I did something new last week. I started a petition on change.org for ICAN. Now I have signed many online petitions in my time and I have written quite a few too. But I have never used a large online petitioning platform before.
The title of the petition – as you may already know – was “Prevent a nuclear catastrophe – Back to the negotiating table”. At the start things seemed to be going well enough. I obsessively watched the signatures clocking up and overnight the first 500 were there.
But then it started to slow down. Read more…
Not even the Tories go that far. Actually, the former Tory Defense Secretary, Michael Portillo, ridicules Cameron.
My father, who was a Lutheran parson sometimes used the term from Martin Luther. The excuse of the unrepentant: If you have decided to continue your wicked ways any excuse, however feeble, will do.
[The co-presidents of IPPNW have sent the following letter to the leaders of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea, and the United States, in response to the escalating series of nuclear threats over the past several days.]
The use of nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula must be prevented. Regardless of the reasons for the current escalation in tensions, the recent displays of nuclear force by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and by the US, on behalf of its ally the Republic of Korea, can have only one of two outcomes: either both sides will step back from the precipice or deterrence will fail and millions of people will suffer the fate of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The humanitarian consequences of the detonation of nuclear weapons, regardless of who might use them or where, were examined in depth only one month ago in Oslo, at a conference attended by 127 States. The sobering scientific and medical analysis presented in Oslo—millions dead; millions more suffering from injuries, burns, and radiation sickness without hope of medical treatment; social and economic collapse; and the potential for global climate disruption and nuclear-war-induced famine—compelled the participants to call for accelerated action to delegitimize nuclear weapons and to eliminate them from the world’s arsenals. This has been IPPNW’s core message since 1980. The current crisis only underscores the urgency of negotiating a comprehensive, global treaty to ban and eliminate nuclear weapons.
As long as nuclear weapons exist, adversaries who own them will be tempted to engage in nuclear threats and counter-threats calculated to make the other side back down. This is why nuclear deterrence is already a bankrupt policy. Should this be the moment when deterrence fails, as it eventually must, both North and South Korea will be devastated. Even if the use of nuclear weapons were confined to the Korean peninsula, unlikely as that would be, the repercussions for the rest of the world would be catastrophic.
Expressions of willingness—or even intent—to use nuclear weapons, either preemptively or in retaliation, provide security to no one and increase the risk of mutual self-destruction. IPPNW urges the DPRK, the ROK, and the US to refrain from further rhetorical provocations and inflammatory displays of force, and to reopen diplomatic channels where cooler heads can prevail.
An historic and groundbreaking international Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) was approved today at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York by a vote of 154 yes, including the US, 3 no, and 23 abstentions! The treaty enshrines in new international law a set of clear rules for all global transfers of weapons and ammunitions.
IPPNW’s delegation has worked tirelessly for years on this issue, and IPPNW representatives Drs. Omolade Oladejo and Emeka Okolo from Nigeria were at the UN today along with many NGO colleagues to witness this landmark event while many of us watched with suspense from afar. Read more…
IPPNW representatives were on the edge of our seats last Thursday afternoon as we anxiously awaited the outcome of the long-deliberated Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) negotiations at the UN in New York. So many delegates, NGOs and press attended the final session of the ATT Diplomatic Conference that we spilled over to fill two of the big UN plenary session rooms.
With overwhelming support from the world’s countries, everyone had high hopes for an ATT adoption after the final two weeks of intense discussions took place March 18-28.
But it was not to be. Read more…
UN Secretary-General urges agreement on robust Arms Trade Treaty as landmark conference begins in New York
Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) Diplomatic Conference
Dispatch from Day One
Compiled by Ogebe Onazi, IPPNW Nigeria
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged participants of the United Nations Final Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) to conclude work by 28 March on a comprehensive instrument that would establish standards for international trade in conventional weapons.
“You are not here to initiate new negotiations. You are here to strengthen and conclude the work that has been done in earnest since the beginning of the ATT process in 2006,” the Secty. General told representatives from 193 Member States in his opening remarks to the conference in New York. Read more…
In a number of ways, gun control issues are remarkably similar to arms control issues.
Gun controllers argue that the availability of guns facilitates the use of these weapons for murderous purposes. Arms controllers make much the same case, asserting that weapons buildups lead to arms races and wars. Both stress the imperative of weapons controls in an era of growing technological sophistication, pointing out that assault weapons sharply increase dangers domestically, just as nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons increase the dangers of a holocaust globally. Weapons enthusiasts have also adopted a common approach. The National Rifle Association insists that weapons are harmless. According to the NRA, “people” are the problem, which can be solved by “good guys” using guns to intimidate or kill “bad guys.” Adopting much the same position, the military-industrial complex and its fans contend that the people of their nation are “good,” and need superior armaments to “deter” or destroy the “bad” people. Read more…