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ANOTHER STEP TOWARD NUCLEAR MIDNIGHT AS US, RUSSIA, TRASH INF TREATY

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 MON 4FEB 2019

PEOPLE FOR NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT

www.pndnsw.org.au

HUMAN SURVIVAL PROJECT

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ANOTHER STEP TOWARD NUCLEAR MIDNIGHT AS US, RUSSIA, TRASH INF TREATY

WHAT MIGHT BE THE WAY BACK TO SANITY?

 

The decision by the Trump administration, in the face of a chorus of opposition from within its own ranks, from the NGO community, from Congress, from US allies, and finally from a range of members of the European Parliament and other national Parliaments, to walk away from the INF (Intermediate Nuclear Forces) Treaty takes the world yet another step toward nuclear 'midnight' at a time when we are already as close to it as we have ever been.

 

In the light of a steady deterioration in strategic stability, and a steady rise in the risk of a global nuclear apocalypse, the need for nuclear risk reduction has never been greater.

 

While the US decision to walk away from the INF treaty, and Russias decision announced yesterday to build a new class of intermediate range missiles that would have been forbidden by the INF treaty are in themselves destabilizing, what is yet more worrisome is that the destruction of the INF treaty may also be leading to a situation in which the New START treaty, due for renewal in 2020, is not renewed nor replaced by anything else.

 

This would mean that for the first time since 1972, there would be no mutually agreed treaties at all between the two largest nuclear weapons holders, the US and Russia, limiting their arsenals. There would be no legal obstacle to an unlimited nuclear arms race of the sort that took place in the 1950's and '60s, that led to absurd, and omnicidal levels of nuclear armaments.

 

The entire enterprise of arms control, carefully and painstakingly negotiated over decades, will have been shrugged off in a fit of absent-mindedness by people who knew no better.

 

Quantitative limits on nuclear weapons numbers, and limitations on nuclear weapon types, as well as risk reduction measures, are essential to avoid that final movement to midnight, and thence to the end of civilization and possibly of humans as a species. Instead of removing limits on nuclear weapons numbers and types, the world should be moving toward zero nuclear weapons and to the universalization of the TPNW, of Nuclear Ban Treaty.

 

In the meantime, limits on numbers and risk reduction measures are essential transitional measures to ensure human survival.

 

Risk reduction measures include no-first-use commitments, lowering of operational readiness, improved communication between militaries, and improved data-sharing particularly between the US and Russia.

 

These are common-sense measures, essential for the survival of civilization and possibly of humans as a species.

 

An appeal (The Basel Appeal) was recently sent from members of the European Parliament, mayors of cities, and representatives of think tanks and civil society organizations expressing extreme concern over the peril into which the world is now drifting and urging retention of the INF treaty and negotiation of risk reduction measures and further limits on nuclear weapons.(see text attached below from Basel Peace Office)

 

The issue of rising risks to civilization as a whole affects every individual on the planet, ans ought to be at the top of the list of priorities of every Parliamentarian in every Parliament.

 

A panel will be held on that issue in the Australian Federal Parliament in Reps Committee Room 1R1 on Feb 19th, 3.30-4.30pm. It is sponsored by Maria Vamvakinou, and speakers are Alyn Ware of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament, and John Hallam of People for Nuclear Disarmament. (details below).

 

John Hallam

People for Nuclear Disarmament

Human Survival Project

Australian Coordinator, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament (PNND)

Co-Convener, Abolition 2000 Working Group on Nuclear Risk Reduction

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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61-411-854-612


After the Doomsday Clock and INF Treaty collapse – what next? 

Parliamentary action and cooperation to reduce nuclear risks, support diplomacy and advance nuclear disarmament and climate protection

Where: Reps Committee Room 1R1

When: Tuesday 19 February 2019

Time: 3.30pm-4.30pm

 

Host:                                Maria Vamvakinou MP, Federal Member for Calwell    

Introduction:                     John Hallam: Australian Coordinator, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, Co-Convenor, Abolition 2000 Working Group on Nuclear Risk Reduction.

Keynote speaker:             Alyn Ware:      Global Coordinator, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament.

Consultant, International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms

Consultant, Global Renewables Congress
Laureate, Right Livelihood Award (‘Alternative Nobel Peace Prize’)

Outline: On January 24, 2019 the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists set the hands of the Doomsday Clock at 2 Minutes to Midnight due to the extreme risks to human civilization from the dual threats of nuclear weapons and climate change. The impending collapse of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and erosion of the JCPOA (Iran nuclear non-proliferation agreement) are just two indicators of a renewed nuclear arms race which is now consuming over US$100 billion annually – funds which could instead support renewable energy and climate protection. On the other hand, the Inter-Korean peace and denuclearisation process offers a possibility of an end to the Korean nuclear conflict, and is demonstrating that diplomacy can prevail.

