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August 29 Reminds of the UN's Unfinished Agenda

By Ramesh Jaura

BERLIN (IDN) - For the seventh year in succession, the world would commemorate on August 29 the International Day against Nuclear Tests, which would coincide with the 25th anniversary of the closure of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test site the central Asian republic inherited from the Soviet Union in the aftermath of its breakup.

Wide Support for UN Talks on a Legal Ban-the-Bomb Tool

By Jamshed Baruah

GENEVA (IDN) - In what the International Campaign to abolish nuclear weapons (ICAN) calls "a dramatic final day", a group of non-nuclear countries have pushed through a proposal to initiate negotiations in 2017 to prohibit nuclear weapons of mass destruction.

The UN Open Ended Working group on nuclear disarmament (OEWG) wrapped up on August 19 the third series of sessions that have been convened since February, by adopting a recommendation to the United Nations General Assembly in October to initiate negotiations on a legal instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading to their elimination. [P19]

People's Tribunal on Nuclear Weapons Convicts Leaders

BERLIN | SYDNEY (IDN | UNFOLDZERO) - An International Peoples’ Tribunal on Nuclear Weapons and the Destruction of Human Civilisation held in Sydney handed down its judgement on August 16 affirming the illegality of any use or threat to use nuclear weapons and convicting the leaders of the nine nuclear-armed States of war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes against peace and crimes of threatening, planning and preparing acts which would constitute genocide, ecocide and omnicide (the destruction of humanity as a species).

The No Nukes Mantra Between Hope and Despair

Analysis by Ramesh Jaura

BERLIN (IDN) – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s mantra “No more Hiroshimas - No more Nagasakis - Never again”, chanted to commemorate the anniversaries of the devastating atomic bombings of two Japanese cities has yet to usher in a nuclear-weapon-free world. Also his ‘five point proposal on nuclear disarmament’, tabled on UN Day October 24, 2008, has been practically consigned to oblivion.

The fault does not lie with the Secretary-General. As the world commemorated the 71st Hiroshima and Nagasaki anniversaries on August 6 and August 9, the question on the minds of proponents of a world free of nuclear weapons was: Is there reason to hope rather than despair? [P18] ITALIAN | JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | NORWEGIAN | SPANISH

Geneva Conference Moves Ahead to Ban the Bomb

By Jamshed Baruah

GENEVA (IDN-INPS) - The final session of the UN nuclear disarmament working group (OEWG) opened in Geneva on August 5, as nuclear abolition campaigners around the world were gearing up for Hiroshima and Nagasaki Day actions.

Governments will meet from August 16 to19 to discuss the OEWG draft report, with the aim to adopt the final report on August 19 for submission to the UN General Assembly. They will follow up on the substantive work it undertook in February and May 2016.

Nuclear War a Potentially Deadly Issue in US Elections

By Rodney Reynolds

NEW YORK (IDN) – As the U.S. presidential elections gather political momentum, one of the key issues that has triggered a provocative debate revolves round the very survival of humanity: the looming threat of an intended or unintended nuclear war.

Come November 8, the U.S. will be making a choice between two contenders: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a candidate of the Democratic Party; and Donald Trump, a self-proclaimed billionaire businessman from New York, a candidate of the Republican Party. [P17] JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF

Montreal World Social Forum to Focus on Nuclear Disarmament

By J C Suresh

TORONO (IDN) - The World Social Forum (WSF), the largest civil society gathering to find solutions to the problems of our time, will convene for the first time in a northern country – in Canada – from August 9 to 14.

Montreal will host the 12th World Social Forum that was launched in 2001 in Porto Alegre, the capital and largest city of the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. One of the key issues in focus will be: “Once a nuclear war starts, there’s no way to limit it.”

Astana and Geneva Preparing Ban-the-Bomb Conferences

By Jamshed Baruah

GENEVA (IDN) - Kazakhstan will host an international conference on August 28-29 to build and strengthen political will for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons, some 15,000 of which are threatening the very survival of humankind.

The conference in Astana is being organised by the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan and Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND). [P16]  JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF

Support for ‘Obama Nuclear Doctrine’ by Executive Order

Analysis by Ramesh Jaura

BERLIN | NEW YORK (IDN) - Despite protests by Republican congressional leaders and the heads of Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, President Barack Obama is garnering wide support for his reported plan to implement at least a part of his cherished nuclear agenda through a series of executive actions during the next months before leaving the White House.

None of the executive options Obama is considering require formal congressional approval. In fact, all of those actions would “fall under his executive authority as commander-in-chief”, says David Krieger, president of the U.S.-based Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF). [P15] JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF

Learning About the Bomb is the Best Way to Reduce Nuclear Dangers

 By Sameer Lalwani and Michael Krepon*

(The Wire) It’s hard to learn about the Bomb in the media. Other issues have a higher call on public attention and press coverage, like counter-terrorism in Pakistan and China’s rise in India. Journal articles in publications devoted to security topics reflect other priorities: Over the past ten years nuclear security research has only featured in 14% of the articles in Strategic Studies published by the Islamabad Strategic Studies Institute and in only seven percent of the articles in Strategic Analysis, published by India’s Institute for Defence Studies & Analyses.

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Beyond Nuclear Non-Proliferation
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