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Japan Determined to Play a Bridging Role for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons

Viewpoint by Tarō Kōno, Japan's Foreign Minister

Photo (left to right): Japan's Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera. Foreign Minister Taro Kono, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and Secretary of Defense James Mattis. Credit: Japan MOFA

The UN General Assembly's First Committee adopted on October 28 Japan's draft resolution 'United action with renewed determination towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons', which is scheduled to be put on a vote in a plenary meeting of the UN General Assembly in early December. 144 countries including nuclear weapon states supported it. Following are extensive excerpts from the transcript of the video message by Japan's Foreign Minister Tarō Kōno, posted on October 20, 2017 on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' channel (mofachannel) on YouTube.

TOKYO | UNITED NATIONS (IDN-INPS) – Unfortunately the difference of approaches towards a world free of nuclear weapon has become clear between nuclear and non-nuclear weapon States as well as among non-nuclear weapon States. Besides as the international security environment deteriorates, the discussion towards such ultimate goal has become further complicated.

Disarmament, Non-proliferation Vital for Conflict Prevention

By Izumi Nakamitsu

Photo: Izumi Nakamitsu, the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs United Nations (UNODA), addressing the Non-proliferation Studies students on the joint programme between Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS), Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), and PIR Center, on 19 October 2017 in Moscow. Credit: MGIMO

The author is High Representative for Disarmament Affairs United Nations (UNODA). The following are extensive excerpts from her address to Non-proliferation Studies students on the joint programme between Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS), Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), and PIR Center, on 19 October 2017 in Moscow. – The Editor.

MOSCOW (IDN) - Historically speaking, the concepts of disarmament and non-proliferation date back centuries. The international efforts to strengthen the law of war are one of the important origins of disarmament work. Our work today is largely rooted in the terrible human consequences that resulted from two world wars, including the first and thankfully only uses of nuclear weapons in conflict at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We work to ensure the people of this world never have to endure such devastation again.

India Ready to Work with Signatories of the Nuclear Ban Treaty in Multilateral Forums

By Amandeep Singh Gill

Photo: An Indian Agni-II intermediate range ballistic missile on a road-mobile launcher, displayed at the Republic Day Parade on New Delhi's Rajpath, January 26, 2004. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Ambassador Amandeep Singh Gill is Permanent Representative of India to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. Following are extensive excerpts from his remarks at the Thematic Debate on Nuclear Weapons in the First Committee, 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly on 12 October 2017. – The Editor.

UNITED NATIONS (IDN) –India remains committed to universal, non-discriminatory and verifiable nuclear disarmament and to multilateralism in pursuit of that goal. Our position has been firm and consistent over the years.

Will U.S. Congress Legally Restrain a Nuclear World War III?

By Shanta Roy

Photo courtesy of National Nuclear Security Administration / Nevada Site Office

UNITED NATIONS (IDN) – U.S. President Donald Trump's highly erratic behavior on nuclear weapons – and his public threats to "totally destroy" North Korea – have triggered a strong political backlash from anti-nuclear and anti-war activists.

"A central problem is that Donald Trump seems ignorant about what nuclear weapons really are, and the humanitarian catastrophe that would be unleashed if he fired even one at North Korea – or anywhere," said Dr. Rebecca Johnson of the Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy, a founding co-Chair of the International Coalition to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), the 2017 Nobel Peace Laureate.  [P 23] ITALIANJAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF | MALAY | NORWEGIAN | THAI

Nuclear Nightmare Persists As UN Treaty Awaits Ratification

By Ramesh Jaura

Photo: (left to right): Austria's Permanent Representative to the UN, Jan Kickert (standing); Brazil's Permanent Representative to the UN Mauro Luiz Iecker Vieira; ICAN Asia-Pacific Director Tim Wright; ICAN Executive Director Beatrice Fihn; ICAN Steering Group member Ray Acheson: and Costa Rica's Permanent Representative to the UN, Juan Carlos Mendoza. Credit: UN

UNITED NATIONS (IDN) – "They will continue to be guided by their solemn conviction that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought," says the historic Joint Statement U.S. President Ronald Reagan and his counterpart from the then Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, signed on December 10, 1987 in Washington.

