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Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Saturday, 04 January 2020 12:51


The US does not recognize the Internatiional Criminal Court (ICC) and seems to believe it can act with impunity without consequences.

And the US will probably attempt as it did in 2003 to bypass Chapter VI of the Charter and try to coerce the permanent members to support, the strike on Iran as being a preventive strike or use article 51 and argue it was self defence. As in 2003, the permanent members of  UNSC will not be in unanimity and will not support the legality of the strike.

in 2003, I was part of the Uniting for Peace Coalition and we were using 1951 Uniting for Peace Resolution which stated that when the UNSC permanent members could not agree, the responsiilty to act falls on the UNGA. In 2003,  the permanent members did not agree. We lobbied the UNGA to have an emergency session and invoke the Uniting for peace Resolution and condemn the imminent invasion OF iRAQ. It almost happened until the US sent a threatening letter to all state delegations.

The 1951 Uniting for Peace" resolution, states that in any cases where 

the Security Council, because of a lack of unanimity amongst its PERMANENT members, fails to act as required to maintain international peace and security, the General Assembly shall consider the matter immediately and may issue any recommendations it deems necessary in order to restore international peace and security. If not in session at the time the General Assembly may meet using the mechanism of the emergency special session.  


Last Updated on Monday, 06 January 2020 15:03
De-legitimization of war War on Trial PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Wednesday, 11 December 2019 13:44

Sunday, 20 July 2014 09:29

REPOSTED De-legitimization of war War on trial

Prosecution argument 
By Joan Russow Global Compliance Research Project -

photo shock and awe in Iraq 2003

War should be placed in the Dustbin of History? The Transcript of the presentation at ngo conference at the UN and videotaped 

 Joan Russow: Prosecution

Sadly, the United Nations has often been equated with the UN Security Council, (UNSC) which is deemed to be able to bestow legality, under Article VII of the Charter of the United Nations, on an invasion of another state. The UN Security Council violates a fundamental principle in the Charter of the United Nations: the principle of sovereign equality, and by being given the power to bestow legitimacy on an act of war, violates the fundamental purpose of the Charter of the United Nations - to prevent the scourge of war. The UN Security Council should be abolished and the UNGA should be strengthened.


Last Updated on Friday, 24 January 2020 19:22
Do We Need a Global Convention of Common Principles for Building Peace? PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Friday, 17 May 2019 12:45

By Thalif Deen - Reprint

Sweden’s Minister for International Development Cooperation Peter Eriksson

STOCKHOLM, May 17 2019 (IPS)  - When the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) concluded a three-day forum on “Peace and Development” on May 16, the primary focus was the daunting challenges threatening global security, including growing military interventions, spreading humanitarian emergencies, forced migration, increasing civil wars, extreme weather conditions triggered by climate change and widespread poverty and conflict-related hunger.

For many decades, said the Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation Peter Eriksson, the rules of war were designed by the Geneva Conventions.

“Do we need to develop and adopt common principles for building peace?,” he asked, before a gathering of more than 400 high-level policymakers, researchers and practitioners in the Swedish capital during the opening session of the sixth annual Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 May 2019 10:06
Iran still holding up its end of nuclear deal, IAEA report shows by Francois Murphy PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Friday, 22 February 2019 15:05


VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran has remained within the key limits on its nuclear activities imposed by its 2015 deal with major powers despite growing pressure from newly reimposed U.S. sanctions, a report by the U.N. nuclear watchdog showed on Friday.
The International Atomic Energy Agency is policing the deal, which lifted sanctions against Tehran in exchange for restrictions on Tehran’s atomic activities aimed at increasing the time Iran would need to make an atom bomb if it chose to.
Iran has stayed within caps on the level to which it can enrich uranium, as well as its stock of enriched uranium, the IAEA said in a confidential quarterly report sent to its member states and obtained by Reuters.
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
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