News – December 2011
Text only version of the full newsletter appears below.
The Abolition 2000 Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons held its 16th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Geneva, Switzerland on 16 September 2011. Hosted by the World Council of Churches, more than 50 participants from 17 countries, representing dozens of organizations, took part in the all-day meeting.
After establishing agreement on the Goals of the Meeting and a Brief Overview of Abolition 2000, participants heard a Report from the Coordinating Committee and a Report from the Secretariat. These were followed by Thematic Reports from Abolition 2000 Working Groups and Affiliated Networks and Campaigns: Depleted Uranium; De-Alerting; Sustainable Energy; Youth; Mayors for Peace; Parliamentary Outreach (PNND membership drive); Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space; Divestment; Citizens Weapons Inspections; Indigenous Peoples; International Humanitarian Law; Delegitimizing Deterrence; Nuclear Weapon Free Zones; Radiation and the World Health Organisation; and the Nuclear Weapons Convention.
A lunchtime public forum, Obstacles and Opportunities for Nuclear Abolition, was co-hosted with the World Council of Churches. Obstacles identified by the Abolition 2000 panelists were missiles and missile defenses; modernization of nuclear weapons and delivery systems; and the inextricable link between nuclear power and nuclear weapons. Opportunities identified were the Nuclear Weapons Convention; International Humanitarian Law and Regional Prohibitions of Nuclear Weapons, including Nuclear Weapons Free Zones, and the possibilities for phasing out nuclear power and moving to a sustainable energy future.
The meeting next took up Abolition 2000 Membership, Outreach and Fundraising. Emerging from a discussion about the new Abolition 2000 E-newsletter, a translation team and social media working group were established.
Finally the meeting turned to Affirmation of the Global Council and Coordinating Committee. To clarify expectations and stimulate inspire active participation, a “job description” for Global Council members was agreed to. The plenary affirmed the service of the new Coordinating Committee for the coming year as well as new Global Council nominees. The Coordinating Committee will contact current Global Council members to find out if they wish to continue to serve. The Coordinating Committee also was authorized to determine the date and location of the next AGM- scheduled for Vienna on 5 May 2011.
At the Abolition 2000 annual meeting, held in Geneva on 16 Sept. 2011, it was agreed to set up a new working group on the economic aspects of nuclearism. This will absorb/provide an umbrella for the work done through the two earlier Working Groups: Divestment and Military Corporate.
It was recognised that there are many aspects to be tackled, both in terms of analysis and action. The widespread, and increasing, level of public concern over the effects of the worldwide economic crisis offers important opportunities for campaigners to integrate anti-nuclear perspectives into the more general critique of the economic system; and to reach out to many important new partners.
It is proposed to use the Abol-Caucus e-list and the Abolition 2000 website as primary means of communication; but if detailed discussions become necessary we should consider a separate, more specialised, e-list.
Possible roles for the group include the following. Please get in touch if you wish to contribute or have ideas to share.
Colin Archer, International Peace Bureau, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jasna Bastic, Peace Boat, email@example.com
How does your country vote? Support builds for UN resolution calling for a Nuclear Weapons Convention
On December 2, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 66/46 (submitted as UN First Committee Res A/C.1/66/L.42)calling on all States to fulfill their nuclear disarmament obligations by commencing negotiations leading to the conclusion of a Nuclear Weapons Convention which would prohibit nuclear weapons and provide for their complete elimination in a phased program. The resolution was first introduced in 1996 following the unanimous conclusion of the International Court of Justice that there exists an obligation to pursue in good faith, and bring to a conclusion, negotiations on nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control.
Prior to 2010 the UN resolution annually secured about 120-125 countries voting in favour. Those voting in favour included some of the nuclear weapons possessor States (China, India, North Korea and Pakistan) and some European countries (Austria, Ireland, Malta, San Marion, Sweden). However, the other nuclear weapon States and most NATO countries have generally opposed.
