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Making Nuclear Arms Race Come to Its End

Analysis by Anastasia Shavrova *

This article appears in cooperation with the CTBTO, as part of the initiative ‘Youth for CTBTO’. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CTBT. - Editor

Photo: President John F. Kennedy opened the CTBT for signature in 1996.MOSCOW (IDN) - The year 2016 is an important milestone for the international nonproliferation regime. It marks the 20th anniversary of opening for signature of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).

Back in 1996, after two years of intense negotiations, the then UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali announced that the opening for signature of CTBT could unleash a new era. And the Treaty, regardless of many differences that arose among States during the negotiation process, “meets the demand of the great majority of the world's people for a clear signal that the nuclear arms race is coming towards its end”.

Obama’s Nuclear-Free World Vision Has Come to Naught

Viewpoint by Jonathan Power

LUND, Sweden (IDN-INPS) - During the Cold War barely a week went by without some reportage or debate on nuclear weapons. Not today. Yet most of the nuclear weapons around then are still around.

It would be alright if they were left to quietly rust in their silos. But they are not. When in 2010 President Barack Obama made a deal with Russian President Dimitri Medvedev to cut their respective arsenals of strategic missiles by one-third the Republican-dominated U.S. Congress, as the price for its ratification of the deal, decreed that Obama and future presidents be made to spend a trillion dollars on updating and modernizing America’s massive arsenal.

UN Group Explores Ways Out of Nuclear Stalemate

 Analysis by Jamshed Baruah

GENEVA (IDN) – The United Nations General Assembly has tasked an Open Ended Working Group (OEWG) to create a blueprint for constructing a world free of nuclear weapons. The Group’s two sessions – February 22-26 and May 2-13 – failed to agree on a draft plan. But the final three-day session in August was slated to negotiate a final report with recommendations for the United Nations General Assembly.

The report would be justified in stating – as Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) told the OEWG on May 13 – that “a majority of the world’s governments are ready and want to start negotiations of a new legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons”. And this even without the participation of the nuclear weapon states. [P06]

UN Working Group Urged to Assist in Banning Nukes

Analysis by Jamshed Baruah

GENEVA (IDN) - The powerful message of a joint statement by diverse faith groups, calling for abolition of nuclear weapons, has been strongly backed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s reaction to President Barack Obama’s decision to visit Hiroshima on May 27.

Obama would be the first sitting U.S. President to visit the Japanese city during the G-7 economic summit that was annihilated by the first ever atomic bomb, dropped by the United States on August 6, 1945. It was followed by the second bomb that devastated Nagasaki three days later, killing a total of more than 200,000 people.

Ban “very much welcomes” Obama’s decision to visit Hiroshima, UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. “For the secretary-general, one of the enduring lessons of Hiroshima is the need to abolish nuclear weapons once and for all,” he added. [P05]  JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF

Obama Should Meet A-Bomb Survivors, and Ban the Bomb

Viewpoint by Kevin Martin*

WASHINGTON, D.C. (IDN-INPS) - President Barack Obama plans to be the first sitting U.S. President to visit Hiroshima during the G-7 economic summit May 26-27 in Japan. Hiroshima is an impressively rebuilt, thriving city of a million people. The city was obliterated by the first atomic bomb, dropped by the United States on August 6, 1945, followed by the second bomb that devastated Nagasaki three days later, killing a total of more than 200,000 people.

Obama Must Say a Profound Sorry for Hiroshima

 Viewpoint by Jonathan Power

LUND, Sweden (IDN-INPS) - We were standing in Hiroshima looking at a stone wall. All there was to see was a shadow of a man. It had been etched into the wall at the moment of his obliteration by the blinding light of the first atomic bomb.

Olof Palme, prime minister of Sweden, stared hard at it. An hour later he gave a speech as head of the Independent Commission on Disarmament of which I was a member. “My fear”, he remarked, “is that mankind itself will end up as nothing more than a shadow on a wall.”

Campaign for a Nuclear Weapons Free World Intensifies

Analysis by Ravi Kanth Devarakonda

GENEVA (IDN) - As the global community grapples with the increasing threat of nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists, the nuclear weapon states – the United States, Russia, China, France, and Britain, Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea – have turned a deaf ear to the ongoing multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations in Geneva for preparing recommendations to ensure a world without the dreadful nuclear warheads.

In order to intensify efforts to achieve a treaty banning nuclear weapons, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) brought together in Geneva some 130 campaigners, including faith organizations. The meeting was held ahead of the second session of the United Nations Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) for nuclear disarmament from May 2-13. The first session was held in Geneva from February 22-26. [P04] JAPANESE TEXT PDF

UN Chief Calls CTBTO 20 Anniversary ‘a Call to Action’

Addressing a CTBTO Panel in Vienna, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on April 27: “When I was serving as the representative of the Republic of Korea I had the honour of presiding as Chairman of CTBTO. While assuming my chairmanship, I made small talk, saying: “My name is Ban Ki-moon; it is pronounced Ban, it is spelled B-a-n. While I will encourage constructive dialogue, I will ban using my name [for] nuclear tests”. Since then, my nickname has been “Mr. Nuclear-Test-Ban”. So, I will still carry that name, so I will try to ban any nuclear test. So, we ask [for] your strong commitment on this.”

Kazakhstan’s Passionate Bid for UN Security Council Seat

Analysis by J Nastranis

NEW YORK (IDN) - As the UN Security Council inches closer to the election of five non-permanent members on June 28, participants of the Istanbul Summit have urged the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries to support Kazakhstan’s bid for 2017-2018 membership.

Five new non-permanent members are scheduled to be elected for a two-year term, beginning January 2017: one for Africa; one for the Asia-Pacific Group; one for Latin America and the Caribbean; and two for the ‘Western European and Others Group’ (WEOG).

Hiroshima Declaration Avoids Firm Commitment to Nuclear-Free World

Analysis by Rodney Reynolds

HIROSHIMA (IDN) - When the Foreign Ministers of G7 countries -- Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK and the United States – adopted the ‘Hiroshima Declaration’ at the end of a two-day meeting on April 11, they failed to make any concrete commitments for the total elimination of nuclear weapons worldwide. [P03] JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF

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