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UN Takes First Major Step Towards a Nuclear Ban Treaty

By Rodney Reynolds

NEW YORK (IDN) – Despite an organized boycott by over 40 countries, including four major nuclear powers, a UN conference aimed at negotiating an international treaty to ban nuclear weapons made a significant breakthrough in its first-ever attempt at a legally-binding instrument to eliminate one of the world’s deadliest weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).

Even without the participation of nuclear states, the ban treaty will have a powerful impact, predicted the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). “Treaties often change the behavior of non-party States, including the ban on WMDs and Law of the Sea”. [P42]  JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF

A Shift in the Public Conversation to Ban the Bomb

Viewpoint by Alice Slater

Alice Slater is New York Director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, who serves on the Coordinating Committee of World Beyond War.

NEW YORK (IDN) – This week (March 27-31) the UN General Assembly held the opening session of a ground-breaking conference “to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination” just as the world has already done to ban biological and chemical weapons as well as landmines and cluster bombs.   

The historic conference began with a bizarre Trumpian boycott on its first day, when Nikki Haley, Trump’s newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to the UN , flanked by the ambassadors from the UK and France stationed in front of the closed doors to the UN General Assembly, where 132 nations were about to start  negotiations, staged a press event, with no questions permitted.

Nakamitsu's Choice As UN Disarmament Chief Is Significant

By J Nastranis

NEW YORK (IDN) - Izumi Nakamitsu, whose appointment UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced on March 29 as the world body's next disarmament chief is the second woman and third Japanese to be nominated for the post. A veteran UN official, she will succeed Kim Won-soo of the Republic of Korea as Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA).

Nuclear Weapons Contradict Aspirations For Peace and Security

Viewpoint by Kim Won-soo

Following are excerpts from remarks by UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Kim Won-soo at the opening of the United Nations Conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination on March 27, 2017. He represented Secretary-General António Guterres who was travelling on official business.

NEW YORK (IDN-INPS) - This conference is taking place against a backdrop of rising international tension, renewed arms competition and an absence of results in disarmament bodies.

Faith Communities Call For Banning Nuclear Weapons

 By Jaya Ramachandran

NEW YORK (IDN) – Faith communities have called for heeding the voices of the world's Hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) and stressed the need for the five-day United Nations Conference at the UN headquarters in New York to negotiate "a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination".

A statement on March 28, second day of the conference, endorsed by more than 20 organizations and individuals, pleaded for developing "a treaty text that clearly and explicitly" prohibits the use, possession, development, production, acquisition, transfer and deployment of nuclear weapons, as well as any inducement, encouragement, investment or assistance with those prohibited acts. "The new instrument should also provide for an obligation for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons, and a framework to achieve it." [P Extra]  JAPANESE

Disarmament Groups Join 130 Nations For Abolition Of Nukes

By J Nastranis

NEW YORK (IDN) – Civil society disarmament groups threw in their weight for ushering in a world free of the atomic arsenal of mass destruction as more than 130 nations gathered on March 27 at the United Nations headquarters in New York to participate in the first round of five-day negotiations aimed at achieving a treaty banning nuclear weapons in international law. The second round is scheduled for June 15 to July 7, 2017.

2020 NPT Review Conference Needs Innovative Strategies

By Jayantha Dhanapala

“ . . . and thus the whirligig of time brings in his revenges.” - Shakespeare: Twelfth Night

Note: The first Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) will meet from May 2 to 12, 2017 in Vienna, Austria. Following the text of a Policy Brief Jayantha Dhanapala – a former United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs, and a former Ambassador of Sri Lanka – did for the Asia Pacific Leaders Network (APLN) middle of March 2017. It is being reproduced with the permission of the author who currently serves as the 11th President of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, These are his personal views.

Nuclear Disarmament, Trump and the Nordic Countries

By Lowana Veal

REYKJAVIK (IDN) – When asked what Sweden thought the Trump Administration should do by way of contributing to nuclear disarmament, the Swedish ambassador in Iceland, Bosse Hedberg, replied: “At this point in time, I am not aware of any common Nordic position being prepared in response to the new U.S. administration’s view on this issue. As one can gather from the media, the new president seems rather inclined to invest more in U.S. nuclear capacities than in scrapping part of U.S. weapons.”

Sweden was the only Nordic country to attend the UNOG Conference on Disarmament held March 21-22 in Geneva, although Finland and Norway are also members. [P41]  JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF |  KOREAN TEXT VERSON PDF

We Must Succeed in Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons

By Sergio Duarte, former UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs*

NEW YORK (IDN) - For the first time since the foundation of the United Nations the majority of the international community seems prepared to take a bold and fundamental step leading to the abolition of nuclear weapons. On December 27, 2016 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted Resolution 71/258 convening a Conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading to their total elimination.

China Should Keep Squeezing North Korea

By Jonathan Power

LUND, Sweden (IDN-INPS) - Rocket launches galore in North Korea. Colours and flames in the sky. It’s all a bit like a peacock spreading his tail.

Murders abound. Is this a butcher’s shop – an uncle, a half-brother and a couple of high-placed generals and no doubt others?

Kim Jong-Un, the president, is no Hamlet and murder seems not to give him doubts. The day after he is photographed at some event, smiling the smile of a psychopath who ditched his conscience somewhere at the top of the Alps when he was out for a hike organised by the school in Switzerland he was sent to.

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