G20 in Hamburg – pathetic

One day after and some rest one may finally ask the question what did the summit achieve for whom politically?

This is the attempt approaching the reality of the G20 summit. It will name the deeply undemocratic and aggressive behavior of the police, the impressive and courageous protest, and the outstanding demonstration of the 76,000 as well as the condemnable actions of the criminal mob. We will learn how many provocateurs were involved. An independent commission is highly needed.

What were the political and material results of the G20 summit?

The costs: the official costs of 130 Million Euros have long been exceeded. The figure of 300 Million Euro is closer to the reality. But there are many costs which cannot be even figured: missing revenues for small shops, for people not being able to go to work, the provoked traffic chaos, tourists who stayed away from Hamburg, and many more.

Did these immense costs bring “political benefit”?

Looking at the final declaration explains the summit-dummy:

Things not included:

  • No single cent for the global climate fund of the United Nations, the fund is not even mentioned;
  • No further financial and political support for the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the United Nations. They are being named for propaganda but no measure towards its realization is agreed upon. People suffering hunger and poverty still wait for active support. Following this path, Africa will never have a chance to develop itself.
  • No single initiative for the realization of the Paris Climate Agreement. How can the agreements of 2015 become reality? How can emissions be reduced, how can the poorest being helped in the struggle against global warming? Nothing is mentioned in the final declaration. Germany still does not phase out its coal plants and will not reach any climate goals with this government.
  • Disarmament is not mentioned. How can SDGs and climate change aims be reached if there is no reduction of the 1.7 Trillion USD in military expenditure?
  • There is no mentioning of civil conflict resolution and crisis prevention. War and crisis will continue to cost thousands of lives from Afghanistan to Syria daily.

What is included in the final declaration?

  • A confession to the failed neoliberal economic and trade policy. Both, global neoliberal world trade or protectionist national trade are carried out at the expanse of the poorest countries. Both are the opposite of just and fair trade. This failed, exploitative, and unjust trade policy is being praised and continued despite of all the knowledge on its failure.
  • The German government, in a multilateral framework, pursues an aggressive strategy of export surplus. This leads to immense unequal developments, to economic instability, and to political crisis and conflicts in countries in Europe and in other parts of the world.
  • For years more fossil energy. Particularly in the USA but also in many other G20 countries. Germany participates actively in the exploitation of the fossil resources. The necessary phase out of the fossil age is being postponed and the planet is endangered in its existence. The effects of climate change increase day by day and hit the poorest of the poor more. This injustice can hardly be topped.
  • The mendacity involving migrants and immigrants is established: keep them off the fortress Europe no matter how. Trump can easily relate with his own wall. Except in soak-box oratories, human rights are an alien word.
  • What cannot be left out is a confession to “growth”. As if unhemmed growth is not responsible for the crisis and catastrophes of our time. And as if the simple insight that unlimited growth is not possible on our planet has not yet reached the rulers of the world.
  • The emancipation of women is being reduced to the development of a minority of women to despicable capitalists á la Ivanka Trump. “Emancipation” via exploitation – no thanks.
  • “Old wine in new wineskins”. This the summary of the results of the final declaration of the summit which have been ostentatiously announced as the formulations of a G20 for Africa. Neoliberal trade policy, opening of “markets” and reduction of custom tariffs as an even larger overexploitation of resources and country. This is the old story responsible for the disastrous situation in many countries of the continent. Dictators are being courted. Solidary help for capacity building and development looks differently.

For achieving these results which are not only a dummy but also a strike against the Paris Climate Agreement,

  • democracy was suspended,
  • environment destroyed by thousands of air miles,
  • huge amounts of money wasted,
  • and the system of the United Nations weakened.

It is irresponsible politics. And for what? For the profit of few corporations and banks, for a few global players. The tens of thousands courageously and determined protesting on the streets are a sign of hope. Many more have to join to end this ecologic, democratic and misanthropic madness.

P.S. if there will really be a ceasefire in Southwest of Syria – great. But the two gentlemen could have met cheaper, longer and more easily in Alaska (this plan has long been secretly negotiated in Jordan).

Reiner Braun, Co-President of the International Peace Bureau (IPB), Kristine Karch, Co- Chair of the International Network No to War – No to NATO

CISP Kazakhstan: The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

On July 7, 2017 the text of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was approved at the UN Headquarters in New York City during the final session of negotiations on the development of a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination  (hereinafter – the Conference, negotiations).Despite the efforts of the President of the Conference and States parties to reach a consensus, the Treaty was put on voting. Of the 137 states, 122 voted in favor, 1 against (the Netherlands), and 1 abstained (Singapore). 13 states did not take part in the voting (Andorra, Armenia, Barbados, Cameroon, Guinea, Libya, Monaco, Nauru, Nicaragua, Swaziland, Syria, Macedonia, Zambia).The treaty will be opened for signature on September 20, 2017 within the framework of the High-level Segment of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly in New York and will come into force after its ratification by 50 states.

The NPT and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

There is a different understanding among the UN member states of the interface between the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).The nuclear powers and their allies are convinced that the torpedoing (in their opinion) of negotiations on the prohibition of nuclear weapons is premature, will damage the NPT and, as a consequence, the existing architecture of international security (strategic stability, nuclear deterrence, the principle of undiminished security).So, on March 27, 2017 in New York on the day of the beginning of negotiations, 21 states headed by the United States, Great Britain and France issued a statement to the press against the holding of negotiations.The Russian Federation during the first meeting of the Preparatory Committee of the NPT Review Conference of 2020 in May this year in Vienna stated that: “…this is an erroneous path fraught with unforeseen consequences, including for the NPT. We call on all to remember in New York about responsibility for the NPT and not to prejudice the NPT“. Supporters of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons are convinced that it will not create any legal conflicts with the NPT.On the contrary, the development of the Treaty is aimed at strengthening and developing Article VI of the NPT, according to which the participating States pledged to “… to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament…”.In this regard, the course of discussion at the Conference of Article 18 of the Treaty “Relationship with other agreements” is indicative: «The implementation of this Treaty shall not prejudice obligations undertaken by States Parties with regard to existing international agreements, to which they are party, where those obligations are consistent with the Treaty».Switzerland, Sweden, Singapore, Austria and the Netherlands actively promoted the thesis on the need to exclude the last 8 words of the article “…where those obligations are consistent with the Treaty“. This, in fact, would put the new Treaty in a subordinate position to the NPT and would preserve the right of the “nuclear five” to own nuclear weapons.Subsequently, as it’s known, the Netherlands demanded a vote and voted “against” the new Treaty, while Singapore “abstained“.It is necessary to pay attention to the rather restrained attitude of the UN Secretariat to the new Treaty. Thus, during the speech of the United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu at the closing of the Conference on July 7, 2017, she stressed that “the NPT must remain the cornerstone of the global nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament regime“.

Structure of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

Iran is the only state among the negotiators who, from the very beginning of the negotiation process, insistently called for the harmonization of the most concise document, the main focus of which will be the legal prohibition on nuclear weapons and the elimination of a legal gap in this area.In March 2017, during the first session of the Conference, Iran drew attention to the fact that “IAEA is the main verification organization. We seriously doubt that the IAEA will be able to play this role, since the IAEA Board of Governors includes, in the main, states that are not present at this Conference“.Ideally, the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons had to be carried out in two stages:- comprehensive prohibition of nuclear weapons (Treaty);- elimination of nuclear weapons, timing and verification mechanisms, as well as the establishment of a specialized Agency for these purposes (Convention).The task of the Treaty was to secure the “point of no return” – the signing and entry into force of the first ever international treaty on the legal prohibition of nuclear weapons.The desire of the states to quickly cover the provisions on the elimination of nuclear weapons in one Treaty, in the future may prejudice the nuclear disarmament process and discredit the competence of the states parties to the Conference.

Preamble

Unfortunately, the negotiating states very easily agreed not to include the following provisions in the preamble of the Treaty:- advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice of 8 July, 1996;- Final document of the tenth special session of the General Assembly, of 30 June 1978;

– conferences held on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons;

– conventions on the prohibition of biological (1972) and chemical (1993) weapons.

Earlier, New Zealand at the first session of negotiations in March 2017 rightly noted that “it is necessary to show the path passed by the world community since 1946“.

Prohibitions (Article 1)

The negotiating States parties could not agree on the inclusion of the following prohibitions:- military or other preparations for the use of nuclear weapons;- financing of research in the field of nuclear weapons;- transit of nuclear weapons.It should be noted that the states had to make enormous efforts to include a prohibition on the threat of use of nuclear weapons. Only after Iran’s detailed statement with an overview of the prohibitions on the threat of force in international law did the President of the Conference have to include this provision in the draft Treaty.At the same time, the efforts made by the majority states could not overcome the objection of the minority, in particular, Austria and Singapore, to the inclusion of a prohibition on the transit of nuclear weapons.

Verification of nuclear disarmament (Articles 2-4)

These articles are the “Achilles’ heel” of the Treaty.The following questions arise at the first reading.1. How will the nuclear-weapon States that have signed or acceded to the Treaty agree and can independently adopt a legally-binding plan for the elimination of nuclear weapons?2. The timeframe for a plan for the elimination of nuclear weapons will be interpreted by each state in its own way, which will inevitably cause a different speed of fulfillment of its obligations. This, as a result, will lead to mutual distrust and make it impossible for each state to implement these plans independently. Obviously, this should be a single unified transparent plan for the elimination of nuclear weapons, as approved in the text of the Treaty itself (or in the Comprehensive Convention on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons).3. Definition of the competent international authority (art. 4, para 6): will it be the establishment of a new international authority or the granting of new powers to the operating organization? If the decision is made to empower the existing organization, it will be necessary to make appropriate changes to the Charter, their entry into force, and other organizational issues.In this context, a striking example is the amendment to Article VI of the IAEA Statute adopted in 1999, which increases the number of members of the IAEA Board of Governors from 35 to 43 states. The entry into force of this amendment is not visible in the foreseeable future.Thus, there is a high probability that the requirements of the Treaty on the approval of plans with a time-bound framework for the destruction of nuclear weapons at the national level and the need to determine a competent international authority will lead to an endless prolongation of the implementation of these provisions and make it impossible to implement the Treaty even if nuclear powers accede to the Treaty.The desire of States to take into account, in one document, both the issues of the prohibition on nuclear weapons and their elimination, inevitably led to a weakening of the text of the Treaty.It should be noted that the 2007 Model Nuclear Weapons Convention specifies in sufficient detail what should be reflected in the Declaration of the State, consisting of four parts: nuclear weapons; nuclear material; nuclear facilities and installations; means of delivery.The Model Convention also sets out in detail 5 stages of the elimination of nuclear weapons with a clear time-frame for all nuclear-weapon States.

What’s next?

From September 20, 2017, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons will be opened for signature and will enter into force, sooner or later.After persistent calls for nuclear states to accede to the Treaty, the latter will provide an analysis showing that the Treaty, from a practical point of view, is not being implemented and requires significant changes and additions.Over time, it becomes clear that it is necessary to develop and adopt a Comprehensive Convention on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, which will clearly and unambiguously describe the mechanisms for the elimination of nuclear weapons, the establishment for this purpose of a specialized agency and other issues.However, articles 2-4 of the already approved text of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons will interfere with its adoption.This can further delay the process of nuclear disarmament.

***

Despite all of the above, the fact of approving the text of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is a historic event in the sphere of nuclear disarmament, and the date, July 7, 2017, will forever be included in the textbooks on disarmament and international security.Already in the very near future – the Conference on Disarmament, the IAEA General Conference, the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, the preparatory committees of the NPT Review Conference – the new Treaty will have a direct impact on the nature of their work and the documents.

