International Day for Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

International Day for Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

Postby Oscar » Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:55 pm

"The consequences of any further use of nuclear weapons, whether intentional or by mistake, would be horrific. When it comes to our common objective of nuclear disarmament, we must not delay -- we must act now." - Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon

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From: Gordon Edwards
Sent: Friday, September 23, 2016 3:57 PM
Subject: Sept. 26 : International Day for Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

For your information and encouragement.

Look! People around the world are stirring and flexing their collective muscles. Civil society is providing the will power that is so lacking in those governments that have become enslaved by their addiction to nuclear arsenals. Ordinary people, the citizens of Planet Earth, are taking the lead to put an end to the barbaric disease of warfare that has afflicted the human race for far too long. Our very survival as a species depends on it.

We owe it to our grandchildren's grandchildren to join the global movement that says no to the current suicidal policy of Mutually Assured Destruction through Joint Annihilation.

Gordon.

-------------------------------------------------

Dear Gordon Edwards,

Thank you for your application to participate at the United Nations High-level plenary meeting to commemorate and promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, taking place on 26 September 2016 at UN Headquarters in New York.

In order to participate in the meeting, you will need to collect your Special Event Ticket. A ticket will not be given to anyone that did not apply to attend and received confirmation from UN-NGLS.

After obtaining your ticket, YOU MUST BE ESCORTED INTO UNHQ BY UN-NGLS and UN DESA AS PER UN SECURITY REQUIREMENTS. We must clear at least two security check-points. Please arrive early!

The event will be webcast live at [ http://webtv.un.org ] and available for later viewing in the UN Web TV archive.

Thank you and best regards,

UN-NGLS

--------------------------

Monday September 26

International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons
[ http://www.un.org/en/events/nuclearweaponelimination/ ]

United Nations General Assembly - Special Plenary Session

"The consequences of any further use of nuclear weapons, whether intentional or by mistake, would be horrific. When it comes to our common objective of nuclear disarmament, we must not delay -- we must act now." - Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon

Achieving global nuclear disarmament is one of the oldest goals of the United Nations. It was the subject of the General Assembly’s first resolution in 1946. After general and complete disarmament first came onto the General Assembly’s agenda in 1959, nuclear disarmament has remained the most important and urgent objective of the United Nations in this field. Since 1975, it has been a prominent theme of the review conferences of States parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. In 1978, the General Assembly’s first Special Session on disarmament reaffirmed that effective measures for nuclear disarmament have the highest priority. And it has been supported by every United Nations Secretary-General.

Yet today, some 15,000 nuclear weapons remain. Countries possessing such weapons have well-funded, long-term plans to modernize their nuclear arsenals. More than half of the world’s population still lives in countries that either have such weapons or are members of nuclear alliances. As of 2016, while there have been major reductions in deployed nuclear weapons since the height of the Cold War, not one nuclear warhead has been physically destroyed pursuant to a treaty, bilateral or multilateral, and no nuclear disarmament negotiations are underway. Meanwhile, the doctrine of nuclear deterrence persists as an element in the security policies of all possessor states and their nuclear allies. This is so—despite growing concerns worldwide over the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of the use of even a single nuclear weapon, let alone a regional or global nuclear war.

These facts provide the foundation for the General Assembly’s designation of 26 September as the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

This Day provides an occasion for the world community to reaffirm its commitment to global nuclear disarmament as a high priority. It also provides an opportunity to educate the public—and their leaders—about the real benefits of eliminating such weapons, and the social and economic costs of perpetuating them.

Commemorating this Day at the United Nations is especially important, given its universal membership and its long experience in grappling with nuclear disarmament issues. It is the right place to address one of humanity’s greatest challenges, achieving the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.
Oscar
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Re: Sept. 26: International Day for Total Elimination of Nuc

Postby Oscar » Thu Oct 27, 2016 9:25 pm

Canada says NO to historic UN Vote on Nuclear Disarmament

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 27, 2016.

