Category Archives: DISARMAMENT & SECURITY

March For Our Lives wins International Children’s Peace Prize 2018

.DISARMAMENT & SECURITY.

An article from Kids Rights

The March for Our Lives initiators, who started the American mass youth movement for safer schools and communities and against gun violence, have won the International Children’s Peace Prize 2018.



Watch a short documentary about March For Our Lives 

Today [20 November], on Universal Children’s Day, David Hogg, Emma González, Jaclyn Corin and Matt Deitsch, received the prize from Archbishop Desmond Tutu during a special ceremony held in Cape Town, South Africa in the presence of distinguished guests and the world press. The International Children’s Peace Prize is an initiative of the international children’s rights organization KidsRights. The young winner’s message each year reaches millions of people worldwide.

During the ceremony, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who has been the patron of The International Children’s Peace Prize and KidsRights for more than a decade, said that March For Our Lives is one of the most significant youth-led mass movements in living memory. “The peaceful campaign to demand safe schools and communities and the eradication of gun violence is reminiscent of other great peace movements in history. I am in awe of these children, whose powerful message is amplified by their youthful energy and an unshakable belief that children can, no must, improve their own futures. They are true changemakers who have demonstrated most powerfully that children can move the world.”

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Questions related to this article:

Do you think handguns should be banned?, Why or why not?

Youth initiatives for a culture of peace, How can we ensure they get the attention and funding they deserve?

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March For Our Lives

David, Emma, Jaclyn and Matt co-initiated March For Our Lives alongside more than 20 other students, after their school was the scene of a mass shooting in Parkland, Florida this past February, with 17 fatal casualties. Personally affected by the tragedy, they responded by organizing the March For Our Lives event in the spring of 2018 to demand safer schools and communities and to protest gun violence. Hundreds of thousands participated in the rally and more than 800 sister marches took place that same day across the US and beyond. For David, Emma, Jaclyn and Matt, this was only the beginning. In the summer of 2018 the group took to the road, visiting 80 communities in 24 states leading discussions and advocating for the creation of safer communities.

They lobbied, held town hall rallies, and motivated thousands of young people to register to vote. The March For Our Lives movement has continued to be highly vocal and very successful.

Since its advent, over 25 US states have passed more than 50 pieces of legislation in line with their cause.
 
A call on the international community to halt violence in schools

Marc Dullaert, founder of KidsRights and the International Children’s Peace Prize, said that out of the extremely impressive group of nominees, March For Our Lives was this year’s most deserved winner, if only due to the sheer size of the movement that it inspired in 2018: “March For Our Lives has transformed a local community protest into a truly global youth-led and peaceful protest movement. The initiators have utilized the skills and knowledge of young people to generate positive change, whilst mobilizing millions of their peers, controlling the public narrative on the issues that matter to them, and making people in power listen. This will shape the way in which children’s rights are campaigned in the future.”

During the ceremony today, Mr. Dullaert called upon the international community to halt the surge in school violence witnessed internationally. “Schools must be protected as safe havens for children. KidsRights calls upon the international community to halt this issue and to prevent schools from becoming battlegrounds.”

Macron, Merkel defend multilaterism as Trump avoids peace forum

. .DISARMAMENT & SECURITY. .

An article from Thomson Reuters

German Chancellor Angela Merkel opened the Paris Peace Forum, which followed a ceremony in the French capital to mark the centenary of the end of World War One, with a warning that “blinkered” nationalism was gaining ground in Europe and beyond.


German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron hold hands after leaving books at the peace library at the Paris Peace Forum. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/Pool

Echoing comments made by Macron, she said there was a worrying readiness by some to promote self-interest and ignore ties that have underpinned peace since the end of World War Two.

“Most of the challenges today cannot be solved by one nation alone, but together. That’s why we need a common approach,” Merkel told the audience. “If isolation wasn’t the solution 100 years ago, how can it be today in such an interconnected world?”

Macron hopes the forum can lead help avoid falling into the traps of the past by promoting multilateralism. He wants it to demonstrate the power of reconciliation a century after Europe was torn apart by one of history’s bloodiest conflicts.

Leaders including Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan were among those who listened as Merkel, Macron and United Nations Secretary General Antonio Gutteres lauded the U.N. and institutions like it that seek multilateral solutions to global problems.

Trump, who champions a policy of ‘America first’ and has said he is proud to be a nationalist, snubbed the event. Air Force One departed Paris for Washington shortly after the peace forum opened.

