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disarmament

Sometimes Humanity Gets it Right

When it comes to U.S.-Russian arms control, sometimes history should repeat itself President Joe Biden recently called for Russia to resume arms control negotiations aimed at keeping the existing New START treaty, scheduled to expire in 2026, viable. Russia responded by suspending all inspection activity related to New START, declaring that the United States was seeking unilateral advantage by denying Russia access to inspection sites in the US, while demanding that Russia permit American inspectors access to sites in Russia. Arms control, once the cornerstone of U.S.-Russian relations, appears to be on life support, and with it the future of international peace and security. My new book, Disarmament in the time of Perestroika: Arms Control and the End of the Soviet Union, provides an historical precedent which gives hope that the current negative trend in relations between the U.S. and Russia could be reversed if both parties were willing and able to recapture the spirit of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which entered into force on July 1, 198

As The Doomsday Clock Nears Midnight, We Can Abolish Nuclear Weapons

On January 22, the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons went into effect. This treaty, which is supported by more than two-thirds of the countries in the world but none of the nuclear states, is groundbreaking in many ways and is a significant step toward nuclear disarmament at a time when the threat of nuclear war is the highest it has ever been. I speak with Seth Shelden of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons about the treaty, how it came about, what it will do and what people in the United States can do to press our government to ratify it.

Nuclear War Can Be Stopped Before It Begins

Nuclear weapons have been posing a threat to humanity for 75 years — ever since the U.S. bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. These days, our focus is understandably on the COVID-19 virus and the threat it poses to human life. But as we commemorate the anniversary of these bombings, it is important to acknowledge that unlike the coronavirus, nuclear weapons can only be remediated with prevention. Millions of people could be killed if a single nuclear bomb were detonated over a large city, and the added threats of radiation and retaliation could endanger all life on Earth.

Open Letter On COVID-19 And Humanitarian Disarmament

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a heavy human and economic toll and shattered lives in many countries. The pandemic has also underscored that global solutions should be used to address global problems, in the current crisis and after it ends. Now is the moment to reflect on the world as it is and consider a better alternative for the future. A “new normal” should go beyond the field of public health to deal with other matters of ongoing international concern, including the humanitarian consequences of arms and armed conflict as well as peace and security more broadly. Humanitarian disarmament, an approach to governing weapons that puts people first, can help lead the way to an improved post-pandemic world. Humanitarian disarmament seeks to prevent and remediate arms-inflicted human suffering and environmental damage through the establishment and implementation of norms.

The Virus Of Nuclear Proliferation

NEW YORK (IDN) — In an avalanche of reporting we are now assaulted with information about how the world is urgently attempting to batten down the hatches to avoid the possibility of deathly consequences from the broadly publicized outbreak of the coronavirus...

First Committee Foreshadows Disarmament Fights At 2020 NPT Review Conference

For the last month, the First Committee of the United Nations has met to discuss, debate and vote on resolutions related to disarmament issues. While nuclear-weapon states have attempted to obstruct progress or backtrack on previous commitments, the majority of states continued to push forward a nuclear disarmament agenda. At the upcoming 2020 NPT Review Conference, this majority will need to resist the efforts of a small few and hold firm to strong language on disarmament and the humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons.

Reviving The Nuclear Disarmament Movement: A Practical Proposal

In late November 2018, Noam Chomsky, the world-renowned public intellectual, remarked that “humanity faces two imminent existential threats: environmental catastrophe and nuclear war.” Curiously, although a widespread environmental movement has developed to save the planet from accelerating climate change, no counterpart has emerged to take on the rising danger of nuclear disaster. Indeed, this danger ― exemplified by the collapse of arms control and disarmament agreements, vast nuclear “modernization” programs by the United States and other nuclear powers, and reckless threats of nuclear war ― has stirred remarkably little public protest and even less public debate during the recent U.S. midterm elections.

No Nuclear Arms Race In Europe!

US President Trump announced to withdraw from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Force Treaty (INF) with Russia. The Treaty put an end to the stationing of land-based intermediate range nuclear missiles in Europe. It is reassuring that both sides have announced that they are seeking negotiations now. The aim of these negotiations must be to uphold the general prohibition of intermediate range nuclear missiles (“zero-solution”) in Europe, now and in future. The INF Treaty protects Europe and especially Germany since more than 30 years from being the stage of a threatening nuclear arms race. Ronald Reagan and Michail Gorbatschownegotiated the Treaty at the end of the 1980s.