Last year, the resolution was updated to reflect the agreements at the 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty Conference, including support for the UN Secretary-General’s Five-Point Plan which includes the proposal for a nuclear weapons convention or package of agreements. A number of countries thus shifted their vote from opposition to abstention (Iceland, Norway and Macedonia) or from abstention to support (Kazakhstan and Tajikistan). This year saw a similar increase in support with Azerbaijan, Benin and Ukraine joining those voting in favour, and Georgia and Montenegro moving from opposition to abstention.
Action: Checkhow your country voteson the resolution – and call for it to vote in favour at the 2012 UN General Assembly if it does not already do so.
For more information see www.abolition2000.org/?p=1311/
Action by parliamentarians – whether from nuclear weapon States, their allies or non-nuclear weapon States – is vital to change policy, build support for a nuclear weapons convention, and fund disarmament instead of nuclear weapons.
Abolition 2000 calls on all members to contact their parliamentarians/legislators to encourage them to join Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament(PNND), if they have not already done so, and become more active in PNND initiatives such as endorsing key parliamentary statements (on a nuclear weapons convention, establishing Nuclear Weapon Free Zones in North East Asia and the Middle East …) and adopting resolutions or holding hearings in their legislatures supporting a nuclear weapons convention.
Abolition 2000 and Mayors for Peace are helping PNND to increase its global membership of parliamentarians from 800 to 2012 by the end of 2012.
“At a time when the international community is facing unprecedented global challenges, parliamentarians can take on leading roles in ensuring sustainable global security, while reducing the diversion of precious resources from human needs.I salute Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament for its related efforts and for its work towards building support for a nuclear weapon convention.”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon,
Excerpt from a letter to every parliament in the world, February 2010
For more information see:A2000/PNND parliamentary outreach
On 26 November 2011, the International Federation of Fed Cross and Red Crescent Societies meeting in Geneva adopted a groundbreaking resolution affirming that the catastrophic consequences of any use of nuclear weapons would render such use incompatible with the rules of international humanitarian law, appealing to all States to undertake negotiations to prohibit and completely eliminate nuclear weapons through a legally binding international agreement, and calling on the national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies to engage in public education and dialogue with governments to advance the prohibition of use and elimination of such weapons.
The International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) and some Red Cross/Crescent societies have produced excellent materials and activities. See:
On 21 October 2011 in New York, eight leading non-governmental organisations launched the Nuclear Abolition Forum: Dialogue on the Process to Achieve and Sustain a Nuclear Weapons Free World.
The Forum consists of a dedicated website for posting articles and discussing key nuclear abolition aspects and initiatives, and a periodical (available in hardcopy and as online PDF), which focuses on specific issues and elements (technical, legal, institutional and political) for achieving and sustaining a world free of nuclear weapons. The inaugural issue of the magazine, released at the launch, has its theme the application of International Humanitarian Law to nuclear weapons and comprises articles from a range of experts.
Founder of the Nuclear Abolition Forum, Alyn Ware, gave some insight at the launch into the rationale behind its establishment. “The vision for a nuclear-weapons-free world has recently been advanced by leaders and high-level officials of key countries, including those possessing nuclear weapons. However, there are many challenges that need to be overcome and questions still to be addressed in order for governments to agree to abolish nuclear weapons. This independent forum provides a space to discuss, explore and find solutions to these issues.”
Director of the Forum, Rob van Riet, explained what the Forum entails and how some of its interactive features work. “The Forum essentially does three things: first, it offers information on nuclear abolition-related issues; second, it provides a platform for users to share their thoughts on such issues; and third, it facilitates and fosters debate on some of these issues.”
John Burroughs of the Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy, who was Expert Editor for the inaugural issue, took the audience through the edition and noted how a focus on international humanitarian law can help move the debate “from national security to human and environmental security, from military requirements and doctrines to effects on human beings, their societies, and their environments, and from controlling the weapons to abolishing them.”
