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Landmark Vatican Conference on Nuclear Disarmament Brings a Breeze of Expectation

By Ramesh Jaura

Photo: The Vatican Conference in session. Credit: Katsuhiro Asagiri | IDN-INPS.

The following article is based on an interview with Hirotsugu Terasaki, the Director General of Peace and Global Issues of the lay Buddhist organization Soka Gakkai International (SGI), in Tokyo, Japan. SGI was the sole Buddhist organization that participated in the Vatican Conference on nuclear disarmament on November 10-11, 2017.

BERLIN | ROME (IDN) – There was an air of surprise when religious leaders and representatives of civil society, officials of State and international organizations, eminent academics, Nobel Laureates, and students, gathered in the Vatican City against the backdrop of an escalating face-off between the U.S. and North Korea.

Surprise because for the first time the Vatican's newly created Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development was hosting a Conference on the 'Perspectives for a World Free from Nuclear Weapons and for Integral Disarmament'.

Former ICBM Launch Officer Calls for Reforming Presidential Nuclear Launch Authority

By J C Suresh

Photo: Testing of the Peacekeeper re-entry vehicles at the Kwajalein Atoll. All eight fired from only one missile. Each line, if its warhead were live, represents the potential explosive power of about 300 kilotons of TNT, about nineteen times larger than the detonation of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

TORONTO | WASHINGTON, DC (IDN) – Cofounder of the organization Global Zero, and a former Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missile launch officer has called for major changes to prevent a U.S. President from ordering the use of nuclear weapons.

In a new article published in the forthcoming issue of Arms Control Today, Bruce Blair, who is also a member of the Princeton University research faculty, provides an authoritative summary of current U.S. nuclear launch protocol and its dangerous liabilities. The article includes new information about the process, including who is involved and how a nuclear use order would be executed.

Ten Nuclear Wishes For The New Year

By David Krieger

Image: Test launch of minuteman missiles. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

  1. That Hiroshima and Nagasaki’s past will not become any other city’s future.
  2. That the new UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons will get at least 50 ratifications and enter into force.

UN Chief Issues 'Red Alert,' Calls for Defending Shared Values

By J Nastranis

Photo: Secretary-General António Guterres addresses Security Council meeting on the non-proliferation by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Credit: UN Photo/Manuel Elias

UNITED NATIONS (IDN) – United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has issued "a red alert for our world" in his message on the occasion of 2018 New Year. It's probably the first time ever a UN Chief has done so.

He does not explicitly refer to the nuclear muscle-flexing between the United States and North Korea, but warns: "Global anxieties about nuclear weapons are the highest since the Cold War."

Israeli Disarmament Movement Steers Through Nuclear Ambiguity

By Bernhard Schell

Photo: Demonstration in Tel-Aviv against nuclear weapons. Credit: The Israeli Disarmament Movement.

AMMAN (IDN) – The Israeli media ignored the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in honour of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) on December 10, 2017 in Oslo. The Israeli Ambassador to Norway however attended the event.

The silence of the Israeli media, according to observers, was not surprising though ICAN's eminent partner in the Middle East, the Israeli Disarmament Movement (IDM), founded and chaired by Sharon Dolev, has influenced the Israeli public discourse for the past six years. [P 29] ARABIC JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF | NORWEGIAN

UN Chief Expects New Sanctions To Help Make 2018 'A Pivotal Year' for the Korean Peninsula

By J Nastranis

Photo: The Security Council unanimously adopts resolution 2397 (2017), condemning in the strongest terms the ballistic missile launch conducted by the DPRK on 28 November 2017 in violation and flagrant disregard of the Security Council's resolutions on non-proliferation. UN Photo/Manuel Elias

UNITED NATIONS (IDN) – The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres desires to make 2018 "a pivotal year" for the achievement of sustainable peace on the Korean Peninsula.

In a statement attributable to his spokesperson, following the adoption of a new Security Council resolution (UNSCR 2397), he said: "The only way forward for a comprehensive peaceful and political solution requires de-escalation and open communication channels, now."

The resolution was approved on December 22 in response to the latest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launch by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), widely known as North Korea, on November 28. [P 28] JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF | NORWEGIAN | SPANISH | SWEDISH

In Just Ten Years ICAN Makes It To Nobel Peace Prize

By Alice Slater*

Photo (left to right): The Norwegian Nobel Committee Chair Berit Reiss-Andersen; ICAN campaigner Setsuko Thurlow who survived the bombing of Hiroshima as a 13-year-old; ICAN Executive Director Beatrice Fihn. Credit: ICAN

NEW YORK (IDN-INPS) – In Oslo on December 10, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and was accepted on behalf of the Campaign by its executive director, Beatrice Fihn, and by Setsuko Thurlow, an ICAN campaigner and survivor of the 1945 Hiroshima bombing.

Both spoke for the thousands of campaigners in over 400 organizations and more than 100 countries around the world who succeeded this fall in working with friendly governments to move a majority of states at the United Nations to adopt a treaty to prohibit to ban nuclear weapons, making their possession, use, or threat of use unlawful.

The Doomsday Machine by a Damascene Convert

Viewpoint by Jonathan Power*

Photo: The U.S. nuclear warheads are stored in some 21 locations, which include 13 U.S. states and 5 European countries. Credit: worldatlas.com

LUND, Sweden (IDN-INPS) – The nuclear weapon missile business is contradictory, full of missteps, highly dangerous and prepared in its madness (Mutually Assured Destruction, aka MAD, they used to call it in Cold War days) to plunge the world into a nuclear war that will reduce most of the world to dust.

A new book, “The Doomsday Machine” by Daniel Ellsberg tells the whole nuclear bomb story in detail. No one has done it better. The only rival is the movie, “Dr Strangelove”, that got the essentials right without being privy to much of the Ellsberg’s knowledge.

'Listen To Our Testimony. Heed Our Warning'

By Setsuko Thurlow

Photo: Setsuko Thurlow delivering her Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. Credit. Norwegian Nobel Committee.

Setsuko Thurlow is a Japanese-Canadian nuclear disarmament campaigner who survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945. She is a leading figure in the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), which won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize. Thurlow accepted the prize on behalf of the campaign at a ceremony in Oslo on 10 December 2017, together with Beatrice Fihn, the executive director of ICAN. Following are extensive excerpts from her Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech. – The Editor JAPANESE

Monitoring Dismantlement Key to Eliminating Nuclear Weapons

By Jamshed Baruah

Photo: A meeting of the IPNDV in session. Credit: IPNDV

NEW YORK (IDN) – Since the United Nations General Assembly adopted on July 7, 2017 the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, urging the prohibition and complete elimination of the atomic arsenal, the question of verification and the dismantlement of nuclear weapons has acquired particular importance. Because there are several areas where adequate technologies either need to be developed or re-engineered.

Over the past four decades, the United States and the Soviet Union as well as its successor the Russian Federation have used a series of bilateral agreements and other measures to limit and reduce their substantial nuclear warhead and strategic missile and bomber arsenals. [P 27]  JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF

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