By Ramesh Jaura
UNITED NATIONS (IDN) – "They will continue to be guided by their solemn conviction that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought," says the historic Joint Statement U.S. President Ronald Reagan and his counterpart from the then Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, signed on December 10, 1987 in Washington.
Thirty years on, Gorbachev – who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 1990 "for his leading role in the peace process which today characterizes important parts of the international community" – is "deeply concerned about the fact that military doctrines once again allow for the use of nuclear weapons".
Viewpoint by Jonathan Power*
LUND, Sweden (IDN-INPS) - In the Cold War days, some of us used to say, “Better red than dead” – to rebuff those who believed in nuclear deterrence as a way of political life that gave them security. Now those of us who are frightened that Trump could start a nuclear war over Iran or North Korea should coin a new phrase. How about: “Better alive than going to the grave with Kim Jong-un”? Admittedly that doesn’t have the same snappy ring, but get my point?
At the UN recently, President Donald Trump (aka Fire and Fury) threatened to “totally” destroy North Korea if the U.S. was forced to defend itself.
By Sergio Duarte, President of Pugwash
NEW YORK (IDN) - For the third time since the creation of the Nobel Peace Prize a civil society organization dedicated to nuclear disarmament has received this prestigious honor. The 2017 Prize has been awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), a coalition of non-governmental organizations in 101 countries launched in 2007. Before ICAN, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) and Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs also were recipients of the Prize, respectively in 1985 and in 1995 for their actions in favour of peace and nuclear disarmament.
By Sergio Duarte, Ambassador, former U.N. High Representative for Disarmament Affairs*
This article is based on a presentation by the author at a Pugwash Conference in Castiglioncello, Italy, on September 1, 2017. The full text is available at: http://www.uspid.org/Eventi/Archivio/2017_09Castiglioncello_main.html)
NEW YORK (IDN) - At least in one sense, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons adopted on July 7, 2017 can be considered an offspring of the 47-year old Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The negotiators of the former clearly intended to provide a path for the fulfilment of the obligation contained in Article VI of the latter. The two texts must not be seen as antagonistic toward each other, but rather as indispensable tools in the effort to eliminate the threat to humanity as a whole posed by the existence of nuclear weapons. This is a common objective of all multilateral instruments concluded by the international community since such weapons began to proliferate in 1945.
By Daryl G. Kimball
Daryl G. Kimball is Executive Director of the Arms Control Association. This article first appeared with the headline 'Prohibit, Do Not Promote, Nuclear Weapons Use'.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (IDN-INPS) - At an emergency UN Security Council briefing on September 4 following North Korea's sixth and largest nuclear test explosion, Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, lectured Pyongyang's leaders that "being a nuclear power is not about using those terrible weapons to threaten others. Nuclear powers understand their responsibilities."
Days later, in his inaugural address to the UN General Assembly on September 19, U.S. President Donald Trump called North Korea's leader "rocket man" on "a suicide mission." Trump warned, "We will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea" if it threatens U.S. allies in the region. North Korea's foreign minister replied by saying Trump's insult makes "our rockets' visit to the entire U.S. mainland inevitable all the more."
By Santo D. Banerjee
UNITED NATIONS (IDN) – Six days after the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons – the first multilateral legally-binding instrument for nuclear disarmament to have been negotiated in 20 years – opened for signature on September 20, the General Assembly held a high-level meeting to commemorate the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.
Ministers and representatives of 46 Member States, delegations, the United Nations system and civil society took the floor on September 26 against a backdrop of rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula, stressing the urgent need for firm political will to advance towards the total elimination of all nuclear weapons by taking to an inclusive, step-by-step approach.
By Kelsey Davenport
The writer is director for nonproliferation policy at the Arms Control Association. This article first appeared on September 21, 2017. – The Editor.
WASHINGTION, D.C. (IDN-INPS) - EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini stated unequivocally after a ministerial meeting between the P5+1 (China, France Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) and Iran that all parties agreed that the nuclear deal is being fully implemented and there are no violations.
She said that the agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), is delivering on its purpose, and there is “no need to renegotiate parts of the agreement.” Mogherini said that issues outside the scope of the deal should be “tackled in different formats, in different fora.”
By J Nastranis
NEW YORK | COLOMBO (IDN) – Sri Lanka has refrained from signing the landmark UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons that was adopted by 122 countries on July 7, 2017 and opened for signature on September 20 at the UN headquarters in New York.
The decision not to sign the Treaty has triggered questions and concern at home and abroad. "Sri Lanka voted for the resolution adopting this very same Treaty [. . .], when we had a different Foreign Minister and Foreign Secretary. Has there now been a change of policy after a new minister assumed office?," wonders the Friday Forum, a think tank based in Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka.
Viewpoint by Jonathan Power*
LUND, Sweden (IDN-INPS) - Out of the blue the war in Vietnam is in the news. Yet it is not the fiftieth anniversary of America’s defeat in Vietnam when North Vietnam caused it to flee. It’s only the forty-second.
Part of this must be fearful parallels with the moral and strategic blindness of President Donald Trump who seems to believe in uttering his life and death rhetoric, akin to President Richard Nixon’s on Vietnam, hoping to frighten the enemy into submission – in this case North Korea. Many people are worried that Trump is ready to fight America's biggest war since Vietnam. As did Henry Kissinger, Nixon’s National Security Advisor, he appears to be considering the use of nuclear weapons.
By Jamshed Baruah
UNITED NATIONS (IDN) – "A CTBT that is in force would be a milestone on the road to a world free of nuclear weapons. It has the potential to prevent a nuclear arms race and an escalation of regional and bilateral tensions," said UN Secretary-General António Guterres. He was referring to the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) that bans nuclear testing on the Earth's surface, in the atmosphere, underwater, and underground.
"Make no mistake: we need this Treaty," said Miroslav Lajcák, President of the UN General Assembly. "I applaud the CTBT Preparatory Commission for raising awareness about the dangers associated with testing and for its partnership with the United Nations," added Guterres.
- Kazakhstan Plans a Summit of Nuclear Weapon States with an Eye on a Nuke-free World
- U.S. State Secretary Lauds Kazakh Decision to Renounce Nukes
- The Threat of a Nuclear Attack Remains a Grim Reality
- UN Treaty Signing a Significant Step Towards a World Free of Nuclear Weapons
- Opening for Signature of the UN Treaty a Milestone for Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons