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Round the home turn towards adoption of a strong ban treaty on 7 July

July 1, 2017

by Tilman Ruff

On Wednesday 26 June, the UN conference to negotiate a treaty banning nuclear weapons undertook the first read-through of a revised draft treaty text prepared by the conference president, Costa Rican ambassador Elayne Whyte. Now two weeks into this final round, many in the room expressed some frustration at this further exchange of positions and views. With the clock ticking towards the conference end and target date for adoption of an agreed treaty text on 7 July, many delegates expressed their desire to get stuck into negotiating treaty text, paragraph by paragraph, line by line.

Between Wednesday 28 and Friday 30 June, the negotiating work of the conference proceeded in earnest, with 3 and occasionally 4 separate working groups considering different treaty elements. Though these sessions were closed to civil society, the sense of urgency and commitment was palpable, with delegates meeting late into the night. Read more…

The bomb and us

June 27, 2017

by Anne Sandstrom

As I write this, a nuclear ban treaty is within reach. And yet, the optimism I should be feeling is tempered by the knowledge of the people, lands, waters, cultural traditions, and innocence that have been lost to the scourge of nuclear weapons.

On Sunday afternoon, June 18, during an ICAN strategy and planning meeting, many voiced opinions on various aspects of the ban treaty. There was much discussion about the victims of nuclear testing, with Roland Oldham (President of Moruroa e Tatou) offering the perspective of the inhabitants of French Polynesia. At the conclusion of the meeting, Roland offered the booklet “Moruroa La Bombe et Nous” to anyone interested. He seemed apologetic as he admitted that it was available only in French. Read more…

Historic Convention Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons Within Reach

June 15, 2017

ICAN has released the following statement on the resumption of negotiations at the United Nations on a Convention  on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

As the second negotiation session on the Convention to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons (CPNW) begins, there is broad consensus for a comprehensive and verifiable ban on nuclear weapons, strong support from international civil society organizations, and clear opportunities to strengthen the draft treaty before it is adopted. Read more…

National illusions and global realities

June 12, 2017

For as long as they have existed, nations have clung to the illusion that their military strength guarantees their security.

The problem with this kind of thinking is that the military power that one nation considers vital to its security fosters other nations’ sense of insecurity. In this climate of suspicion, an arms race ensues, often culminating in military conflict. Also, sometimes the very military strength that a nation intended for protection ends up emboldening it to engage in reckless, aggressive behavior, leading to war.

Read more…

We have a ban treaty draft

May 22, 2017

Cover letter from ban treaty conference president Elayne Whyte, who released the draft text today.

The Draft Convention on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was released today in Geneva by the president of the negotiating conference, Elayne Whyte Gomez of Costa Rica. The draft is based upon proposals made and discussed by participating states and civil society during the first negotiating session in March, and will be the starting point when negotiations resume in June.

In a cover letter accompanying the draft, Ambassador Whyte urged the negotiators to “work together, with a sense of urgency toward a successful Conference that will conclude by agreeing on a legally binding instrument prohibiting nuclear weapons.” Read more…

Red Cross and Red Crescent movement urges all states to join ban treaty negotiations

May 1, 2017

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has urged all States to join the fight in ensuring a nuclear free world at the Prohibition and Elimination of Nuclear Weapons conference in Nagasaki, Japan. The conference that was co-sponsored by Australian Red Cross also congratulated those 132 States that were already taking part in historic UN negotiations to prohibit nuclear weapons that started earlier this year.

The full statement is on the Australian Red Cross website.

IPPNW statement on Korea crisis

April 28, 2017

The persistent tensions on the Korean peninsula are rapidly escalating into a crisis fueled by mutual fears, provocations, and the volatile temperaments of two unpredictable, nuclear-armed heads of state. The current US administration seems determined to “resolve” the situation through shows of force and military threats. The government of Kim Jong-un is accelerating its efforts to test and build nuclear weapons and missiles, while promising “massive” retaliation should the US follow through on those threats. Read more…

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