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07.07.2021 – Oakland, California – IDN InDepthNews

Nuclear Weapons Have Always Been Illegal; It’s Long Past Time to Abolish Them
The aftermath of a nuclear test carried out in Licorne in French Polynesia in 1971. (Image by The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO).)

History is written by the victors. Thus, the heinous massacre that was Hiroshima has been handed down to us as a perfectly justified act of war…. It is clear that the use of nuclear weapons, which cause indiscriminate mass murder that leaves survivors to suffer for decades, is a violation of international law.”– Hiroshima Mayor Takashi Hiraoka before the International Court of Justice, Nov. 7, 1995

Viewpoint by Jacqueline Cabasso*

July 8, 2021, marks the 25th anniversary of the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ’s) Advisory Opinion on the legal status of nuclear weapons.

The Court found unanimously: “There exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion, negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control.”

The Court also found that threat or use of nuclear weapons is “generally” contrary to international law forbidding the infliction of indiscriminate and disproportionate harm on civilians and the environment. This was hardly the first time nuclear weapons had been subjected to scrutiny under international law.

The very first United Nations General Assembly resolution, adopted by consensus on January 24, 1946, established a commission of the UN Security Council to ensure “the elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons and all other major weapons adaptable to mass destruction.”

The 1961 landmark “Declaration on the prohibition of the use of nuclear and thermo-nuclear weapons,” adopted by more than two-thirds of the United National General Assembly, including the USSR, but opposed by the United States, the United Kingdom, France and China, stated that the use of nuclear weaponry “would exceed even the scope of war and cause indiscriminate suffering and destruction to mankind and civilization and, as such, is contrary to the rules of international law and to the laws of humanity.”

The 1970 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) includes a legal obligation of nuclear disarmament binding on the five original nuclear-armed States, the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, France, and China, stating: “Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament….”

The NPT’s disarmament obligations have been reiterated and reinforced by agreements made in connection with the 1995 NPT Extension Decision and the 2000 and 2010 NPT Review Conferences, as well as the ICJ’s 1996 Advisory Opinion.

In 1984, the United Nations Human Rights Committee found: “It is evident that the designing, testing, manufacture, possession and deployment of nuclear weapons are among the greatest threats to the right to life which confront mankind today.” The right to life is enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ICCPR), to which all nine nuclear-armed states except China are parties. (China has signed but not ratified.)

In 2018, the Human Rights Committee revisited the question, and declared: “The threat or use of weapons of mass destruction, in particular nuclear weapons, which are indiscriminate in effect and are of a nature to cause destruction of human life on a catastrophic scale, is incompatible with respect for the right to life and may amount to a crime under international law.”

Citing the ICJ’s opinion, the Committee further found that states parties to the ICCPR must “respect their international obligations to pursue in good faith negotiations in order to achieve the aim of nuclear disarmament under strict and effective international control.”

Another recent and widely heralded development was the 2017 negotiation of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which entered into force on January 22, 2021. The TPNW specifically prohibits the development, acquisition, possession, use or threat of use of nuclear weapons for those countries that have ratified it. It thus reinforces the existing illegality of the threat or use of nuclear arms applicable to all states and adds another layer to the prohibitions on development and possession applicable to most states, set forth in the NPT and regional nuclear weapon free zone treaties.

While the TPNW represents the total repudiation of nuclear weapons by most of the states that do not possess them, the United States, the eight other nuclear-armed states and almost all of the countries under the U.S. nuclear umbrella boycotted the negotiations.  In a joint statement following the July 7, 2017, United Nations vote to adopt the Treaty, the U.S., France, and the United Kingdom declared: “We do not intend to sign, ratify or ever become party to [the Treaty].”

Twenty-five years after the International Court of Justice declared the obligation to achieve nuclear disarmament through good-faith negotiation, where does the world stand? On January 27, 2021, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced it is keeping the hands of its Doomsday Clock at 100 seconds to midnight, the closest we’ve ever been to global oblivion, stating: “By our estimation, the potential for the world to stumble into nuclear war—an ever-present danger over the last 75 years—increased in 2020.”

