By Ramesh Jaura
BERLIN | NEW YORK (IDN) – The States party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) convene every five years to review the implementation of this nuclear disarmament regime in three sessions. In run-up to the 2020 NPT Review Conference, the first session of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) will meet from May 2-12 in Vienna.
The Austrian capital, which serves as the associate headquarters of the UN, has come to play a historic role in the world body's efforts for a legal treaty aimed at ushering in a nuclear-weapons-free world. In December 2014, it was the venue of the third Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons – after Nayarit (Mexico) in February 2014 and Oslo in March 2013 – which paved the path to the 'Austrian Pledge', also known as the 'Humanitarian Pledge', to "stigmatize, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons". [P 02] JAPANESE TEXT VERSiON PDF
By António Guterres
Following are excerpts from UN Secretary-General António Guterres' remarks to the Security Council on Non-Proliferation/DPRK on April 28, 2017. – The Editor
NEW YORK (IDN) - The situation on the Korean Peninsula is one of the longest-standing and most serious issues before the United Nations. The Security Council first adopted a resolution on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) nuclear issue in 1993, when it urged the DPRK not to withdraw from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Twenty-four years later, and despite extensive efforts, the challenge has defied resolution.
By J C Suresh
TORONTO (IDN) - At a time of extraordinary tension between the U.S. and North Korea, with each side flexing its military muscle and making implicit and explicit threats, the U.S. has announced the test launch of an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on April 26.
Commenting the announcement, David Krieger, President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF), said: “When it comes to missile testing, the U.S. is operating with a clear double standard: It views its own tests as justified and useful, while it views the tests of North Korea as threatening and destabilizing.”
By Santo D. Banerjee
NEW YORK (IDN) – Veterans For Peace (VFP) has strongly criticised the U.S. refusal to take part in negotiations at the United Nations to ban nuclear weapons and accused it of "efforts to derail the ongoing" talks to "reach an agreement on a treaty to ban nuclear weapons."
VFP believes that it would be "diplomatically more prudent" to use the UN talks "as an opportunity to engage Iran and North Korea in discussions to determine if there is some common ground on which to proceed and lessen tensions in the Middle East and the Far East."
Viewpoint by Jonathan Power*
LUND, Sweden (IDN-INPS) - There are 29 states which have at one time or another set about becoming nuclear weapons powers or have explored the possibility. Most have failed or drawn back. Only the U.S., Russia, France, UK, China, India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea have crossed the threshold. But only the first five have long range, nuclear-tipped, missiles. North Korea wants to walk in their footsteps.
The common belief that when a state has decided to do so it goes for it as fast as it can is wrong. Sweden, Japan, Algeria, Australia, Italy, Yugoslavia, West Germany, Egypt, Iraq, Switzerland, Syria, Brazil, Argentina, Taiwan, South Korea, Norway, South Africa, Pakistan and India all sought to acquire nuclear weapons but their pace and commitment were different.
By Jamshed Baruah
GENEVA (IDN) – "The lack of nuclear weapons use since Hiroshima and Nagasaki cannot on its own be interpreted as evidence that the likelihood of a detonation event is minimal," warns the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), an autonomous institute within the United Nations based in Geneva.
The Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, on which the United States dropped atomic bombs on August 6 and 9, 1945, embody the abhorrent humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons use, warning of the brutal consequences should such weapons of mass destruction be ever deployed again. [P 01] ARABIC | NORWEGIAN | JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF
By J Nastranis
NEW YORK (IDN) – Global consensus on a legally-binding treaty on prohibiting the production of nuclear weapons has yet to be achieved. But three non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are pressing for a ban on the financing of atomic arsenals when such a legal instrument is agreed.
The three groups are the Basel Peace Office, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) and UNFOLD ZERO. They have submitted a joint working paper for the United Nations Conference to Negotiate a Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, Leading Towards their Total Elimination.
By Sergio Duarte, former UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs*
NEW YORK (IDN) - Despite being shunned by the nine possessors of nuclear weapons and most of their allies, the first part of the negotiations mandated by the United Nations General Assembly on a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination, ended on an optimistic tone on March 31.
Delegations from 120-plus States will return to New York in mid-June to start discussing the draft treaty to be presented by the President of the Conference, Ambassador Elayne Whyte-Gomez of Costa Rica.
By Rameez Raja*
NEW DELHI (IDN-INPS | Rabwah Times) - After the World War II, nuclear weapons were worshiped to be desirable objects for power and security. All the nuclear weapon states are reluctant to abolish their nuclear warheads and are busy in the arms race. Currently, there are 32 states which have nuclear power reactors and nine states among them have been successful in overtly procuring and producing nuclear weapons and a few states like Iran, South Korea, and Taiwan were suspected of developing nuclear weapons. Moreover, the states like Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine that had inherited nukes from the former Soviet Union have increased the anxiety of the international community.
By Ramesh Jaura
BERLIN | NEW YORK (IDN) - Both Japan and Kazakhstan have suffered from nuclear weapons: Japan through the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 and Kazakhstan through the fallout from 456 nuclear test explosions conducted at the Semipalatinsk, the former Soviet nuclear test site near what is now the village of Semey.
The two countries are therefore committed to realizing a world free of nuclear weapons – for example through entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) – and consider it a main goal of humanity in the 21st century. This was reaffirmed during the first session of the UN conference to negotiate a nuclear weapons prohibition treaty, from March 27 to 31 at the UN headquarters in New York. The second session is scheduled for June 15 through July 7. [P Extra]