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Playing nuclear “chicken” with our lives

August 10, 2017

What kind of civilization have we developed when two mentally unstable national leaders, in an escalating confrontation with each other, threaten one another―and the world―with nuclear war?

That question arises as a potentially violent showdown emerges between Kim Jong Un of North Korea and Donald Trump of the United States. In recent years, the North Korean government has produced about 10 nuclear weapons and has been making them increasingly operational through improvements in its missile technology. Read more…

North Korea crisis: Reckless threats from both sides must stop

August 9, 2017

The already dangerous crisis in Korea has escalated further with the reckless rhetoric emanating from both the United States and the Democratic Republic of Korea. The wild threats issued by both sides only inflame an already explosive situation. If acted on they could lead directly to the death of tens of millions of people in both countries and beyond their borders. They must stop.

At a time of similar confrontation in 1994 the United States and the DPRK chose to enter into negotiations and they were able to work out an arrangement that met both nations’ security needs until the United States suspended the talks in 2002. There is an urgent need to resume direct negotiations without preconditions to defuse this dangerous crisis.

At the United Nations last month 122 nations pointed out the path forward by voting to adopt the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The Treaty recognized the catastrophic humanitarian consequences that will result from nuclear war and prohibited the possession of these weapons. The United States, the Democratic Republic of Korea, and all of the nuclear-armed states need to acknowledge the unacceptable danger posed by these weapons, and clearly illustrated by the current crisis. They need to understand that nuclear weapons do not enhance their security, but pose the greatest risk to their own security and the security of all peoples. And they need to negotiate the time bound, verifiable, and enforceable elimination of their arsenals.

Democracy breaks out at the UN as 122 nations vote to ban the bomb

July 24, 2017

by Alice Slater

On July 7, 2017, at a UN Conference mandated by the UN General Assembly to negotiate a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, the only weapons of mass destruction yet to be banned, 122 nations completed the job after three weeks, accompanied by a celebratory outburst of cheers, tears, and applause among hundreds of activists, government delegates, and experts, as well as survivors of the lethal nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and witnesses to the devastating, toxic nuclear-test explosions in the Pacific. Read more…

We just banned nuclear weapons!

July 7, 2017

Banning nuclear weapons on the big screen. Now that’s reality TV!

Nuclear weapons have been banned.

Stigmatized and prohibited. That means we’re two-thirds of the way to fulfilling the Humanitarian Pledge, which feels like it was launched only yesterday.

It took three international conferences, two open-ended working groups, medical and scientific evidence accumulated over some 50 or more years, decades of selfless appeals by the Hibakusha and by the victims of nuclear testing, a core group of states with the courage to take effective leadership, a decisive UN resolution, four weeks of honest, good faith negotiating by people who really and truly want to rid the world of nuclear weapons, and seven years of intensive campaigning by ICAN…

…and nuclear weapons have been banned. Read more…

Historic nuclear ban treaty serves “shared interests of humanity”

July 7, 2017

Conference room 1 erupts in applause as ban treaty vote is announced

History was made at the United Nations today when the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was adopted by an overwhelming 122-1 vote by UN Member States determined to provide a legal basis for the elimination of the world’s worst weapons of mass destruction. Read more…

Deconstructing the concept of security: What do we mean when we talk about security?

July 5, 2017
by

Guest editorial

by Alice Slater

Those of us laboring in the wasteland of nuclear arms control and countless thwarted attempts to abolish nuclear weapons have been witnessing one of the most striking shifts in the global paradigm of how the world thinks about nuclear weapons which has brought us to this present glorious moment. The world is now poised on the eve of actually completing negotiations for a treaty to ban the bomb! The shift, which has proceeded so rapidly, relative to other efforts to curb nuclear weapons, can largely be attributed to the transformation of the public conversation about nuclear weapons, from the same old, same old talk, about national “security” and its reliance on “nuclear deterrence”, to the widely promoted and publicized well-founded scientific evidence of the catastrophic humanitarian consequences which would result from the use of these lethal instruments of death and destruction. Read more…

The nuclear bomb is a weapon of crime and mass destruction

July 3, 2017

by Roland Oldham, Moruroa e Tatou, Tahiti

The nuclear bomb is a weapon of crime and mass destruction.

We should all be well aware of the examples of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where the consequences still today have effects across generations. Read more…

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