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Question related to this article:

Can the culture of peace be established at the level of the state?

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Macron has repeatedly called for “collective action” to tackle crises ranging from the environment, Islamist militancy and nuclear proliferation to anti-Semitism.

“Will today be a symbol of lasting peace or a last moment of unity before the world falls into more disorder?” The French leader Macron asked the gathering. “It depends solely us.”

Earlier on Sunday, Macron led a solemn ceremony to commemorate the centenary of the armistice that brought the Great War to an end, and appeared to take aim at Trump as he warned of the perils of resurgent nationalism.

Trump, who champions a policy of ‘America first’ and has said he is proud to be a nationalist, snubbed the event. Air Force One departed Paris for Washington shortly after the peace forum opened.

Macron has repeatedly called for “collective action” to tackle crises ranging from the environment, Islamist militancy and nuclear proliferation to anti-Semitism.
“Will today be a symbol of lasting peace or a last moment of unity before the world falls into more disorder?” The French leader Macron asked the gathering. “It depends solely us.”

Earlier on Sunday, Macron led a solemn ceremony to commemorate the centenary of the armistice that brought the Great War to an end, and appeared to take aim at Trump as he warned of the perils of resurgent nationalism.

Justin Vaisse, who organized the forum, told Reuters it was not intended to mediate solutions to existing conflicts, but seek ways to create strengthen multilateral organizations.

It is designed to be held annually and bring together a mixture of politicians, foreign policy experts, non-governmental organizations and representatives of civil society, he said.

Peace Boat brings anti-war message to Cuba

. .DISARMAMENT & SECURITY. .

An article from Granma

The danger posed to the world by the existence of nuclear weapons marked the focus of the debate in the Forum for Peace and Revolution, organized by the Japanese Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Peace Boat, which this November docked at the port of Havana for the nineteenth time, and the second this year.

A message, signed by several civil society organizations, including the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples, the Cuban Movement for Peace, and the Cuban Association of the United Nations, reiterated Cuba’s firm commitment to strengthening and consolidating international treaties on disarmament.


Departure of the Peace Boat, November 4, 2018, with 1,200 passengers from 22 countries on board. The Boat headed to Jamaica after its stay in Havana. Photo: Orlando Perea

“Seventy-three years have passed since the criminal atomic bombings of the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and humanity continues to be threatened by the existence of more than 14,400 nuclear weapons, of which 3,750 are deployed and almost 2,000 are on operational alert,” read the text released in the presence of two survivors of the 1945 attacks on Japan.

In addition, young people were called on to join this struggle, raise awareness regarding the threat of a nuclear disaster, and defend humanity’s right to a future of peace. “Together with the nations that long for an end to all wars, and with the power of civil society at the international level, we will continue to demand that nuclear weapons prohibition agreements be complied with until their total elimination, and we will contribute to the construction of a culture of peace around the world,” highlighted the Cuban message.

The heartbreaking and eloquent testimony of those who experienced the horrors of the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, known as hibakushas, moved those present in the forum, as they described horrific images of walking among a multitude of corpses and burned people, whose faces no longer resembled those of human beings, screaming desperately for water.

Michiko Tsukamoto and Tamiko Sora were just girls at the time of the explosion, but it remains present in their memory. They suffered the loss of their loved ones, and today are among the few remaining survivors. They continue to talk about the tragedy because they recognize that the magnitude of the atomic attack has not yet been fully understood by all.

The Forum was also attended by Mako Ando, a Japanese youth representative committed to a world free of nuclear weapons, who works to raise awareness of the dangers posed if humanity fails to denuclearize. Referring to the hibakushas, she noted: “They suffer when they tell their stories, but they do so again and again because they do not want anyone else to experience such barbarism.”

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(Click here for the Spanish version of this article)

Question related to this article:

Peace Boat: Building a Culture of Peace around the World

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Speaking on the panel, D.Sc Leyde Rodríguez Hernández condemned the atrocities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: “We live in a time of enormous threats to international peace and security. The United States, the same power that has imposed an unjust and illegal economic, commercial, and financial blockade on the Cuban people, causing enormous human and material damages, has taken the initiative to destroy multilateralism in international relations and, with its devastating policy, dismantle the system of international treaties and agreements that served as a foundation for peace and security after WWII.”

He explained that nuclear weapons and missile defense systems today represent a serious threat to humanity, and the fight for their prohibition and total elimination should be of the highest priority, as a duty and a right of the peoples.

“The maintenance and modernization of nuclear weapons consumes much of the resources that could and should be destined for economic development, job creation, the reduction of poverty and hunger, health, education, and to prevent and combat natural disasters caused by global climate change. These resources should be redirected toward the development and fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals included in the 2030 Agenda,” the vice-rector of the Higher Institute of International Relations added.

The Forum for Peace and Revolution was dedicated to commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Cuban revolutionary triumph, the 73rd anniversary of the criminal U.S. bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and to the memory of Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro, who received members of the boat twice (in 2010 and 2012).

Natsue Onda, director of this Peace Boat trip, condemned the interventionist policy of the U.S. blockade against Cuba, and said she was pleased to hold the event aboard the ship, in the presence of so many Cubans. She highlighted the friendship between Cuba and the organization, who share the same commitments in this field.

The Peace Boat has been visiting Cuba since 1989, and this is its 99th voyage around the world, carrying a message of peace and friendship. On this occasion, the ship was carrying 1,200 passengers of 22 nationalities (most of them Japanese), who toured different historic and tourist sites of Havana, and exchanged with community organizations related to senior citizens, culture, and with students.

In a press conference, travel coordinator Adrián Godínez stressed that passengers were very interested in visiting the island, thanks to the stories of previous participants, who highlighted the warm welcome received. Other motivations to visit include the popularization of Cuban culture on the Asian continent, especially salsa music, and interest in the history of the Cuban Revolution and its leaders.

The Peace Boat promotes its voyages online, on posters in public spaces, and through the 11 friendship with Cuba organizations that operate in Japan. The NGO Peace Boat received the Order of Solidarity awarded by the Council of State of the Republic of Cuba in 2009.

As a result of the first meeting with passengers of the ship in 2010, the historic leader of the Revolution, Fidel Castro, wrote a reflection titled “We will never forget,” in which he noted: “Now, as for your slogan – which, in my view has very special value, ‘Learn from past wars to build a future of peace,’ will undoubtedly always have meaning – at this moment it is more relevant than ever. I would dare say, without fear of being mistaken, that never in the history of humanity was there such a dangerous moment as this…”


UNESCO proposes concrete projects to implement inter-Korean reconciliation

. .DISARMAMENT & SECURITY. .

An article from UNESCO

The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, today met Moon Jae-in, President of the Republic of Korea, for the first time, and expressed the Organization’s determination to bolster cooperation with the Korean Peninsula.

“UNESCO wishes to commit its support to inter-Korean reconciliation through concrete projects,” declared the Director-General. “We can help restore the links between peoples through shared heritage, educational programmes and cooperation in natural resources management. Facilitating, even accelerating, the construction of durable peace in the Korean Peninsula through culture, education and the sciences is both the ambition and core mandate of UNESCO.”

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Question for this article:

Can Korea be reunified in peace?

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To that end, UNESCO intends to focus on projects that are at once concrete and symbolic. In her talk with the President of the Republic of Korea, the Director-General spoke of her will to reinforce cooperation in the three area of cultural heritage, education and science. These proposals will be discussed with the authorities of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

With regard to cultural heritage, discussions are expected to concern cooperation with a view to identifying shared nominations for inscription on the World Heritage List and on UNESCO’s lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Work will also be undertaken to publish a first dictionary of Korean etymology.

In education, UNESCO will lend its support to teachers by reinforcing global citizenship education. Educational programmes to be implemented across the Peninsula could also be developed.

Finally, Ms Azoulay and President Moon Jae-in also envisaged scientific cooperation with regard to water and environmental preservation. Discussions notably focused on initiatives that could be implemented to facilitate joint access, sharing and management of transboundary water resources, and the preservation of biodiversity and its sustainable use for the benefit of local communities.

UK Nationwide Public Meeting Tour: Stop Bombing Yemen, Stop Arming Saudi

. .DISARMAMENT & SECURITY. .

From the website of Stop the War Coalition

The Saudi regime is one of the most brutal and authoritarian anywhere in the world. Its ruler Mohammed Bin Salman is implicated in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey and has rounded up and tortured opponents at home. His government is also the main protagonist of the terrible war on Yemen.

The Saudi led war has already devastated Yemen and killed tens of thousands of people. Aid agencies warn that if it continues it will cause the worst humanitarian catastrophe since World War Two.

Yet the British government continues to back the regime. Earlier this year Theresa May welcomed Bin Salman to Britain, claiming he was a reformer. Really the British government stays close to Saudi Arabia because Saudi buys more arms from Britain than any other country, because it is a major oil supplier to the West and because it has long been a key ally in a region the West is desperate to control.

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Question for this article:

How can we be sure to get news about peace demonstrations?

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Ending arms sales to Saudi Arabia is essential and urgent. It could help to avert catastrophe. Come to one of our public meetings near you and join us in our campaign to make it happen:

>> 08 Nov | York | Stop Arming Saudi Arabia

>> 12 Nov | Brent | Break Links with Saudi Arabia: End the War in Yemen

>> 15 Nov | Cardiff | Vigil 4 Yemen

>> 27 Nov | London | Stop Arming Saudi – Stop Bombing Yemen

>> 27 Nov | Portsmouth | Stop Bombing Yemen, Stop Arming Saudi

>> 30 Nov | Norwich | Stop Bombing Yemen, Stop Arming Saudi

>> 01 Dec | Merseyside | Justice For Palestine: Freedom, Human Rights and a Lasting Peace

>> 04 Dec | Manchester University | Stop Arming Saudi – Stop Bombing Yemen

>> 04 Dec | Sheffield | Stop Bombing Yemen, Stop Arming Saudi

>> 06 Dec | Basingstoke | Stop Bombing Yemen, Stop Arming Saudi

>> 07 Dec | Liverpool Hope University | Stop Arming Saudi – Stop Bombing Yemen

>> 08 Dec | Edinburgh | Stop Arming Saudi, Hands Off Yemen Protest

>> 13 Dec | Lewisham | Stop Arming Saudi – Stop Bombing Yemen

Peace and disarmament on the streets of Germany

. .DISARMAMENT & SECURITY. .

An article from Pressenza

During the Days of Protest for Peace and Disarmament, actions were carried out in almost 50 German cities and thousands of signatures were collected.

The days of protest from 1 to 4 November 2018, organised by the national initiative “disarm instead of rearm”, have not yet ended. Some actions in different cities will last until 10.11.2018. In many places they were actively supported by trade unions. The cooperation at national level in the initiative “disarm instead of improve” continued in many places. This action was supported by the two big networks of the peace movement “Cooperation for Peace” and the Committee of the Federal Peace Council.

The days of protest were held almost exactly one year after the foundation of this initiative and more than 120,000 signatures had already been obtained on the days of action. Among the first signatories were four trade union leaders, the presidents of major environmental associations, scientists, including a German Nobel laureate, church leaders*, politicians from various parties and peace activists. The exact list of initial signatories can be found at https://abruesten.jetzt/

Some of the first points of this successful action can already be mentioned:

We have intervened actively and with commitment in the budgetary debate of the German Bundestag, we have said no to armament, to mad increases in the armament budget to 85 billion. Between 2018 and 2019 alone, the defence budget is expected to increase by 11.8%, and no other budget line even has an approximate increase in this percentage.

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Question for this article:

How can we be sure to get news about peace demonstrations?

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In thousands of debates we have been able to point out the link between armaments and social affairs, we have made it clear time and again that every euro can only be spent once, either on armaments and war or on the people. Never in recent years have we had such a coordinated offensive of national dialogue from the peace movement towards the people of our country.


In almost 50 places in the republic, actions took place in the streets. They were often well-designed information booths with active collectors of signatures. Up to 1000 participants demonstrate the possibilities of decentralized actions. The “peace question” and disarmament were present in public.


In many places the collection was combined with rallies and demonstrations. In large cities, several hundred people participated in these events. Speakers from the peace movement and trade unions support the call for disarmament.


Several thousand were collected, in the end probably as many as 10,000 new signatures. The collection of signatures was welcomed with great sympathy and support from the population.


The days of protest have led us to take a good step forward. We were able to converse simultaneously with many people in many places and with an active presence. We were able to provide intensive information and clarification about the dangers and costs of updating. We have also shown in many small towns and villages that something is happening for peace.

The actions of local peace alliances in the streets and squares were supported by committed people from trade unions, environmental associations and Christian initiatives. Members of various political parties and movements were present and actively supported our protests.

For future actions we need many more participants and even better cooperation. Peace, climate and environmental protection go hand in hand. Disarmament frees funds to finance the International Climate Fund.

