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The Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons Violates the Right to Life, Warns a UN Committee

By Alyn Ware

Photo: UN Human Rights Committee. Credit: Australian Human Rights Commission

The author is Coordinator of the World Future Council Peace and Disarmament Program, Global Coordinator of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, and International Representative of Aotearoa Lawyers for Peace (the New Zealand affiliate of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms).

GENEVA (IDN) – The threat or use of nuclear weapons is "incompatible with respect for the right to life" and "may amount to a crime under international law," warns the UN Human Rights Committee's new General comment No. 36 (2018) on Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), on the right to life, adopted on October 30, 2018. [P 14] BHASA | HINDI | JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | NORWEGIAN | SWEDISH

Verification is Key to Denuclearization of North Korea

 Viewpoint by Lassina Zerbo

"The CTBTO and its technological tools are uniquely placed to provide adequate verification and to monitor an end to nuclear tests in North Korea," writes Lassina Zerbo, the executive secretary of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization. This article first appeared on Arms Control Association website on November 1, 2018. – The Editor

Experts Push for Trump-Putin Accord on Nuclear Forces Treaty

By J C Suresh

Photo: Intermediate-range ballistic missiles. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

TORONTO (IDN) – In the wake of President Donald Trump's recent announcement to "terminate" the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty "in response to Russian violations of the agreement", an international group consisting of high-level experts and former officials is warning of the dangers of the collapse of the treaty and urging a diplomatic resolution to the dispute.

A Punitive Approach to Iran's Missile Activities Will Not Fix the Problem

Europe Should Promote a Regional Security Mechanism in the Middle East

Viewpoint by Dr Tytti Erästö *

Photo: The UN Security Council adopts Resolution on Iran Nuclear Deal (Resolution 2231), taken on 20 July 2015. UN Photo/Loey Felipe.

European powers deserve credit for their efforts to maintain the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), but their current coercive approach to Iran's missiles is counterproductive, writes Dr Tytti Erästö, a researcher in the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-proliferation Programme, in a topical backgrounder published on 15 November, 2018 on SIPRI's website. Following are extensive excerpts from the original article which wa: https://www.sipri.org/commentary/topical-backgrounder/2018/dissecting-international-concerns-about-irans-missiles - The Editor

Nuclear Arms Control is Going Down a Trumpian Hole

Viewpoint by Jonathan Power*

Photo: President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron in their bilateral discussion on September 24, 2018, at the Lotte New York Palace in New York. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

LUND, Sweden (IDN-INPS) – Reacting to the radio interview by the French president, Emmanuel Macron, to mark Armistice Day, in which he was reported as saying, “We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America… We need a true European army”, President Donald Trump blew a fuse. He tweeted: “President Macron of France has just suggested that Europe build its own military in order to protect itself from the U.S., China and Russia. Very insulting.”

Interfaith Statement Pushes for Abolition of Nuclear Weapons

By Santo D. Banerjee

Photo: Civil society at the UN General Assembly First Committee, October 2018

NEW YORK (IDN) – Faith Communities Concerned about Nuclear Weapons – a group of diverse faith-based organizations and individuals committed to a nuclear-weapon-free world – have called for urgent action for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

"As people of faith, we advocate for the right of all people to live in security and dignity; we seek to heed the commands of conscience and the call to justice; we are united in our determination to protect the vulnerable and to exercise the stewardship that will safeguard Earth for present and future generations," says the group in the public statement submitted in October to the UN General Assembly's First Committee in New York.

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] ARABIC | GERMAN | JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF

NATO's Gottemoeller Discusses Military Applications of Artificial Intelligence in China

By J C Suresh

Photo: NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller addressing the Beijing Xiangshan Forum. Credit: NATO

TORONTO (IDN-INPS) – "We know that we cannot fight tomorrow's threats with today’s tools. Defending ourselves is no longer about just looking at a map and deciding where to position troops and equipment. We need to defend ourselves in the digital age, and in the age of artificial intelligence," NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller told  experts participating in the 8th Beijing Xiangshan Forum in China from October 24 to 26 2018.

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 12]  JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | NORWEGIAN | SWEDISH

INF Treaty Decision is a Debacle, But Worse May Be Coming

Viewpoint by Daryl G. Kimball

Photo: U.S. President Donald Trump with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on 16 July 2018. Credit: website of the President of the Russian Federation.

The author is Executive Director of the Arms Control Association. This article appeared on 1 November 2018, and is being reproduced by courtesy of the think-tank. – The Editor

WASHINGTON, D.C. (IDN-INPS) – Earlier this year, President Donald Trump told reporters that he wanted to work with Russian President Vladimir Putin "to discuss the arms race, which is getting out of control." He characterized the costly nuclear weapons upgrade programs being pursued by each side as "a very, very bad policy."