Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Sunday, October 22, 2017 09:40:00 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Need for a treaty to ban nuclear weapons

By
18th-Apr-2017       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Sergio Duarte :
The nine possessors of nuclear weapons and most of their allies chose to ignore the negotiations on a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination.
This unprecedented initiative resulted from a proposal by South Africa, Austria, Brazil, Ireland, Mexico and Nigeria and was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2016 by an overwhelming majority.
The first Session, from 27 to 31 March, ended on an optimistic tone. There was wide convergence of views on the core prohibitions relating to stockpiling, use, deployment, acquisition, development and production of nuclear weapons.
Other questions such as verification of compliance, clauses for accession by nuclear-armed and other States, timelines for elimination of stockpiles and the relationship of the new instrument with existing treaties such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), among others, will be further discussed during the second Session, from June 15 to July 7, when the President of the Conference will introduce her draft. The future instrument may soon be opened to the signature of States.
It is clear that these negotiations will not bring about a sudden shift in the mindsets of the nine governments that threaten the rest of the world with the willingness to use the most cruel, indiscriminate and destructive weapon ever invented.
It is undeniable, however, that even at this early stage public opinion in many countries have begun to pay attention to the potential impact of a prohibition treaty through press articles and analyses in specialized publications.
The mantra "a world free of nuclear weapons" has become the stated and uncontroverted objective of the community of nations.
Opponents of a ban argue that such an agreement would impede or at least render more difficult efforts for reductions of atomic arsenals under the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and that a treaty to which the current nuclear powers choose not to adhere would not bring about any tangible results in reducing or eliminating nuclear weapons.
They consider that negotiating a prohibition is "premature" and even counterproductive as it risks unraveling the disarmament architecture put together over the past decades.
Supporters, for their part, contend that a ban treaty would establish a clear legal standard rejecting nuclear weapons on humanitarian grounds and would enable States to formalize such a rejection besides enhancing the stigma against those weapons.
They add that it would reaffirm their unacceptability and incompatibility with universally recognized principles of international law and would re-state and strengthen commitments assumed under other treaties. It would enhance, not detract from such commitments.
They hope that it will set into motion a trend toward further specific agreements on nuclear disarmament.
In fact, one of the major challenges for the universality and full effectiveness of a ban treaty is precisely how to design a mechanism that will ensure the possibility, in a second stage, of adherence of States currently under the "umbrella" of nuclear-armed powers and ultimately the adherence of the latter themselves.
Before we can hail a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons as a worthwhile accomplishment or dismiss it as futile, the two sets of arguments must be checked against the results that the treaty may bring about in the short, medium and long run.
If the ban proves at least to be a positive ingredient to infuse life and energy into the moribund multilateral disarmament machinery or to create viable alternative, but not conflicting paths we may consider it useful and justifiable. If not, it will simply fall into oblivion or at best remain as a monument to human fallibility.
The push for negotiations on a nuclear arms ban treaty grew out of years of mounting frustration over the lack of progress in efforts under the NPT regime.
Whether or not parties to that instrument, possessors of nuclear weapons have displayed little or no inclination to fulfill the commitment enshrined in its Article VI, which requires all its Parties "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".
Possessors are currently engaged in a new round of the nuclear arms race as they seek to enhance the destructive power, accuracy and range of their weapons. As a result, confidence in their real motives and intentions waned in recent years.
In the recent past, a new and powerful force helped to propel forward the drive to finalize a treaty banning nuclear weapons and brought this matter to the forefront of the preoccupations of a large majority of States.
The collective conscience of humankind has increasingly taken to heart the unanimous concern expressed at the 2010 Review Conference of Parties to the NPT over the catastrophic consequences of nuclear detonations as well as the conclusions of three international Conferences held in 2013 and 2014 on such consequences.
In 2015 a large majority of States supported the humanitarian pledge to "stigmatize, prohibit and eliminate" nuclear armament. Civil society organizations contributed studies and discussion forums that helped shape specific, realistic proposals.
The thrust of the movement to ban nuclear weapons is not directed against any State in particular, but against the inhuman nature of nuclear weapons themselves and their disastrous effects on populations and the environment.
The movement does not advocate unilateral disarmament but rather good faith compliance with treaty commitments and with imperatives dictated by humanitarian international law and the universal principles of civilized behavior.
Accordingly, it does not discriminate against "good" or "bad" possessors, whether these are States or non-State actors. No country should be allowed to possess the means to annihilate whole populations and render the planet uninhabitable under the pretense that this would somehow protect their own security.
In his vote in the legal suit brought last year before the International Court of Justice by the Marshall Islands against the nine countries possessing nuclear weapons Judge Cançado Trindade stated: "A world with arsenals of nuclear weapons, like ours, is bound to destroy its past, dangerously threatens the present, and has no future at all. Nuclear weapons pave the way into nothingness".
It is time for mankind as a whole to act decisively in defense of its own survival.
This article originally appeared Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 10 April 2017: TMS: A Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons Is in the Making.
(Sergio Duarte is a Brazilian Ambassador, former United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs; former Chairman of the Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons; former President of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Amb. Duarte's Op-Ed first appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS). Amb. Duarte's Op-Ed first appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS).

