By Shastri Ramachandaran* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
NEW DELHI (IDN) - Present-day summit meetings are about optics and atmospherics. It is the triumph of style over content. The meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Barack Obama was no different. In the age of tweet and TV-driven news coverage, events take precedence over outcomes and sound bytes over substance.
Documents such as the vision statement or the joint statement, which in times past served as a measure of the agenda and accomplishments of bilateral meetings, are today ignored as pointless verbiage unavoidable for the record.
By Jamshed Baruah | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
BERLIN (IDN) - About 22,000 nuclear weapons continue to threaten humankind’s survival nearly 70 years after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and more than 2,000 nuclear tests have been conducted to date, according to the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA). But the world is far from prepared to effectively respond to nuclear weapons detonations, “even at basic levels of preparedness, let alone a large-scale nuclear war”.
This perturbing view has been expressed in a study by the UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) undertaken in cooperation with OCHA (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) and UNDP (UN Development Programme) ahead of the first International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons on September 26.
By Jamshed Baruah | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
VIENNA (IDN) - As the Austrian government prepares to host the third international conference on the humanitarian consequences of atomic weapons on December 8-9 in Vienna, the county’s parliament has provided it the legal basis for its commitment to usher in a world without nuclear weapons of mass destruction.
The forthcoming gathering in Vienna will be the third since the March 2013 conference in Oslo convened by the Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide who said the Conference had “provided an arena for a fact-based discussion of the humanitarian and developmental consequences of a nuclear weapons detonation”.
By Akira Kawasaki* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint
August 6, 2014 marked the 69th anniversary of the first detonation of a nuclear weapon over Japan. The cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki held ceremonies commemorating those hundreds of thousands who perished in the two nuclear attacks in 1945, and the countless more whose lives would forever be affected. But in these past decades, can we say that we have truly learned from the tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Is our recognition of the suffering inflicted upon those cities matched with the concrete action to ensure that it can never be repeated? Akira Kawasaki answers these and other questions in a contribution to IDN partner Pressenza
TOKYO (IDN) - While the numbers of nuclear weapons are down significantly from the days of the Cold War – when it seemed as though another Hiroshima or Nagasaki could be imminent – we are far from having secured our future against another such unspeakable human tragedy.
By Setsuko Thurlow | IDN-InDepth NewsDocument*
At the Little White House in Key West Florida, on 16 May 2014, atomic bomb testimony was delivered in an official forum on Truman ground for the first time. Together with Clifton Truman Daniel, Hibakusha Stories organized an event where Setsuko Thurlow and Yasuaki Yamashita were able to share their experience of being children in Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively. Thanks to support from the Truman Family, The Little White House and The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, atomic bomb survivors are now on the official record defending the position that nuclear weapons are immoral no matter in whose hands. The following is Setsuko Thurlow’s speech from that evening.
By Valentina Gasbarri* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
ROME (IDN) - The 10th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution 1540 on April 28, 2014 can be especially propitious for standing back from the perennial present of international security issues and evaluating longer-term trends.
The threat posed by the spread of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles is one of the main security challenges of the 21st century. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War led to a gradual reduction both in the security framework and in the perception of security.
In order to address this challenge and develop appropriate solutions, accurate risk factors analysis is required, as well as the ability to generate a multi-dimensional response: promoting the development of a comprehensive non-proliferation regime while also trying to explore how nuclear energy can safely be harnessed for sustainable economic development. The implications of nuclear proliferation for international relations are difficult to predict but profound.
By Monzurul Huq* | IDN-InDepth NewsEssay
TOKYO (IDN) - Human memory is short, particularly when it comes to record war and destruction. Countless details of various times portraying the accounts of misery and human suffering probably remind us of something vague and abstract; something distant and detached, not at all related to the realities that we face at any given time. Since what is seen as vague or blurred hardly serves as solid evidence, and what is distant hardly seems inspiring for stirring our conscience to the level of awakening, we tend to forget about what war and destruction brings to mankind soon after the waves of tragic realities subside and pave the way for a relative tranquil setting, at least for a short time.
By Baher Kamal* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
MADRID (IDN) - In spite of social, economic and political instability in Egypt and other Arab countries, Cairo has lastly intensified its efforts aimed at eliminating, as soon as possible, all weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the Middle East.
Egyptian diplomacy fears that further delays in taking specific actions to declare the Middle East a nuclear free zone, may lead to a nuclear armament race in the region, in view warnings that some major countries in the region, such as Saudi Arabia, might decide to go nuclear to face Israeli and Iranian nuclear threat. | READ JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF