What's New in INES, 7. August, 2012
Commit Universities to Peace
- Nuclear power vs. people power
- Post-2015 development agenda
- Breaking the Nuclear Chain
- Who supplies the world’s weapons?
- CTBTO Interview with Benno Laggner, Switzerland's Ambassador for Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation
- CTBTO interview with nuclear physicist Patricia Lewis
- Open letter to Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
- Science Unstained
- Egyptian women continue the struggle
- NATO and U.S. Missile Defense in Europe Are a Serious Political Concern
- Tadatoshi Akiba to Take Up Duties as MPI Chairman in October
- Meeting between senior EU and Iranian officials fails to solve nuclear deadlock
- North Korea Proposes Treaty to Officially End Korean War
- Mapping Nuclear Disarmament
- To Make South Asia (SAARC) Nuclear Weapons Free
- Preventing Another Hiroshima
- 2012 Sadako Peace Day Message
Commit Universities to Peace
The struggle for the peaceful orientation of science in Germany continues.
After a week of actions conducted by the network “Universities for Peace – yes to Civil Clause” in May 2012 an increased focus is being placed on the responsibility of science and the orientation of universities (see German newspaper articles of Der Spiegel and Stern). The international appeal “Commit Universities to Peace” was and is a helpful tool to revive and spread the discourse of resonsibility of science to universities. INES now develops English material on civil clauses in order to internationalize the call for peaceful orientation of universities. We will send you this material in the next “What’s New INES”. For now, please find a motion on civil clauses by the Left Party parliamentary group, translated to English by the translation service of Bundestag.
Reiner Braun, Lucas Wirl
Nuclear power vs. people power
Article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists by School of Global Studies, University of Sussex.
India's ambitions include a tenfold increase in nuclear power so it supplies 25 percent of the nation's energy needs by 2050. Two 1,000-megawatt nuclear reactors at Koodankulam are expected to go online very soon -- the first commissioned reactors since Fukushima.
The People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy has successfully mobilized tens of thousands of Indian citizens to join nonviolent protests, while the Indian state has resorted to harassment and threats of violence.
The nuclear establishment is the darling of Indian statehood, with far more people employed by the nuclear industry than the renewable energy sector. Citizen calls for increased transparency, accountability, and proper adherence to procedure have been met with repeated denials, deferrals, and deceit.
Read the article here: thebulletin.org/web-edition/op-eds/nuclear-power-vs-people-power
Post-2015 development agenda
During the preparatory process of the Rio +20 Summit, the idea of adopting a new set of goals, namely the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), has emerged. These goals aim at addressing and incorporating in a balanced and broader way all the key dimensions of sustainable development. They also reaffirm the past political commitments of all actors. SDGs are mentioned in paragraphs 245 to 251 of the Outcome Document under the title IV: Framework for action and follow up. During the Conference, states agreed to develop SDGs through a process under the supervision of the UN, but failed to define the different themes that should be considered.
By September, the UN General Assembly will appoint a group of representatives from 30 countries to develop the SDGs and define the UN's overall Post-2015 development agenda. The group will submit its recommendations to the 68th session of the GA. The new programme is planned to enter into force in 2015 as an immediate follow up to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which, some say, should not be retired before their targets have been reached. INES together with IPB and other partners are working on promoting a SDG on peace and security, an issue that was excluded from the MDGs. Meanwhile the UN System Task Teamhas published its Report to the Secretary-General on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. This makes reference to the Rio commitments, and does incorporate a peace and security dimension. However the military spending aspect is completely excluded. We are now planning a post-Rio project focusing on this crucial missing issue.
Breaking the Nuclear Chain
The Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), IKV Pax Christi and Peace Boat have initiated a new campaign to inform, motivate, and activate people to prevent the looming humanitarian catastrophe represented by the nuclear chain (from uranium mining to power, weapons and nuclear waste). The campaign aims at bringing together people that have been affected by any aspects of the nuclear chain and those who are committed to disrupt this chain. The idea is to put a human face on the abstract debate on nuclear issues.See: www.breakingthenuclearchain.org/
Who supplies the world’s weapons?
Did you know just six* countries supply a whopping 74 percent of the world’s weapons?
