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IPPNW welcomes China’s call to ban and eliminate nuclear weapons; urges leadership at UN treaty negotiations

January 24, 2017
Chinese president"Nuclear weapons … should be completely prohibited."

Chinese president Xi Jinping: “Nuclear weapons … should be completely prohibited.”

IPPNW welcomes the statement by Chinese President Xi Jinping that “nuclear weapons … should be completely prohibited and destroyed over time to make the world free of them.” President Xi’s remarks, made during a speech on January 18 at the United Nations in Geneva, were consistent with China’s long-standing official support for nuclear disarmament, and come as the UN is preparing to convene negotiations on a new treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons.

China gave a positive signal at the UN General Assembly last month, unlike its other P5 partners, when it abstained from, rather than voting against, a resolution authorizing negotiations for a treaty banning nuclear weapons. The resolution was carried by a majority of over three to one. China can now show real leadership by declaring its intention to participate in the negotiating conference for the ban treaty opening this March, with the goal of making the complete prohibition of nuclear weapons an unequivocal international norm. By doing so, China would not only take an important practical step toward the elimination of nuclear weapons, it would also send a strong signal to the other eight nuclear-armed states that their objections to the negotiations and their criticisms of the treaty itself are misplaced, and that their massive reinvestments in nuclear warheads, delivery systems, and infrastructure are dangerous and contradictory to the goal of a world without nuclear weapons. The obligation to achieve that goal is spelled out in Article VI of the 1970 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, and the International Court of Justice has unanimously said that all States, whether or not they possess nuclear arms, have an obligation under international law to negotiate nuclear disarmament.

IPPNW urges China to act upon President Xi’s timely and important policy statement by sending a delegation to the opening session of the ban treaty negotiating conference in March, with clear instructions to participate in good faith and in cooperation with the non-nuclear-armed states leading this historic process.

A peace agenda for the new administration

January 17, 2017

antiwar_peace_rally03_618The looming advent of the Trump administration in Washington threatens to worsen an already deeply troubling international situation. Bitter wars are raging, tens of millions of refugees have taken flight, relations among the great powers are deteriorating, and a new nuclear arms race is underway. Resources that could be used to fight unemployment, poverty, and climate change are being lavished on the military might of nations around the world―$1.7 trillion in 2015 alone. The United States accounts for 36 percent of that global total.

Given this grim reality, let us consider an alternative agenda for the new administration―an agenda for peace. Read more…

Remembering Kenjiro Yokoro

December 12, 2016

by Michael Christ

kenyokoroWe have lost another pioneer of our movement.

Dr. Kenjiro Yokoro was a founding member of the Japanese Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War.  In the summer of 1985, he agreed to serve as general secretary of JPPNW.  Little did he know that a few short months later he’d be thrust onto the world stage when IPPNW won the Nobel Peace Prize. Read more…

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…

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