By Rick Wayman*
SANTA BARBARA, CA, USA (IDN) - October 24-25, 2016, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation brought together a small group of academics, activists and thought leaders to discuss how to shift the global discourse toward nuclear disarmament. The symposium, entitled “The Fierce Urgency of Nuclear Zero: Changing the Discourse,” discussed the current state of nuclear threats, geopolitical and psychological obstacles to nuclear zero, and the path forward.
The symposium’s final statement was delayed in order to incorporate the new political realities following the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, which took place just two weeks after the symposium. [P36] JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF
By Ramesh Jaura and Katsuhiro Asagiri
BERLIN | TOKYO (IDN) - Japanese Buddhist philosopher and peace builder Daisaku Ikeda has urged the U.S. and Russian leaders to come together for a summit meeting as soon as possible to pledge a global drift toward nuclear disarmament. The two countries together hold more than 90% of the world’s nuclear arsenal.
The advice by Ikeda, who is the President of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) Buddhist association, is contained in his 35th annual peace proposal titled “The Global Solidarity of Youth: Ushering in a New Era of Hope” issued on January 26, 2017. [P35] JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF
By Jaya Ramachandran
GENEVA (IDN) - Within less than four weeks of taking office, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has pledged to "actively pursue the abolition of all weapons of mass destruction and the strict regulation of conventional weapons", arguing that disarmament can play an important role in ending existing conflicts and preventing the outbreak of new.
“I am committed to achieving a world free of nuclear weapons,” Guterres declared in a video message to the Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament, which opened the first segment of its three-part 2017 session on January 23.
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".
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.”
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.
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).
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.
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
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