Peggy Mason, Former Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament to the UN, now President of the Rideau Institute released the following statement after Canada’s UN vote today against Resolution L.41.

“The First Committee on Disarmament and International Security of the UN General Assembly today passed an historic resolution, mandating the launch in 2017 of negotiations for a legally binding instrument prohibiting nuclear weapons. Such a ban would reinforce customary international law against the threat or use of nuclear weapons and pave the way for further negotiations on their verifiable destruction and ultimate elimination.

Tensions between Russia and the USA are dangerously high. Massive nuclear weapons modernization programmes are underway. The negotiation to be launched by this resolution is the best hope the international community has to move away from the nuclear brink.

Canada’s vote against this resolution puts this country, quite simply, on the wrong side of history. Canada was one of only a handful of countries to vote NO. In so doing we joined with most other NATO member states, in blatant contradiction of our legal obligation under the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) Article VI to enter into good faith negotiations for nuclear disarmament. This is the exact opposite of what Canada should be doing. We should be working as hard as we can to reduce NATO’s unconscionable and unnecessary reliance on nuclear weapons, not using that reliance as a reason for opposing nuclear disarmament negotiations at the UN. In that regard, we note that fellow NATO member, Netherlands, withstood American pressure and abstained rather than voting no.

Canada has another opportunity to put this right when the General Assembly votes on this resolution in early December. We call on Canada to change its vote ideally to a YES but, at a minimum, to an abstention and at the same time to signal its intent to contribute constructively to the negotiation, once launched. These actions would be worthy of a country seeking to be elected to the UN Security Council in 2021.”

For more information contact:

Peggy Mason, President of the Rideau Institute,
613-565-9449 ext. 24 cell: 613-612-6360;
pmason@rideauinstitute.ca
Oscar
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Re: Sept. 26: International Day for Total Elimination of Nuc

Postby Oscar » Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:57 pm

Canada says NO in historic UN Vote on Nuclear Ban Treaty

[ http://www.ceasefire.ca/?p=24375 ]

October 28, 2016 Ceasefire.ca

Peggy Mason, Former Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament to the UN, now President of the Rideau Institute, released the following statement after Canada’s UN vote on October 27th, 2016 against Resolution L.41.

“The First Committee on Disarmament and International Security of the UN General Assembly today passed an historic resolution, mandating the launch in 2017 of negotiations for a legally binding instrument prohibiting nuclear weapons. Such a ban would reinforce customary international law against the threat or use of nuclear weapons and pave the way for further negotiations on their verifiable destruction and ultimate elimination.

Tensions between Russia and the USA are dangerously high. Massive nuclear weapons modernization programmes are underway. The negotiation to be launched by this resolution is the best hope the international community has to move away from the nuclear brink.

Canada’s vote against this resolution puts this country, quite simply, on the wrong side of history. Canada was one of only a handful of countries to vote NO. In so doing we joined with most other NATO member states, in blatant contradiction of our legal obligation under the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) Article VI to enter into good faith negotiations for nuclear disarmament. This is the exact opposite of what Canada should be doing. We should be working as hard as we can to reduce NATO’s unconscionable and unnecessary reliance on nuclear weapons, not using that reliance as a reason for opposing nuclear disarmament negotiations at the UN. In that regard, we note that fellow NATO member, Netherlands, withstood American pressure and abstained rather than voting no.

Canada has another opportunity to put this right when the General Assembly votes on this resolution in early December. We call on Canada to change its vote ideally to a YES but, at a minimum, to an abstention and at the same time to signal its intent to contribute constructively to the negotiation, once launched. These actions would be worthy of a country seeking to be elected to the UN Security Council in 2021.”

