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Calls for Making Global Nuclear Test Ban Legally Binding

By Ramesh Jaura

Photo: Participants of the 2018 CTBTO GEM – Youth International Conference in Astana. In the front is ATOM Project leader, Honorary Ambassador and artist Karipbek Kuyukov. Behind him: Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov (on the right) and CTBTO Executive Secretary Dr Lassina Zerbo (on the left). Credit: CTBTO. | Photos of Kazakh Foreign Minister Abdrakhmanov and Dr Zerbo in the text are by Katsuhiro Asagiri, IDN-INPS Multimedia Director.

BERLIN | VIENNA | ASTANA (IDN) – The Kazakh Minister of Foreign Affairs Kairat Abdrakhmanov and CTBTO Executive Secretary Dr Lassina Zerbo have called on all States Signatories "to spare no effort to ensure that the nuclear test ban becomes legally binding by achieving the entry into force" of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) in limbo for 22 years. [P 09JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | MALAY | NORWEGIAN

California Leads the Way in Support of Nuclear Disarmament

By J C Suresh

Photo: California State Capitol. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

TORONTO (IDN) – The State Senate of California, the most populous state in the United States, has adopted Assembly Joint Resolution 33 (AJR 33), which calls upon the federal government to embrace the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, make nuclear disarmament the centerpiece of national security policy, and spearhead a global effort to prevent nuclear war.

U.S. Goes for 'Space Force All the Way'

Viewpoint by Alice Slater*, The Hill

Photo credit: Military Times

NEW YORK (IDN-INPS) – […] Vice-President Mike Pence announced the Trump administration’s plan for a new military command, the U.S. Space Force, emphasizing President Donald Trump’s urging that “It is not enough to merely have an American presence in space: we must have American dominance in space.” Pence’s announcement was greeted by Trump, tweeting in response, “Space Force all the way!”

Little Progress in Nuclear Disarmament Since Helsinki Summit

Viewpoint by Jonathan Power*

Photo credit: www.defense.gov

LUND, Sweden (IDN-INPS) – Everything gets said, nothing gets done. When President Donald Trump met President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on July 16, we were promised all sorts of goodies – progress in reconciliation in Ukraine and Syria, and not least nuclear disarmament. If there is progress behind the scenes it's not noticeable to the naked eye.

73 Years On, a Nuclear-Weapons-Free World Remains a Mirage

By Ramesh Jaura

Photo: Secretary-General António Guterres (front left) views an exhibit at the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum on 9 August 2018. UN Photo/Daniel Powell

BERLIN (IDN) – Nobel Peace Prize laureate Adolfo Pérez Esquivel and Buddhist philosopher Daisaku Ikeda recall a quote from Martin Luther King Jr – "We are always on the threshold of a new dawn" – and aver that the adoption of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in July 2017 is such a 'threshold'.

In a joint appeal 'To the Youth of the World', released to the media and wider public in Rome, and handed over to Pope Francis, they note that the Treaty "is an international legal instrument that establishes the absolute illegality" of nuclear weapons. [P 08JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | NORWEGIAN

Advancing Disarmament Within the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Viewpoint by Izumi Nakamitsu

Izumi Nakamitsu, United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, briefs the Security Council as it considers the situation in the Middle East. 5 February 2018. © UN Photo/Manuel Elias

The author is Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs. This article first appeared in UN Chronicle, Vol. LV No. 2 2018 | August 2018.

NEW YORK (IDN-INPS) – The idea that disarmament and arms control are connected to development is not new. Article 26 of the Charter of the United Nations recognizes disarmament as a precondition for durable peace, security and development by calling for the maintenance of international peace and security with the least diversion of the world’s economic and human resources for arms.

No More Hiroshimas, No More Nagasakis, No More Hibakusha

Viewpoint by António Guterres

Photo: Secretary-General António Guterres folds origami cranes with young Japanese leaders at the Nagasaki Peace Memorial. Credit: Dan Powell | UN Photo.

The survivors of the atomic bombings, known in Japanese as the hibakusha, have become global "leaders for peace and disarmament", United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said at the Nagasaki Peace Memorial Ceremony in Japan on 9 August 2018, commemorating the 73rd anniversary of that devastating day. Following are extensive extracts from Guterres' remarks. – The Editor  JAPANESE

Trump and Putin Can Put the Brakes on a New, Potentially More Dangerous, Arms Race

Viewpoint by Thomas M. Countryman, Kingston A. Reif and Daryl G. Kimball

Photo: Vladimir Putin (right) and Donald Trump (left) at a news conference after their summit meeting in Helsinki on July 16, 2018. Credit: en.kremlin.ru

The following analysis is the Arms Control Association's latest Issue Brief with the caption Can Trump and Putin Head Off a Nuclear Arms Race? authored by Thomas M. Countryman, former Acting Under Secretary Of State for Arms Control and International Security and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Association, Kingston A. Reif, Director for Disarmament and Threat Reduction Policy, and Daryl G. Kimball, Executive Director. It is being reproduced by arrangement with the Association. – The Editor.

Rising Nuclear Tensions Call For Elimination Of Atomic Weapons

Viewpoint by Izumi Nakamitsu

Photo: High Representative Izumi Nakamitsu reading he UN Secretary-General‘s message in Hiroshima on 6 August 2018.

Ms Izumi Nakamitsu is High Representative, United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA). Following is the text of the message she delivered to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Service on 6 August 2018 on behalf of the UN Secretary-General. – The Editor

HIROSHIMA (IDN-INPS) – It is a privilege to pay tribute to the citizens of Hiroshima and all those who perished in the blinding flash of nuclear destruction, and in the weeks, months and years that followed, and to stand in solidarity with the Hibakusha and their families. JAPANESE

Study Finds Congressional Attention on Nuclear Security Waning as Nuclear Terrorism Threat Persists

By J C Suresh

Photo: Highly enriched uranium awaiting secure transportation by rail on September 26, 2010. Credit: National Nuclear Security Administration

TORONTO (IDN) – A new report reveals an alarming diminution of U.S. congressional engagement and interest in critical efforts to prevent nuclear terrorism and proposed "action items" for lawmakers in enhancing nuclear security efforts and reducing global stockpiles of nuclear materials.

Titled Empowering Congress on Nuclear Security: Blueprints for a New Generation, the report from Partnership for a Secure America and the Arms Control Association also assesses current congressional staff attitudes about nuclear security and explores the role of Congress and case studies in congressional leadership on this issue.