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Last week (Oct 24-30) was UN Disarmament Week, during which member states voted on a range of disarmament decisions and resolutions PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Tuesday, 06 November 2018 14:27
BY Basel Peace Office
 
 
Last week (Oct 24-30) was UN Disarmament Week, during which member states voted on a range of disarmament decisions and resolutions. Decisions are binding on the United Nations. Resolutions are indications of governments' positions and intent – they are not binding but can be very authoritative and influential if supported by key countries.
 
The deliberations and votes took place in an environment of increasing tensions between nuclear armed States, and also an increasing divide between non-nuclear countries and those countries which rely on nuclear weapons for their security.
 
Nuclear risk-reduction:  Reducing nuclear danger A resolution Reducing nuclear danger submitted by India received 127 votes in favour (mostly non-aligned countries). It failed to get support of nuclear-armed or European countries, primarily because it only calls for nuclear risk reduction measures by China, France, Russia, UK and USA – leaving out the other nuclear armed States – India, Pakistan, DPRK and Israel.
 
 
A resolution Decreasing the operational readiness of nuclear weapons systems  Decreasing the operational readiness of nuclear weapons systems submitted by a group of non-nuclear countries, was much more successful receiving 173 votes in favour, including from most of the NATO countries and from four nuclear armed States (China, DPRK, India, Pakistan).
 
 
Civil society presents to the UN General Assembly First Committee, October 2018
Nuclear prohibition:
A resolution on the Treaty on the Prohibition Nuclear Weapons  Treaty on the Prohibition Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) was supported by 122 countries. This is more than the number who have signed the Treaty, which is 68 (with 19 of these countries having now ratified). The vote indicates that more signatures are likely. However, the resolution was not supported by any of the nuclear-armed countries, nor any of the countries under nuclear deterrence relationships, i.e. NATO, Australia, Japan, South Korea. The opposition of nuclear-armed and allied States to the resolution is another indication that they do not intend to join the new treaty. In general, this means that they will not be bound by the treaty's obligations. However, the customary law against the use of nuclear weapons which is re-affirmed by the treaty will apply to all States regardless of whether or not they join.
 
 
A resolution on the prohibition of the use of nuclear weapons prohibition of the use of nuclear weapons submitted by India received 120 votes in favour, including from themselves and another three nuclear-armed States (China, DPRK and Pakistan). Some non-nuclear States have historically opposed the resolution in response to India testing nuclear weapons and becoming a nuclear-armed State in 1998. India has requested these countries to reconsider their opposition, especially in light of the international conferences on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons in which India participated and which highlighted the importance of preventing any use of nuclear weapons. 
 
UN Conferences:
A resolution affirming a previous decision to hold a UN High-Level Conference (Summit) on Nuclear Disarmament Follow-up to the 2013 high-level meeting of the General Assembly on nuclear disarmament,was supported by 143 countries. The resolution, entitled Follow-up to the 2013 high-level meeting of the General Assembly on nuclear disarmament, also promotes negotiations on a Nuclear Weapons Convention - a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons that includes nuclear-armed States (unlike the TPNW which does not include them). Despite getting a strong vote in favour, including from some nuclear armed states, the proposed conference does not yet appear to have enough political traction to be held. The resolution did not set a date for the conference.
 
 
The UNGA adopted a Decision to convene a conference no later than 2019 on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. Despite the objective of a Middle East Zone being supported by most UN members in a separate resolution (supported by 174 countries), the decision to convene a conference in 2019 to ‘elaborate a legally binding treaty’ was supported by only 103 countries. The hesitation by many countries to support the resolution was due to the fact that they believed that concrete preparations and negotiations for a Middle East Zone Treaty would require the participation of all countries in the region, and currently there is at least one country (Israel) that is not ready to work on such a regional treaty.
Other discussions and resolutions
 
There were other disarmament discussions at the UN General Assembly last week – included a heated discussion  between Russia and the United States over the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). Both US and Russia claim that the other party is in violation of the treaty, and last week President Trump announced that the US was initiating procedures to withdraw from the treaty.
 
In addition there were a number of other disarmament resolutions that were introduced, some of which were adopted and some of which are being actioned (voted upon) this week.
 
