The INES Global Responsibility Newsletter reports and comments – from a global perspective – on political, technical and societal developments and comprises of regular internal news sections.
JERUSALEM (AP) -- Nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu was ordered to be put under house arrest Tuesday after being charged with violating a condition of his 2004 release from an Israeli prison.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said Vanunu met with "a number of foreigners," something he was ordered not to do for fear he might divulge classified information. Vanunu, who has been charged with violating this order before, flashed a "V" sign and unleashed a rambling tirade against the "impotent" Jewish state as he entered a Jerusalem court. His lawyer, Avigdor Feldman, said Vanunu was arrested because he has a Norwegian girlfriend whom police have already interrogated. A court spokesman said Vanunu would be released from jail Tuesday evening and was ordered to stay under house arrest through Thursday.
Vanunu was a former low-level technician at an Israeli nuclear plant who leaked details and pictures of the operation to the Sunday Times of London in 1986.
Israeli intelligence agents kidnapped him in Rome and brought him back to Israel to stand trial. He served 18 years in prison before being freed, but he is not allowed to leave the country.
Upon his release in 2004, Vanunu was banned from leaving the country and having unauthorized contact with foreigners.
Following a policy that it calls "nuclear ambiguity," Israel has never acknowledged or denied having a nuclear weapons program. But experts concluded from the material that Vanunu divulged that Israel had the world's sixth-largest nuclear arsenal.
11. January 2010
Mordechai Vanunu: Nuclear Hero's 'Crime' was Making Us Safer
By Daniel Ellsberg
Mordechai Vanunu — my friend, my hero, my brother — has again been arrested in Israel on "suspicion" of the "crime" of "meeting with foreigners." I myself have been complicit in this offense, traveling twice to Israel for the express purpose of meeting with him, openly, and expressing support for the actions for which he was imprisoned for over eighteen years. His offense has been to defy, openly and repeatedly, conditions put on his freedom of movement and associations and speech after he had served his full sentence, restrictions on his human rights which were a direct carry-over from the British Mandate, colonial regulations in clear violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Such restrictions have no place in a nation evincing respect for a rule of law and fundamental human rights. His arrest and confinement are outrages and should be ended immediately.
Political relevance of the NPT review conference in 2010
Interview with Joseph Gerson, AFSC
INES: Dr. Gerson, in 1995 the governments decided about the indefinte extention of the NPT. Why are Review conferences held? What is the political importance of the one in 2010?
Joseph Gerson: As part of the deal made to win the indefinite extension of the NPT in 1995, the nuclear powers, led by the United States, accepted non-nuclear nations’ demand that review conferences be held every five year to monitor implementation of the treaty – especially Article VI which requires the nuclear powers to begin “good faith” negotiations for the elimination of their nuclear arsenals.
Consistent with its belief that unilateral U.S. military actions and threats could enforce what Vice President Cheney termed ‘the arranged for the 21st century,” the Bush Administration subverted the 2005 Review Conference. By refusing to agree to an agenda until the Conference was half way over, and then refusing to engage in good faith negotiations, the Review Conference failed to reach any agreements and collapsed in failure. This resulted in delegitimizing the Treaty, placing it in jeopardy and increasing the likelihood of proliferation of proliferation of genocidal and omnicidal nuclear weapons.
(Press talk and public lecture in German)
Verzicht auf Militärforschung - Herausforderung und Chance.
Pressegespräch und Veranstaltung mit Subrata Ghoshroy, US-Wissenschaftler, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
1. Dezember 2009
Pressegespräch am 11:00 im KIT / Uni Karlsruhe, UStA (Bespr.raum), Foyer der Mensa
Öffentlicher Vortrag: 17.30 Uhr, KIT, Uni Karlsruhe, Bau-Ing.-Hörsaal Geb. 10.50
Rüstungsforschung ist wieder in aller Munde: die Ausweitung ist sowohl im Koalitionsvertrag der neuen Bundesregierung als auch im Lissabon Vertrag der EU vorgesehen. An den Universitäten nimmt sie zu. In den USA ist sie tagtägliche, tödliche Normalität. Die Gefahren der Militarisierung öffentlichen Lebens und öffentlich geförderter Forschung sollen durch einen kompetenten Referenten, der aus der Rüstungsforschung ausstieg (Whistleblower) und in der Wissenschaft für den Frieden forscht, aufgezeigt werden.
Reiner Braun addresses the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates
Reiner Braun, Member of the Steering Committee of the International Peace Bureau (IPB) and Program Director of INES addresses the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates at their meeting in Berlin November 10th/11th 2009.
The most famous peace manifesto in modern times, the Russell-Einstein Manifesto of 1955, declares that "either we abolish nuclear weapons or they will destroy the planet and humanity".
The Secretary-General of the IAEA Mohamed El Baradei observed recently that in the beginning of the 21st Century the dangers of nuclear weapons are "more threatening than ever in history".
The quantity and quality of these weapons of mass destruction, their minimization for use in conventional and asymmetric wars, the threats of massive proliferation and of terrorism, and NATO's deployment strategy are all evidence of a threat of nuclear war as well as a challenge for achieving a peaceful world.
The International Panel on Fissile Materials has released its new report - "Global Fissile Material Report 2009: The Path to Nuclear Disarmament".
The report charts some of the key technical and policy steps for securing verifiable world-wide nuclear disarmament and eliminating the world's huge stockpiles of highly enriched uranium and plutonium, the key materials for making nuclear weapons. Read on
Alyn Ware (New Zealand - Aotearoa) Source: www.rightlivelihood.org
October 13, 2009
Right Livelihood Award 2009 for Alyn Ware
(New Zealand - Aotearoa)
Vice-President of the International Peace Bureau (IPB)
He is a co-author of the book "Securing Our Survival" that contains and explains the
Model Nuclear Weapons Convention and, among others, International Coordinator of the Parliamentarian Network for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament.
"...for his effective and creative advocacy and initiatives over two decades to further peace education and to rid the world of nuclear weapons."
Alyn Ware is one of the world's most effective peace workers, who has led key initiatives for peace education and nuclear abolition in New Zealand and internationally over the past 25 years. He helped draft the Peace Studies Guidelines that became part of the New Zealand school curriculum, initiated successful programmes in schools and thousands of classrooms throughout the country, and has served as an adviser to the NZ government and the UN on disarmament education. He was active in the campaign that prohibited nuclear weapons in New Zealand, before serving as the World Court Project UN Coordinator which achieved a historic ruling from the World Court on the illegality of nuclear weapons. Alyn Ware has led the efforts to implement the World Court's decision, including drafting resolutions adopted by the UN, bringing together a group of experts to prepare a draft treaty on nuclear abolition which is now being promoted by the UN Secretary General, and engaging parliamentarians around the world through Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament. Read on
Article in the Huffington Post about nuclear disarmament, concrete steps being undertaken to reach this goal, and commenting on the Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama: Thinking the Unthinkable on Nuclear Policy. Read more
October 12, 2009
Corporate Influence on Science is Compromising its Social and Environmental Benefits
A new report reveals that the pressure for scientific research to deliver on short-term commercial aims is compromising its ability to yield social and environmental benefits.
The report 'Science and the corporate agenda' states that even tax-payer funded research is now less likely to work in the broader public interest. These findings are based on extensive evidence across five sectors: pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, military/defence, biotechnology and tobacco.
International Peace Bureau Questions Choice of Obama for Nobel Peace Prize
The International Peace Bureau today expressed concern at the announcement of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize since it fails to respect the intentions expressed by Alfred Nobel in his will. Nobel wrote that the Peace Prize is to go to whoever "shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses".
Source: Wikipedia Center for American Progress Action Fund
October 9, 2009
The Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 for US President Barack Obama.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama's vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.
