Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A nuclear-weapon-free southern hemisphere?

We’ve decided to set up a small working group of NGO representatives interested in working to secure the entry into force of the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty. We met yesterday with representatives from African states to discuss way to encourage countries which haven’t yet done so to ratify. Our goal is to secure three more ratifications, and therefore entry into force, in time for the next summit of the African Union, which will take place in January. It has been a long time since there were any victories of this kind, so it would provide much-needed momentum for the anti-nuclear movement. The entire southern hemisphere would be a nuclear-weapon-free zone.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Returning to the International Court of Justice

There have been discussions here in Geneva about the possibility of returning to the International Court of Justice for an advisory opinion on the meaning of “good faith” in the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Parties are required to enter into good faith negotiations for disarmament, and this obligation might even extend to the countries outside the treaty – India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea. This question must be clarified. Even if the court were unwilling to say that the obligation required countries to immediately commence negotiations leading to a nuclear weapons convention, it would at least say that the nuclear weapons states should be doing much more than they are currently doing.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Simulated debate for nuclear weapons convention

The Ban All Nukes Generation organised a mock debate for a nuclear weapons convention. About 50 students were involved. It was a really interesting session, and the various states represented in the discussions did manage to agree on quite a few things, which was reassuring. Tilman Ruff, who chairs the Australian section of ICAN, was in charge of the session. There have been discussions about holding similar mock debates around the world. Most of the diplomats at the Non-Proliferation Treaty meeting were aware that this event was taking place.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Nuclear-weapon-free, my cup of tea

ICAN activists from Norway, Germany, Australia and Sweden held an event called “Nuclear-Weapon-Free – My Cup of Tea” today in Geneva. As well as serving tea and buscuits, we distributed information to passersby, including postcards promoting the formation of a European nuclear-weapon-free zone. We had big banners and people wearing white jumpsuits and juggling yellow balls with radiation symbols.

Several people from ICAN attended a workshop with Dr Kathleen Sullivan on disarmament education. It was a really useful exercise. She asked us to think about how we feel about nuclear weapons and how we can work together for disarmament.