On the day of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in November 1963, one of his emissaries was secretly meeting with Fidel Castro at Varadero Beach in Cuba to discuss terms for ending the U.S. embargo against the island and beginning the process of détente between the two countries.
The most sophisticated on-site inspection exercise conducted to date by the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) formally concluded this month.
“Never was there a greater need than now for all the religions to combine, to pull their wisdom and to give the benefit of that combined, huge repository of wisdom to international law and to the world.”
Sarcastic laughter erupted when a civil society representative expressed his “admiration for the delegate of the United States, who with one insensitive, ill-timed, inappropriate and diplomatically inept intervention” had “managed to dispel the considerable goodwill the U.S. had garnered by its decision to participate” in Vienna Conference on Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons.
Civil society groups are urging the U.N. General Assembly to pass a resolution declaring nuclear strikes on cities to be a clear-cut violation of international humanitarian law.
Ahead of the Dec. 8-9 Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, activists from all over the world came together in the Austrian capital to participate in a civil society forum organised by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) on Dec. 6 and 7.
When Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was at Harvard University early this week to pick up the 'Humanitarian of the Year' award, his thoughts transcended the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, to the Austrian capital of Vienna which will be the venue of a key international conference on nuclear weapons next week.
Has the world reached a stage where nuclear weapons may be used as bargaining chips in international politics?
Buoyed by the failure of the U.S. and five other powers to reach a comprehensive agreement with Iran over its nuclear programme after a week of intensive talks, pro-Israel and Republican hawks are calling for Washington to ramp up economic pressure on Tehran even while talks continue, and to give Congress a veto on any final accord.
December 1938 was a decisive month in human history: In Germany, the scientists Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann discovered that when bombarded with neutrons, the atomic nucleus of uranium would split.
As we approach the 70th anniversary next year of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there are growing calls to place the humanitarian consequences of their use at the heart of deliberations about nuclear weapons.
At the height of the Cold War the world’s total arsenal of nuclear weapons, counted as explosive potential, may have amounted to three million Hiroshima bombs. The United States alone possessed 1.6 million Hiroshimas’ worth of destructive capacity.
Jayantha Dhanapala was awarded the IPS International Achievement Award for Nuclear Disarmament Monday at the United Nations in New York.
A nuclear weapon-free world can and must happen in my lifetime. This may seem a bold and wildly Pollyannaish statement for me to make after a lifetime of work in peace and disarmament.
In the United States, the negotiations aimed at a final deal between world powers and Iran over its nuclear programme—in a crucial phase this week—are far from the minds of average people. But for many Iranians, the talks hold the promise of a better future.