Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanks from Nukes on a Blog

This Thanksgiving, the Nukes on a Blog team is grateful for important steps forward toward effective nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament over the last year, including – but not limited to – the following:

Nonproliferation Progress in the Hard Cases

· The efforts of the International Atomic Energy Agency to resolve ongoing concerns related to nuclear activities in Iran. Skilled diplomacy backed up by careful technical verification work is urgently necessary in response to this ongoing crisis.

· The achievement of agreement with North Korea that allowed for the return of International Atomic Energy Inspectors and holds promise for the effectively verified termination of the DPRK's nuclear weapons program.

New Momentum toward a World Free of Nuclear Weapons

· The January Wall Street Journal op-ed by George Shultz, Henry Kissinger, William Perry, and Sam Nunn encouraging renewed commitment toward the vision of a world free of nuclear weapons. This clear statement by confirmed cold warriors provides significant political cover and credibility in the American political arena to the only viable long-term solution to a daunting global challenge.

· The initiative of the Government of the United Kingdom toward more effective verification and wider participation in the nuclear disarmament process articulated by then Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Margaret Beckett at the Carnegie International Nonproliferation Conference in June. The United Kingdom’s imaginative engagement is an important first step toward multilateralizing the nuclear disarmament process.

· The leadership shown by the Government of Norway in the seven nation initiative for nuclear disarmament and, particularly, in offering to host a conference planned for January 2008 to internationalize discussions begun by the Hoover Institution about how to move toward a world free of nuclear weapons. Norway’s clear assertion of relevance to the challenge of nuclear disarmament is a model for global engagement by all non-nuclear weapon states and nuclear weapon free states.

Greater Sensitivity to Nuclear Nonproliferation in Congress and Higher Education

· The introduction of the Nuclear Policy and Posture Review Act (S. 1914) by Senators Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) offers an important opportunity for national debate about the number, timing and purpose of the Reliable Replacement Warhead and the future of the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

· The Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterrey Institute of International Affairs achieved the endowment of the world’s first professorship in nonproliferation studies. This timely assertion of the importance of nuclear nonproliferation lends support both to efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and to the evolution of higher education toward ever greater relevance to contemporary global problems.

Enlarged Commitment to International Legal Rules for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament

· The action by several states to move the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and the African Nuclear Weapon Free Zone toward entry-into-force and the 40th anniversary of the signature of the Nuclear Weapon Free Zone in Latin America and the Caribbean demonstrated international confidence in international legal rules: 1) Moldova and Palau ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. While several larger states have not yet ratified the Treaty, the ratifications of even small states build momentum toward entry into force; 2) Gabon and Rwanda signed and ratified the Treaty of Pelindaba establishing the African Nuclear Weapon Free Zone. Five more ratifications will bring this historic agreement into force; and 3) The Treaty of Tlatelolco establishing the first nuclear weapon free zone in a densely populated area is in force across its area of application following the 40th anniversary of its signature (February 14, 1967). This important milestone demonstrates the enduring viability of nuclear weapon free state status as a means to greater security.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

No comments:

Post a Comment