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UN Treaty Offers a Way Out of the Nuclear Crisis

By Paolo Cotta-Ramusino

Photo: Paolo Cotta-Ramusino addressing nuclear disarmament conference in Vatican City on November 10, 2017. Credit: Katsuhiro Asagiri

The author is Secretary General of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs and Professor of Physics at the University of Milan, Italy. Pugwash was awarded Nobel Peace Prize in 1995. Following are extensive excerpts from a paper Professor Cotta-Ramusino presented to the conference on 'Perspectives for a world free from nuclear weapons and for integral disarmament' at Vatican City on 10 November 2017. - The Editor

VATICAN CITY (IDN-INPS) - Nuclear weapons have been used only twice in war, but nevertheless, the build-up of nuclear arsenals has progressed relentlessly up until the 1980s. The number of US nuclear weapons reached a maximum of 32,000 in 1967 while Soviet nuclear weapons reached a maximum of 45,000 in 1986.

No Sign Yet of a Sustained Direct U.S.-North Korean Dialogue

By Daryl G. Kimball

Photo: President Trump addressing the South Korean National Assembly. Source: The White House Video.

Daryl G. Kimball is Executive Director of the Arms Control Association. This article first appeared with the caption 'Trump Repeats Failing Formula on North Korean Threat'.

WASHINGTON, D:C: (IDN-INPS) - In his high profile address to the South Korean National Assembly November 8, President Donald Trump missed a crucial opportunity to clarify and adjust his administration’s disjointed and, at times, reckless policy toward North Korea.

Although Trump indicated earlier [...] in a press conference in Seoul that he is "open" to talks with North Korea, he has also said in recent days that now is not the time for such talks but instead it is time to apply "more pressure" on North Korea to bring North Korea to bargaining table and to agree to eliminate its nuclear program. While in Asia, Trump has also repeated, albeit in less bombastic terms than before, that he will resort to the use of military force if North Korea does not back down.

UN Takes Yet Another Step Towards a Nuke-Free World

By J Nastranis

Photo: Bill Kidd MSP, PNND Co-President chairing a PNND meeting in Astana in August 2016. Others pictured are Senator Damen-Masri (Jordan), Saber Chowdhury, Alyn Ware, Jonathan Granoff and Denise Pascal Allende MP (Chile). Credit: PNND

Note: This report draws heavily on information and analysis provided by the Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) and UNFOLD ZERO, a platform for UN focused initiatives and actions for the achievement of a nuclear weapons free world. – The Editor.

NEW YORK (IDN) - As surging tensions between North Korea and the U.S. raise again the spectre of a nuclear war, the United Nations has called on leaders around the world to come together in a High-Level Conference to reduce nuclear dangers and pave the way for nuclear disarmament.

Congressional Report Warns of Skyrocketing Costs of U.S. Nuclear Arsenal

By J C Suresh

Photo: F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft assigned to the Thunderbirds, the Air Force flight demonstration team, perform during the Thunder Over South Georgia air show at Moody Air Force Base, Ga., Oct. 28, 2017. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Daniel Snider

TORONTO | WASHINGTON, D.C. (IDN) – A new study throws limelight on the skyrocketing costs of the current plan to sustain and upgrade U.S. nuclear forces and outlines several pragmatic options to maintain a credible, formidable deterrent at less cost.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) study published on October 31 estimates that sustaining and upgrading U.S. nuclear forces will cost taxpayers $1.24 trillion in inflation-adjusted dollars between fiscal years 2017 and 2046. When the effects of inflation are included, the CBO expects the 30-year cost to exceed $1.5 trillion. These figures are significantly higher than the previously reported estimates of roughly $1 trillion. [P 24] JAPANESE TEXT VERSON  PDF

NAM Calls for Convening a Disarmament Conference at the UN

By Dr. Ankit Srivastava*

Photo: The Council Chamber at the United Nations in Geneva where the Conference on Disarmament (CD) holds its meetings. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

NEW DELHI (IDN-INPS) - Since the inception of the Non-Aligned Movement, the NAM Member States have adhered to the principle of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. The stance on disarmament has been a recurring theme at all the NAM summits. In multilateral forums like the United Nations too, NAM has been actively participating in the non-proliferation initiatives.