For background information on the resolution, click: UN Votes to Outlaw Nuclear Weapons in 2017 (ICAN.org 27 October 2016).
[ http://www.icanw.org/campaign-news/un-v ... s-in-2017/ ]

For details of how each UN member state voted, click: Voting Result on UN Resolution L.41 (ICAN.org, 27 October 2016).
[ http://www.icanw.org/campaign-news/results/ ]


Ceasefire.ca
c/o Rideau Institute
63 rue Sparks, Suite 608
Ottawa, On K1P 5A6
Canada

= = = =

Why Canada Voted Against the UN Resolution on Nuclear Ban Treaty

[ http://reachingcriticalwill.org/images/ ... d-etal.pdf ]

Taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations - Explanation of Position on behalf of the following states : Albania, Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Turkey

Mr. Chairperson,

o While we have a shared vision of attaining global zero, it is with regret that we note the significant differences that have emerged on how best to take forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations.
o We are concerned that to start a process towards a nuclear weapon prohibition treaty now, without the support of nuclear weapon states and a large number of other countries with specific security interests, would be premature.
o Further, we believe such a measure will:
o be ineffective in eliminating nuclear weapons;
o have potentially adverse consequences for regional and global security;
o not advance implementation of Article VI of the NPT; and
o impact negatively on the NPT review process, making a consensus outcome in 2020 all the more difficult.
o In our assessment, a prohibition treaty would only engage those states that are already bound by the NPT and would likely mirror existing obligations, without any mechanism to ensure any new treaty obligations were being fulfilled.
o We need all states to work in unison if our goal is effective, verifiable and irreversible nuclear disarmament to which our countries are fully committed.

For all the reasons we have listed, we could not vote in favour of this resolution.

Thank you.

= = = = = =

27 October 2016: the day when the big reversal in history became possible

[ http://acdn.net/spip/spip.php?article1032&lang=en ]

ACDN = Action of Citizens for Nuclear Disarmament
[ http://acdn.net/spip/spip.php?article1032&lang=en ]

Published 29 October 2016 First published in French 29 October 2016

What a fantastic day. It will count as a red letter day in contemporary history – indeed in world history.

Ever since 6 August 1945, the first time an atom bomb was exploded “on a populous city” and by itself, in an instant, caused tens of thousands of deaths, humankind has been living haunted by a possible apocalypse, with the feeling that we might never end to this age of nuclear terror.

But this 27 October 2016 saw three events occur successively in Paris, Brussels and New York, all directed towards an exit from the nuclear age, with the last one opening a door to a change in era.

Paris

In Paris, 101 MPs and senators published an Appeal for a Referendum on the question: « Do you want France to negotiate and ratify with all the States concerned a treaty to ban and completely eliminate nuclear weapons, under mutual and international control that is strict and effective? » This was not a petition or a mere opinion-piece. The appeal that they make to their colleagues and to all French voters is one that these parliamentarians made their own by signing a referendum bill. When this bill gathers the signatures of 185 MPs and senators (1/5 of the Parliament), it will have to be supported by 10% of registered voters (about 4.5 million), and then the French people, gagged for 70 years, will be able to have their say. This is the only available way to make France change her policies, and now it has been opened, by parliamentarians many of whom are closer to the current governmental majority than to the opposition.

Brussels

A few hours later, in Brussels, the European Parliament examined and adopted by 415 votes FOR, 124 AGAINST and 74 abstentions, a resolution on the same subject. It encouraged the UN General Assembly to convene a conference in 2017 tasked with negotiating a “legally binding instrument” – a treaty to outlaw nuclear weapons; it invited the EU member states to support the calling of such a conference and to participate constructively in its process; and it invited the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs, Federica Mogherini, to involve herself actively in the negotiation process. That huge majority was possible only through a convergence of leftwing, rightwing and centrist parties, going beyond usual alignments. The parliamentarians are closer to the voters than the governments are.

New York

Finally in New York, around 6pm local time (midnight in Paris), the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, the Disarmament Committee, examined a resolution tabled by 6 countries (Austria, Brazil, Ireland, Mexico, Nigeria and South Africa) which had already received support from 57 states altogether. The hall was full as it is on great days. 177 nations were represented. And the vote took place. There too there was a huge majority in favour of opening negotiations on a nuclear ban treaty: 123 FOR, 38 AGAINST, 16 abstentions. And in New York it was much more than a simple wish. It was a decision. It will have to be passed by the General Assembly in a plenary session, but this vote, scheduled for early December, is little more than a formality, since the nations voting will be the same as those that voted this week, possibly augmented by a dozen or more member states absent - states which are all non-nuclear, and few of which are under the US “nuclear umbrella”.