US Leadership for a Nuclear Weapons-Free World at the UN
On September 24, 2009, President Barack Obama chaired a special session of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) focusing on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. The UNSC unanimously passed Resolution 1887, which calls for a nuclear weapons-free world.
Contribute your voice and be heard this October 26-27, 2009 in a live videoconference that will reach Philadelphia, Mexico City, and Santa Barbara. Join youth, young professionals, and renowned experts, including Dr. Hans Blix and Alyn Ware, as concrete action steps are developed for successful nuclear disarmament.
The Dialogue will link youth, professionals and experts from the peace, foreign policy, health and environmental communities via live video conference. Venues include Philadelphia, Mexico City, Moscow and Santa Barbara.The core aim of the Dialogue is to foster youth leadership, idea-sharing, and cross cultural understanding through citizen diplomacy and to build a comprehensive campaign for nuclear disarmament on this basis of cooperation. Special attention will be given to the upcoming NPT Review Conference in 2010, a U.S. Russian treaty to succeed START 1, missile defense and space weapons. Disarmament expert, Dr. Hans Blix Chairman of the WMD Commission and President of the World Federation of United Nations Associations will keynote.
Hiroshima, Source: Wikipedia U.S. National Archives, RG 77-AEC
August 6, 2009
Hiroshima mayor Akiba calls for abolishing nuclear weapons
By Shizuo Kambayashi (AP)
HIROSHIMA, Japan - Hiroshima's mayor urged global leaders on Thursday to back President Barack Obama's call to abolish nuclear weapons as Japan marked the 64th anniversary of the world's first atomic bomb attack.
In April, Obama said that the United States - the only nation that has deployed atomic bombs in combat - has a "moral responsibility" to act and declared his goal to rid the world of the weapons.
At a solemn ceremony to commemorate the victims of the Aug. 6, 1945, attack, Hiroshima's Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba welcomed that commitment.
On 6 August 1945, in total disregard to basic tenets of science and civilization, the first Atom Bomb was dropped on Hiroshima which created a new war paradigm: Destroy an entire city.
On 9 August the second Atom bomb destroyed the city of Nagasaki. The sole purpose of creating the nuclear war science was to destroy and dominate the other human beings. The law of war games was, for 5000 years human history, not to attack unarmed civilians. Women and children and the sick and wounded were always protected. There were thousands of wounded war victims and the sick in Hiroshima and Nagasaki hospitals. Tens of thousands unarmed citizens irrespective of gender, class, race, region and religion were killed instantly.
Today, in spite of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, there are about 26,000 nuclear warheads mostly in the arsenals of the U.S. and Russia. Besides, there are up to 2,000,000 kilograms of Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) stockpiles and it takes just 15-24 kilograms HEU to make a nuclear bomb. There are 28 countries with at least one bomb capability and 12 countries with 20 bombs.
International launch of new IPB publication:
Nuclear Weapons: At What Cost?
On August 6 a whole range of actions are organised around the world to mark the 64th anniversary of the destruction of Hiroshima by atomic weapons. For 64 years people from all walks of life in all parts of the planet have mobilised to bring about their elimination. Nuclear weapons not only threaten massive destruction, but they also incur enormous costs. Apart from the damage caused by blast, fire and radioactive fallout from actual use in warfare, the weapons impose major financial, moral and political costs on nuclear weapons states and countries that host the weapons. The US alone spends annually over US$ 50 billion on its nuclear arsenal, and the global annual total is around $90 billion.
Global Military expenditure set new record in 2008, says SIPRI
(Stockholm, 8 June 2009). Worldwide military expenditure in 2008 totalled an estimated US$1464 billion, according to new figures released today by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). This represents an increase of 4 per cent in real terms compared to 2007, and an increase of 45 per cent since 1999. SIPRI today launched the 2009 edition of its Yearbook on Armaments, Disarmament and International Security.
Read the press release here:
This is the moment when we must renew the goal of a world without nuclear weapons.
U.S. President Barack Obama, speaking in the new Nuclear Age Peace Foundation video.