Disarm Trident Walk Ends In Georgia

Due to the approach of Hurricane Florence, today marked the end of the Disarm Trident Peace Walk. Some 50 people in all took part in the walk from Savannah to Kings Bay, Georgia, in support of the 7 Catholic peace activists of the Kings Bay Plowshares. On April 4th, the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the seven entered Naval Station Kings Bay, home to six Trident ballistic missile submarines. Each Trident can carry the explosive power of some 1825 Hiroshima-sized atomic bombs—if they are ever used it will mean the end of the world. The activists carried hammers and bottles of their own blood into the base to “beat swords into plowshares,” as the Hebrew Prophets envisioned.

Hunger For Disarmament Fast

When the Kings Bay Plowshares decided to smash idols and beat swords into Plowshares at the Kings Bay Naval base in St. Marys, GA, we assumed there would be lots of people in that community and surrounding towns and cities who were appalled to live in the shadow of the most insidious weapons system ever built by humans -- Trident submarines armed with D-5 missiles. To our surprise the folks in south Georgia and north Florida are actually filled with pride because this weapons system of mass destruction is part of the landscape where they live. They are essentially oblivious to the fact their economy and livelihoods are predicated on a promise to end life as we know it on planet earth. In fact, the Trident system includes enough explosive power to kill almost twice the earth's population. And that's just one of the Pentagon's vast array of nuclear weapons systems.

Securing Our Common Future: An Agenda For Disarmament

“The United Nations was created with the goal of eliminating war as an instrument of foreign policy. But seven decades on, our world is as dangerous as it has ever been. Disarmament prevents and ends violence. Disarmament supports sustainable development. And disarmament is true to our values and principles.” The UN Secretary General (UNSG) launched 'Securing our common future: an agenda for disarmament' last night in Geneva, a comprehensive agenda with three priorities: disarmament to save humanity, disarmament that saves lives, and disarmament for future generations. The agenda covers all areas of disarmament, and extracts from the UNSG's speech on each priority are included below, along with links to further information. “First: disarmament to save humanity aims to reduce and eliminate weapons of mass destruction: nuclear, chemical and biological.

Imperial Road To Conquest: Peace And Disarmament Agreements

The means and method are fairly straight forward. World-wide propaganda campaigns which demonize the adversary; the enlistment and collaboration of European and regional allies (England, France, Saudi Arabia and Israel); the recruitment, contracting, training and arming of local and overseas mercenaries dubbed “rebels”, or ‘democrats’; economic sanctions to provoke domestic social tensions and political instability of the government; proposals to negotiate a settlement; negotiations which demand non-reciprocal concessions and which include changes in strategic weapons in exchange for promises to end sanctions, diplomatic recognition and peaceful co-existence. The strategic goal is disarmament in order to facilitate military and political intervention leading up to and beyond defeat, occupation, regime change...

Global Zero Protests The Nuclear Security Summit

By Liz Merrow for Global Zero. Washington, DC - Global Zero activists from all over the United States gathered in Washington, DC to protest at the Nuclear Security Summit. What happened next was nothing short of the Best. Day. Ever. Convened by President Obama, this summit of world leaders aims to secure nuclear materials all over the globe -- which is a great idea in principle, until you find out that nuclear weapons aren’t even on the agenda. And as long as there are 15,000 nuclear weapons in existence, nuclear security is impossible. Participants from Global Zero’s 2016 Action Lab organizer training joined us in downtown DC to call on Summit participants to address the threat posed by nukes and to see our lifesize inflatable nuclear missile. Over a hundred activists turned out to send a clear message: 15,000 does not equal security.

Rally For Zero At Nuclear Summit

By Global Zero. Washington, DC - On March 31, world leaders will gather for the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C. to take steps to prevent an act of nuclear terrorism. Their approach is focused solely on securing nuclear material. The world's 15,000 nuclear weapons -- which pose far greater risk of catastrophe -- aren’t even on the agenda. There can be no such thing as "nuclear security" so long as nuclear weapons exist. If we're serious about preventing a nuclear catastrophe, what we need now is a Nuclear Weapons Summit that brings the key countries together to discuss real, time-bound, actionable plans to eliminate nuclear weapons. Join us as we tell these leaders it’s time to put this at the top of the international agenda!
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