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Nuclear Weapon States' Long Arm Seen Behind Deferral of Landmark UN Conference

By Alyn Ware*

Photo: Security Council meeting on Maintenance of international peace and security,  Nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament. Credit: UN Photo/Loey Felipe

NEW YORK (IDN) – May 14, 2018 was supposed to see the opening at the United Nations of a three-day High-Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament, scheduled to discuss "effective nuclear disarmament measures to achieve the total elimination of nuclear weapons, including, in particular, on a comprehensive convention on nuclear weapons."

The UN General Assembly decided five years ago to hold such a conference in 2018, following a series of annual, one-day, high-level meetings at the United Nations. [P 05JAPANESE TEXT VERSION VERSION PDF

CTBTO Must Credibly Confirm Dismantling & Closure of DPRK Nuclear-Weapon Test Site

By Tariq Rauf *

Image: International Monitoring System with 337 Facilities – 90%+ complete. Source: CTBTO.

While North Korea has invited journalists from a handful of countries to witness the dismantling and closure of its nuclear-weapon test site at Punggye Ri, only the Vienna-based Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) has the required expertise, verification technology and credibility to confirm the closure of the Punggye Ri test site.

Contrary to popular belief, the highly competent International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has expertise only in monitoring and verification of civilian nuclear programmes, but not in the areas of dismantling of nuclear weapons and dismantling of nuclear-weapon test sites.

The IAEA monitors the “upstream” dimension of nuclear weapons development while the CTBT is intended to monitor the “downstream” final proof of a State's intention to develop nuclear weapons – that is, the actual nuclear test explosion.

Experts Predict Vast Ramifications of US Pullout From Iran Nuclear Deal

By Santo D. Banerjee

NEW YORK (IDN) – President Donald Trump’s decision to abandon the Iran Nuclear Deal is fraught with multiple imponderables, according to experts. It's "a costly mistake that can hold wide-ranging ramifications beyond its strictly nuclear parameters," declared the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize winner Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs.

The decision "not only blows up a functioning agreement, it also deals a significant blow to U.S. credibility as a partner in contract and diplomacy," warned the 2017 Nobel Peace laureate ICAN (the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons). [P 04] ARABICHINDI | JAPANESE TEXT VERSION VERSION  PDF

Canada Slams U.S. Decision to Quit Iran Nuclear Accord

By Suresh Jaura

Photo: President Donald Trump meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the White House in February 2017. Credit: Office of the President of the United States.

TORONTO (IDN) – In 2012, Canada abandoned diplomatic ties with Iran and closed its embassy in Tehran. Former Canadian minister of foreign affairs, John Baird, cited Iran’s support for the Assad regime during the Syrian Civil War and non-compliance with United Nations resolutions on its nuclear program, recalls Katie Dangerfield writing in Global News.

When the Iran nuclear deal was created in July 2015, former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was skeptical of the agreement between Iran and the P5+1 nations (US, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany). However, after Prime Minister Trudeau was elected in October 2015, he promised to restore ties between Iran and Canada, Dangerfield adds.

Iran Nuclear Deal Withdrawal 'Misguided', 'Serious Mistake'

Viewpoint by Barack Obama

Photo credit: WhiteHouse.gov

The following is the text of former President Barack Obama's remarks on his successor Donald Trump's decision on May 8, 2018 to withdraw the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal. The original appeared on Obama's Facebook https://www.facebook.com/barackobama/posts/10155854913976749 - The Editor

WASHINGTON, D.C. (IDN-INPS) – There are few issues more important to the security of the United States than the potential spread of nuclear weapons, or the potential for even more destructive war in the Middle East. That’s why the United States negotiated the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in the first place.

Faith Communities Urge Geneva Conference to Pave the Path to a Nuclear-Weapons- Free World

By Jamshed Baruah

GENEVA (IDN) – Diverse faith-based organizations and individuals are appealing to States gathered at the UN in Geneva to spare the world a nuclear catastrophe and foster sustainable development for the good of humanity affirming moral and ethical imperatives.

Twenty groups and individuals from different faiths, including Christian, Quaker, Muslim and Hindu traditions and Soka Gakkai International (SGI) tabled an interfaith statement on April 25 as one of the civil society presentations during the second session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 NPT Review Conference at the UN Office in Geneva. [P 03] ITALIAN | JAPANESE TEXT VERSION  PDF

A World Free Of Nuclear Weapons Remains The Ultimate Goal

By Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez

Photo: Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez, Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative (centre front) to the UN in Geneva addressing the Second PrepCom for the NPT Review Conference 2020. Credit: The Sunday Leader.

Following are extensive excerpts from the Statement by Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez, Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, at the Second Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 NPT Review Conference from April 23 to 4 May 4, 2018. He called on all nuclear-weapon states to commit to the principle of disarmament to ensure a world free of nuclear weapons and "enhance their support for, and investment in, disarmament training and education provided by the UN and other organisations." – The Editor

U.S. Charm Offensive Takes Center Stage in Geneva

Viewpoint by Rick Wayman

The writer is Programs Director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF). In April 2016, he received the 'Activist of the Year' award from the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA) for "dynamic leadership in bringing the Marshall Islanders' Nuclear Zero litigation to world attention, activating the next generation of peace leaders, and guiding ANA as board member and tech guru." – The Editor

U.S. Launches Minuteman III Missile Test in Cloud of Secrecy


NEW YORK (IDN) – With little prior notice from military officials, the U.S. launched a Minuteman III Ballistic Missile on April 25 morning at approximately 5:26 a.m. from Vandenberg Air Force Base. Civilians and residents living near the base, who regularly receive ample notice of missile tests, were left in the dark this time as the missile raced through the early morning sky, according to the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.

Nuclear-Weapon States Leading 'A New Qualitative Arms Race'

By Izumi Nakamitsu

Photo: High Representative Izumi Nakamitsu at the 16th UN-Republic of Korea Joint Conference on Disarmament and Non-proliferation Issues. Credit: UN

Following are extensive excerpts from a statement by Izumi Nakamitsu, UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs to Second Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 NPT Review Conference from 23 April to 4 May 2018 in Geneva. – The Editor

GENEVA (IDN-INPS) – Secretary-General Guterres is currently developing his agenda for disarmament, which is aimed at re-energizing the international discourse. It will seek to offer new perspectives on the traditional agenda in order to mobilize new constituencies. It will seek to identify areas where more coherent and collaborative efforts within the United Nations system can better support Member States' responsibilities for advancing disarmament.

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