Alimzhan Akhmetov
Director of the Center for International Security and Policy, Kazakhstan

ICAN: Final Treaty – Content and Impact

What the Treaty Does

Comprehensively bans nuclear weapons and related activity. It will be illegal for parties to undertake any activities related to nuclear weapons. It bans the use, development, testing, production, manufacturing, acquiring, possession, stockpiling, transferring, receiving, threatening to use, stationing, installation, or deploying of nuclear weapons.  [Article 1]

Bans any assistance with prohibited acts. The treaty bans assistance with prohibited acts, and should be interpreted as prohibiting states from engaging in military preparations and planning to use nuclear weapons, financing their development and manufacture, or permitting the transit of them through territorial waters or airspace. [Article 1]

Creates a path for nuclear states which join to eliminate weapons, stockpiles, and programs. It requires states with nuclear weapons that join the treaty to remove them from operational status and destroy them and their programs, all according to plans they would submit for approval. It also requires states which have other country’s weapons on their territory to have them removed. [Article 4]

Verifies and safeguards that states meet their obligations. The treaty requires a verifiable, time-bound, transparent, and irreversible destruction of nuclear weapons and programs and requires the maintenance and/or implementation of international safeguards agreements. The treaty permits safeguards to become stronger over time and prohibits weakening of the safeguard regime. [Articles 3 and 4]

Requires victim and international assistance and environmental remediation. The treaty requires states to assist victims of nuclear weapons use and testing, and requires environmental remediation of contaminated areas. The treaty also obliges states to provide international assistance to support the implementation of the treaty. The text requires states to join the Treaty, and to encourage others to join, as well as to meet regularly to review progress. [Articles 6, 7, and 8]

Next Steps

Adoption. The treaty is scheduled to be adopted on the morning of Friday 7 July.

Opening for signature. The treaty will be open for signature on 20 September at the United Nations in New York. [Article 13]

Entry into force. Fifty states are required to ratify the treaty for it to enter into force.  At a national level, the process of ratification varies, but usually requires parliamentary approval and the development of national legislation to turn prohibitions into national legislation. This process is also an opportunity to elaborate additional measures, such as prohibiting the financing of nuclear weapons. [Article 15]

First meeting of States Parties. The first Meeting of States Parties will take place within a year after the entry into force of the Convention. [Article 8]

Significance and Impact of the Treaty

Delegitimizes nuclear weapons. This treaty is a clear indication that the majority of the world no longer accepts nuclear weapons and do not consider them legitimate weapons, creating the foundation of a new norm of international behaviour.

Changes party and non-party behaviour. As has been true with previous weapon prohibition treaties, changing international norms leads to concrete changes in policies and behaviours, even in states not party to the treaty. This is true for treaties ranging from those banning cluster munitions and land mines to the Convention on the law of the sea. The prohibition on assistance will play a significant role in changing behaviour given the impact it may have on financing and military planning and preparation for their use.

Completes the prohibitions on weapons of mass destruction. The treaty completes work begun in the 1970s, when Chemical weapons were banned, and the 1990s when biological weapons were banned.

Strengthens International Humanitarian Law (“Laws of War”). Nuclear weapons are intended to kill millions of civilians – non-combatants – a gross violation of International Humanitarian Law. Few would argue that the mass slaughter of civilians is acceptable and there is no way to use a nuclear weapon in line with international law. The treaty strengthens these bodies of law and norm.

Remove the prestige associated with proliferation. Countries often seek nuclear weapons for the prestige of being seen as part of an important club. By more clearly making nuclear weapons an object of scorn rather than achievement, their spread can be deterred.

Download the article here

Joseph Gerson Reports on IPB Ban Treaty Side Event

Friends,

I am ostensibly on vacation, but I am en route home after a quick trip to New York City where I chaired I side event at the U.N. on the impacts of the Ban Treaty. That is to say how our movements can build on the treaty whose text will be completed Friday.

First advertised by its proponents as the way to completely overcome the nuclear weapons states refusal to fulfill their Article VI Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty obligation to engage in good faith negotiations for the complete elimination of their nuclear arsenals, the Treaty is now understood to be a “step” along that way and as a means to reinforce the norm forbidding use and threatened use of nuclear weapons.  The Treaty will apply to states that sign and ratify it (negotiations have been boycotted by the nuclear powers and “umbrella” states – except for the Netherlands) and will prohibit them from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, and deploying; transferring or receiving nuclear weapons. It will prohibit the use and threatened use nuclear weapons; stationing or deployment of nuclear weapons in their countries and territories. It appears that a minimum of 50 states will need to sign and ratify the treaty before it goes into force.