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Rains halt life: City fathers cannot cope, govt too happy with lies of success


WATERLOGGING has long been an inevitable part of our urban scenario that causes immense suffering to the city dwellers almost all the year round. After torrential rain, most parts of Dhaka, Chittagong, and other major cities go under knee-to-waist-deep water for several hours to few days. Despite, pouring millions of ...

Sports »

Injury ends Tamim's SA tour


Left handed opener Tamim Iqbal has been ruled out of the South Africa tour after aggravating a thigh injury. The 28-year-old opener is expected to return home tomorrow (Sunday) and will not be part of third ODI and the upcoming two-match T20Is series. The dashing opener sustained the injury to ...

Entertainment »

Have Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif fallen back in love?


They're one of the most loved on-screen couples of our times. Ever since Salman Khan introduced Katrina Kaif to Bollywood, his influence on her career has been immense. He's always looked after her and she's always sought advice from him. Even though either of them never made it public, it ...

Entertainment »

What happened when Aaradhya Bachchan met Rekha?


The Ambani's love throwing 'em lavish parties at their Mumbai residence Antilla. And off late, they've been throwing one party after another for our Bollywood celebs. Be it Ganpati or Diwali… the best of Bollywood heads to South Mumbai for the lavish festivities.  A tad late but an insider present ...

City »

SNAPSHOTS ON FLOOD SITUATION IN CITY


International »

UN has `tremendous potential` under new leadership: Trump


AP, Washington :President Donald Trump said Friday that the United Nations has "tremendous potential" but has been underutilized in recent years.Trump praised U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who has led the 193-member world organization since January, during an Oval Office meeting. It was their first extended meeting.The White House said the ...

Football »

Giroud`s overhead kick gives Arsenal 1-0 win at Red Star


Agency :Olivier Giroud scored late in the second half for Arsenal to maintain its perfect Europa League campaign with a 1-0 win over 10-man Red Star Belgrade on Thursday.Five minutes after Milan Rodic was sent off for a second yellow card, Giroud struck with an overhead kick five minutes before ...

Entertainment »

Ali Fazal and Shriya Pilgaonkar come together for Web Series


Shriya Pilgaonkar who was appreciated for her Hindi film debut as Shahrukh Khan’s love interest in Fan and for her viral short film Jai Mata Di, is now going to be seen in a web show called Mirzapur produced by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani for a global online platform ...

Editorial »

Flood victims yet to get enough support


GOVERNMENT and aid agencies have provided emergency relief for flood victims but not sufficient to settle flood victims as per media reports quoting Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD) researchers who tried to figure out the distribution system in the Haor areas. Over 37 lakh people were affected in the floods ...

City »

Islami Andolon Bangladesh brought out a rally in the city on Friday in protest against price hike of gas and electricity.


.

International »

Iranian Army chief, Assad discuss joint military strategy


Reuters, Beirut :Iran's military chief met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday during a visit to Damascus to set out a joint military strategy, Syria's state news agency reported, a sign of deepening Iranian influence that has alarmed Israel.General Mohammad Baqeri said Iran was determined to continue supporting the ...

Editorial »

Mr Xi`s new vision for China


CHINESE President Xi Jinping has laid out a far-reaching vision for a more prosperous nation and a dominating role for China in the world as the US President Donald Trump is working on a reverse way isolating his country from the world leadership role. In the domestic front he has ...

International »

May to urge EU leaders to speed up Brexit talks


AFP, Brussels :British Prime Minister Theresa May will appeal to European Union leaders at a crunch summit in Brussels on Thursday to push forward the deadlocked Brexit negotiations.At a meeting moved to a new venue at the last minute due to an eruption of toxic gas, May will urge her ...

Cricket »

Rangpur Riders recruit Brendon McCullum


Sports Reporter :Rangpur Riders have recruited wicketkeeper-batsman of New Zealand Brendon McCullum for the up coming fifth edition of Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).Chief Executive Officer of Rangpur Riders Ishtiaq Sadek said to the newsmen, " We have confirmed that McCullum will join our squad on November 15. He will play ...

Entertainment »

Titaan Chowdhury hosting `Sampan`


'Sampan' is one of the popular programmes of Chittagong centre of Bangladesh Television of present time. Dance, music, magic, etc are presented in this show. Popular face of the small screen Titaan Chowdhury is hosting this programme. Positive side is Titaan is hailed from Chittagong. So it becomes easier for ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news