“I welcome the emphasis placed by the architects of the Nuclear Abolition Forum in rekindling and sustaining a dialogue over fundamental questions relating to the achievement of nuclear disarmament… I commend it not just to all who already support abolition, but to all who still have an open mind to learning about what it has to offer, which is considerable.”
UN High Rep Sergio Duarte, speaking at the launch of the Nuclear Abolition Forum in New York
For more information see: Launch of Nuclear Abolition Forum
International concern over Iran’s nuclear capacities – including their enrichment of uranium which could give them the possibility to develop nuclear-weapons-grade fuel – is leading to calls for increased sanctions and possibly the use of a pre-emptive strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Sanctions have not succeeded in reversing Iran’s fuel cycle activities – and further sanctions or the threat of force will be unlikely to be any more successful. Rather, they would increase the regional conflict and push Iran further towards a nuclear weapons capacity and a potential reliance on nuclear deterrence for their security against attack.
On the other hand, Iran has agreed to a regional diplomatic approach to banning not only nuclear weapons, but all weapons of mass destruction. Israel, which currently relies on an undeclared nuclear stockpile for deterrence (in addition to strong conventional armed forces), also supports, in principle, the establishment of a Middle East Nuclear Weapon Free Zone.
This diplomatic approach received a boost in 2010 when the States Parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty agreed to ask the UN Secretary-General to convene an intergovernmental conference in 2012 on establishing a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and other Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Action by parliamentarians and civil society is vital to ensure success of this process. Following the appointment of Jaakko Laajava, Finland Under-Secretary of State, as the facilitator for the UN-sponsored conference, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament opened for endorsement a Joint Parliamentary Statement for a Middle East Free from Nuclear Weapons and all other Weapons of Mass Destruction. The declaration is based on language from the resolution adopted by the United Nations General Assembly by consensus (i.e. with support of all countries in the region including Iran and Israel).
Action: Please ask your parliamentarian/legislator to endorse the Joint Parliamentary Statement. See Parliamentarians vital in supporting a nuclear weapons-free Middle East.
Convene an international high-level conference to ban nuclear weapons, says Summit of Latin American Leaders
On December 3, leaders from 33 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean formally established the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) as the new leading regional bloc. The leaders also elected Chile’s President Sebastian Pinera as temporary president of CELAC until the group’s next summit, which is scheduled to be held in Chile next year (See Latin American leaders officially sign CELAC into effect as new bloc).As he opened the summit, Mexican President Felipe Calderon spoke of the ideal of regional integration that inspired many Latin American independence heroes. “Today, two centuries later, the ideal still holds and is common to all Latin Americans and Caribbeans. Political, economic, social and cultural integration is a life aspiration, one that is fundamental to our peoples. This is not just about bringing together people, but about rallying Latin Americans and Caribbeans around justice, democracy and civil rights.”
In addition to establishing CELAC, the leaders adopted a number of documents on key issues including poverty alleviation, education, civil rights, peace and disarmament. The disarmament document included a number of decisions, aspirations and proposals on nuclear disarmament – including preparing joint positions for the 2015 NPT Review Conference (and the 2012, 2013 and 2014 NPT Prep Coms), and a call for the convening of a high-level conference “to identify ways and methods to eliminate nuclear weapons as soon as possible” with a view to establishing a time-bound framework to “ prohibit the development, production, acquisition, testing, stockpiling, transfer, use or threat of use, and also stipulate their destruction.”
Concluding two days of summit talks, the upbeat group of Latin American leaders praised the formal constitution of CELAC as a historic milestone in regional development and pledged to remain united in order to gain maximum power and influence as a block in world affairs.
Check out the new animation from ICAN Norway. A great introduction to the insanity of nuclear weapons and the need to abolish them now! Forward to all your friends on Facebook or Twitter and inspire them to get active in the campaign.
