Just six months into the administration of President Donald Trump, the war of words and nuclear threats between the United States and North Korea have escalated, and a peaceful resolution to the escalating crisis is more difficult than ever to achieve.
More than seven decades after the deployment of deadly atomic bombs in Japan, the UN has passed a historic treaty banning nuclear weapons around the world. Though it has sparked hope for a future without nuclear weapons, uncertainty in the success of the treaty still lingers.
As previously announced, the President of the United Nations Conference for the negotiation of a Convention on the prohibition of nuclear weapons, Costa Rican Ambassador Elayne Whyte-Gómez, unveiled last 22 May the draft elaborated after the first part of those negotiations in March.
Speaking to the United Nations Security Council at a meeting on North Korea held at the foreign-minister level, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson asked
member countries to join the United States in a strong campaign
to enhance pressures on the Kim Jong-un regime, whose rapidly developing nuclear and missile programs have reached dangerous levels.
When the United Nations continues its negotiations in June for an international treaty against nuclear weapons, there must be a treaty that should cover every single aspect of the devastating weapons --- and leading eventually to their total elimination from the world’s military arsenals.
The nine possessors of nuclear weapons and most of their allies chose to ignore the negotiations on a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination.
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.
When pro-nuclear disarmament organisations last October cheered the United Nations decision to start in 2017 negotiations on a global treaty banning these weapons, they probably did not expect that shortly after the US would elect Republican businessman Donald Trump as their 45th president. Much less that he would rush to advocate for increasing the US nuclear power.
Bolivia, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan and Sweden were elected on Tuesday
to serve on the UN Security Council (UNSC) as non-permanent members, while Italy and Netherlands have split the remaining contested seat.
It is always baffling, isn’t it, to see the yawning difference in our responses in South Asia to a gathering communal threat, for instance, as opposed to the catastrophic prospect of nuclear annihilation? Only recently, Pakistan toggled between public outcry and terrified whispers when teeming mourners showed up at the funeral of an executed religious zealot, the savage killer of a popular provincial governor.
At the invitation of President Obama, on April 1 more than 50 leaders of countries, including all countries possessing nuclear arsenals, except Russia and North Korea, gathered in Washington for the fourth Nuclear Security Summit.
When some of the world’s major nuclear powers meet in Washington DC next Friday, they will be shadowed by the rising terrorist attacks-- largely in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO), based in Vienna, will soon install two new monitoring stations in Ecuador.CTBTOs Executive Secretary Dr Lassina Zerbo told IPS the two stations in Ecuador, RN 24 and IS 20, “will brings us an important step closer to the completion of the International Monitoring System – the network that monitors the globe 24/7 for signs of nuclear explosive testing.”
Three years ago when the tsunami of panic around Iran's potential capability to develop nuclear weapons reached its peak, a combined diplomatic, media campaign warning that a Gulf Arab state would think of purchasing atomic bombs was spread like an oil spot.
Iran will hold two crucial elections on February 26, 2016, which could decide the fate of the Islamic Republic for many years to come. Earlier this month, Iranians celebrated the 37th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution. During that period, the country experienced revolutionary upheavals, a disastrous eight-year war with Iraq that killed and wounded nearly a million Iranians, eight years of populist rule by a hard-line president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and crippling Western sanctions.
Although the implementation of Iranian nuclear deal has been welcomed by all those who had been involved in the negotiations as part of the P5+1, the deal has had many vociferous opponents.
The implementation of the Iranian nuclear deal with the P5+1 (the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, France and Germany) on January 16, which resulted in the lifting of the sanctions imposed on Iran, has split the views of current and former US politicians.
The World Health Organization has said that ‘Violence is a preventable disease’ and people are not born violent, rather we all live in cultures of violence. This can be changed through nonviolent peacemaking and the persuit of ‘just peace’ and nurturing of cultures of peace.
After many years of unprecedented, crippling Western sanctions that stopped Iran’s oil exports and even banking transactions, the long and arduous negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 (the United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, France and Germany) culminated in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreed on 14 July 2015. That agreement finally reached the Implementation Day on 16th January 2016, coincidentally 37 years to the day when the late Mohammad Reza Shah left Iran for good and paved the way for the victory of the Islamic revolution.
After nine years in office, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will step down in December perhaps without achieving one of his more ambitious and elusive political goals: ensuring the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).
When the UN Security Council (UNSC) adopted a resolution imposing sanctions on North Korea -- immediately following its first nuclear test back in 2006 -- Pyongyang described the punitive measure as “an act of war.”