Uncertain Prospects For Progress In Nuclear Disarmament

Viewpoint by Sergio Duarte

Photo: Sergio Duarte speaks at the August 2017 Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs held in Astana, Kazakhstan. Credit: Pugwash.

The writer is President of Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, and a former UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs. He was president of the 2005 Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference.

NEW YORK (IDN) – Although humankind has known since the dawn of ages the sorrow, misery and devastation caused by war, the most catastrophic military conflicts in history are quite recent.

World War I lasted from July 1914 to November 1918 and claimed some 40 million lives, among civilians and combatants. In all, between 70-85 million people perished during World War II that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The estimated war casualties include those who are believed to have died from war-related causes, including captivity, disease and famine. [2019-02-06 | P20] JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | SPANISH

Trashing Treaties: It’s Not Just Trump

Viewpoint by Rick Wayman

The writer is Deputy Director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. (Twitter @rickwayman)

Photo credit: nuclearban.us

SANTA BARBARA, CA (IDN) – There is no shortage of critics who have pointed out President Donald Trump’s monumental strategic mistake in unilaterally withdrawing the United States from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. It is indeed a blunder of the highest degree that not only makes the Trump administration look incompetent and foolish, but also puts the United States’ European allies and all of us at greater risk of nuclear catastrophe. [2019-02-04]

Next Steps Out Of The INF Treaty Crisis

Viewpoint by Daryl G. Kimball

Photo: Russian Iskander-M SRBM system with 9M723K5 missiles. CC BY-SA 4.0

The writer is Executive Director of the Arms Control Association. This article was posted on the Association's website as an Issue Brief on February 1, 2019.

WASHINGTON, DC (IDN-INPS) – The Trump administration announced on February 1 that effective February 2, the United States will suspend implementation of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, and formally notify other parties to the treaty that it will withdraw in six months if Russia does not return to compliance by eliminating its ground-launched 9M729 missile, which the United States alleges can fly beyond the 500-kilometer range limit set by the treaty. [2019-02-02]

Mayors, Legislators Push For A Nuclear Weapons Free World

By Jamshed Baruah

Image credit: Basel Peace Office

BASEL (IDN) – Preserve the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty! Prevent a new nuclear arms race in Europe! Undertake measures to reduce the risk of a nuclear conflict! Support global nuclear disarmament!

This is the crux of an impassioned appeal by mayors, parliamentarians, policy experts and civil society representatives from forty countries – mostly Europe and North America – in an open letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin, U.S. President Donald Trump and to the leaders of the Russian and U.S. legislatures. [2019-01-31]

Trump’s Missile Defence Buildup Plans Are Dangerous

Viewpoint by Kingston A. Reif

Photo: The U.S. Air Force’s 45th Space Wing supported the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch of the Echostar 105/SES-11 communications satellite from Space Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on Oct. 11, 2017. (SpaceX)

The writer is director for disarmament and threat reduction policy at Arms Control Association (ACA). He casts a close look at the '2019 Missile Defense Review'. This article appeared as an Issue Brief on ACA website on January 17, 2019.

WASHINGTON, DC (IDN-INPS) – The Trump administration’s long-awaited 'Missile Defense Review', which was released on January 17, proposes a significant and costly expansion of the role and scope of U.S. missile defences that is likely to exacerbate Russian and Chinese concerns about the threat to their strategic nuclear deterrents, undermine strategic stability, and further complicate the prospects for additional nuclear arms reductions. [2019-01-30]

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]