In response to the Fukushima Dai-ichi disaster, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 20 May 2011, called for a UN system-wide study on the implications of the Fukushima disaster, indicating that this study “will address a variety of areas, including environment, health, food security, sustainable development and the nexus between nuclear safety and nuclear security.” (See UNSG statement, 20 May 2011).
On visiting Chernobyl in April 2011, Mr Ban lamented that over six million people were severely affected by that disaster. He cited a Ukrainian proverb: “There is no such thing as someone else’s sorrow,” to not only express support for the affected people of the Ukraine, Russia and Belarus, but also to highlight the fact that, “Because the impact is transnational, these issues must be debated globally.” (A visit to Chernobyl, by Ban Ki-moon, NY Times, 25 April 2011).
Reaching Critical Will has taken up the call of Ban Ki-moon and published Costs, risks, and myths of nuclear power: an NGO world-wide study on the implications of the catastrophe at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Station. The study, edited by Ray Acheson, contains up-to-date information about the nuclear energy programs around the world, emerging impact of Fukushima, environmental and health impacts of the entire nuclear fuel chain, analysis of the links between nuclear energy and nuclear weapons proliferation, exploration of nuclear energy and climate change and discussion of renewable energies as alternatives to nuclear energy.
Acheson brings in 32 authors from around the world to contribute a wide cross-section of input and experience.
The report is unabashedly anti-nuclear power. Acheson notes that “From the perspective of the authors of this report, nuclear power is the most expensive and dangerous way to boil water to turn a turbine. Nuclear power contains the inherent potential for catastrophe. There is no such thing as a safe nuclear reactor. All aspects of the nuclear fuel chain, from mining uranium ore to dropping an atomic bomb to storing radioactive waste, are devastating for the earth and all species living upon it.” As such, it runs the risk of being discounted by those sitting on the fence as being biased or one-sided. On the other hand, the articles are all well-researched and written, and the publication provides a welcome anti-dote to the pro-nuclear energy propaganda flooding the mainstream media funded by a lucrative and arguably corrupt industry. Anyone sitting on the fence who takes the time to read the report will no doubt be convinced and swing to the anti-nuclear energy camp.
Action: Encourage your government to read the report and use it to advocate at the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul for renewable energies as the main alternative to fossil fuels and nuclear energy.
Over thirty political, diplomatic and military leaders from fourteen Asia Pacific countries – including five former prime ministers and 10 former foreign and defence ministers – have signed a joint statement strongly supporting a nuclear weapons free world, and calling on policymakers to “get serious” about nuclear non- proliferation and disarmament.
The statement, released in Seoul on 13 December 2011, expresses concern that the momentum for worldwide action, ignited especially by President Obama’s 2009 Prague speech, is in danger of stalling, warns that the risks associated with nuclear weapons are much more acute than most policymakers accept and most publics are aware, and outlines policy commitments advocated by the co-signers.
The statement is the inaugural step in a planned ongoing advocacy campaign by the Asia Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (APLN), which was established recognising that this region impacts every dimension of the global nuclear agenda, with acute tensions and risks remaining in South Asia and the Korean Peninsula in particular.
The Convenor of the new group, former Australian Foreign Minister Gareth Evans, said in launching the statement at a conference in Seoul:
The quest to eliminate nuclear weapons cannot begin to succeed without the determined engagement of policymakers in the Asia Pacific region. We hope that this stellar group of senior, respected and extraordinarily experienced individuals can really help make that happen.