Speakers in our International Peace Bureau panel shared perspectives of movements in non-nuclear weapons states, umbrella states, and nuclear weapons states.  Following is a summary of their comments along with several of those of the 35 people who joined the session:

Linette Ngayu of Kenya and the African Council of Religious Leaders: Their focus will be on winning ratification of countries across Africa. They are very focused on learning the legislative process of each country, identifying the people (targets) needed to win ratification – including the public, building awareness and identifying champions to lead the ratification campaigns in the countries represented in the African Council. After listening to other speakers, Linette expressed her sympathy for those who will have harder uphill struggles to win signings and ratifications.

Susie Snyder of PAX in The Netherlands:  Susi conveyed her excitement and that of many of the negotiators and civil society representatives involved in the negotiations. After the party celebrating the completion of Treaty negotiations this Friday, the focus will be on winning signings by September 19.  Building on and from the Treaty will need to be tailored for specific countries. In the Netherlands, a NATO nation, they have to manage their expectations and will engage in an uphill struggle to get the government to sign the Treaty.  If a couple of NATO states opted to sign the Treaty, it would have enormous impact. The nuclear weapons states will join when they will, but this should not be a priority. Instead, the priority will be working with parliamentarians, the press and the public.  She stressed changing the narrative, focusing on humanitarian consequences rather than traditional security considerations. PAX will also use the Treaty to help build its “Don’t Bank on the Bomb” campaign of divestment from nuclear weapons producers.

Lucas Wirl of the German branch of International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms and IPB was not as hopeful as Susie and underlined the importance of managing our expectations.. That said, the Treaty will be a powerful resource, a “door opener,” for nuclear disarmament organizing in Germany, including the important work of getting the wider peace movement to take on campaigning for nuclear weapons abolition. He stressed that we need to engage our friends in related movements, as well as our foes. After pointing to the destabilization caused by nuclear weapons “modernization”, and NATO’s first-strike doctrine which increase the possibilities of nuclear weapons use, he pointed to the need for increased national and international movement cooperation and exchanges. IPB is currently considering organizing such a strategy session in Geneva at the time of the next NPT PrepCom. He also suggested that on July 7, 2018, the anniversary of the completion of the Treaty negotiations as a time for international actions to support and build on the Treaty.

Kate Alexander of New York Peace Action reinforced the need to manage our expectations, especially in nuclear weapons states, given the $1.2 trillion U.S. commitment to upgrade its nuclear arsenal and delivery systems and other nations’ “modernization” programs. She hopes the Treaty will help to refocus concerns about nuclear weapons to the present, rather than the past of Cold War history. She stressed that the $1.2 trillion could wipe out all U.S. student debt, meet U.S. Paris Climate commitments 400 times over, and more than 400 times the cost of addressing the global refugee crisis. She spoke of the importance of achieving a nuclear weapons free world while the Hibakusha are still with us.

Participant comments and panelists responses included:

  • The need to engage Russia in nuclear disarmament: We need to more deeply engage East European and Russian civil society figures, to deal with NATO’s aggressive policies – in part by a Helsinki II process
  • Education, education, education
  • Where to focus energies in the U.S.: The rising generation of Congressional representatives, senators and governors
  • The only way forward is with grassroots education and organizing
  • Coalition building: building collaborations with all sectors of society: religious, labor, environmental, etc.
  • Nuclear weapons are a symptom of the belief that we can have what we want, and that we can get it through pressure. Our movements need to engage with those who support nuclear weapons by listening, empathy and understanding, and building from there via diplomacy.
  • Learn from and emulate the successes of other movements, especially those engaged in divestment campaigns.

