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Participation in Landmark NATO Exercise Reveals Iceland's Dilemma

By Lowana Veal

Photo credit: NATO

REYKJAVIK (IDN) – Iceland, the most sparsely populated country in Europe, has no standing army. But it is a founding member of the 29-nation North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and is therefore taking part in Trident Juncture 2018, the largest NATO exercise since the end of the Cold War in December 1991.

Kazakh Initiated Forum Underlines Importance of NWFZs

By Santo D. Banerjee

Photo: Yerzhan Ashikbayev, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan, chairing a side event at the Kazakh Permanent Mission to the UN in New York. Source: UNODA

NEW YORK (IDN) – High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu has expressed her "gratitude" to the Kazakhstan for their continued partnership with the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), including through a series of Nuclear Discussion Forums (NDF), now in its eighth year.

Full Potential of Nuclear Weapon-Free Zones Has Yet to be Recognised

Viewpoint by Izumi Nakamitsu

Photo: Izumi Nakamitsu, the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA). Credit: UNODA

The following are extensive excerpts from a statement by Izumi Nakamitsu, the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) at a side event on October 18, 2018, organized by the Permanent Mission of Kazakhstan to the United Nations on Consolidating and Enhancing Cooperation among Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones. – The Editor

NEW YORK (IDN-INPS) – Between the Treaty of Tlatelolco, which was signed in in 1967, to the Central Asian Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone, which entered into force in 2009, the world has experienced a growing adherence from States to nuclear weapon-free zones treaties.

Time Out for Nukes!

Viewpoint by Alice Slater

The United States Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) was high on Gorbachev's agenda at the Geneva Summit in November 1985. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

The author is a member of the World Beyond War Coordinating Committee and the UN NGO Representative of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.

NEW YORK (IDN) – With 122 nations having voted last summer (July 2017) to adopt a treaty for the complete prohibition of nuclear weapons, just as the world has banned chemical and biological weapons, its seems that the world is locked in a new Cold War time-warp, totally inappropriate to the times.

India Needs to Reify its Global Nuclear Disarmament Policy

Viewpoint by Pulkit Mohan

Photo credit: Peter Miller © Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

India's challenge in asserting its stance on global nuclear disarmament requires a precise articulation of its goals and plans, writes Pulkit Mohan, a Research Intern at India's prestigious Observer Research Foundation. The article first appeared on 28 September 2018, and is being reproduced courtesy the Foundation.

Pompeo Heads to Pyongyang in Quest of Denuclearization

By Kelsey Davenport & Alicia Sanders-Zakre

Photo: Mike Pompeo, then Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, meets with North Korea dictator Kim Jong-un over the Easter weekend (March 30 to April 1, 2018). Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Kelsey Davenport is director for nonproliferation policy and Alicia Sanders-Zakre is research assistant at the Arms Control Association. This article first appeared in the Inaugural Issue: The North Korea Denuclearization Digest on October 3, 2018. It is being reproduced courtesy Arms Control Association. – The Editor

WASHIGTON, D.C. (IDN-INPS) – After a long pause in U.S.-North Korea talks on denuclearization and peace, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to Japan, China, North Korea, and South Korea October 6-8. He will visit Pyongyang October 7 and is expected to meet with Chairman Kim Jong-un.

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 11] JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | SPANISH | 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] ITALIAN | JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | SPANISH

The World Needs a Strong Legal Framework for Complete Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

Viewpoint by Kairat Abdrakhmanov

Photo: Kairat Abdrakhmanov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, addresses the Security Council meeting on the maintenance of international peace and security, with a focus on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. 26 September 2018, United Nations, New York. Credit: UN Photo/Manuel Elias

Following are extensive excerpts from the statement by Kairat Abdrakhmanov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan at the High-level Meeting of the UN Security Council on "Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Non-proliferation of WMD" on 26 September 2018 in New York.

NEW YORK (IDN) – Countering the spread and use of WMD: This goal is close to Kazakhstan’s heart, and is one of the key priorities of my country’s foreign policy. Kazakhstan’s firm and unwavering commitment to international peace and security commenced upon our independence in 1991.

Peacebuilders for a Nuclear-Weapon Free World

Viewpoint by Rene Wadlow*

Photo: Sculpture depicting St. George slaying the dragon. The dragon is created from fragments of Soviet SS-20 and United States Pershing nuclear missiles. UN Photo/Milton Grant

GENEVA (IDN) – As the world celebrated the UN-designated International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons on September 26, there were still some 16,000 nuclear weapons in the world, largely in the hands of the United States and the Russian Federation, some on “ready alert”.

There are plans to “modernise” nuclear weapons, and there are at least seven other states with nuclear weapons: North Korea, Pakistan, India and China in Asia, Israel in the Middle East and France and the United Kingdom in Europe.