By calling for an end to arms exports and wars, we are making the causes of leakage a problem. Every euro can only be spent once on education, schools, science, health and care or on arms and war. We need a new policy of détente in Europe and also with Russia. These common positions are shared by many millions of people. Let us build on this foundation and move even more active street activities into public space over the next few years. Let us take advantage of the good experiences of the protest days for wider and more central actions.

Ethiopia Kicks Off “Jegnit” National Campaign. Aims to Establish Women-Led Network for Peace

. .DISARMAMENT & SECURITY. .

An article from the Addis Standard

A national campaign dubbed “ጀግኒት” (Jegnit), loosely translated “She, the Brave One”, was launched yesterday [October 30] at the Hilton Hotel in Addis Abeba in the presence of senior women officials and other invited guests. The launching ceremony was attended by most of the recently appointed women ministers including Mufarihat Kamil, the Minister of Peace. The program, which is launched by the ministry of women’s, children’s and youth in collaboration with various stakeholders, is expected to kick off on November 4, 2018.

Jegnit is aimed at creating a movement of women networks with the major goal of fostering the culture of peace in Ethiopia so as to ensure the protection of women and children, where the case is evidently meager by far. The launching event brought together nine political leaders in the cabinet of PM Abiy Ahmed (with the exception of Dagmawit Moges, minister of transport), leading women artists, and other leading public faces to rally around the campaign, which will be advocated through a series of peace-conferences bringing women representatives from all the nine regional states and two city administrations together.

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Question for this article:

Can peace be achieved between Ethiopia and Eritrea?

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“Every ministry led by women should give the utmost attention to peace. They need to stand [to ensure that] the vulnerability of women in social equity and violence on the unprivileged groups is not a case in the country,” Yalem Tsegaye, minister of women’s, children’s and youth, said during the event, adding that “It is crucial to lead (the reform) with access to quality multi-sectoral services, inclusive to women and children, is ensured.”

By the end of the peace-campaign a network of women is expected to be established aimed at giving a flavor of strength to the stakeholders working on women and children in the country. Said to be part of this advocacy and the later planned successful programming, the network will work through women who can make sustainable peace and cope with the recent reforms in the country.

“There is an untapped potential of women and young girls everywhere in this country, which we need to unlock. The approach to peace should include women together with multi-pronged approaches at different levels,” Mufarihat noted.

The women-led peace conference will have a leading motto of *“She, the Brave One, Dreams, Plans and Accomplishes.”


Nearly half of the women in Ethiopia, 48% in 2016, have had no education, according to a report from the Demographic Health Survey of Ethiopia (DHS). According to a 2017 data from the Ministry of Health, 13% of adolescent women aged 15-19 are already mothers or pregnant with their first child. Women also constitute the highest number of victims in violence which gripped various parts of the country in the last six months alone. In her maiden speech at the joint session of the two parliaments, Ethiopia’s newly appointed President Sahle-Work Zewde promised to make the safety of women in conflict prone situations one of her top priorities as the first female president of the republic.

A divided UN General Assembly votes on nuclear disarmament resolutions

.DISARMAMENT & SECURITY.

Article by Unfold Zero sent to their email mailing list

Last week (Oct 24-30) was UN Disarmament Week, when member states vote on a range of disarmament decisions and resolutions. Decisions are binding on the United Nations. Resolutions are indications of governments’ positions and intent – they are not binding but can be very authoritative and influential if supported by key countries.

The deliberations and votes took place in an environment of increasing tensions between nuclear armed States, and also an increasing divide between non-nuclear countries and those countries which rely on nuclear weapons for their security.


Here is a short summary:

Nuclear risk-reduction:

A resolution Reducing nuclear danger submitted by India received 127 votes in favour (mostly non-aligned countries). It failed to get support of nuclear-armed or European countries, primarily because it only calls for nuclear risk reduction measures by China, France, Russia, UK and USA – leaving out the other nuclear armed States – India, Pakistan, DPRK and Israel.

A resolution Decreasing the operational readiness of nuclear weapons systems submitted by a group of non-nuclear countries, was much more successful receiving 173 votes in favour, including from most of the NATO countries and from four nuclear armed States (China, DPRK, India, Pakistan).

Nuclear prohibition:

A resolution on the Treaty on the Prohibition Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) was supported by 122 countries. This is more than the number who have signed the Treaty (which is 50). The vote indicates that more signatures are likely. However, the resolution was not supported by any of the nuclear-armed countries, nor any of the countries under nuclear deterrence relationships, i.e. NATO, Australia, Japan, South Korea. The opposition of nuclear-armed and allied States to the resolution is another indication that they do not intend to join the new treaty nor be bound by it.