The stakes are enormous, because, as a group of Nobel Peace laureates said two weeks back, if the negotiations beginning in 2017 result in a ban treaty, even if the nuclear powers do not take part and refuse to sign it at the outset, this treaty will “create a powerful new norm about nuclear weapons, defining them not as the status symbols of great nations, but as the badges of shame of rogue nations.”

The nuclear states reveal their colours

Voting against the First Committee resolution were 4 of the P5 – the nuclear states within the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty) which also have permanent seats on the Security Council: USA, China, UK, Russia and France – plus one unofficial nuclear state, Israel (outside the NPT). The 33 other votes against were mostly allies of the USA either within NATO, or outside it like South Korea, Australia and Japan. The USA had been twisting arms for weeks to make them vote against. Thus, besides the two nuclear states in the EU (France and the UK still in despite the Brexit vote), most European governments voted against the opinion of the European Parliament, with the notable exception of the Netherlands which abstained despite hosting some US nuclear weapons – the Dutch Parliament last May had imposed a different line on their government.

PDF - 261.1 kb Note that 3 nuclear nations abstained: China (the 5th of the P5 nations), India and Pakistan. Only one voted for the resolution North Korea! This “rogue state” recently denounced again by the “international community” for proliferation, gave itself the luxury of saying yes to a ban on nuclear weapons, thus pushing its despisers into the camp of the rogue nations and showing up their perfect hypocrisy - without great risk of being disarmed, since they are the self-appointed guardians of the nuclear temple.

Resolution L41

PDF - 247.2 kb Taking inspiration from the recommendations adopted in Geneva on 19 August 2016, with the support of over 100 countries, by an ad hoc UN Working Group whose terms it echoed, this Resolution:
• decides to convene in 2017 a UN conference tasked with negotiating a “binding judicial instrument” to outlaw nuclear weapons and bring about their complete elimination;
• encourages all UN member states to take part in this conference:
• decide that this conference will meet in New York and will follow the usual General Assembly procedures – unless it decides otherwise – from 27 to 31 March and from 15 June to 7 July, with the participation and contribution of representatives of international organisations and civil society;
• calls on all states participating to make every effort to conclude as quickly as possible a binding judicial instrument to outlaw nuclear weapons and bring about their complete elimination;
• decides that the conference will submit a report on progress to the 72nd session of the General Assembly (in late 2017) which will assess progress and will decide how to follow it up;
• asks the Secretary-General to provide all necessary support for the holding of the conference and to transmit its report to various bodies specified; and
• decides to include in the provisional agenda of the 72nd GA session an item entitled “Advancing negotiations on multilateral nuclear disarmament”.

"What a fabulous day !"

The road leading to a world without nuclear weapons is still long and strewn with pitfalls. Over 15 000 bombs are still hanging over our heads. The states that possess them, stigmatised by a ban treaty that they will ultimately have to sign, will have to work out the means of their own disarmament – and do so despite their military-industrial and nuclear lobbies that still hold very strong positions. There will be immense resistance, one suspects.

But for the first time since 1945 the nuclear apocalypse has ceased to be a sure destiny. For the first time, the abolition of nuclear weapons – their banning and their total elimination – has become a serious prospect. That is no longer a sweet starry-eyed dream. It is written into the diplomatic agendas of the UN, of Europe and even of France – provided the referendum takes place and permits the French people to decide on it.

In France and elsewhere it is now the peoples of the world who need to have their say to force the concerned governments (all are concerned, and firstly the nuclear powers) to move forward from promises to action and to bring to effective existence a world without nuclear weapons.

Jean-Marie Matagne, 29 Octobre 2016
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