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Time to look beyond the NPT

May 12, 2015

When this NPT Review Conference began, I wrote that the outcome would depend on how seriously the humanitarian impacts initiative and the Austrian Pledge were taken up by the member states as a basis for new and effective action on disarmament. Halfway through the month-long conference, the disappointing answer is taking shape. Read more…

An NPT pop quiz

May 11, 2015

Can you name the “official” NPT nuclear-weapons states?

If you said the US, Russia, the UK, France, and China…you’re wrong. Read more…

Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula?

May 8, 2015

Can Korea be reunited after almost 70 years of complete division between North and South? This is the dream of many in the older generation in both parts of the country. The younger people in South Korea do not seem to care so much about the North.

North Korea has a few nuclear weapons and may be producing a few each year. South Korea has a military alliance with the USA, including a “nuclear umbrella,” a pledge from the US to use nuclear weapons, if needed, to defend their ally.

During my two visits to DPRK, as North Korea is called, the officials we met called for a Korean Peninsula without nuclear weapons. Are they serious? Well, only serious negotiations can give us the answer. Read more…

The NPT and the nuclear ban treaty

May 8, 2015

As this is being written, the conference reviewing the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is going on at the UN in New York. I often lose the line in the formal presentations by the official delegates, and find myself wondering: Why has the NPT worked? Read more…

Will the NPT sink or swim?

May 6, 2015

“We were waist deep in the Big Muddy,
The big fool said to push on.”

—Pete Seeger

The NPT member states have to choose between two irreconcilable narratives, and the success of the 2015 Review Conference depends upon their making the right choice.

According to the nuclear-armed states and their closest allies, nuclear disarmament is moving along step by step at a realistic pace, and all that’s needed for the next five years is to keep slogging through the river.

The majority view, expressed during the first week of general debate, is a little different: the NPT has failed to grapple effectively with the humanitarian catastrophe nuclear weapons could bring about in the blink of an eye, and it’s long past time to head for dry land. Read more…

At NPT Review Conference, ICAN demands negotiations to ban nuclear weapons

May 6, 2015

[ICAN delivered the following statement during a special civil society session at the 2015 NPT Review Conference on May 1.]

Daniela Varano told NPT Member States "we can and we must move forward with a ban."

Daniela Varano told NPT Member States “we can and we must move forward with a ban.”

The humanitarian initiative began here five years ago, when the NPT Review  Conference expressed its deep concern at the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons. Since then, a fundamental shift has been under way. Concerns about the impact of nuclear weapons on people and the environment have become central to disarmament discussions.

There is a new sense of empowerment among the peoples and the governments of countries that reject nuclear weapons. Read more…

Averting a climate disaster is also an NPT obligation

May 6, 2015

A nuclear war using only 100 Hiroshima-sized bombs against modern cities would cause prolonged global climate change and create an ozone hole encircling the entire Earth, according to data presented by Rutgers professor Alan Robock at an NPT side event sponsored by IPPNW on April 28. “Nuclear famine and the ban treaty: how prohibiting and eliminating nuclear weapons can prevent a climate disaster” examined the scientific and medical evidence supporting the conclusion that the number of nuclear weapons in the world must be reduced to zero without delay. Read more…

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