/John Burroughs is Executive Director of the New York-based Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy & Director of UN Office of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms.
Credit: UN Photo
NEW YORK, Apr 3 2017 (IPS) - Is a paradigm shift now underway on nuclear weapons at the United Nations? That was the question posed as about 130 nations gathered this past week to begin negotiations on a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons, leading to their total elimination. The treaty would prohibit development, possession and use of nuclear weapons, but would not contain detailed provisions relating to verified dismantlement of nuclear arsenals and governance of a world free of nuclear arms.
This is the first multilateral negotiation on nuclear weapons since the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) was adopted in 1996. It is also the first ever such negotiation relating to the global elimination of nuclear arms, despite the fact that the first UN General Assembly resolution, in 1946, called for the elimination of weapons of mass destruction.
The hope of the nations leading the negotiations, including Costa Rica, whose ambassador, Elayne Whyte, is president of the negotiating conference, is that the second session, to be held from June 15 to July 7, will succeed in adopting a treaty. The idea is to strike while the iron is hot.
Over the past two days, about 120 governments have participated in nuclear ban talks at the United Nations, determined to move ahead even though nuclear-armed states like the United States are refusing to participate and pressuring allies to do the same. The high-level segment of the meeting, which invited government ministers and UN permanent representatives to speak, was scheduled to end on Monday but ran until lunchtime on Tuesday due to overwhelming interest. States continued to cite the “historic nature” of the negotiations, with the delegate from Liechtenstein observing that “the broad and high-level representation today shows strong political support for this process.”
A diverse set of delegations continued to set out their vision of the fu
ROME/BERLIN, Mar 30 2017 (IPS) - The governments of Australia, Canada, the UK and the US need to close glaring legal loopholes to prevent the corrupt elite from laundering the proceeds of grand corruption in their local real estate markets, a major anti-corruption watchdog urges.
http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/03/24/epic-gop-failure-dems-urged-go-bold-medicare-allAmericans rallied against the GOP to defend their right to healthcare, Democrats are being urged to seize on the moment
Physicians for National Health Program president Dr. Carol Paris said Friday's failure by the GOP to pass their "slash and burn" healthcare bill "presents a unique opportunity to move beyond" a profit-based system.
With the Republican attempt to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) going down in flames Friday as Americans rallied to defend their right to healthcare, Democrats are being urged, both by experts and constituents, to seize on the moment and counter with a plan that will truly provide coverage for all.
Shown here in this 2016 photo from Siyephi Village, Bullilima District in Matebeland South Province, Zimbabwe, a 17-year-old girl is seen at the drying up dam where she and her family fetch water. Credit: UNICEF/Mukwazhi
ROME, Mar 23 2017 (IPS) - Warning that as many as 600 million children – one in four worldwide – will be living in areas with extremely scare water by 2040, the United Nations children’s agency has called on governments to take immediate measures to curb the impact on the lives of children.
Speaking on the Senate floor on Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) declared it "the height of irony that Republicans held this Supreme Court seat open for nearly a calendar year while President Obama was in office, but are now rushing to fill the seat for a president whose campaign is under investigation by the FBI." (Photo: Melina Mara/The Washington Post)
As the reasons for blocking Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch continue to mount, there is growing concern that Democrats are simply going to let President Donald Trump's nominee "off the hook," as Sen. Dianne Feinstein did during questioning Tuesday.
In one exchange during the second day of Gorsuch's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Feinstein, the top Democrat on the committee, asked the appellate judge if he agreed with the dissent or the majority opinion in the District of Columbia v. Heller decision.
After it was clear Gorsuch would not give a clear answer on the case, which upheld an individual's right to possess firearms, Feinstein quickly relented: "Alright, I'll let you off the hook." Watch below:
Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61) moving away from militarize security to Common Security
Joan Russow PhD Global Compliance Research Project
CSW 61 is taking place between March 15 and March 24 2017 The Theme of CSW 61 is “ Empowering Indigenous Women”
CSW 61 must empower indigenous women to address the concern that was expressed on an Indigenous women's panel at COP22: Indigenous peoples are the most to suffer from but the least responsible, for militarism, climate change, loss of subsistence and exploitation of resources (Statement from panel at Conference of the Parties to the UN framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22 in marrakech morocco)
Throughout the years, through international agreements, member states of the UN have recognized that the military budget has been a waste and misuse of resources. Currently the Global Community is now spending 1.7 trillion per year on the military budget at a time when many basic needs and fundamental rights of indigenous peoples have not been met. Not only has militarism a waste and misuse of resources, but also militarism is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.
We must reappropriate the word “security” and not allow it to be distorted by the military. (Dr. Ursula Franklin, internationally renowned scientist and pacifist (1984 at the lead up conference to Nairobi,1965)
PPWC Statement on Old-Growth Logging on Vancouver Island
“The Public and Private Workers of Canada (PPWC) urges the Government of British Columbia to protect the remaining old-growth rainforest on Vancouver Island. Additionally, the PPWC urges forestry companies harvesting on Vancouver Island to transition to second-growth logging.
The temperate old-growth rainforest found on Vancouver Island is among the rarest ecosystems on the planet – covering less than 0.5 percent of the Earth’s surface. These forests have been lived in and utilized by First Nations for centuries and hold significant cultural values for these Nations. These ecosystems support a diversity of economic activities: forestry, tourism, and wild salmon fisheries to name a few.
Less than 25 per cent of original productive old growth forest on the Vancouver Island remains intact – local governments, environmental groups, some First Nations and unions like the PPWC are calling for the protection of the remaining stands of old-growth.
The PPWC prioritizes forest industry workers, and insists that the transition to second-grow
"Here's the simple truth," Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said Thursday. "You can't be an American company only when it benefits you." (Image: Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy)
Undercutting President Donald Trump's assertion that U.S. corporate taxes are too high—the justification for his and Republican leaders' pitches to lower the business tax rate—a new report finds that many profitable American companies pay far less than the 35 percent often cited by lobbyists and GOP officials.