By Sergio Duarte, former UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs*
NEW YORK (IDN) - Despite being shunned by the nine possessors of nuclear weapons and most of their allies, the first part of the negotiations mandated by the United Nations General Assembly on a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination, ended on an optimistic tone on March 31.
Delegations from 120-plus States will return to New York in mid-June to start discussing the draft treaty to be presented by the President of the Conference, Ambassador Elayne Whyte-Gomez of Costa Rica.
By Rameez Raja*
NEW DELHI (IDN-INPS | Rabwah Times) - After the World War II, nuclear weapons were worshiped to be desirable objects for power and security. All the nuclear weapon states are reluctant to abolish their nuclear warheads and are busy in the arms race. Currently, there are 32 states which have nuclear power reactors and nine states among them have been successful in overtly procuring and producing nuclear weapons and a few states like Iran, South Korea, and Taiwan were suspected of developing nuclear weapons. Moreover, the states like Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine that had inherited nukes from the former Soviet Union have increased the anxiety of the international community.
By Ramesh Jaura
BERLIN | NEW YORK (IDN) - Both Japan and Kazakhstan have suffered from nuclear weapons: Japan through the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 and Kazakhstan through the fallout from 456 nuclear test explosions conducted at the Semipalatinsk, the former Soviet nuclear test site near what is now the village of Semey.
The two countries are therefore committed to realizing a world free of nuclear weapons – for example through entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) – and consider it a main goal of humanity in the 21st century. This was reaffirmed during the first session of the UN conference to negotiate a nuclear weapons prohibition treaty, from March 27 to 31 at the UN headquarters in New York. The second session is scheduled for June 15 through July 7. [P Extra]
By Rodney Reynolds
NEW YORK (IDN) – Despite an organized boycott by over 40 countries, including four major nuclear powers, a UN conference aimed at negotiating an international treaty to ban nuclear weapons made a significant breakthrough in its first-ever attempt at a legally-binding instrument to eliminate one of the world’s deadliest weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).
Even without the participation of nuclear states, the ban treaty will have a powerful impact, predicted the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). “Treaties often change the behavior of non-party States, including the ban on WMDs and Law of the Sea”. [P42] JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF
Viewpoint by Alice Slater
NEW YORK (IDN) – This week (March 27-31) the UN General Assembly held the opening session of a ground-breaking conference “to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination” just as the world has already done to ban biological and chemical weapons as well as landmines and cluster bombs.
The historic conference began with a bizarre Trumpian boycott on its first day, when Nikki Haley, Trump’s newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to the UN , flanked by the ambassadors from the UK and France stationed in front of the closed doors to the UN General Assembly, where 132 nations were about to start negotiations, staged a press event, with no questions permitted.
By J Nastranis
NEW YORK (IDN) - Izumi Nakamitsu, whose appointment UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced on March 29 as the world body's next disarmament chief is the second woman and third Japanese to be nominated for the post. A veteran UN official, she will succeed Kim Won-soo of the Republic of Korea as Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA).
Viewpoint by Kim Won-soo
Following are excerpts from remarks by UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Kim Won-soo at the opening of the United Nations Conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination on March 27, 2017. He represented Secretary-General António Guterres who was travelling on official business.
NEW YORK (IDN-INPS) - This conference is taking place against a backdrop of rising international tension, renewed arms competition and an absence of results in disarmament bodies.
By Jaya Ramachandran
NEW YORK (IDN) – Faith communities have called for heeding the voices of the world's Hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) and stressed the need for the five-day United Nations Conference at the UN headquarters in New York to negotiate "a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination".
A statement on March 28, second day of the conference, endorsed by more than 20 organizations and individuals, pleaded for developing "a treaty text that clearly and explicitly" prohibits the use, possession, development, production, acquisition, transfer and deployment of nuclear weapons, as well as any inducement, encouragement, investment or assistance with those prohibited acts. "The new instrument should also provide for an obligation for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons, and a framework to achieve it." [P Extra] JAPANESE
By J Nastranis
NEW YORK (IDN) – Civil society disarmament groups threw in their weight for ushering in a world free of the atomic arsenal of mass destruction as more than 130 nations gathered on March 27 at the United Nations headquarters in New York to participate in the first round of five-day negotiations aimed at achieving a treaty banning nuclear weapons in international law. The second round is scheduled for June 15 to July 7, 2017.
By Jayantha Dhanapala
“ . . . and thus the whirligig of time brings in his revenges.” - Shakespeare: Twelfth Night
Note: The first Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) will meet from May 2 to 12, 2017 in Vienna, Austria. Following the text of a Policy Brief Jayantha Dhanapala – a former United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs, and a former Ambassador of Sri Lanka – did for the Asia Pacific Leaders Network (APLN) middle of March 2017. It is being reproduced with the permission of the author who currently serves as the 11th President of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, These are his personal views.