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Time Is Running Out For Sensible Decision-Making On Missile Defences

Viewpoint by Jonathan Power

Photo: 2019 Missile Defense Review. Credit: Defense News Weekly.

LUND, Sweden (IDN-INPS) – The number of nuclear weapons possessed by the U.S. and Russia is a fraction of what it was during the height of the Cold War. Successive presidents on both sides, since the time of John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev, have feared their destructive power. The supposed value of nuclear arsenal, so called Mutually Assured Destruction, known by its capitals, MAD, is in fact valueless. They cannot be used, and nearly everyone accepts that. [2019-01-29]

Nuclear Weapons Abolition, Sustainable Development: Buddhist Leader Urges Increased Role For Youth

By Ramesh Jaura

Photo: High-level Event on Youth2030: Launch of the UN Youth Strategy and Generation Unlimited Partnership (UN Photo)

BERLIN | TOKYO (IDN) – The need to accelerate progress toward the abolition of nuclear weapons, encourage youth engagement with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and expand  the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) network of universities has been highlighted in a wide-ranging proposal by Dr. Daisaku Ikeda, president of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) Buddhist movement. [2019-01-28]

New U.S. Report Focuses On Possible Future Iranian ICBM

By Arms Control Association

Photo: A Simorgh launch vehicle launched the Payam-e Amirkabir Satellite from the Imam Khomeini Space Center, Iran, on 15 January 2019. The satellite was not placed into orbit due to an issue with the rocket’s third stage.

WASHINGTON, DC (IDN) – On January 17, the Trump administration unveiled its Missile Defense Review, which outlines the administration’s strategy to counter missile threats, focusing on those posed by "rogue states" defined as Iran and North Korea.

The review cites Iranian missile development as a primary challenge, repeatedly referencing the possibility of the development of an Iranian ICBM and the U.S. missile defense response. [2019-01-25]

UN Lauds India For Training Foreign Diplomats On Disarmament

By Devinder Kumar

Photo: ISRO's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F11) successfully launched the communication satellite GSAT-7A on December 19, 2018. Credit: ISRO

NEW DELHI (IDN) – India is the first member country of the United Nations to have launched a fellowship programme on disarmament and international security for foreign diplomats. “This is a demonstration of India’s commitment to nuclear issues and disarmament,” a senior official of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.

With its focus on junior diplomats from a geographically diverse range of countries, the programme has a close parallel with the UN Programme of Fellowships on Disarmament, which was established in 1978 by the first special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament. [2019-01-23 | P19BHASA | HINDI | JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF  | MALAY | THAI

Report Advising Sweden Not To Join Nuclear Ban Treaty Disappoints ICAN

By Jamshed Baruah

Image source: ICAN

GENEVA (IDN-INPS) – International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), which was awarded Nobel Peace Prize in 2017, is "disappointed" that after months of delay a report for the Swedish Parliament on possible Swedish “accession” to the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), has concluded that Sweden should not join the Treaty “in its present form”. The 234-page report, compiled by former diplomat Lars-Erik Lundin, was published on January 18, 2019. [2019-01-19]

The Guterres Disarmament Agenda: Continuity And Change

Viewpoint by Randy Rydell

Image source: UNODA

The writer, executive adviser to Mayors for Peace, was a senior political affairs officer in the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs from 1998 to 2014. The following are excerpts from the article posted on Arms Control Association's website on January 8, 2019. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Mayors for Peace. [2019-01-15]

Pyongyang And Washington Do Not Speak The Same Language

Viewpoint by Kelsey Davenport

Photo: The Joint Security Area (JSA) in the DMZ, looking toward South Korea from the North. Conference Row seen from the northern side of the JSA. CC BY-SA 3.0

The writer is the Director for Nonproliferation Policy at the Arms Control Association, where she provides research and analysis on the nuclear and missile programs in Iran, North Korea, India, and Pakistan and on nuclear security issues. This article was posted on January 8 on the Association's website as part of the current issue of 'Arms Control Today'.

WASHINGTON, DC (IDN-INPS) – North Korea reiterated that denuclearization of the Korean peninsula must include removal of U.S. nuclear weapons in the region, a statement that underscores that diplomatic advances in 2019 will require addressing simultaneously North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and its security concerns. [2019-01-13]

The INF Treaty Crisis Is A Global Security Problem

Viewpoint by Daryl G. Kimball

Photo: Russia's 9M729 missile reportedly has been tested using a mobile launcher system similar to that used by the 9K720 Iskander-M pictured here on September 18, 2017. Photo credit: Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation

The author is Executive Director of the Arms Control Association. He wrote this editorial for the January-February issue of Arms Control Today.

WASHINGTON, DC (IDN-INPS) – Next month, it is very likely the Trump administration will take the next step toward fulfilling the president’s threat to “terminate” one of the most far-reaching and most successful nuclear arms reduction agreements: the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which led to the verifiable elimination of 2,692 Soviet and U.S. missiles based in Europe. The treaty helped bring an end to the Cold War and paved the way for agreements to slash bloated strategic nuclear arsenals and to withdraw thousands of tactical nuclear weapons from forward-deployed areas. [2019-01-10]

Time To Leave The Nuclear Age, Create A Green Planet At Peace

Viewpoint by Medea Benjamin and Alice Slater

Photo: Medea Benjamin (left) and Alice Slater (right). A collage by INPS-IDN.

While Medea Benjamin is codirect or of CODEPINK for Peace and author of several books, including Inside Iran: The Real History and Politics of the Islamic Republic, Alice Slater serves on the Coordinating Committee of World Beyond War and is the UN Representative of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.

NEW YORK (IDN) – A deafening chorus of negative grumbling from the left, right, and center of the U.S. political spectrum in response to Trump’s decision to remove U.S. troops from Syria and halve their numbers in Afghanistan appears to have slowed down his attempt to bring our forces home. [2019-01-09 | P18] CHINESE  | JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | KOREAN

Nonproliferation Policy and Priorities – U.S. Perspective

Viewpoint by Dr. Christopher Ashley Ford

Photo: A glimpse of the 7th European Union Nonproliferation and Disarmament Conference in Brussels. Credit: European Union.

The author is Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation. The following are extensive extracts from his remarks at the 7th European Union Nonproliferation and Disarmament Conference in Brussels, Belgium, on December 18, 2018.