In 27 years of working for nuclear disarmament, the INES member organisation Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (www.wagingpeace.org) has never seen a better opportunity to make significant progress towards our goal of a safer and more secure world through the phased, verifiable and irreversible elimination of all nuclear weapons.
The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation has created a new DVD featuring U.S. President Barack Obama.
Become a member of INES to support the international movement for a nuclear weapons free world! Application form
Maize marked "biohazard" Montage: INES
June 16, 2009
Unwanted Transgenes Re-Discovered in Oaxacan Maize
Molecular biologist Elena Alvarez-Buylla and a team of scientists of the University of Mexico City (UNAM) confirmed the presence of genetically modyfied (GM) DNA sequences in maize samples from the State of Oaxaca in southern Mexico, and show that sampling and molecular methods that had been used before, were not effective to detect transgenes in local maize populations. The cultivation of GM maize is prohibited in Mexico since 1998. However, the import of GM maize for food and feed is legal. Unclear is how the pollution with GM maize occurred.
SUMMER-ACADEMY: "Young Scientists Cooperate for Peace" in Hamburg, from 2 to 15 August 2009
The Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker Centre for Science and Peace Research (ZNF) brings together European young scholars for refinement of their scientific expertise both in the fields of contemporary global conflicts and also in realms of arms-control and conflict-resolution. By doing this, ZNF hopes to promote and secure peace in the years to come. A synergised cognizance of technical and political background history of the armament dynamics as well as scientifically analyzable conflict causation is indispensable for the efficient and timely identification and countervailing of the escalated conflicts and warfares.
On Monday, 25 May, the official news agency, KCNA, of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) announced its successful conduct of a second nuclear test: "The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea successfully conducted one more underground nuclear test on May 25 as part of the measures to bolster up its nuclear deterrent for self-defence in every way as requested by its scientists and technicians.” It further claimed that the test was safely conducted “on a new higher level in terms of its explosive power and technology of its control. The results of the test helped satisfactorily settle the scientific and technological problems arising in further increasing the power of nuclear weapons and steadily developing nuclear technology."
Abandonment of Military Research. Support the University of Karlsruhe/Germany to keep their Civil Clause
The German publicly funded research is facing a crucial and exemplary decision: strengthening the civil orientation or pushing militarization?
It is about the merger of the large-scale research institution Karlsruhe Research Center (the former Nuclear Research Center, part of Helmholtz Society) and the University of Karlsruhe into the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) with together 8.000 scientists and employees and 18.000 students. Due to the German nuclear weapons ban the statute of the Karlsruhe Research Center contains the important term: “The society serves peaceful purposes only.” This civil clause forbids not only the sanctioned nuclear weapons research, but any military research, because the separableness of civil and military purposes for different research areas and thus of two contrary legal positions within one house was regarded as impossible.
Support for Recommendation on Nuclear Weapons Convention Negotiations of NPT
A significant opportunity has arisen this week to make progress on significant multilateral nuclear disarmament steps and to build momentum for the achievement of a nuclear-weapons-free world. On 5 May US President Obama sent an inspiring message to the opening day at the United Nations of the two-week long preparatory meeting (Prep Com) for the 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference - the first multilateral intergovernmental forum for non-proliferation and disarmament since President Obama was elected. This set the scene for a speedy adoption of the agenda for 2010 ? something that was expected to be subject to political difficulties and delays.
European Parliament recommends complete nuclear disarmament by 2020
Strasbourg, April 24, 2009 - Today the European Parliament approved with a majority of 177 votes against 130 an amendment introducing the "Model Nuclear Weapons Convention" and the "Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol" (attached) as concrete tools to achieve a nuclear weapons free world by 2020. The amendment was introduced by the Ana Gomes for the PES and Angelika Beer for the Greens/EFA. The amendment received cross-party support (1) during the Plenary vote here in Strasbourg today. Especially Frieda Brepoels for the EPP-DE and Annemie Neyts and Juul Maaten for the ALDE called to support the vision of a nuclear weapon free world by 2020. The approval of the amendment (2) demonstrates that the EP is increasing pressure to make nuclear disarmament by 2020 a top-priority for the EU member states. Here the EP demonstrates leadership and an intention to become a visible actor following President Obama's statements for a NWFW in Prague.