Mayors for Peace welcomed its new President, Mayor Kazumi Matsui of Hiroshima, at its 8th Executive Conference in Granollers, Spain, November 9 and 10. The conference adopted a sweeping, forward looking Resolution Towards the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons, reaffirming that, “Mayors for Peace is dedicated to protecting citizens from inhumane conditions created by armed conflicts, wars, and use of nuclear weapons.” The resolution sets forth an action plan in pursuit of the Mayors for Peace 2020 Vision, including (partial list):
Breaking new ground for Mayors for Peace, the resolution recognizes that, in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster, “The issue of nuclear power has become a global public debate. Whether the source of radiation exposure is nuclear bombs, nuclear testing, or nuclear energy, we must do everything we can to prevent any more hibakusha anywhere. We must create a society that is supported by safer energy.” The resolution concludes: “We hereby declare our renewed determination to act on behalf of our citizens to free them from the threat of nuclear weapons. We advocate conflict resolution based on dialogue because without peace, there is no democracy. Without peace, there is no freedom. Without peace, there is no sustainable development.” Read the complete text here.
The conference also agreed on the importance of strengthening and broadening strategic alliances with international NGOs including Abolition 2000 and PNND.
Action: Sign and circulate the new Mayors for Peace Cities Are Not Targets (CANT) petition calling for total abolition of nuclear weapons by 2020 through negotiation of a nuclear weapons convention: Petition form (PDF); Online petition
On Oct 11, US Congressman Ed Markey (PNND Co-President) presented a Joint Congressional Letter on Freeze the Nukes – Fund the Future to the US Super Committee which was tasked with determining budget cuts to address US debt. The letter, co-signed by 65 US legislators, calls for a cut of $20 billion per annum ($200 billion over 10 years) from the nuclear weapons budget in order to preserve funding for vital programs for social security and the economy.
“Representative Markey’s proposal is not only militarily responsible but it also would enhance U.S. national security,” said Lt. General Robert G. Gard Jr. (USA, ret.), Chairman and Senior Military Fellow, The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.
“American needs another nuclear weapon like Lady Gaga needs another outfit,” said Rep. Markey, top Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee and senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee. “With enough nuclear firepower to blow the world up 5 times over, the real choice is between continuing to spend billions on weapons we no longer need and cannot afford or funding programs that put us on the path to a more prosperous future.
Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) held its Annual Assemblyin Bern, Switzerland from Oct 15-16 with a focus on Building the framework for a nuclear weapons-free-world: the role of parliamentarians. The Assembly also included a Council Meeting, which appointed nine leading parliamentarians as Co-Presidents and adopted a plan for parliamentary actions to support the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones, implement parliamentary measures to advance nuclear abolition, and move governments to negotiate for a nuclear-weapons-free world. The Assembly was followed by a special session of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, co-organised by PNND, on the Road to Zero Nuclear Weapons which was attended by over 100 parliamentarians from around the world.
From August 21 until October 30, a group of Australian aboriginals and anti-nuclear activists from around the world walked between key uranium mining and processing sites in Western Australia. The walk, organised by Footprints for Peace and the Western Australian Nuclear Free Alliance (WANFA) called for a ban on uranium mining. WANFA is composed of Aboriginal Traditional Owners from the Pilbara, the Kimberley, the Goldfields, the Great Victoria Desert, the Central Desert, the Gascoyne, Perth and the South West.
The Walk Away from Uranium Mining Towards Aboriginal Sovereignty begun on the 45th anniversary of the Wave Hill Walk-Off in 1966 in which Vincent Lingiari led a walk off on Gurindji Land demanding wage rights and land rights for Aboriginal people. Along the walk they carried the slogan; “Iranti Wanti,” meaning “Leave the poison in the Ground.” The end of the walk in Perth on Friday October 28th, coincided with the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), where the message to walk away from this costly, toxic industry, which produces radioactive waste and weapons usable material in favour of renewable energy options was delivered to over a thousand protesters.
“Recent U.S. decisions to deploy an integrated missile defense system in Western, Eastern and Southeastern Europe, coupled with the continued expansion of NATO and its military activities, have created increasingly sharp divisions and distrust between the Russian Federation and the United States” says leading arms control experts in a joint letter to Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev, which has been opened for endorsement and will be sent to the leaders in February.