A resolution on the prohibition of the use of nuclear weapons submitted by India received 120 votes in favour, including from themselves and another three nuclear-armed States (China, DPK and Pakistan). Oddly enough, opposition to this resolution came not only from the other nuclear-armed States (who wish to maintain the option of using nuclear weapons), but also from some of the States supporting the TPNW. Why would these non-nuclear countries not want the nuclear-armed States to prohibit the use of nuclear weapons? UNFOLD ZERO will explore this question in a future update.

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Question related to this article:

Can we abolish all nuclear weapons?

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UN Conferences:

A resolution affirming a previous decision to hold a UN High-Level Conference (Summit) on Nuclear Disarmament was supported by 143 countries. The resolution, entitled Follow-up to the 2013 high-level meeting of the General Assembly on nuclear disarmament, also promotes negotiations on a Nuclear Weapons Convention – a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons that includes nuclear-armed States (unlike the TPNW which does not include them). Despite getting a strong vote in favour, including from some nuclear armed states, the proposed conference does not yet appear to have enough political traction to be held. The resolution did not set a date for the conference.

The UNGA adopted a Decision to convene a conference no later than 2019 on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. Despite the objective of a Middle East Zone being supported by most UN members in a separate resolution (supported by 174 countries), the decision to convene a conference in 2019 to ‘elaborate a legally binding treaty’ was supported by only 103 countries. The hesitation by many countries to support the resolution was due to the fact that they believed that concrete preparations and negotiations for a Middle East Zone Treaty would require the participation of all countries in the region, and currently there is at least one country (Israel) that is not ready to work on such a regional treaty.

Humanitarian consequences and the law

A resolution on the Humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons, was supported by 143 countries, including one nuclear armed State (India) and one of the nuclear allied States (Japan). Most other nuclear-armed and allied States abstained or opposed because the resolution states that ‘awareness of the catastrophic consequences of nuclear weapons must underpin all approaches and efforts towards nuclear disarmament.’ The nuclear armed and allied States accept that humanitarian impact shoud be considered, but they argue that security reasons for nuclear deterrence must also be addressed in order to relinquish nuclear weapons and achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world.

A resolution on the legal requirement to achieve nuclear disarmament through multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations was supported by 131 countries. In previous years the resolution, which draws upon the 1996 International Court of Justice (ICJ) Advisory Opinion, found greater support (137 countries in favour), including from some of the nuclear armed States. Previously, the primary call of the resolution had been for negotiations leading to a nuclear weapons convention which would include the nuclear armed and allied States. However, the resolution has been amended to call instead for nuclear disarmament through the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which none of the nuclear-armed or allied countries support. This has led to a drop in support for the resolution.

Other discussions and resolutions

There were other disarmament discussions at the UN General Assembly last week – included a heated discussion between Russia and the United States over the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). Both US and Russia claim that the other party is in violation of the treaty, and last week President Trump announced that the US was initiating procedures to withdraw from the treaty.

In addition there were a number of other disarmament resolutions that were introduced, some of which were adopted and some of which will be actioned this coming week.

For more information see UNGA First Committee

Press releases: Nov 1 and Nov 2.

Reaching Critical Will UN First Committee

USA: Update on March For Our Lives

.DISARMAMENT & SECURITY.

Exerpts from the websitre of March For Our Lives

This summer, the students of March For Our Lives made stops across America to get young people educated, registered, and motivated to vote. We called it March For Our Lives: Road to Change. We visited over 80 communities in 24 different states in 60 days.

We went to places where the NRA has strongholds — and visited a number of communities that have been affected by gun violence to meet fellow survivors. At each stop, we registered young people to vote and talk about how we can stand up to anyone that is a blockade to gun safety – including the NRA and corrupt leaders.


Map of communities visited this summer. For detailed list, click here.

When people across the country rallied at the March For Our Lives just over 2 months ago, we showed our politicians that we refuse to accept gun violence as an unsolvable issue. Now, we’re turning our energy into action.

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Question related to this article:

Do you think handguns should be banned?, Why or why not?

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Fall Tour dates!