Indeed, tensions between the United States and Russia and the United States and China have increased dangerously, with flashpoints in the Ukraine and Taiwan that could potentially spawn nuclear confrontations.

Despite hopes for the new U.S. administration, President Biden’s 2022 budget request extends funding for all nuclear warhead and delivery system upgrades in the Trump budget as well as a massive investment in the nuclear weapons infrastructure, intended to project nuclear weapons research, development, production, and deployment well into the second half of this century.

All of the nuclear-armed states are qualitatively modernizing, and in some cases quantitively increasing their nuclear arsenals. In the midst of a global pandemic, according to a recent report by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), in 2020, the nine nuclear-armed states spent $72.6 billion on nuclear weapons, with the U.S. leading the pack at $37.4 billion, or $70,881 per minute.

The Joint Statement by U.S. President Biden and Russian President Putin on June 21, 2021, in which they “reaffirm the principle that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought,” must signal the start of a new era of intensive diplomatic efforts centrally involving the United States, Russia, and China. Dramatic reductions of U.S. and Russian nuclear stockpiles could lead to comprehensive disarmament negotiations with the other nuclear-armed states.

The Doomsday Clock is ticking. The nuclear-armed states and their allies should reverse their opposition to the TPNW. They should welcome the Treaty as a positive step towards the negotiation of a long-overdue, comprehensive agreement on the achievement and permanent maintenance of a world free of nuclear weapons, in conformity with the ICJ opinion and other requirements of international law preceding the TPNW by decades. [IDN-InDepthNews – 05 July 2021]

* Jacqueline Cabasso is Executive Director of the Western States Legal Foundation, an affiliate of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms.

Photo: The aftermath of a nuclear test carried out in Licorne in French Polynesia in 1971. Credit: The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO).

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07.07.2021 – Barcelona, Spain – International Peace Bureau

This post is also available in: Italian

Barcelona will host the Second International Peace Congress from October 15-17, 2021

Under the title “(Re)imagine our world: Action for Peace and Justice”, participants from around 70 countries will attend the meeting of the international peace movement and other social movements, with renowned activists and experts.

The congress will have a hybrid format, with face-to-face activities, conferences, workshops and cultural events, but with the possibility of following many of them online.

The International Peace Bureau (IPB) and the International Catalan Institute for Peace (ICIP) are the main organisers of the Second International Peace Congress to be held in Barcelona from October 15-17, 2021.

Under the title “(Re)imagine our world. Action for Peace and Justice”, participants from around 70 countries will attend this event with face-to-face activities, conferences and workshops, most of which will take place at the CCCB (Center of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona).

The main goal of the congress is to invigorate international pacifism and peacework, offer a meeting point for different actors, redefine action for peace, and, as the motto of the congress says, reimagine the world through the prism of a culture of peace.

According to the IPB Co-President, Philip Jennings, the congress aims to be the largest gathering of activists for peace in 2021, the year that the United Nations has declared the International Year of Peace and Trust. “It’s also a big year for IPB, as we celebrate our 130th anniversary and as we approach the 40th anniversary of the Olof Palme report on common security; the time has come to develop a new blueprint for common survival”, he adds.

“The IPB World Peace Congress in Barcelona will allow so many of us to meet in person for the first time in almost two years. Networking among peace and disarmament activities in different countries and regions is our most essential resource”, says Lisa Clark, IPB Co-President.

The congress seeks to foster synergies between organisations and individuals and between interconnected social movements fighting for global justice: peace and disarmament advocates, feminist and LGBTQIA+ activists, environmentalists and climate activists, anti-racists and indigenous peoples, human rights defenders and trade unionists.

During the three days of the congress, there will be talks and lectures by more than thirty speakers. Featured names include Noam Chomsky, Martin Chungong, Jeremy Corbyn, Beatrice Fihn, Wada Masako, Vandana Shiva and Jody Williams.

A congress with a long history

The first peace congress in history was held in 1843 in London, then in Paris in 1889 and Rome in 1891 when the IPB was created.

