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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]  BAHASA | JAPANESE TEXT VERSON  PDF | TURKISH

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] ITALIANJAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF | MALAY | NORWEGIAN | THAI

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 | 

Nuclear Strike No Longer an All-Encompassing Taboo

Viewpoint by Jonathan Power*

Photo credit: National Review

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.

Nobel Peace Prize for ICAN Significant for Nuclear Disarmament

By Sergio Duarte, President of Pugwash

Photo: Sergio Duarte, incoming President of Pugwash and his predecessor Jayantha Dhanapala, who headed the organisation for ten years, with a painting by Kazakh artist and anti-nuclear activist Karipbek Kuyukov in Astana end of August 2017. Credit: 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.

The Complementarity Between Nuclear Ban Treaty and the NPT

By Sergio Duarte, Ambassador, former U.N. High Representative for Disarmament Affairs*

Photo: UN General Assembly adopts the Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons on July 7, 2017 in New York. Credit: UNODA

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.



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