Albert Einstein, the internationally-renowned physicist who developed the theory of relativity, once famously remarked: “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”
As the month-long review conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) continued into its second week, a coalition of some 50 faith-based organisations (FBOs), anti-nuclear peace activists and civil society organisations (CSOs) was assigned an unenviable task: a brief three-minute presentation warning the world of the disastrous humanitarian consequences of a nuclear attack.
With the four-week-long review conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) underway at the United Nations, hopes and frustrations are running equally high, as a binding political agreement on the biggest threat to humanity hangs in the balance.
Against the backdrop of a new Cold War between the United States and Russia, two of the world’s major nuclear powers, the United Nations is once again playing host to a four-week-long international review conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
On the eve of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference five years ago, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned that governments alone will not rid the world of the specter of nuclear annihilation.
As she prepared to leave office after more than three years, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Angela Kane painted a dismal picture of a conflicted world: it is “not the best of times for disarmament.”
Five years after the adoption of the NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) Action Plan in 2010
, compliance with commitments related to nuclear disarmament lags far behind
those related to non-proliferation or the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
Unchecked climate change and the nuclear arms race have propelled the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock forward two minutes closer to midnight, from its 2012 placement of five minutes to midnight.
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.
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.
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.
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.