Among the points made by the chair were:

  • The urgency of the moment, especially in light of the U.S.-DPRK confrontation, Trump’s “all options on the table” response, and the need for diplomacy
  • The importance of supporting Jeremy Corbyn and the British movement. Were Corbyn to become Prime Minister and then restate his refusal to push the button and block Trident replacement, a critical process could begin within NATO nations and thus impact the nuclear powers.
  • The importance of will, experimentation, communication among our movements, coalition building beyond single issue silos, and actions across the wide spectrum of means.
  • The importance of using the Abolition 2000 e-list to share news about our successes and how we are building on/working with the BAN Treaty so that we can reinforce one another’s work.

Joseph Gerson

Download the whole article here

UNI Global Union statement to the UN conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons (ban treaty), leading to their elimination.

  • UNI Global Union welcomes the draft for the ban treaty
  • It is a historical declaration on the way to a nuclear weapon free world

As the General Secretary of UNI Global Union which represents 20 million members in the service sectors worldwide, I urge all governments to work towards creating a credible and effective treaty which will lead to a world free from nuclear weapons.

UNI Global Union has been active in calling for peace which is a fundamental requirement as a base for worker and human rights and is consequently written into our organisation’s DNA. We are a member of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, ICAN. World leaders have failed to deliver on a solution to the threat of a nuclear Armageddon and it is time to reset the clock by taking affirmative action.

UNI Global Union takes note that in a cover letter accompanying the draft, Ambassador Whyte Gomez, the Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the United Nations Office in Geneva urged the negotiators to “work together, with a sense of urgency toward a successful conference that will conclude by agreeing on a legally binding instrument prohibiting nuclear weapons.”

The preamble to the specific provisions, which describe the prohibitions and positive obligations established by the treaty, underscores the “catastrophic humanitarian consequences that would result from any use of nuclear weapons and the consequence need to make every effort to ensure that nuclear weapons are never used again under any circumstances.”

The catastrophic consequences of nuclear weapons transcend national borders, pose grave implications for human survival, the environment, socioeconomic development, the global economy, food security and for the health of future generations, and the disproportionate impact of ionizing radiation on maternal health and on girls.

UNI Global Union is a strong advocate of the need for a ban on nuclear weapons, underlined by the motion passed at the World Congress in Nagasaki in 2010, where we formed long lasting relations with the remaining victims of the nuclear bomb (Hibakusha) and their descendants. Indeed, for the last 12 years the young Nagasaki Hiroshima Peace Messengers have visited UNI’s head office in Nyon before delivering their petition calling for a ban on nuclear weapons to the United Nations in Geneva.

The draft currently before the United Nations recognises “the suffering of the victims of the use of nuclear weapons (Hibakusha) as well as those affected by the testing of nuclear weapons”. This is an appropriate and essential point. Provisions in the operative sections of the draft treaty assert the rights of those victims, including their right to medical, social, and economic assistance.

With a strong draft now in hand and three weeks of negotiations underway, during which the final Treaty can be made even stronger, it’s important that all governments now prove their commitment to a world without nuclear weapons by participating in this historic process.
UNI Global Union urges all governments to take part at the negotiations and to sign the Treaty.

Yours sincerely,
Philip J. Jennings, General Secretary, UNI Global Union

Download the statement here

To all Lawyers: Sign the letter on the abolition of nuclear weapons

The IALANA (International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms) wants to draw attention to the second round of the discussions on a nuclear weapons ban treaty in New York. The aim is to have a letter signed by lawyers that stresses the importance of such ban and urges states to participate and sign the treaty. The letter can be found and signed https://www.ialana.info/lawyers-letter/

LAWYERS’ LETTER ON THE ABOLITION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS

Nuclear arms are the only weapons of mass effect and destruction not yet prohibited by an international convention, even though they are the most destructive and indiscriminate weapons ever created.

People are capable of good-faith, law-guided, problem solving at all levels of society: family, neighborhood, national, international. Cooperative global systems have been devised for the protection of human rights, protection of the environment and prevention of climate change, prohibition of specific weapons, and more. These skills must now be applied to the next obvious step: the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons.

As lawyers we underline that the abolition of nuclear arms is required by an international legal obligation set forth in Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and embedded in United Nations practice going back to the very first General Assembly resolution, in 1946. The International Court of Justice unanimously concluded in 1996 that “there exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control.” That obligation is unconditional and universal.

