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U.S. Moves into Age of Nuclear Uncertainty – and Ignorance

By Rodney Reynolds

WASHINGTON, DC (IDN) – With the inauguration of Donald Trump as the new President on January 20, the United States moves into an age of nuclear uncertainty – and perhaps ignorance.

The frightening prospects took a bizarre turn when a day earlier Trump’s nominee for Energy Secretary, former Texas Governor Rick Perry, apparently was not aware that his department is in charge of America’s nuclear weapons.

According to an editorial in the New York Times on January 20, Perry knew only recently that "his biggest responsibilities would, in fact, involve overseeing a vast nuclear security complex that he knows almost nothing about".

Iran’s Nuke Agreement Survives Without a Shot Being Fired

By Rodney Reynolds

WASHINGTON, DC (IDN) – During the height of the U.S. presidential election campaign last year, Republican candidate Donald Trump threatened to tear up the 159-page Iran nuclear agreement on live television.

In characteristic “Trumpism”, he dismissed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the agreement was formally known, as “stupid”, “a lopsided disgrace” and “the worst deal ever negotiated.”

With Trump moving into the White House on January 20, will he abide by his threats and swear by his rhetoric? Or was it all political bluster? [P34]  JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF

'Nuke Generation Far More Brutal Than Past Conquerors'

By Jamshed Baruah

STOCKHOLM (IDN-INPS) - "It is said that previous conquerors like Attila and Jenghiz Khan used to proclaim that not even a dog or cat or mouse would be left alive when they destroyed the cities which defied them. Our generation with the nuclear weapon in its hand is far more brutal and primitive than any of those conquerors of the past, however barbaric they might have been," declared Justice Christopher Gregory Weeramantry in an interview in 2007, some ten years before he passed away in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on January 5, aged 90.

Tributes To Justice Weeramantry As He Passes Away at 90

By Jaya Ramachandran

BERLIN (IDN) - Justice Christopher Gregory Weeramantry, legal luminary, distinguished author, and renowned pacifist, who played a crucial role in strengthening and expanding the rule of international law to usher in a nuclear-weapons free world, died in Colombo, Sri Lanka on January 5, aged 90.

He was a former judge of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka (1967-1972), an Emeritus Professor at Monash University in Melbourne (until 1991), a Judge of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) from 1991 to 2000 and its Vice-President from 1997 to 2000, Honorary Councillor of the World Future Council, and President of the International Association of Lawyers against Nuclear Arms (IALANA).

Marshall Islands and Tony de Brum '2016 Arms Control Persons of the Year'

WASHINGTON, D.C. (IDN | INPS) - The Republic of the Marshall Islands and its former Foreign Minister, Tony de Brum, have been awarded the '2016 Arms Control Person of the Year'. Over 1,850 individuals from 63 countries participated in the selection.

Ten individuals and groups were nominated by the Arms Control Association (ACA) for their leadership in advancing effective arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament solutions or for raising awareness of the threats posed by mass casualty weapons during the past year. The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation is a consultant to the Marshall Islands in their Nuclear Zero lawsuits.

Trump's Nuclear Twitter Menacing Ahead of UN Talks in March

By Ramesh Jaura

BERLIN | NEW YORK (IDN) – Ahead of the inauguration of Donald Trump as 45th President of the United States on January 20, analysts are far from certain whether he would take to policies that reduce nuclear dangers or resort to actions resulting in a suicidal arms race.

The guessing game is taking place against the backdrop of the United Nations General Assembly having confirmed that beginning March 2017, it would hold a conference open to all member states, to negotiate a “legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination”. The conference to be held at UN headquarters in New York will be divided into two sessions: from March 27 to 31 and from June 15 to July 7. [P33] JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF

UN Paves The Way For Conference on Treaty Eliminating Nukes

By Jamshed Baruah

GENEVA | NEW YORK  (IDN) - The United Nations General Assembly has confirmed that beginning March 2017, it would hold a conference open to all member states, to negotiate a “legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination”. The conference to be held at UN headquarters in New York will be divided into two sessions: from March 27 to 31 and from June 15 to July 7.

"This historic decision heralds an end to two decades of paralysis in multilateral nuclear disarmament efforts, and comes at a time when the two major nuclear-armed states are engaging in nuclear-sabre rattling," noted the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). [P32] ARABIC (PDF) | GERMAN | JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF | THAI

Youth Campaign for a Nuke-Free World at Nagasaki Conference

By Katsuhiro Asagiri

NAGASAKI (IDN) – A Forum of Youth Communicators, launched by Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida in 2013, has urged people around the world to realize that nuclear weapons do not only absorb huge amounts of money but also pose a serious threat to international peace and security, global environment, and the very survival of humankind.

The Youth Communicators met in the Japanese city of Nagasaki, which suffered atomic bombings along with Hiroshima seventy-one years ago. They pledged to communicate the pressing need to move toward a nuclear-weapons-free world, and proposed a series of steps to achieve the objective. [P31] ARABIC (PDF) | BAHASAGERMAN | ITALIAN |   JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | KOREAN TEXT VERSION PDF | MALAY | PERSIAN (PDF) | SWEDISH | THAI |URDU

Nuclear Disarmament Needs A Fresh Start

Viewpoint by Kim Won-soo

Kim Won-soo is United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs. This is a slightly abridged version of his Opening Remarks at the 26th United Nations Conference on Disarmament Issues in Nagasaki, Japan on December 12, 2016.

NAGASAKI (IDN-INPS) - This year marks the sixtieth anniversary of Japan’s membership of the United Nations. For six decades, Japan has been one of the strongest contributors to the multilateral system and to disarmament.

For this, the United Nations thanks you.

Security Council Stresses Need to Halt Proliferation of WMDs

NEW YORK (IDN-INPS) - Expressing concern over the threat of terrorism and the risk that non-State actors may acquire or use nuclear, biological or chemical weapons, the United Nations Security Council has called on all countries to establish national controls to prevent proliferation of such weapons as well as their means of delivery, according to UN News.

In a resolution adopted on December 15, 2016 the 15-member Council also reiterated the need to continue to strengthen ongoing cooperation among various intergovernmental bodies and entities concerning terrorist groups such as Al-Qaida, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh), as well as counter-terrorism, through enhanced information sharing, coordination and technical assistance.

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