Viewpoint by Daryl G. Kimball | Reproduced courtesy of Arms Control Association
WASHINGTON, D.C. (IDN-INPS) - Twenty years ago this month, in a major nonproliferation breakthrough, more than 158 nations came together to adopt a resolution at the United Nations in support of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).
Since then, the treaty has been signed by 183 states and has established a powerful taboo against nuclear test explosions, which for decades were used to perfect new and more deadly warhead designs and fueled the global nuclear arms race. Only one country – North Korea – has conducted nuclear test explosions in this century.
Viewpoint by Jayantha Dhanapala*
This is a slightly modified text of Jayantha Dhanapala's address to the Astana Conference on August 28-29 to mark the 25th anniversary of the closure of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site.
ASTANA (IDN-INPS) - As the 550th anniversary of the Kazakh Khanate is celebrated we are fortunate, as invited participants of this important conference, to have the pleasure and privilege of being visitors in this ancient land – the Land of the Wanderers – heir to a centuries old traditional culture; a land which is at the same time a vibrant modern nation. It is a nation which since 1991 has been a trailblazer in international relations and in the specific area of building a nuclear-weapon world – the theme of our conference.
By Ramesh Jaura and Katsuhiro Asagiri
ASTANA (IDN) - As divisions between States on how to achieve nuclear disarmament grow, countries like Kazakhstan must lead the way to common ground and inclusive dialogue. Such leadership is urgently needed to make our world truly secure, said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a message delivered to the conference on 'Building a Nuclear-Free World'.
Welcoming participants, President Nursultan Nazarbayev explained why Kazakhstan was leading the way: "August 29, 1991 is marked by an event of historic significance both for our country and the whole world. 25 years ago, we legally stopped the most sinister experiment of militarism, which had been tormenting our land and our people for almost 40 years. Several decades before that event, the world tried to lower the threshold of nuclear threat through the processes of nuclear weapons reduction, and a moratorium of its testing."
Viewpoint by Shervin Taheran*
This article appears in cooperation with the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), as part of the initiative ‘Youth for CTBTO’. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the CTBTO. - Editor
WASHINGTON. D.C. (IDN) - Following mass protests against Soviet nuclear weapons testing in Kazakhstan on August 29, 1991, the Kremlin was forced to close the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site, where over 460 nuclear tests were conducted, and declare a moratorium on nuclear testing. This, in turn, opened the way for the United States to halt testing and for negotiations on a global, verifiable Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), which were concluded in 1996.
By Ramesh Jaura
BERLIN (IDN) - For the seventh year in succession, the world would commemorate on August 29 the International Day against Nuclear Tests, which would coincide with the 25th anniversary of the closure of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test site the central Asian republic inherited from the Soviet Union in the aftermath of its breakup.
The ATOM Project initiated a global moment of silence on that day to honour all victims of nuclear weapons testing. Kazakhstan suffered more than 450 Soviet nuclear weapons tests at the Semipalatinsk site beginning August 29, 1949 and ending on that date in 1991 when the country's first and current President Nursultan Nazarbayev, responding to a civil society campaign, shut down the site.
By Jamshed Baruah
GENEVA (IDN) - In what the International Campaign to abolish nuclear weapons (ICAN) calls "a dramatic final day", a group of non-nuclear countries have pushed through a proposal to initiate negotiations in 2017 to prohibit nuclear weapons of mass destruction.
The UN Open Ended Working group on nuclear disarmament (OEWG) wrapped up on August 19 the third series of sessions that have been convened since February, by adopting a recommendation to the United Nations General Assembly in October to initiate negotiations on a legal instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading to their elimination.
The Working Group held a total of 30 substantive meetings from February 22 to 26, May 2-4 and May 9-13 as well as on August 5, 16, 17 and 19. Several informal meetings were also held.
BERLIN | SYDNEY (IDN | UNFOLDZERO) - An International Peoples’ Tribunal on Nuclear Weapons and the Destruction of Human Civilisation held in Sydney handed down its judgement on August 16 affirming the illegality of any use or threat to use nuclear weapons and convicting the leaders of the nine nuclear-armed States of war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes against peace and crimes of threatening, planning and preparing acts which would constitute genocide, ecocide and omnicide (the destruction of humanity as a species).
The tribunal also considered a test case against Malcolm Turnbull, the leader of Australia, which is one of the states under extended nuclear deterrence relationship with the United States. Turnbull was convicted for complicity, i.e. aiding and abetting the planning and preparation for the use of nuclear weapons, which would constitute a crime, and for making illegal threats to facilitate and support the use nuclear weapons.
Analysis by Ramesh Jaura
BERLIN (IDN) – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s mantra “No more Hiroshimas - No more Nagasakis - Never again”, chanted to commemorate the anniversaries of the devastating atomic bombings of two Japanese cities has yet to usher in a nuclear-weapon-free world. Also his ‘five point proposal on nuclear disarmament’, tabled on UN Day October 24, 2008, has been practically consigned to oblivion.
The fault does not lie with the Secretary-General. As the world commemorated the 71st Hiroshima and Nagasaki anniversaries on August 6 and August 9, the question on the minds of proponents of a world free of nuclear weapons was: Is there reason to hope rather than despair?
By Jamshed Baruah
GENEVA (IDN-INPS) - The final session of the UN nuclear disarmament working group (OEWG) opened in Geneva on August 5, as nuclear abolition campaigners around the world were gearing up for Hiroshima and Nagasaki Day actions.
Governments will meet from August 16 to19 to discuss the OEWG draft report, with the aim to adopt the final report on August 19 for submission to the UN General Assembly. They will follow up on the substantive work it undertook in February and May 2016.
The focus in February and May was on the legal measures required to achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world, and to prepare recommendations on reducing nuclear risks, enhancing transparency, and building further awareness about the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons.