confirmed that beginning March 2017, it would hold a conference open to all member states, to negotiate a “legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination”. The conference to be held at UN headquarters in New York will be divided into two sessions: from March 27 to 31 and from June 15 to July 7. [P33] JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF

UN Paves The Way For Conference on Treaty Eliminating Nukes

By Jamshed Baruah

GENEVA | NEW YORK  (IDN) - The United Nations General Assembly has confirmed that beginning March 2017, it would hold a conference open to all member states, to negotiate a “legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination”. The conference to be held at UN headquarters in New York will be divided into two sessions: from March 27 to 31 and from June 15 to July 7.

"This historic decision heralds an end to two decades of paralysis in multilateral nuclear disarmament efforts, and comes at a time when the two major nuclear-armed states are engaging in nuclear-sabre rattling," noted the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). [P32] ARABIC (PDF) | GERMANJAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF  | THAI

Youth Campaign for a Nuke-Free World at Nagasaki Conference

By Katsuhiro Asagiri

NAGASAKI (IDN) – A Forum of Youth Communicators, launched by Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida in 2013, has urged people around the world to realize that nuclear weapons do not only absorb huge amounts of money but also pose a serious threat to international peace and security, global environment, and the very survival of humankind.

The Youth Communicators met in the Japanese city of Nagasaki, which suffered atomic bombings along with Hiroshima seventy-one years ago. They pledged to communicate the pressing need to move toward a nuclear-weapons-free world, and proposed a series of steps to achieve the objective. [P31] ARABIC (PDF) | BAHASA | GERMAN ITALIAN | JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | KOREAN TEXT VERSION PDF | MALAY | PERSIAN (PDF) | SWEDISH | THAI | URDU

Australia's No to Prohibit-Nukes Resolution Triggers Debate

By Neena Bhandari

SYDNEY (IDN) - As the curtain falls on 2016, the year that marked the fifth anniversary of Fukushima and the 30th anniversary of Chernobyl nuclear disasters, sending a sombre reminder of the devastating humanitarian and environmental consequences of these weapons of mass destruction, the resolve to free the world of nuclear weapons is stronger than ever before.

The United Nations Resolution A/C.1/71/L.41, which calls for negotiations on a “legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading toward their total elimination”, was adopted at the 71st session of the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on October 27, 2016 with 123 members, including nuclear North Korea, voting in favour of taking forward the multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations, 38 voted against and 16 abstained. [P30] ARABIC (PDF) | BHASA | HINDI | JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF | MALAY | NORWEGIAN | PERSIAN (PDF) | PORTUGUESESPANISH | THAI | TURKISH