On September 26, 2017, in the High Level Meeting of the UN General Assembly on the [International Day for the] Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, NAM Member States supported the convening of an international conference on nuclear disarmament at the United Nations.

Japan Determined to Play a Bridging Role for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons

Viewpoint by Tarō Kōno, Japan's Foreign Minister

Photo (left to right): Japan's Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera. Foreign Minister Taro Kono, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and Secretary of Defense James Mattis. Credit: Japan MOFA

The UN General Assembly's First Committee adopted on October 28 Japan's draft resolution 'United action with renewed determination towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons', which is scheduled to be put on a vote in a plenary meeting of the UN General Assembly in early December. 144 countries including nuclear weapon states supported it. Following are extensive excerpts from the transcript of the video message by Japan's Foreign Minister Tarō Kōno, posted on October 20, 2017 on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' channel (mofachannel) on YouTube.

TOKYO | UNITED NATIONS (IDN-INPS) – Unfortunately the difference of approaches towards a world free of nuclear weapon has become clear between nuclear and non-nuclear weapon States as well as among non-nuclear weapon States. Besides as the international security environment deteriorates, the discussion towards such ultimate goal has become further complicated.

Disarmament, Non-proliferation Vital for Conflict Prevention

By Izumi Nakamitsu

Photo: Izumi Nakamitsu, the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs United Nations (UNODA), addressing the Non-proliferation Studies students on the joint programme between Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS), Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), and PIR Center, on 19 October 2017 in Moscow. Credit: MGIMO

The author is High Representative for Disarmament Affairs United Nations (UNODA). The following are extensive excerpts from her address to Non-proliferation Studies students on the joint programme between Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS), Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), and PIR Center, on 19 October 2017 in Moscow. – The Editor.

MOSCOW (IDN) - Historically speaking, the concepts of disarmament and non-proliferation date back centuries. The international efforts to strengthen the law of war are one of the important origins of disarmament work. Our work today is largely rooted in the terrible human consequences that resulted from two world wars, including the first and thankfully only uses of nuclear weapons in conflict at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We work to ensure the people of this world never have to endure such devastation again.

India Ready to Work with Signatories of the Nuclear Ban Treaty in Multilateral Forums

By Amandeep Singh Gill

Photo: An Indian Agni-II intermediate range ballistic missile on a road-mobile launcher, displayed at the Republic Day Parade on New Delhi's Rajpath, January 26, 2004. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Ambassador Amandeep Singh Gill is Permanent Representative of India to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. Following are extensive excerpts from his remarks at the Thematic Debate on Nuclear Weapons in the First Committee, 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly on 12 October 2017. – The Editor.

UNITED NATIONS (IDN) –India remains committed to universal, non-discriminatory and verifiable nuclear disarmament and to multilateralism in pursuit of that goal. Our position has been firm and consistent over the years.

Will U.S. Congress Legally Restrain a Nuclear World War III?

By Shanta Roy

Photo courtesy of National Nuclear Security Administration / Nevada Site Office

UNITED NATIONS (IDN) – U.S. President Donald Trump's highly erratic behavior on nuclear weapons – and his public threats to "totally destroy" North Korea – have triggered a strong political backlash from anti-nuclear and anti-war activists.

"A central problem is that Donald Trump seems ignorant about what nuclear weapons really are, and the humanitarian catastrophe that would be unleashed if he fired even one at North Korea – or anywhere," said Dr. Rebecca Johnson of the Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy, a founding co-Chair of the International Coalition to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), the 2017 Nobel Peace Laureate.  [P 23]  | JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF

Nuclear Nightmare Persists As UN Treaty Awaits Ratification

By Ramesh Jaura

Photo: (left to right): Austria's Permanent Representative to the UN, Jan Kickert (standing); Brazil's Permanent Representative to the UN Mauro Luiz Iecker Vieira; ICAN Asia-Pacific Director Tim Wright; ICAN Executive Director Beatrice Fihn; ICAN Steering Group member Ray Acheson: and Costa Rica's Permanent Representative to the UN, Juan Carlos Mendoza. Credit: UN

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". [P 22] | JAPANESE Part 1, Part 2 | 

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