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Astana Conference Pleads for Ban on Nuclear Tests and More

By Ramesh Jaura

hoto credit: Kotoe Asagiri | IDN-INPS

BERLIN | ASTANA (IDN) – Some three weeks before the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons opens for signature on September 20 in New York, a landmark international conference in the capital city of Kazakhstan has called upon "all governments and people to reflect on the grave and irreversible ecological and humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons and to spare no efforts towards achieving a nuclear-weapon-free world." Watch Our Video

Ulaanbaatar Conference Stresses the Role of Individual States in Nuclear Disarmament Process

By Jamshed Baruah

NEW YORK | ULAANBAATAR (IDN) – While unanimously agreeing on tougher sanctions against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in response to the country's sixth and most powerful nuclear test early September, the UN Security Council called for the resumption of the Six-Party Talks.

By pleading for the multilateral negotiations involving China, DPRK, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation and the United States, the 15-member Council expressed its "commitment to a peaceful, diplomatic and political solution to the situation on the Korean Peninsula". [P 19] ARABIC | GERMAN | ITALIAN | JAPANESE TEXT VERSON  PDFMALAY | THAI

UN Panel Remains Sceptical about Sanctions on North Korea

By Ramesh Jaura

BERLIN | NEW YORK (IDN) – Six days before the UN Security Council unanimously agreed to impose harsher sanctions on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), it received a far from encouraging report on the implementation of sanctions slammed so far.

The report submitted to the Council on September 5 by the UN Panel of Experts monitoring the implementation of Security Council sanctions against North Korea says: "Lax enforcement of the sanctions regime coupled with the country’s evolving evasion techniques are undermining the goals of the resolutions that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea abandon all weapons of mass destruction and cease all related programmes and activities." [P 18] GERMAN | ITALIAN | JAPANESE TEXT VERSION  PDFKOREAN TEXT VERSION PDFNORWEGIAN | TURKISH

New U.S. Budget Threatens Nuclear Restraint Agreements

By J C Suresh

TORONTO | WASHINGTON, DC (IDN) – As the U.S. Congress prepares to enact legislation "that could further imperil the global nuclear order," a disarmament expert has urged the lawmakers "to seek to preserve and strengthen the existing architecture of arms control and non-proliferation agreements" – instead of rushing to hasten their demise.

The "key pillars" of the agreements "have their origin in the vision of President Ronald Reagan," says Kingston Reif, director for disarmament and threat reduction policy at the Arms Control Association (ACA).

Stop Trump From Abandoning the Iran Nuclear Deal

Viewpoint by Jonathan Power*

LUND, Sweden (IDN-INPS) - The big mistake, apparently about to be made by President Trump, in undoing the nuclear agreement made by President Barack Obama with Iran is not just that he intends to go backwards, it is that he doesn’t intend to go forwards. (To be fair, neither did Obama.)

What the Iranians negotiated about was not so much the “bomb” – to be or not to be – but about their pride and their position in the world and their right to become a thriving economic and political power inured from sanctions or military threats. (Sanctions were imposed before the nuclear issue came to the fore.)

Use Sanctions Pressure and Diplomacy with North Korea: Expert

By J C Suresh

TORONTO | WASHINGTON, DC (IDN) – U.S. President Donald Trump and his administration have failed to competently execute their own stated policy of “maximum pressure and engagement” with North Korea, says the Arms Control Association (ACA), which is dedicated to promoting public understanding of and support for effective arms control policies.  [P 17] ARABIC | BAHASAJAPANESE TEXT VERSION  PDF | NORWEGIAN | SWEDISH

Scrapping the Iran Nuclear Deal Will Create Yet Another Nonproliferation Crisis

By Daryl G. Kimball*

The author is the Executive Director of the Arms Control Association. This article first appeared on August 29, 2017 in the Arms Control Today as a Focus Editorial with the caption Don’t Abandon the Iran Nuclear Deal, and is being republished by arrangement with that monthly journal on nonproliferation and global security. – The Editor

WASHINGTON (IDN-INPS) - Although his administration is already struggling with one major nonproliferation challenge – North Korea’s advancing nuclear and missile capabilities – President Donald Trump soon may initiate steps that could unravel the highly successful 2015 Iran nuclear deal, thereby creating a second major nonproliferation crisis.

Kazakhstan Joins UN's Nuclear Watchdog in a Milestone Step Toward Non-Proliferation

By Ramesh Jaura

ASTANA (IDN) – While a moment of silence was observed on August 29 at 11:05 a.m. local time in Kazakhstan's capital city Astana to honour the memory of the victims of all nuclear weapons tests, some 2713 miles (4365 kilometres) away, North Korea fired an intermediate range ballistic missile that flew over Japan: The same day a new facility was inaugurated in Kazakhstan under the auspices of the UN's nuclear watchdog that could open a fresh chapter in non-proliferation.

In the five decades between July 1945, when the United States exploded its first atomic bomb, and the opening for signature of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) in 1996, over 2,000 nuclear tests were carried out all over the world. After the CTBT was opened for signature in September 1996, nine nuclear tests had been conducted until 2016. Since then, only North Korea is known to have been conducting nuclear tests. [P 16] ARABIC | HINDI | JAPANESE TEXT VERSION  PDF | NORWEGIAN | PORTUGUESE

Kazakhstan Plays a Crucial Role in Making the Nuclear Fuel Bank a Reality

By Tariq Rauf*

ASTANA (IDN) - The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Kazakhstan will formally inaugurate a Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) Bank located at the Ulba Metallurgical Plant at Öskemen (formerly Ust Kamenogorsk) on August 29.

This event will mark an important milestone in the long march for the IAEA to set up an IAEA owned and operated nuclear fuel bank as envisaged in the 1957 IAEA Statute. This initiative was proposed in September 2006 by the Washington, DC-based Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) which offered US$50 million to the IAEA, provided by global investor Warren Buffet, to set up an IAEA LEU Bank by raising an additional $100 million.

Iceland, Norway Debate UN Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty

By Lowana Veal

REYKJAVIK (IDN) – With a population of 344,000, Iceland does not have a military of its own. Nevertheless, it is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and as such was one of the countries that boycotted the discussions leading up to the potentially groundbreaking UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, adopted on July 7.

Prior to the start of the conference leading up to the Treaty, Foreign Affairs Minister Gudlaugur Thor Thordarson replied to a parliamentary question by Left-Green MP Steinunn Thora Árnadóttir on whether Iceland would take part in the UN discussions about banning nuclear weapons, as she felt that the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation Nuclear Weapons (NPT) had not been very successful. [P 15] | JAPANESE TEXT VERSON  PDF

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