Thirty years on, Gorbachev – who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 1990 "for his leading role in the peace process which today characterizes important parts of the international community" – is "deeply concerned about the fact that military doctrines once again allow for the use of nuclear weapons". [P 22] | JAPANESE Part 1, Part 2 | 

Nuclear Strike No Longer an All-Encompassing Taboo

Viewpoint by Jonathan Power*

Photo credit: National Review

LUND, Sweden (IDN-INPS) - In the Cold War days, some of us used to say, “Better red than dead” – to rebuff those who believed in nuclear deterrence as a way of political life that gave them security. Now those of us who are frightened that Trump could start a nuclear war over Iran or North Korea should coin a new phrase. How about: “Better alive than going to the grave with Kim Jong-un”? Admittedly that doesn’t have the same snappy ring, but get my point?

At the UN recently, President Donald Trump (aka Fire and Fury) threatened to “totally” destroy North Korea if the U.S. was forced to defend itself.

Nobel Peace Prize for ICAN Significant for Nuclear Disarmament

By Sergio Duarte, President of Pugwash

Photo: Sergio Duarte, incoming President of Pugwash and his predecessor Jayantha Dhanapala, who headed the organisation for ten years, with a painting by Kazakh artist and anti-nuclear activist Karipbek Kuyukov in Astana end of August 2017. Credit: Pugwash

NEW YORK (IDN) - For the third time since the creation of the Nobel Peace Prize a civil society organization dedicated to nuclear disarmament has received this prestigious honor. The 2017 Prize has been awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), a coalition of non-governmental organizations in 101 countries launched in 2007. Before ICAN, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) and Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs also were recipients of the Prize, respectively in 1985 and in 1995 for their actions in favour of peace and nuclear disarmament.

The Complementarity Between Nuclear Ban Treaty and the NPT

By Sergio Duarte, Ambassador, former U.N. High Representative for Disarmament Affairs*

Photo: UN General Assembly adopts the Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons on July 7, 2017 in New York. Credit: UNODA

This article is based on a presentation by the author at a Pugwash Conference in Castiglioncello, Italy, on September 1, 2017. The full text is available at: http://www.uspid.org/Eventi/Archivio/2017_09Castiglioncello_main.html)

NEW YORK (IDN) - At least in one sense, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons adopted on July 7, 2017 can be considered an offspring of the 47-year old Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The negotiators of the former clearly intended to provide a path for the fulfilment of the obligation contained in Article VI of the latter. The two texts must not be seen as antagonistic toward each other, but rather as indispensable tools in the effort to eliminate the threat to humanity as a whole posed by the existence of nuclear weapons. This is a common objective of all multilateral instruments concluded by the international community since such weapons began to proliferate in 1945.

Trump Should Reaffirm That "A Nuclear War Must Never Be Fought"

By Daryl G. Kimball

Photo: The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, signed 20 September 2017 by 50 United Nations member states. Credit: UN Photo / Paulo Filgueiras

Daryl G. Kimball is Executive Director of the Arms Control Association. This article first appeared with the headline 'Prohibit, Do Not Promote, Nuclear Weapons Use'.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (IDN-INPS) - At an emergency UN Security Council briefing on September 4 following North Korea's sixth and largest nuclear test explosion, Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, lectured Pyongyang's leaders that "being a nuclear power is not about using those terrible weapons to threaten others. Nuclear powers understand their responsibilities."

Days later, in his inaugural address to the UN General Assembly on September 19, U.S. President Donald Trump called North Korea's leader "rocket man" on "a suicide mission." Trump warned, "We will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea" if it threatens U.S. allies in the region. North Korea's foreign minister replied by saying Trump's insult makes "our rockets' visit to the entire U.S. mainland inevitable all the more."

A Nuke-free World – Through Inclusive, Step-by-Step Approach

By Santo D. Banerjee

Photo: Miroslav Lajčák (right), President of the 72nd session of the General Assembly, opens the high-level plenary meeting commemorating and promoting the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. Secretary-General António Guterres is on the left. 26 September 2017. United Nations, New York. Credit: UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

UNITED NATIONS (IDN) – Six days after the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons – the first multilateral legally-binding instrument for nuclear disarmament to have been negotiated in 20 years – opened for signature on September 20, the General Assembly held a high-level meeting to commemorate the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

Ministers and representatives of 46 Member States, delegations, the United Nations system and civil society took the floor on September 26 against a backdrop of rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula, stressing the urgent need for firm political will to advance towards the total elimination of all nuclear weapons by taking to an inclusive, step-by-step approach.

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