President Obama Calls for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons
By David Krieger
In a remarkable speech for any American leader, President Obama, speaking in Prague on April 5, 2009, provided new hope for a world free of nuclear weapons. I state clearly and with conviction,he said, America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.He told his audience that America, as the only country to have used nuclear weapons, has a moral responsibility to act.
For many years the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation has been calling for US leadership for a nuclear weapons-free world, based on the understanding that if the US does not lead, significant progress will not be possible.For the past two presidencies this leadership has been largely lacking. During the George W. Bush presidency, the US was the leading obstacle to nuclear disarmament. Now, with President Obama, there is a dramatic shift and the goal of US leadership for a nuclear weapons-free world that once seemed far distant, if not impossible, appears at hand.
President Obama's speech in Prague was a world changing moment, a promise of unprecedented historical change on the most profoundly dangerous issue confronting not only America but the world. In this speech he recognized the imperative for our common security of eliminating nuclear weapons and of America's unique moral responsibility to lead this effort.
He made it clear that while America cannot do it alone, it will lead by its actions. He called for concrete steps, including reducing the role of nuclear weapons in US national security strategy and urging other nuclear weapons states to do the same, reducing the number of nuclear weapons in its arsenal, working aggressively for US ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, seeking a new treaty to end production of fissile materials for weapons, strengthenin g the Non-Proliferation Treaty, creating an international fuel bank to reduce the risks of proliferation, assuring that nuclear weapons will not be acquired by terrorists, leading an international effort to gain control of vulnerable nuclear materials throughout the world within four years, and hosting a Global Summit on Nuclear Security within the year.
President Obama recognized that a world without nuclear weapons will not be reached quickly. He cautioned that such a world may not occur within his lifetime, and that achieving it will require patience and persistence. But this was not a speech about timeframes or deadlines. It was a speech setting forth a much needed vision and providing a promise of US leadership. He has taken an important step toward the goal of a nuclear weapons-free world by articulating this vision and committing to work toward it. Now a more comprehensive plan must be formulated and implemented.
With the political will that President Obamahas provided, it is possible that we could move far more rapidly toward a world of zero nuclear weapons than could previously be imagined.Political will and US leadership have been the most significant missing elements for achieving a world free of nuclear weapons. Now that these elements are in place, we may be surprised by how quickly the planning and implementation process can proceed toward the total global elimination of these unconscionable weapons.
President Obama is a man of great vision, a leader that sees beyond the horizon. When he encounters a problem requiring change, he addresses it and proposes solutions. His leadership on the issue of a nuclear weapons-free world comes none too soon.In his speech, he has faced the threat of nuclear weapons squarely. The vision and the initial steps toward achieving it that he has articulated deserve our strong support.
As President Obama noted, there will be many who will say that it cannot be done. But these naysayers cannot steal the future from those who seek a world free of nuclear threat or those committed to building a world at peace.The President will need the American people standing with him and saying, Yes, we can.
Nobel Prize Laureates address US President Obama in an open letter to use the existing Model Nuclear Weapons Convention as a starting point for the path into a nuclear weapons free world
Today, twelve Nobel Prize Laureates and a former Under-Secretary General of the United Nations addressed US President Barack Obama. In an open letter they remind President Obama of his promise to seek a world in which there are no nuclear weapons. Pointing to the shortfalls of the existing international regime for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, Sir Harold Kroto (Nobel Prize for Chemistry), Member of the Advisory Council of INES, and his co-signers remind Barack Obama of the recent suggestion by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to use the existing Model Nuclear Weapons Convention as a starting point for the path into a nuclear weapons free world. ...
President-elect Obama announced his appointment of Dr. John Holdren as Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Co-Chair of the President?s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). read on