In 2016, the World Congress returned with the idea of putting disarmament on the global agenda. This first congress of this new stage took place in Berlin, and now the continuation will take place in Barcelona five years later.

The IPB has their headquarters in Berlin and offices in the Catalan capital and Geneva.

“Barcelona is a city of peace – one of the few in the world with an organized and resourced commitment to promote and campaign for peace – and it has opened its arms to the IPB, with both the city and the region playing an active role in preparing for the congress”, says Jennings.

The city is the home of one of the congress hosts, Centre Delàs, an IPB member and a hive of peace, research, and campaigns regionally and globally. The IPB has a unique presence at Centre Delàs, where the Global Campaign on Military Spending (GCOMS) is based and animated.

The co-organiser of the Barcelona Congress is the ICIP, a research, dissemination and action organisation created by the Parliament of Catalonia in 2007 to promote peace in Catalan society and internationally and make Catalonia play an active role as an agent of peace in the world.

For more information, you can contact Sean Conner (sean.conner@ipb-office.berlin or +49 176 5688 5567).

If you need photographs, videos or other materials, you can access this link:
https://trello.com/b/MPBI8oQZ/wpc2021

You can download the programme draft here.

The Refuser Solidarity Network page has been updated with news of Eran, a 19 year old sentenced to 20 days in jail for conscientious objection. He declared his reasons as follows: I refuse because I believe it is immoral and unreasonable to hold the Palestinian people under military control and blockade without granting them civil and political rights, and while violating their human rights on an ongoing basis.I refuse because I believe that all human beings should be governed by institutions that represent them. I refuse because I believe that enlisting in the army legitimizes the occupation and serves it.I refuse because I believe that Israel could and should end the occupation immediately whether by agreement, withdrawal, or by granting citizenship to the Palestinian people and the establishment of a bi-national state for both Palestinians and Israelis.I refuse because I respect the rules and norms of international law and the international community, which reject the Israeli occupation.Messages of solidarity can be sent using this form: https://docs.google.com/…/1FAIpQLSc7kN1jp71SAo…/viewform

Potrebbe essere un'immagine raffigurante 1 persona e corpo idrico
Refuser Solidarity Network

5t luglitof aSearlgglpoea snrhhscureooreurelh 21e:da12sdtm  · I was sentenced to 20 days in the Israeli military jail——————————–My name is Eran, I’m 19 years old and I live in Tel Aviv. I refuse to be conscripted to the Israeli military becuase I am not willing to take part in the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. I already served 14 days in military jail and last Sunday I was sentenced to another 20 days in jail.From a very early age, I strove to understand the political situation in Israel and the power relations between Israelis and Palestinians. After researching the topic I came to understand the daily reality of Palestinians living under the Israeli occupation. The more I learned about the blockade of Gaza and the lack of basic human rights for Palestinians in the West Bank the more clear it was to me that I cannot agree to become a soldier and take part in the oppression of the Palestinian people. In my statement to the army’s Committee for Granting Exemptions for Reasons of Conscience, I declared my reasons for my refusal of military service: I refuse because I believe it is immoral and unreasonable to hold the Palestinian people under military control and blockade without granting them civil and political rights, and while violating their human rights on an ongoing basis.I refuse because I believe that all human beings should be governed by institutions that represent them. I refuse because I believe that enlisting in the army legitimizes the occupation and serves it.I refuse because I believe that Israel could and should end the occupation immediately whether by agreement, withdrawal, or by granting citizenship to the Palestinian people and the establishment of a bi-national state for both Palestinians and Israelis.I refuse because I respect the rules and norms of international law and the international community, which reject the Israeli occupation.—————————————–Write Eran a letter of support: https://docs.google.com/…/1FAIpQLSc7kN1jp71SAo…/viewform—————————————–On the day of my conscription I refused to be drafted and was sent to be tried in a military court. One of the officers there told me he wanted to stop me from going to jail and that he had a solution that would allow me to serve by joining the Israeli police force, for my service. I agreed, believing that in that way I could serve the country without taking a part in the occupation. I was invited to an interview for the police forces in the national headquarters in Sheikh Jarrah, in Occupied East Jerusalem. I refused because I am not willing to invade Palestinian territories. As a result, I was rejected by the police for being a conscientious objector and was sent back to the military court. The officer who suggested I join the police was angered by my “stubbornness” but said he would try to change the police decision. I was called to another interview in West Jerusalem. There, I was rejected for stating that I would not report or use information regarding the Occupied Territories that I would receive during my police service. I was tried once again in military court, and was sentenced to jail for 14 days. After the military’s failed attempts to find a service position for me that would not be against my conscience, my conclusion is that it is not possible to serve in the military or the police without taking part in the occupation. After 54 years the occupation has seeped into all security positions in Israel. It is unavoidable and will only stop once the occupation itself comes to an end.In solidarity,Eran ——————————————–Donate to support the refusers: https://bit.ly/2UmKQuA

