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Home arrow Blog arrow May 2010 arrow May 1, 2010

May 1, 2010
May 1, 2010: Reigniting the NPT UPDATED @ END May 2, 2010


 

The NPT/Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, was created in 1968, and maintains that nuclear weapons proliferation can only be curtailed if nuclear countries move toward disarmament.

 

The purpose of the NPT Review, which happens every five years, is to reaffirm the signatories' commitments to the treaty's three purposes: disarmament, nonproliferation, and peaceful use of nuclear energy.

 

Countries without nuclear weapons that signed the NPT, such as Iran, were promised full support in developing other nuclear technologies in exchange for renouncing nuclear weapons. The five nuclear powers that signed the NPT agreed to get rid of their nuclear weapons.

 

On March 28, 2005, Former President Jimmy Carter, wrote for the Washington Post, "While claiming to be protecting the world from proliferation threats in Iraq, Libya, Iran and North Korea, American leaders not only have abandoned existing treaty restraints but also have asserted plans to test and develop new weapons."

 

On May 5, 2005, Kennedy-era Defense Secretary Robert McNamara said, “I would characterize current U.S. nuclear weapons policy as immoral, illegal, militarily unnecessary and dreadfully dangerous.” [1]

 

 

On April 29, 2010, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she did not see Iran's purpose in attending the NPT conference, because their violations since signing the NPT are "absolutely indisputable."

 

Speaking at the American Jewish Committee gala dinner in Washington, Clinton called the threat Iran posed to Israel as "real" and "growing".

 

At last month’s two-day conference on nuclear disarmament hosted in Tehran and attended by representatives of 60 countries, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a statement declaring nuclear weaponry as "haram" meaning prohibited under Islam. Iran says it enriches uranium for civilian applications and that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, it has a right to the technology already in the hands of many others.

 

In D. C. Clinton opined, "Iran, with its anti-Semitic president and hostile nuclear ambitions, also continues to threaten Israel, but it also threatens the region and it sponsors terrorism against many…At every turn, Iran has met our outstretched hand with a clenched fist. But our engagement has helped build a growing global consensus on the need to pressure Iran’s leaders to change course. We are now working with our partners at the United Nations to craft tough new sanctions." [2]

 

 

Professor Virginia Tilley, explained that in his October 2005 speech, Mr. Ahmadinejad never used the word "map" or the term "wiped off". According to Farsi-language experts like Juan Cole and even right-wing services like MEMRI, what he actually said was "this regime that is occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time.

"In this speech to an annual anti-Zionist conference, Mr. Ahmadinejad was being prophetic, not threatening. He was citing Imam Khomeini, who said this line in the 1980s (a period when Israel was actually selling arms to Iran, so apparently it was not viewed as so ghastly then). Mr. Ahmadinejad had just reminded his audience that the Shah's regime, the Soviet Union, and Saddam Hussein had all seemed enormously powerful and immovable, yet the first two had vanished almost beyond recall and the third now languished in prison. So, too, the ‘occupying regime’ in Jerusalem would someday be gone. His message was, in essence, ‘This too shall pass.’”
[3]

 

 

In April 2010, several diplomats told Reuters that Egypt made it clear that it sees Israel as a higher priority than Iran and threatened to prevent the NPT conference from reaching any agreements if it does not get what it wants vis-à-vis Israel.

Egyptian initiatives at NPT meetings are nothing new, but this year they have issued a paper calling for an international treaty conference by 2011 to launch negotiations between all states of the Middle East, regarding an internationally and effectively verifiable treaty for the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East.

 

At the 1995 NPT conference, member states unanimously supported a resolution backing the idea of "a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons as well as other weapons of mass destruction."


The preamble to the NPT calls on nuclear weapons states “to facilitate the cessation of the manufacture of nuclear weapons, the liquidation of all their existing stockpiles, and the elimination from national arsenals of nuclear weapons and the means of their delivery.”

 

Article VI of the NPT obliges signatories “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, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.”

 

The three undeclared nuclear powers- India, Pakistan and Israel-have all refused to sign the NPT, and thus are ‘exempt’ from international inspections.

 


In 1986, the world learned that Israel had already developed between one hundred to two hundred atomic bombs and had begun to develop neutron bombs and thermonuclear weapons, after Mordechai Vanunu, a lowly tech in Israel’s 7-story underground clandestine WMD facility, provided two rolls of photographic proof and his testimony that was published by the London Sunday Times.


[Learn more: http://wearewideawake.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=660&Itemid=175 ]


Israel has not signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, has never opened its facilities for IAEA inspections and thus far, President Obama persists in another of President George W. Bush's policies.


On April 24, 2004, Uri Avnery wrote after Vanunu was released from 18 years in a windowless tomb sized cell to house arrest denied the right to leave the state ever since, that "Everybody understands that [Vanunu] has no more secrets. What can a technician know after 18 years in jail, during which technology has advanced with giant steps?