Last year, when protesters throughout the Arab world demanded change, military forces in Egypt, Syria, Bahrain and beyond responded with deadly force, staining the streets with the blood of more than 8,000 people.
This could happen because countries including US, Russia, UK and France have been exporting bombs, bullets and other weapons into the region for years -- putting their own multi-billion-dollar profits above the value of human lives. Read more and share the infographic here: www.amnesty.org.au/armstrade/comments/28384/
* USA, Russia, Germany, UK, China, France
Visit http://www.inesglobal.com/news-2012-1.phtml#cpid2332 to see the interview.
Open letter to Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
In an open letter sent to Ed Davey on the Draft Energy Bill and wider UK energy policy on 19 July 2012, Scientists for Global Responsibility states its criticisms:
- insufficient curbs on greenhouse gas emissions of fossil fuel plants
- favouritism towards the nuclear industry
- inadequate support for the renewable energy industry
- failure to prioritise energy conservation
Read the letter here: www.sgr.org.uk/resources/open-letter-ed-davey-draft-energy-bill
Science Unstained is a coalition of people worried about the corporate sponsorship of science communication in the UK.
We think the public discussion of science and technology should be kept public. We appreciate that private funding is a big part of science, but it doesn’t have to frame public debate about it.
We worry when we see the climate gallery at the Science Museum is sponsored by Shell or that Engineering UK’s Big Bang Fair is supported by BAE Systems. You can read more about why we worry about this in our first blogpost.
Egyptian women continue the struggle
By Randa El Tahawy
One of the iconic images of Egypt’s revolution was that of men and women standing together, united for positive change. But since then, women have struggled with sexual harassment and been side-lined in the political transition. Egyptian women, however, have never stopped fighting – and today they are finding many new allies.
Some Egyptians argue that democracy needs to come first, before worrying about women’s rights. Overcoming women’s marginalisation first, though, is actually essential to creating a truly democratic Egypt. The core issue is not only about women’s equality with men, but also about justice.
All too often, women have been treated as second class citizens and subject to injustice – they face harassment on the street, have been victims of virginity tests by the military, and are shut out of many opportunities to be involved in politics. For instance, women’s rights activists are not being consulted in the constitution drafting process. Even though women can legally hold positions as judges or high-ranking political offices, social pressure often means women are unable to attain them.Read on here: www.commongroundnews.org/article.php
NATO and U.S. Missile Defense in Europe Are a Serious Political Concern
By Steven Starr
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists recently published an article by Pavel Podvig, "Point of Distraction," which categorizes the ongoing US/NATO deployment of an integrated missile defense system in Western, Eastern and Southeastern Europe as an "overblown distraction" to U.S.-Russian relations. Given that Podvig's first reference is to recent public threats made by Russia's most senior military commander to launch military attacks against US/NATO missile defense bases, and that these threats have also been publicly made by Russian President Medvedev, Podvig's assertions seem very abstracted from current political realities.
What is striking about Podvig's analysis is that he omits any reference to the fact that US missile defense is being deployed in Europe via NATO. In fact, the word NATO does not appear anywhere in the article, and thus the entire issue of NATO is avoided. This is unfortunate and misleading, because Russia has always viewed the NATO military alliance, which was set up to "keep the Russians out," as a real threat to Russian security. Ballistic Missile Defense and its deployment by NATO are inseparable issues from any realistic political point of view.
To read more, click here: www.wagingpeace.org/articles/db_article.php
Tadatoshi Akiba to Take Up Duties as MPI Chairman in October
The former Mayor of Hiroshima, Tadatoshi Akiba, has been appointed Chairman of the Middle Powers Initiative (MPI), David Krieger, Chairman of MPI’s Executive Committee, announced today. He hailed Akiba, one of the world’s foremost campaigners for the abolition of nuclear weapons, as “an internationally respected leader for his stewardship of Mayors for Peace.”
Krieger also announced that MPI will be re-structured and open a new head office in Basel, Switzerland to enable MPI to work more closely with European governments.