For more information see
UNGA First Committee
Press releases: Nov 1 and Nov 2.
Reaching Critical Will UN First Committee
Yours in peace
The Basel Peace Office team
 
A Vision of Educational Material Related to Furthering Common Security Submission to UN office on Disarmament UNODA PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Wednesday, 22 August 2018 11:24
 
. Global Compliance Research Project
 
Joan Russow Phd 
 
The reason given in December 2016 by most non-nuclear North Atlantic Treaty Organization member countries for not adopting the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was that the nuclear weapons of the United States of America were essential for all of their security. Ursula Franklin, a physicist, pacifist and educator, has stated, “We must reappropriate the word ‘security’ and not allow it to be distorted by the military”, and recalled the 1982 report of the Independent Commission on Disarmament and Security Issues, written by Olof Palme, entitled “Common security: a programme for disarmament”.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 August 2018 11:28
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A Vision of Education MaterialL Related to Furthering Common Security Submission to tthe UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Wednesday, 22 August 2018 11:05


 Global Compliance Research Project

Joan Russow Phd 

 

    The reason given in December 2016 by most non-nuclear North Atlantic Treaty Organization member countries for not adopting the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was that the nuclear weapons of the United States of America were essential for all of their security. Ursula Franklin, a physicist, pacifist and educator, has stated, “We must reappropriate the word ‘security’ and not allow it to be distorted by the military”, and recalled the 1982 report of the Independent Commission on Disarmament and Security Issues, written by Olof Palme, entitled “Common security: a programme for disarmament”.

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A PROPOSAL FOR A UNIVERSAL DECLARATION ON COMMON SECURITY PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Monday, 20 August 2018 09:43
By Joan Russow PhD
Global compliance Research Project
 
Concurring with the statement in resolution 2282 (2016)
 
Emphasizing the importance of a comprehensive approach to sustaining peace, particularly through the prevention of conflict and addressing its root causes, strengthening the rule of law at the international and national levels, and promoting sustained and sustainable economic growth, poverty eradication, social development, sustainable development, national reconciliation and unity including through inclusive dialogue and mediation, access to justice and transitional justice, accountability, good governance, democracy, accountable institutions, gender equality and respect for, and protection of, human rights and fundamental freedoms, of a comprehensive approach to sustaining peace, particularly through the prevention of conflict and addressing its root causes, strengthening the rule of law at the international and national levels, and promoting sustained and sustainable economic growth, poverty eradication, social development, sustainable development, national reconciliation and unity including through inclusive dialogue and mediation, access to justice and transitional justice, accountability, good governance, democracy, accountable institutions, gender equality and respect for, and protection of, human rights and fundamental freedoms,
Last Updated on Monday, 20 August 2018 09:48
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Dozens dead in Yemen as bus carrying children hit by airstrike PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Saturday, 11 August 2018 12:20

 

 

Red Cross says strike hit bus at market in Dahyan, in rebel-held north of country

 
By Saeed Kamali Dehghan @SaeedKD
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/09/dozens-dead-in-yemen-as-bus-carrying-children-hit-by-airstrike-icrc
 
Thu 9 Aug 2018 18.46 BST First published on Thu 9 Aug 2018 11.38 BST
 
A doctor treats an injured child.
 A doctor treats an injured child.
 
Injured Yemeni children receive medical treatment - see video
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/09/dozens-dead-in-yemen-as-bus-carrying-children-hit-by-airstrike-icrc
 
Saudi Arabia is facing an international outcry after at least 29 children were among dozens of civilians killed by a US-backed Saudi-led coalition airstrike that hit a bus in Yemen’s Houthi rebel-held north.
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Poet and accomplished foreign minister elected to be President of the UN General Assembly PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Wednesday, 06 June 2018 04:26
By Alan Ware
www.unfoldzero.org/1696-

The United Nations yesterday (June 5, 2018) elected Ecuador Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa to be the incoming President of the UN General Assembly. She will become the 73rd person, and the fourth woman ever, to hold the UNGA presidency.

Sra Espinosa is a former Defence Minister, Ambassador to the UN in Geneva and an accomplished poet, having published five volumes of poetry and receiving the Ecuadorian National Poetry Prize in 1990.

Sra Espinosa has also been a long-time advocate for peace, human rights, nuclear disarmament and environmental protection. She serves as a Council Member of the influential World Future Council, and has partnered in a number of events and initiatives with key international peace and disarmament organisations including Abolition 2000Basel Peace OfficeParliamentarians for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament  and UNFOLD ZERO.

During her term as Ecuador Ambassador to the UN in Geneva, for example, she co-hosted a number of nuclear disarmament events with these NGOs at the UN, including some of the annual commemoration events for the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

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Why Trump’s cancellation of the North Korea summit may undermine the US-South Korea alliance PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Friday, 25 May 2018 06:31
By Karl Friedhoff Karl Friedhoff is a fellow in public opinion and Asia policy at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
https://thebulletin.org/why-trumps-cancellation-north-korea-summit-may-undermine-us-south-korea-alliance11847
 
24 MAY 2018
alt
 
 
 
Exploiting divides between the United States and South Korea on North Korea policy is standard operating procedure for Pyongyang. The cancellation of the Trump-Kim summit helps to further that goal. But the most serious fault lines for the US-Korea alliance lie within the alliance itself. Donald Trump’s treatment of South Korea is a throwback to a time when South Korea was poorer, weaker, and less influential. If it continues, it will lead South Koreans from across the political spectrum to question not just US bases in South Korea but the necessity of the alliance.
 