"But gradually it becomes clear what the security establishment is really afraid of. Vanunu is in a position to expose the close partnership with the United States in the development of Israel's nuclear armaments.

"This worries Washington so much, that the man responsible in the State Department for 'arms control', Under-Secretary John Bolton, has come to Israel in person for the occasion. Vanunu, it appears, can cause severe damage to the mighty super-power. The Americans, it seems, are very worried.


"The world must be prevented by all available means from hearing, from the lips of a credible witness, that the Americans are full partners in Israel's nuclear arms program, while pretending to be the world's sheriff for the prevention of nuclear proliferation."[4]



Ezzedine Choukri Fishere, Professor of international politics at the American University in Cairo and a former advisor to the UN's Middle East envoy in Jerusalem, wrote:

 

“In the multilateral security talks that followed the 1991 Madrid Conference, Israel adamantly refused to discuss its nuclear program unless conventional and unconventional threats of its neighbors were addressed first (including those posed by Iran and Saddam's Iraq). Conversely, Arab states insisted on including Israel's nuclear weapons in the discussion before any security arrangement could be agreed. As a result, the talks collapsed and were never revived in the years since.

 

“Had the US intervened 15 years ago and led Arab states and Israel towards overcoming their tit-for-tat attitude, a Mideast security regime, with confidence-building measures, safeguards and verification mechanisms, would probably have emerged by now. Both the US and actors in the region need to start a dialogue on all security concerns in the Middle East that includes the nuclear issues. And they need to start this dialogue now, and urgently.”[5]


John Burroughs, the executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee on Nuclear Policy, a nonprofit group concerned with disarmament issues, has warned that America’s behavior poses a profound threat to the NPT framework:

 

“The U.S. reliance on nuclear weapons as a core element of its national security has always created serious tension within the non-proliferation regime, because it reinforced the double standard: Some countries can have nuclear weapons, others can’t.” [6]

 

 

But President Obama has also stated clearly and with conviction that America is committed to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.

 

In 2009, in Prague he said, "As the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act…Let us bridge our divisions, build upon our hopes, and accept our responsibility to leave this world more prosperous and more peaceful than we found it. Together we can do it…Words must mean something [and] violence and injustice must be confronted by standing together as free nations, as free people…[and] Human destiny will be what we make of it.”

 


All things are connected and the security concerns of America, Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Turkey, the Gulf States, and the world are mutually dependent.

 

The commitment to pursue nuclear disarmament is enshrined in the NPT and human destiny hinges upon those words meaning something.

 

1. http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=2619

2. http://www.csmonitor.com/World/terrorism-security/2010/0430/Clinton-cool-to-Iran-s-Ahmadinejad-attending-UN-nuclear-meeting

3.  http://www.counterpunch.org/tilley08282006.html

4.  http://www.fromoccupiedpalestine.org/taxonomy/term/226

5. http://www.thejerusalemfund.org/ht/display/ContentDetails/i/10375

6.  http://lcnp.org/




THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

--

REMARKS TO AN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE

“FOR A NUCLEAR FREE, PEACEFUL, JUST AND SUSTAINABLE WORLD”

Riverside Church , New York , 1 May 2010


Mr. Gerson,

Reverend Thomas, Minister with Education, Ecumenical and Interfaith relations,

Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba, mayor of Hiroshima

Ms. Maris Socorro Gomes, President , World Peace Council

Ms. Arielle Denis, Co-chair, Le Mouvement de la Paix

Ms. Jacqueline Cabasso, Executive Director, Western States Legal Foundation

Ladies and gentlemen,

 

Reading the list of organizations and individuals with us this evening, I want to say what an honour it is to be here.     

 

I know of your hard work and dedication.

 

I know how much you have sacrificed in standing for your principles and belief! s.

 

I know how much courage it takes to speak out, to protest, to carry the banner of this most noble human aspiration … world peace.

 

And so, most of all, I am here tonight to thank you.

 

Let me begin by saying how humbling it is to speak to you in this famous place, Riverside Church .

 

It was here that Martin Luther King Junior spoke against the war in Vietnam .

 

Nelson Mandela spoke here on his first visit to the United States after being freed from prison.

 

Standing with you, looking out, I can see what they saw: a sea of committed women and men, who come from all corners to move the world.  

 

It reminds us that of what matters most in life… is not so much the message from the bully pulpit, but rather the movement from the pews.

 

From people like you.  

 

And so I say: keep it up.

 

Our shared vision is within reach … a nuclear-free world.

 

            On the eve of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference … beginning on Monday … we know the world is watching.

 

            Let it heed our call . Disarm Now !

 

Ladies and gentlemen,

 

            From my first day in office, I have made nuclear disarmament a top priority.

 

            Perhaps, in part, this deep personal commitment comes from my experience as a boy in Korea, growing up after the war.   

 

My school was rubble.   There were no walls.   We studied in the open air.

