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Hundreds march for peace in Vienna, honor global peacemakers

November 23, 2016

by Dr. Michael Schober, IPPNW-Austria

Several hundred people from many faiths, cultures and nationalities marchvienna-peace-walk-logoed on 8 October in Vienna, Austria to honor the “Peace Heroes” of the past and present and to bring attention to the peace work of many people worldwide.  Read more…

The United Nations votes to start negotiations to ban the bomb

November 14, 2016

[This article was originally published on November 1, 2016 in The Nation.]

by Alice Slater

In a historic vote on October 27 at the United Nations Committee for Disarmament, what has long seemed to be hopelessly clogged institutional machinery for abolishing nuclear weapons was upended when 123 nations voted to move forward with negotiations in 2017 to prohibit and ban nuclear weapons just as the world has already done for biological and chemical weapons. Read more…

Under Pressure

November 3, 2016

For once, the United States, France and the United Kingdom are in agreement with Russia: plans to negotiate a nuclear weapons ban need to be stopped. Before the vote last Thursday in the UN First Committee, they pulled out all the stops to pressurise other states to vote against or abstain on a draft resolution co-sponsored by 57 states for a conference to be convened in 2017 to negotiate a nuclear ban. In private conversations with delegates, the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear weapons (ICAN) heard of several instances of applied and implied pressure on states, also receiving a leaked document from the US to NATO allies. Several states simply left the room rather than vote the “wrong” way. Read more…

US can do more to lead the way in global nuclear disarmament

November 2, 2016

Frank von Hippel, one of the world’s leading specialists on nuclear weapons, has provided us―and the presidential candidates―with an important challenge: How are we going to get the stalled nuclear disarmament process moving forward once again? Answering the challenge is particularly problematic because it requires navigating between the national security fears of US political leaders and the apparent disinterest in further nuclear disarmament on the part of the Russian government. Even so, a case can be made for cutting back the deployed US nuclear arsenal. Read more…

Revolt

October 31, 2016

Guest editorial

by Ray Acheson

On 24 January 1946, the UN General Assembly adopted its first resolution, which set out to “deal with the problems raised by the discovery of atomic energy.” It established a commission with the task, among others, to make proposals “for the elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons.” Nearly 71 years later, the General Assembly has taken an enormous step towards this goal.

The adoption of resolution L.41, establishing a conference in 2017 to negotiate a legally binding treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons, represents a meaningful advancement towards the elimination of nuclear weapons. It also represents a revolt of the vast majority of states against the violence, intimidation, and injustice perpetuated by those supporting these weapons of mass destruction. Read more…

Breaking news: One step closer to a ban treaty!

October 27, 2016

The UN First Committee approved a resolution this afternoon to mandate negotiations on a new treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons. Adopted by a strong majority vote—123-38-16—the resolution now goes to the General Assembly for a final vote before the end of the year.

“Taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations” specifies a 20-day negotiating conference open to all states, with meetings planned in March and June 2017. The goal of the conference, as set out in the resolution, is “to conclude as soon as possible a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination.” Read more…

Contamination from nuclear test explosions is in every one of our bodies

October 24, 2016

[IPPNW co-president Tilman Ruff spoke in Melbourne on October 10 at the launch of a special issue of the International Review of the Red Cross on The human cost of nuclear weapons. The full text of his remarks is on the ICRC’s Humanitarian Law & Policy blog.]

by Tilman Ruff

I think that this special issue of the Review is, to date, the definitive history of the humanitarian initiative for nuclear disarmament, one that has changed the international discourse about nuclear weapons, bringing humanitarian considerations and imperatives to the heart of this matter – where they belong.

My piece titled “The humanitarian impacts and implications of nuclear test explosions in the Pacific region” addresses the health and environmental effects of nuclear test explosions in Australia, Christmas Island, French Polynesia and the Marshall Islands. Read more…

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