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.
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
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.”
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
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
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.
LONDON (ICAN) - Late on Monday 18 July, the British parliament voted in favour of building four new nuclear-powered submarines to carry US Trident missiles armed with modernized nuclear warheads for the next half century.
The vote gives permission to the government to sign multi-billion pound contracts with the aim of ensuring that the UK will continue to possess and deploy an enormously dangerous arsenal of weapons of mass destruction, threatening other countries and exposing its people to serious risks of nuclear accidents, use or attacks for a further generation.
Interview by Ramesh Jaura with CTBTO Chief Dr Lassina Zerbo
BERLIN | VIENNA (IDN | INPS) – If it were for Dr. Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), the treaty banning all nuclear tests would have entered into force “yesterday”.
This view not only reflects what he terms in a lighter vein his “notoriously optimistic” perspective. It is also grounded in a series of signals underlining that “the discussion about ratification has moved to a new level” so that the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, better known by its acronym CTBT, should not remain an “unfinished business”. [P14] JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | SPANISH
GENEVA (IDN) - Reacting to the Report of the Iraq Inquiry headed by Sir John Chilcot, published early July, the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize winning Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs have stressed the critical importance of heeding the lessons of the inquiry.
“In a world where nine countries possess over 15,000 nuclear warheads and global military expenditure is at a staggering US $1676 billion, while terrorism fuelled by extremist ideologies adds to the toxic mix of the traditional causes of war, the folly of not heeding the lessons of Chilcot will be catastrophic,” the Pugwash Conferences’ leaders warn.
IDN | INPS Special Report
Alyn Ware and Jean-Marie Collin analyse the Declaration of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE PA) early July, calling for taking nuclear weapons off high alert and adopting no-first-use policies. In this context, they explore whether President Obama’s reported plans along the same lines would fly.
BERLIN | PARIS | WELLINGTON (IDN | INPS) - The Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE PA) convened in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, July 1-5 and called on all OSCE States with nuclear weapons or under extended nuclear deterrence relationships to reduce the risks of a nuclear war by taking nuclear weapons off high alert and by adopting no-first-use policies.