Mr Ware and Mr Hallam will highlight the important role of parliamentary action, especially on a cross-party basis, to build global cooperation on effective confidence-building, nuclear-risk reduction and disarmament initiatives. Mr Ware comes to Australia following launch of the Global Renewables Congress at COP 24 in Poland, a regional conference of mayors and parliamentarians in Switzerland to address the INF Treaty and the nuclear weapons industry, and the PyeongChang Global Peace Forum in South Korea supporting the Korean peace and denuclearisation process.

Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND), a global cross-party network of legislators in nuclear-armed and non-nuclear countries, works with the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), United Nations and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) to build such cooperation. This includes a Parliamentary Action Plan for a Nuclear-Weapon Free World based on resolutions adopted by the IPU and OSCE Parliamentary Assemblies.

Inquiries - John Hallam People for Nuclear Disarmament, Australian Coordinator Parliamentarians for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament, 0411-854-612  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

RSVP by Friday 15 February by email to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it




Basel Peace Office press release
alt

Mayors and parliamentarians call on the U.S. and Russia
to preserve the INF Treaty


January 30, 2019 - For immediate release

Mayors, parliamentarians, policy experts and civil society representatives from forty countries – mostly Europe and North America – yesterday sent an open letter, the Basel Appeal for Disarmament and Sustainable Security, to Presidents Putin and Trump and to the leaders of the Russian and US legislatures, calling on them to preserve the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, prevent a new nuclear arms race in Europe and undertake measures to reduce the risk of a nuclear conflict and support global nuclear disarmament. (Appeal also available in FrenchGermanRussian and Spanish).

The INF Treaty is an historic agreement reached in 1987 between the United States and the Soviet Union to eliminate all of their nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers, and to utilize extensive on-site inspections for verification of the agreement.

Following President Trump’s 20 October, 2018 announcement of his intent to withdraw the United States from the INF Treaty, the State Department has signaled that the US will suspend implementation of the treaty beginning 2 February 2019 and commence the six-month withdrawal process.

If the Treaty is dissolved it would further stimulate the current nuclear arms race. In particular, it would open the door for intermediate-range, ground-based nuclear-armed missiles returning to Europe and for US deployment of such missiles in Asia.

We are extremely concerned about the deteriorating security environment in Europe and internationally which led the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists to last week re-set the Doomsday Clock at 2 Minutes to Midnight,’ says Christine Muttonen (Austria), Co-President of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament.

Conflicts over the INF Treaty should be resolved through the Treaty, not by abandoning it. And other conflicts should be resolved through diplomacy and common security mechanisms such as the United Nations and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE),’ said Ms Muttonen, who recently served as the President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly ‘They cannot be resolved by elevating nuclear threats and ratchetting up the arms race.’

Mayors and parliamentarians, especially those of us from Europe, will not sit idly on the side while the US and Russia erode our security,’ said Thore Vestby (Norway), Vice-President of Mayors for Peace and a former member of the Norwegian parliament.

Cities and parliaments are therefore taking action to support nuclear arms control treaties such as the INF and START treaties, promote additional measures such as no-first-use and the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and to put an end to city and state investments in nuclear weapons corporations.’ 

Legislators in nuclear armed States have a specific role to prevent authorization and funding for new more sophisticated and usable nuclear weapons that increase the risk of destruction of humanity by accident, miscalculation or intent,’ said Paul Quiles (France), Mayor of Cordes sur Ciel, President of Initiatives pour le Désarmement Nucléaire, and Former Defence Minister of France.

‘The fact that the President of the US Conference of Mayors is among 18 US mayors who endorsed on short notice is a significant indicator that ‘Main Street USA’ opposes the Administration’s destabilizing and expensive nuclear weapons program and supports proactive efforts to achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world’’ said Frank Cownie, Mayor of Des Moines, Iowa and Vice-President of Mayors for Peace .

Nuclear weapons and climate change pose an existential threat to current and future generations,’ says Dr Andreas Nidecker MD (Switzerland), President of the Basel Peace Office. ‘The massive amount of spending in nuclear weapons – over $100 billion per year – should instead be spent in areas which increase our security – such as diplomacy, climate protection and the Sustainable Development Goals.’

Diplomacy is starting to work on the Korean peninsula with North and South building cultural, sporting and other contacts despite their political differences,’ said Alyn Ware(Czech Republic), PNND Global Coordinator and Member of the World Future Council.

We give full support to the Korean peace and denuclearization process and we call on US, NATO and Russia to follow a similar diplomatic approach with regard to their conflicts, and to help achieve global nuclear disarmament.’


Contacts:
Basel Peace OfficeProf (em) Andreas Nidecker MD. +41 76 557 3712   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Mayors for Peace EuropeSean Morris. +44 7 771 930 196   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Mayors for Peace North AmericaJacqueline Cabasso +1 510 306-0119  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament Alyn Ware +41 788 912 156   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
World Future Council: Thies Kätow +49 163 776 7899  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it