Combative Politics and Hostile Discourse Mark UN Disarmament Initiatives

By Jaya Ramachandran

Photo: Wide view of the General Assembly Hall. UN Photo/Manuel Elias

NEW YORK (IDN) – "If one had to pick a single word to describe this year's First Committee, contentious would be a reasonable contender. The increased volume – in all senses of the word – of accusations and denials has descended as close to name calling as diplomatic forums get," says Ray Acheson, the Director of Reaching Critical Will in an editorial in November 5 issue of The First Committee Monitor 2018. [P 13]

Disarmament in Uncertain Times Discussed in Reykjavik

By Lowana Veal

Photo: NATO Conference group photo. Credit: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iceland.

REYKJAVIK (IDN) – With tension rapidly escalating between the United States and Russia – and indeed between these countries and others – a seminar on disarmament held in parallel with the 14th NATO Conference on Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iceland came at an appropriate time. [P 12JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF

UN High-Level Meeting Reflects Broad Support for Total Nuclear Disarmament

By Santo D. Banerjee

Photo: María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés (centre right), President of the 73rd session of the General Assembly, listens as Secretary-General António Guterres (centre left) addresses the high-level plenary meeting to commemorate and promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons (26 September). At left is Izumi Nakamitsu, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs (ODA). UN Photo/Ariana Lindquist

NEW YORK (IDN) – The United Nations has pursued the goal of nuclear disarmament since the adoption of the very first General Assembly resolution in 1946. But aware that countries possessing nuclear weapons have well-funded, long-term plans to modernize their nuclear arsenals, in 2013 the UN declared September 26 as the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. [P 11JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | THAI

Japan Considers Ways of Shedding the Straitjacket and Go the Whole Hog for Nuclear Abolition

By Katsuhiro Asagiri

Photo (from left to right): Ms. Kaoru Nemoto, Director of the United Nations Information Centre in Tokyo; Mr. Nobuharu Imanishi, Director of Arms Control and Disarmament Division, MOFA; Ms. Masako Toki, Education project manager at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey; Ms. Mitsuki Kudo, Nagasaki Youth Delegation 2018. Credit: Katsuhiro Asagiri.

TOKYO (IDN) – Japan's profound interest in the international community's efforts to help usher in a world free of nuclear weapons was underlined in the run-up to the commemoration of the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons on September 26, which was observed first time in 2014 in accordance with a decision of the UN General Assembly. [P 10] JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF

Calls for Making Global Nuclear Test Ban Legally Binding

By Ramesh Jaura

Photo: Participants of the 2018 CTBTO GEM – Youth International Conference in Astana. In the front is ATOM Project leader, Honorary Ambassador and artist Karipbek Kuyukov. Behind him: Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov (on the right) and CTBTO Executive Secretary Dr Lassina Zerbo (on the left). Credit: CTBTO. | Photos of Kazakh Foreign Minister Abdrakhmanov and Dr Zerbo in the text are by Katsuhiro Asagiri, IDN-INPS Multimedia Director.

BERLIN | VIENNA | ASTANA (IDN) – The Kazakh Minister of Foreign Affairs Kairat Abdrakhmanov and CTBTO Executive Secretary Dr Lassina Zerbo have called on all States Signatories "to spare no effort to ensure that the nuclear test ban becomes legally binding by achieving the entry into force" of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) in limbo for 22 years. [P 09JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF

73 Years On, a Nuclear-Weapons-Free World Remains a Mirage

By Ramesh Jaura

Photo: Secretary-General António Guterres (front left) views an exhibit at the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum on 9 August 2018. UN Photo/Daniel Powell

BERLIN (IDN) – Nobel Peace Prize laureate Adolfo Pérez Esquivel and Buddhist philosopher Daisaku Ikeda recall a quote from Martin Luther King Jr – "We are always on the threshold of a new dawn" – and aver that the adoption of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in July 2017 is such a 'threshold'.

In a joint appeal 'To the Youth of the World', released to the media and wider public in Rome, and handed over to Pope Francis, they note that the Treaty "is an international legal instrument that establishes the absolute illegality" of nuclear weapons. [P 08] JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF

UN Chief's Disarmament Agenda Faces Rough Waters

By Jayantha Dhanapala

Photo: UN Secretary-General António Guterres speaks at the University of Geneva, launching his Agenda for Disarmament, on 24 May 2018. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferre.

The UN Secretary-General's new Disarmament Agenda entitled, Securing Our Common Future, "seems unlikely to secure our common future with the present actors," writes Jayantha Dhanapala, a retired Ambassador of Sri Lanka and a former UN Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament. "We will either have to wait for a change of actors or search among the debris of failed negotiations for a fresh start. But that depends on the unpredictable Trump and Kim Jong Un," he adds. [P 07JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF

ICAN Expects Nuclear Ban Treaty to Enter into Force in 2019

By Neena Bhandari

Photo: Tim Wright addressing the UN conference to ban nuclear weapons on behalf of ICAN on the second last day of negotiations on 6 July 2017. Credit: ICAN | Vimeo

SYDNEY (IDN) – As the world witnesses an increase in nuclear sabre-rattling in 2018, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) is supporting global public movement to put pressure on governments to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. ICAN’s Treaty Coordinator Tim Wright (TW) spoke to IDN's Neena Bhandari (NB) about disarmament, raising awareness about the risk and consequences of nuclear weapons, and why the world needs a nuclear ban treaty more than ever before. [P 06JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | SWEDISH

Nuclear Weapon States' Long Arm Seen Behind Deferral of Landmark UN Conference

By Alyn Ware*

Photo: Security Council meeting on Maintenance of international peace and security,  Nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament. Credit: UN Photo/Loey Felipe

NEW YORK (IDN) – May 14, 2018 was supposed to see the opening at the United Nations of a three-day High-Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament, scheduled to discuss "effective nuclear disarmament measures to achieve the total elimination of nuclear weapons, including, in particular, on a comprehensive convention on nuclear weapons."

The UN General Assembly decided five years ago to hold such a conference in 2018, following a series of annual, one-day, high-level meetings at the United Nations. [P 05JAPANESE TEXT VERSION VERSION PDF

Experts Predict Vast Ramifications of US Pullout From Iran Nuclear Deal

By Santo D. Banerjee

NEW YORK (IDN) – President Donald Trump’s decision to abandon the Iran Nuclear Deal is fraught with multiple imponderables, according to experts. It's "a costly mistake that can hold wide-ranging ramifications beyond its strictly nuclear parameters," declared the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize winner Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs.

The decision "not only blows up a functioning agreement, it also deals a significant blow to U.S. credibility as a partner in contract and diplomacy," warned the 2017 Nobel Peace laureate ICAN (the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons). [P 04] ARABICHINDI | JAPANESE TEXT VERSION VERSION  PDF

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