Akiba will take up his duties in October 2012. His first major task is to plan the next meeting of the MPI Framework Forum, which will be held in Berlin in early 2013. Read more here: www.middlepowers.org/archives/MPI-names-Akiba-chairman.html
Meeting between senior EU and Iranian officials fails to solve nuclear deadlock
By Associated Press writer Nasser Karimi
A senior EU official is reporting no progress in the newest international push to persuade Iran to curb activities that could be used to make nuclear weapons, leaving the resumption of high-stakes negotiations with Tehran in doubt, diplomats said Friday.
A meeting on July 24, between senior EU envoy Helga Schmid and Ali Bagheri, Iran’s deputy nuclear negotiator, was an attempt to restart top-level nuclear talks between Tehran and six world powers after the last round in Moscow fizzled on June 19.
Neither side wants to give up the talks. Iran seeks relief from sanctions, including recently enacted international embargoes on its oil, its main source of revenue. The U.S and other countries at the table with Tehran fear that the failure of negotiations could prompt Israel to make good on its threat to attack Tehran’s nuclear installations — a move that could draw Washington into the conflict.Read on here: www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/official-iran-willing-to-continue-nuclear-talks-until-positive-conclusion/2012/07/27/gJQAu3bmDX_story.html
North Korea Proposes Treaty to Officially End Korean War
North Korea has called on the United States to formally accept a peace treaty that would replace the armistice agreement that ended hostilities in the 1950-53 Korean War. North Korea frequently demands a peace treaty with the United States and justifies its nuclear weapons program on the grounds that it is technically still at war with the U.S.
A North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman said that North Korea "will never abandon nuclear deterrent first as long as the U.S., the biggest nuclear weapons site in the world, remains hostile toward the former."
"North Korea Calls for Unconditional Peace Treaty with U.S.," Global Security Newswire, July 26, 2012.
Mapping Nuclear Disarmament
The Simons Foundation has launched a set of interactive maps on their website that explore their primary areas of focus, including nuclear disarmament. The Nuclear Disarmament map contains information on what they deem to be the legal, political and practical steps that need to be taken in order to achieve the goal of complete nuclear disarmament - zero nuclear weapons.
John Burroughs, Fellow at The Simons Foundation and Executive Director of Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Disarmament, was responsible for the development of the information for the nuclear disarmament map.
To view the map, click here: www.thesimonsfoundation.ca/mapping-issue
To Make South Asia (SAARC) Nuclear Weapons Free
Speech by Prof. Dhirendra Sharma at Doon University, Dehradun (India)
There is no civil defense against a nuclear bomb. No hospitals, schools, factories, nursing homes, police -or government offices, fire engines, ambulances, metros, cars, moving and stationary vehicles, homes, temples, mosques, and churches and airports, – all and every thing moveable and immoveable would be instantly engulfed in the thousands Celsius flaming tsunami. The petrol-pump depots would add to the exploding firewalls. Read on here: www.inesglobal.com/hiroshima.phtml
Preventing Another Hiroshima
By Rebecca Johnson
"Sixty-seven years ago, the first uranium bomb was exploded above Hiroshima with the force of 15 thousand tons of TNT.
Tens of thousands were killed by the blast and fireball that engulfed the city, and a similar number died of radiation sickness and injuries in the days and months that followed; in total 140,000 dead by 1945’s end. Three days later, Nagasaki was shattered by a plutonium bomb.
...As we remember the devastation wrought by two relatively small nuclear bombs in August 1945, we cannot afford to be complacent.... A treaty banning nuclear weapons is urgent, necessary and achievable, and negotiations on such a treaty should begin. Now."
To read the complete article please click here: icanw.org/node/6119
2012 Sadako Peace Day Message
By David Krieger
August 6, 2012 marks the 67th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. It is the anniversary of a bombing that targeted school children, pre-school children and infants, as well as women and the elderly.
When you think of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, think of innocent children.
Sadako was such a child, only two years old when the bomb exploded over Hiroshima. As she grew older, she became a bright student and a fast runner, but ten years after the bombing she was hospitalized with radiation-induced leukemia.
Japanese legend has it that one’s wish will be granted by folding 1,000 paper cranes. Sadako folded these paper cranes in the hope of fulfilling her wish to regain her health and achieve a peaceful world. She wrote this poem, “I will write peace on your wings and you will fly all over the world. Read on here: www.inesglobal.com/sadako.phtml