11/3 Tempe, AZ – Vote For Our Lives homecoming block party with free food, games and giveaways, Arizona State University, Fulton Center, starts at 9am

11/4 Orange County, CA – Vote For Our Lives Rally at UC Irvine, free food, special guests, candidates, music & voting, Pacific Ballroom, 311 W Peltason Dr, Irvine, 4-6pm Bus to the Polls, UC Irvine, 2-4pm and 6-8pm – RSVP –

11/4 St. Augustine, FL – Vote For Our Lives tour stop, Plaza De La Constitucion, 23 Orange St., Saint Augustine, FL, 32084, 2pm

11/5 Tallahassee and Gainesville, FL – Message to the Young People of America, Press Conference at the Tallahassee Capitol historic front steps, 400 S Monroe St, Tallahassee, FL 32399, 1pm Vote For Our Lives dorm storm, FAMU and FSU, starting at 1:30pm Vote For Our Lives dorm storm, University of Florida, starting at 5:30pm

11/6 Parkland, FL – Phone Banking, 7am-7pm Vote For Our Lives celebration

For more information about the Road to Change, text CHANGE to 977-79.

[For background, see previous CPNN article on March For Our Lives]

Nuclear Abolition Day: Security Council session clashes with UN High-Level Meeting

.DISARMAMENT & SECURITY.

An article from Unfold Zero

The UN General Assembly held a high level meeting on nuclear disarmament on Wednesday last week (September 26) to commemorate the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

Presidents, prime ministers, foreign ministers and other leaders from around the world used the opportunity to promote key initiatives and measures for nuclear disarmament including the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty, nuclear-weapon-free zones, de-alerting, no-first-use, stockpile reductions, the Korean peace and denuclearization process, the Iran nuclear nonproliferation deal, the recently adopted treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons and the global elimination of nuclear weapons through a nuclear weapons convention.

However, apart from India and Pakistan, the nuclear armed States were noticeably missing from the meeting. The P5 (China, France, Russia, UK and the USA) were instead down the hall in the Security Council chambers for a competing event on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction chaired by US President Donald Trump. Their absence from the High Level Meeting highlighted the fact that the P5 place very little priority on their obligations to eliminate their own weapons of mass destruction, focusing instead on preventing others from acquiring such weapons.


Photo by John Angelilio

Youth activist calls on states to ‘Move the Nuclear Weapons Money’

‘The United Nations and its member countries should focus more on disarmament for sustainable development’, says 18 year old environmental activist and youth leader Kehkashan Basu who was selected by the President of the UN General Assembly as one of the two representatives of civil society to address the September 26 UN High Level Meeting.

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Question related to this article:

Can we abolish all nuclear weapons?

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‘Every second, a person dies of hunger. Which means that by the time I finish speaking, 500 more people would have died of hunger and starvation,’ Ms Basu told the UN session. ‘And yet the nuclear-armed States continue to spend billions of dollars for building nuclear stockpiles, ostensibly in the name of security, but in reality threatening current and future generations and violating the rights of children to a peaceful and non-irradiated planet.’

‘Our banks, universities, cities, pension funds and governments continue to invest in the corporations manufacturing and promoting the nuclear arms race for their own personal gain with no consideration for the ethics of investing in death,’ she said.

‘Civil society organisations, in cooperation with parliamentarians from around the world, have launched the Move the Nuclear Weapons Money campaign to cut the $100 billion annual nuclear weapons budget and reallocate these resources into the Sustainable Development Goals and other areas of human and environmental need. This includes direct cuts to nuclear weapons budgets, and divestment from the nuclear weapons industry. Already four governments and a number of cities, banks and investment funds have adopted nuclear weapons divestment policies.’ (Click here to read the full speech and see the video of Ms Basu’s speech).

Ms Basu was also a keynote speaker at Youth, disarmament and sustainable devlopment, an international youth forum held in New York to commemorate UN Peace Day (Sep 21) and International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

Special screenings of ‘The Man who saved the World’

The International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons is held on September 26, the anniversary of the incident in 1983 when a nuclear war almost erupted by accident. On this day, the Soviet nuclear early warning center Serpukhov-15 detected ballistic missiles heading towards Moscow. Stanislav Petrov, duty officer at the time, reported a ‘false alarm’ despite the information, and probably averted a nuclear ‘retaliation’ from the Soviet Union.

The story of this incident, and the follow-up visit by Stanislav Petrov to the USA 30 years later, is told in the award winning movie ‘The Man Who Saved the World.’ The movie was shown in a number of special screenings around the world to commemorate the International Day.