The letter argues that “This process now threatens to destroy the New START agreement and reverse previous progress toward the elimination of nuclear weapons. Further deterioration of U.S.-Russian relations could result in a return to the perilous nuclear postures of the Cold War.”
It calls for:
The letter was initiated by David Krieger (NAPF, Santa Barbara USA), John Hallam (PND Nuclear Flashpoints), Steve Starr (PSR), Col Valery Yarynich (30 Years Soviet Missile Forces (ret), Moscow), Sergei Kolesnikov (Duma Member, President of IPPNW Russia, Co-President of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament), and Martin Kalinowski (INESAP, Univ. Hamburg, Germany).
Action: Join the list of endorsers by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
A Global Conference for a Nuclear Power Free World in Yokohama, Japan on 14-15 January 2012, will create a venue for people from all around the world to gather in Japan and respond to the reality of Fukushima. It will bring together the voices of people who suffer from radiation exposure all around the world, whether by nuclear power or nuclear weapons to learn from each other’s experiences.
The conference is co-sponsored by Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center, FoE Japan, Green Action, Greenpeace Japan, Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies and Peace Boat. It will include a group visit to Fukushima prefecture and workshops on:
Contact: Peace Boat, Tel: +81-3-3363-8047, Fax: +81-3363-7562, Email: email@example.com
Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, Annual meeting, Feb. 24-26, Jeju Island, South Korea
The Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space will hold its Annual meeting from Feb. 24-26 on Jeju Island, South Korea, preceded by a mini conference and protest in Hawaii on Feb 18-22.
The Gangjeong village on Jeju Island is now in the middle of a tragic fight with the Navy to stop the construction of a base that will port Aegis destroyers, outfitted with “missile defense” (MD) systems, and aircraft carriers.These Aegis MD systems are being tested at the Pentagon’s Barking Sands Pacific Missile Defense testing facility on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. So the Network invites people to Honolulu, Hawaii for a mini-conference (at the Friend’s Meeting House) and Kauai for a protest at the Pacific Missile Defense testing facility, prior to going to Jeju Island.
Contact: Bruce Gagnon, Phone: (207) 443-9502, firstname.lastname@example.org
March 1st is Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific Day (‘Bikini’ Day) which marks the anniversary of the US ‘Bravo’ nuclear bomb detonation at Bikini Atoll in 1954. The explosion gouged out a crater more than 200 feet deep and a mile across, melting huge quantities of coral which were sucked up into the atmosphere together with vast volumes of seawater. The resulting fallout caused widespread contamination in the Pacific.
Powdery particles of radioactive fallout landed on the island of Rongelap (100 miles away) to a depth of one and a half inches in places, and radioactive mist appeared on Utirik (300 miles away). Radiation levels in the inhabited atolls of Rongerik, Ujelang and Likiep also rose dramatically. The US navy did not send ships to evacuate the people of Rongelap and Utirik until three days after the explosion. The people in the Marshall Islands, and elsewhere in the Pacific, were used as human guinea pigs in an obscene racist experiment to ‘progress’ the insane pursuit of nuclear weapons supremacy.
It is a day to celebrate the strength and endurance of indigenous Pacific peoples who have maintained and taken back control of their lives, languages and lands to ensure the ways of living and being which were handed down from their ancestors are passed on to future generations. It is the day to pledge your support to continue the struggle for a nuclear free and independent Pacific, as the theme of the 8th Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific Conference said: No te parau tia, no te parau mau, no te tiamaraa, e tu, e tu – For justice, for truth and for independence, wake up, stand up !
