Australian news, and some related international items

After U.N. conference, nuclear disarmament advocates look to new strategies

Dennis Sadowski, Catholic Review, 11 Sept 22,

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Four weeks of debate — during a review conference for a treaty widely viewed as a cornerstone of nuclear disarmament — resulted in no consensus on how to move forward despite the efforts of the Holy See, disarmament advocates and non-nuclear nations

Russia blocked agreement on a final document late Aug. 26, the review conference’s final day, by objecting to paragraphs raising concerns about military activity around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine.

The 10th Review Conference for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) at the United Nations headquarters in New York led to widespread consensus on numerous issues related to nuclear safety, but could not satisfy the Russian delegation’s objection even though the document did not mention Russia by name.

Maryann Cusimano Love, associate professor of international politics at The Catholic University of America, attended the conference as an expert consultant to the Holy See Mission at the U.N.

She told Catholic News Service that the Holy See’s participation in the review conference and its consistent voice in urging the world to abolish nuclear weapons was critical, especially at a time when fears remain that nuclear weapons may be introduced to the war in Ukraine

Early in the war, Russian President Vladimir Putin put his country’s nuclear forces on alert, but has since backed off any suggestion that he would authorize the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

The review conference brought delegations from around the world to New York to discuss next steps toward fulfilling the treaty’s goal of the eventual abolition of nuclear weapons. Originally scheduled for 2020, it was delayed three times because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Among the treaty’s provisions is a requirement that parties to it “pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament.”

Disarmament advocates say that not enough has been done to achieve that goal…………………………………..

Maryann Cusimano Love also said that while the Russian objection was the main focus coming out of the meeting, the 35-page draft document offered numerous other steps related to nuclear safety, reducing nuclear arsenals and protecting human life that conference delegates can pursue going forward.

………………………………. the 65 states that have signed the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, including the Holy See, released a statement voicing their disappointment over the outcome. They pledged their support for the treaty, saying it was a necessary step toward an eventual ban on nuclear weapons.

The ban treaty went into force in January 2021, but has not gained the support of any nuclear-armed nations.

Supporters of the ban treaty also expressed concern that the risk of the use of nuclear weapons in the world today remained high, “and the possibility of the catastrophic humanitarian impact … is looming ominously over us.”

“We are dismayed that this very fact has been used at the NPT review conference deliberations as reason against the urgently needed progress on nuclear disarmament, and to uphold an approach to security based on the fallacy of nuclear deterrence. This approach relies on the threat of the actual use of nuclear weapons and, hence, the risks of the destruction of countless lives, of societies, of nations, and of inflicting global catastrophic consequences,” the statement said…………………………………………… more

September 12, 2022 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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