The South Korean public is generally distrusting of the North Korean regime. Kim Jong Un is the least favored leader in the region, averaging 0.77 on a 0-10 scale from August 2016 through November 2017. The next closest leader was Japan’s Shinzo Abe with an average score of 1.8 over that same period. In 2014, fewer than 10 percent thought North Korea would ever abandon its nuclear programs.
 
These views also color policy preferences of the South Korean public. In a 2015 survey, nearly 70 percent opposed resuming economic aid to North Korea and a plurality at that time preferred South Korea to maintain a hardline stance in its policy toward the North.
Last Updated on Friday, 25 May 2018 06:50
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from the archives COP17 Durban; Time to address Militarism’s Massive Contribution to the Climate Crisis PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Saturday, 31 March 2018 09:24

 

FRom the archives 2011

COP17 Durban; Time to address Militarism’s Massive Contribution to the Climate Crisis

-Joan Russow GlobalCompliance Research Project 
At COP15 in Copenhagen and at COP 16 in Copenhagen, there were calls to address the contribution of militarism to climate change:both as a drain on resources which could be spent on addressing serious consequences of climate change but also as a serious cause of climate change 

 

[boy+peeing+on+soldier.jpg] 

 

[boy+peeing+on+soldier.jpg] 

 

A 2011 version of the Emperor's new Clothes

 

MILITARISM WASTE AND MISUSE OF RESOURCES

Throughout the years, through international agreements, member states of the United Nations 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 and fundamental rights have not been fulfilled.

In 1976 at Habitat 1, member states of the United Nations affirmed the following in relation to the military budget:

"The waste and misuse of resources in war and armaments should be prevented. All countries should make a firm commitment to promote general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control, in particular in the field of nuclear disarmament. Part of the resources thus released should be utilized so as to achieve a better quality of life for humanity and particularly the peoples of developing countries" (II, 12 Habitat 1).

In 1981, in the General Assembly resolution entitled Resolution on the reduction of the military budget, the member states

(i) reaffirmed "the urgent need to reduce the military budget, and agreed to freeze and reduce the military budget";

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US-LED OPERATION AND NATO'S FLAWED MISSION AND CANADA'S COMPLICITY PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Tuesday, 30 January 2018 10:33
SUBMISSION TO THE PANEL ON AFGHANISTAN

US-LED OPERATION AND NATO'S FLAWED MISSION AND CANADA'S

COMPLICITY

 

Joan Russow (PhD)

Global Compliance Research Project

Victoria, B.C. Canada

1 250 294-1339.

 

 

NATO apologises for deaths in Afghan airstrike

The commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan has apologized for civilian deaths in a coalition airstrike earlier this week.


(1) INVASION OF AFGHANISTAN WAS AN ACT OF REVENGE IN VIOLATION OF INTERNATIONAL LAW
Through Canada 's increased integration with US policy and through Canada's continued support for ill-conceived/illegal US operations such as those in Afghanistan, Canada has lost whatever credible international reputation it may have had. Canada has abandoned its long-standing multilateral approach in its support of US unilateralism.

The serious irreversible human, environmental, health, psychological, economic and social   consequences of war support the contention that under no conditions or circumstances is war legal or just, and that war must be de-legitimized as an option or even a last resort.
 
The seeds for de-legitimizing war have been planted through the Charter of the United Nations and through over 60 years of UN instruments. For years, member states have incurred obligations under the charter, treaties, conventions, and covenants, made commitments under conference action plans, and created expectations through UN General Assembly Resolutions and Declarations that would, if implemented and enforced, give substance to the de-legitimization of war. From these instruments peremptory norms, which further the rule of international  law, can be extracted (Russow, Submission to the Senate of Canada, October 17, 2005).
 
Under the Preamble of the Charter of the United Nations the fundamental purposes of the Charter are delineated:

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Vancouver Women’s Forum on Peace and Security on the Korean Peninsula PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Tuesday, 23 January 2018 15:17

Vancouver Women’s Forum on Peace and Security on the Korean Peninsula

For immediate release, January 16, 2018

Christine Ahn, Women Cross DMZ, Vancouver Women’s Forum Lead , + 1 310 482 9333

Media contact: Nancy McHarg, 604 760 4366

The Vancouver Summit on Korea missed a critical opportunity for peace. Instead of supporting the reduction of tensions in the Korean peninsula that began with the inter-Korean dialogue and the Olympics truce, the Foreign Ministers chose to further isolate and threaten North Korea.

We urged Foreign Ministers to prepare the table for dialogue with North Korea.  Instead, they chose to obstruct the path for peace being laid by North and South Korea.

The US-led “maximum pressure” approach has utterly failed to halt North Korea’s nuclear and missile program. Seventy years of sanctions and isolation of North Korea have only furthered the DPRK’s resolve to develop its nuclear arsenal.

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