We also emphasize that the use of nuclear weapons is presently incompatible with international humanitarian law regulating the conduct of warfare. Above all, due to their uncontrollable blast, heat, fire, and radiation effects, nuclear weapons cannot meet the requirement of distinguishing between the civilian population and combatants and between civilian objects and military objectives. Indeed, the catastrophic consequences of use of nuclear weapons vastly exceed the ordinary boundaries of armed conflict and adversely impact populations in neutral states, the natural environment necessary to sustain human life, and future generations. The use of nuclear weapons accordingly also violates international human rights law, most centrally the right to life. If a use of force is illegal under the UN Charter or humanitarian law, the threat to use such force is also illegal. However, the nuclear-armed states refuse to acknowledge these patent legal truths; hence the need to codify the illegality of use and threatened use of nuclear arms in a global prohibition.

The Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists, including Albert Einstein, warned in 1947: “Through the release of atomic energy, our generation has brought into the world the most revolutionary force since prehistoric man’s discovery of fire. This basic power of the universe cannot be fitted into the outmoded concept of narrow nationalisms.” Yet today we face this incendiary combination once again.

Faced with the ongoing and intensifying planetary danger and no longer willing to accept a two-tier world, this year about 130 countries have joined together at the United Nations to negotiate a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading to their elimination. The nuclear-armed states and their closest allies have refused to participate. Nonetheless, the nuclear ban treaty effort constitutes an important affirmation of the norms against nuclear weapons.

We call on all nations to participate in the negotiations and to join the treaty once adopted. It will be a major step towards negotiation of a comprehensive agreement on the achievement and permanent maintenance of a world free of nuclear arms.

 

Further Impressions from the Ban Treaty Negotiations

Read the impressions from Alimzhan Akhmetov (Director of the Center for International Security and Policy, Kazakhstan) of the second negotiation round on a nuclear weapons ban treaty.

Red Flag from Nuclear Powers

We should give nuclear powers their due. They conducted a targeted work to reduce the number of States participating in the second session of the Conference to prohibit nuclear weapons, which started on June 15 in New York and will last three weeks, until July 7. […] Read the whole article here.

Positive obligations

June 20 this year in New York a major discussion of the States parties to the Conference on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, like the close attention of civil society, was brought about by Article 6 of the draft Convention. […] Read the whole article here.

Dance around the “transit

During the negotiations on the draft Convention on the prohibition of nuclear weapons, an interesting discussion of the States unfolded around the provision prohibiting the transit of nuclear weapons. […] Read the whole article here.

The Shining Star

A month passed, as the President of the Conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination, the Costa Rican Ambassador Elaine White presented the draft Convention on the prohibition of nuclear weapons […] Read the whole article here.

To the Partners of the Making Peace Exhibition

Dear Sir/Madam,
dear colleagues,

IPB has managed to show the exhibition “Making Peace” throughout the world with great success.

You helped us in various ways to make this possible and we are deeply grateful for your assistance.

However, today we need to inform you that IPB has discontinued its partnership with Ashley Woods, since the conditions in our partnership agreement have not been fully respected. IPB is no longer connected to the Making Peace exhibition.

As you are a partner of this project, it is important to us to inform you of this sad, but inevitable, step we have had to take. It has not been easy for us to take this decision.

If you need more information, do not hesitate to contact us (by email or phone).

With Best Regards,

Reiner Braun, IPB Co-President
Lisa Clark, IPB Co-President
Lohes Rajeswaran, IPB Treasurer

Letter to Partners of Making Peace

Statement by the Republic of Kazakhstan on the occasion of 2017 Global Day of Action on Military Spending

The world has entered a new and troubling era. Tensions and conflicts are increasing as are suspicions and competition between major powers. This, in turn, is leading to a new arms race and a greater use of force to defend national interests and expand spheres of influence.

Read the whole article at: http://mfa.gov.kz/index.php/en/last-news/8736-statement-by-the-republic-of-kazakhstan-on-the-occasion-of-2017-global-day-of-action-on-military-spending