Potrebbe essere un'immagine raffigurante 1 persona, da seduti e attività all'aperto

As part of Britain Yearly Meeting, testimonies are presented and read to the grace of God in the lives of of Friends who have died. This year’s document includes Sam Challis (20 April 1981 – 24 March 2020) of London West Area Meeting.The full document is here. https://www.quaker.org.uk/documents/testimonies Some extracts below:”From young adulthood he was passionately committed to politics on the left of the left, and to various causes. Motivated by intelligence, kindness, his love for the world (particularly animals), Sam’s commitment was to action over talk: he got involved. One such commitment was to animal rights and veganism; at other times he was also active in the peace movement and as a hunt saboteur.” “Those active with him in political causes remembered first and foremost a patient and committed comrade who was kind to all regardless of the cut and thrust of debate andactivism.””Sam served for a number of years on QPSW’s peace campaigning committee, often upholding the meeting inwardly and waiting until much of the discussion had passed before contributing. He understood the work of the Spirit to lead to transformative change, and his timely spoken ministry helped the Society hold to radical plans, as he discouraged compromises liable to frustrate or dilute.” “BYM staff recall particular gratitude that Sam always asked whether they had the resources and support needed to deliver ambitious and innovative projects.” “Sam’s unexpected death shortly before what would have been his 39th birthday leaves keen regret in the hearts of all who knew him, and of others who only contemplated what they had lost after his passing. His spirit is forever in the minds and hearts of those blessed by his presence in their lives.”

Quaccheri e cristiani non evangelici senza chiesa

Meeting Minutes

Happy birthday, Tom Fox (July 7, 1951 – March 9, 2006). Quaker. Pacifist. Member of Langley Hills Friends Meeting in McLean, Virginia. Youth Programs Director for Baltimore Yearly Meeting. Activist with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) in Iraq. On Nov. 26, 2005, Tom and three other CPT members were abducted by a group known as the “Swords of Righteousness Brigade.” On March 10, 2006, Tom’s body was found in a garbage dump in Baghdad. Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Died in Baghdad, Iraq.

Potrebbe essere un'immagine raffigurante 1 persona, in piedi e attività all'aperto

On this date in 1946 (July 7th), Moses M. Beachy died. (Born Dec. 3, 1874.) Amish minister and bishop. When it came to the application of the “Meidung” (avoidance of church members under discipline), Moses was a moderate. His lenient attitude gave rise to dissension within his congregation. In June 1927, the conservative faction withdrew. With the conservatives gone, the “Moses Beachy group” soon approved the use…

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Dietrich Bonhoeffer

We must act and dare the appropiateness and not whatever comes to our mind not floating in the likelihood but grasp the reality as brave as we can be freedom lies in action not in the absence of mind obedience knows the essence of good and satisfies it, freedom dares to act and returns God the ultimate judgment of what is right and what is wrong, Obedience performs blindly but Freedom is wide awake Freedom wants to know why, Obedience has its hands tied, Freedom is inventive obedient man respects God’s commands and by virtu of his Freedom, he creats new commands. Both Obedience and Freedom come true in responsability (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

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