For more information see:
Human Chain Against Chain Reactions is organizing chains of people to demonstrate at nuclear power plants and related facilities on March 11, in solidarity with the Japanese people, suffering from the Fukushima disaster. The actions will call for an end to nuclear power and a transition to clean, safe renewable energy. To be part of the global human chain, we invite you to send us a notice about your March 11th community event which we will post to the Abolition 2000 website. Contactaslater@rcn.com
Horizon 2012 – Sailing in the Same Boat Toward a Nuclear Weapon‐Free Zone in the Middle East is a joint project of Peace Boat, Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non‐proliferation and Disarmament (PNND), and International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) to facilitate dialogue and build political momentum in support of the 2012 Conference on Establishing a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and other Weapons of Mass Destruction.Horizon 2012 combines land-based conferences with meetings on board the Peace Boat as it sails through the Mediterranean. The first Global Strategy Meeting of Horizon 2012’s Advisory Group was held onboard Peace Boat in March 2011, and included civil society representatives from Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, India, the US, Japan and several EU countries, as well as UN representatives, parliamentarians, former military officials, international disarmament experts and Hibakusha (survivors of the atomic bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki).
The next events will include a conference in Civitavecchia/Roma, Italy on March 23-24, an onboard meeting as the Peace Boat sails to Piraeus/Athens, Greece, from March 24-27, and a press conference and upon disembarkation in Greece on March 27.
At the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit in Washington hosted by President Obama, world leaders agreed to hold a second Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul in March 2012. The goals of the summits are on the very limited scope governments give to the term ‘nuclear security’, i.e. “to come to a common understanding of the threat posed by nuclear terrorism, to agree to effective measures to secure nuclear material, and to prevent nuclear smuggling and terrorism.” This includes “…the security of nuclear materials, leaving other broad topics such as nonproliferation, disarmament, and peaceful nuclear energy to different forums.” (Nuclear Security Summit, US State Department)
However, in holding the second Summit in South Korea, it is likely that public and media attention (and perhaps of some participating governments) will also be on the regional issue of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program – and the issue of nuclear safety in light of the Fukushima catastrophe. NGO’s could go further and use the media and political attention surrounding the Summit to advance nuclear weapons abolition and the phase-out of nuclear energy as the only realistic options for real security from nuclear risks.
Action: Participating States have already begun putting their mark on a draft Seoul Communiqué for the March 2012 Nuclear Security Summit. Contact your government to urge them to advance nuclear weapons abolition and the phase-out of nuclear energy as the only realistic options for real security from nuclear risks.
The first NPT Preparatory Committee for the 2015 Review Conference will be held 30 April–11 May 2012 in Vienna, Austria. This will be the first conference of States Parties to the NPT since they agreed at the 2010 NPT Review Conference to a number of significant non-proliferation and disarmament measures. The Prep Com will be an important occasion to shine a spotlight on the agreements and build political momentum for their implementation.
Reaching Critical Will, in partnership with the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, is producing three monitoring reports on the implementation of the 2010 NPT action plan. The first report, on “peaceful uses of nuclear energy,” is available as of June 2011. The second report, on “non-proliferation“, is available as of October 2011. The third report, on “nuclear disarmament”, will be released in early 2012.
For more information see:
Help Build the Campaign For Global Nuclear Abolition! Join us for the Abolition 2000
We will also discuss outreach and collaboration with initiatives like Mayors for Peace, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament (PNND), the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space and the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).
Contact: Susi Snyder: email@example.com
NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, is holding a summit meeting in Chicago, 20-21 May 2012. Peace and justice activists, will gather at a counter summit on 18-19 May, immediately prior to the Summit, to voice a new vision of global security and peace. It will focus on retiring NATO and building a more peaceful, economically secure and environmentally sustainable world
War Resisters International notes that “From Yugoslavia to Afghanistan and Libya the US has used NATO to enhance and extend its military, economic and political aims that ensure U.S. and European dominance of the resources, markets and labor of the Global South. It has spread the cost of these adventures to its NATO partners.”
The Network for a NATO-Free World: Global Peace and Justice has released a Call to Action: Retire NATO, Create Jobs & Fund Peace. In particular it calls for:
• Complete withdrawal of all U.S. and NATO troops from Afghanistan.