 

The United Nations rebuilt my country. I was lucky enough to receive a good education.  

 

But more than that, I learned about peace, solidarity and, above all, the power of community action.   

 

            These values are not abstract principles to me. I owe my life to them. I try to embody them in all my work.

 

            Just a few weeks ago, I travelled to Ground Zero — the former test site at Semipalatinsk , in Kazakhstan , where the Soviet Union detonated more than 450 nuclear explosions.

 

            It was strangely beautiful. The great green steppe reached as far as the eye could see. But of course, the eye does not immediately see the scope of the devastation.

 

            Vast areas where people still cannot go. Poisoned lakes and rivers. High rates of cancer and birth defects.

 

After independence, in 1991, Kazakhstan closed the site and banished nuclear weapons from its territory.

 

Today, Semipalatinsk is a powerful symbol of hope … it! is a new Ground Zero for disarmament, the birth-place of the Central Asian nuclear-weapon-free zone.

 

In August, I will travel to another Ground Zero — Mayor Akiba’s proud city of Hiroshima . There, I will repeat our call for a nuclear free-world.

 

The people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki … and especially the hibakusha … know too well the horror of nuclear war.

 

            It must never be repeated! .        

 

Yet 65 years later, the world still lives under a nuclear shadow.

 

How long must we wait to rid ourselves of this threat! ?  


How long will we keep passing the problem to succeeding generations?

 

We here tonight know that it is time to end this senseless cycle.

 

We know that nuclear disarmament is not a distant, unattainable dream.

 

It is an urgent necessity, here and now. We are determined to achieve it.


We have come close in the past.

 

Twenty-four years ago, in Reykjavik , Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev came within a hair’s breadth of agreeing to eliminate nuclear weapons.  

 

It was a dramatic reminder of how far we can go — as long as we have the vision and the will.

 

Today’s generation of nuclear negotiators must take a lesson from Reykjavik :  

 

Be bold. Think big … for it yields big results.

 

And that is why, again, we need people like you.

 

People who understand that the world is over-armed and that peace is under-funded.

 

People who understand that the time for change is now.     

 

Ladies and gentlemen,

 

            The NPT entered into force 40 years ago.

 

            Ever since, it has been the foundation of the non-proliferation regime and our efforts for nuclear disarmament.

 

            To quote you, Mr. Gerson: It is one of the seminal agreements of the 20th century.

 

            Let’s not forget. In 1963, experts predicted that there could be as many as 25 nuclear powers by the end of the last century.

 

            It did not happen, in large part because the NPT guided the world in the right direction.

 

            Today, we have reason for renewed optimism.

 

Global public opinion is swinging our way.

 

Governments are looking at the issue with fresh eyes.  

 

Consider just the most recent events:

 

Leading by example, the United States announced a review of its nuclear posture … foreswearing the use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states, so long as they are in compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

 

In Prague , President Obama and President Medvedev signed a new START treaty, accompanied by serious cuts in arsenals.

 

In Washington , the leaders of 47 nations united in their efforts to keep nuclear weapons and materials out of the hands of terrorists.

 

            And on Monday, we hope to open a new chapter in the life of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

 

In 2005, when leaders gathered for the last review of the NPT, the outcome did not match expectations.

 

In plainer English, it failed — utterly.

 

We cannot affor d to fail again.

 

After all, there are more than 25,000 nuclear weapons in the world’s arsenals.

 

Nuclear terrorism remains a real and present danger.

 

There has been no progress in establishing a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East .

 

The nuclear programs of Iran and the DPRK are of serious concern to global efforts to curb nuclear proliferation…

 

              To deal with these and other issues, I have set out my own five-point action plan, and I thank you for your encouraging response.

 

  I especially welcome your support for the idea of concluding a Nuclear Weapon Convention.

 

Article VI of the NPT requires the Parties to pursue negotiations on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under international control.  

 

These negotiations are long overdue.

 

Next week, I will call on all countries … and most particularly the nuclear-weapon states … to fulfil this obligation.

 

We should not have unrealistic expectations for the conference.


But neither can we afford to lower our sights.

 

What I see on the horizon is a world free of nuclear weapons.

 

What I see before me are the people who will help make it happen.

 

            Please keep up your good work.

 

            Sound the alarm, keep up the pressure.

 

Ask your leaders what they are doing … personally … to eliminate the nuclear menace.

 

            Above all, continue to be the voice of conscience.  

 

We will rid the world of nuclear weapons.  

 

And when we do, it will be because of people like you.

 

The world owes you its gratitude.

 

Thank you.

   
 
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The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
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The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
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Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

© 1968, 2001 Kent M. Keith

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“You cannot talk like sane men around a peace table while the atomic bomb itself is ticking beneath it. Do not treat the atomic bomb as a weapon of offense; do not treat it as an instrument of the police. Treat the bomb for what it is: the visible insanity of a civilization that has ceased...to obey the laws of life.”- Lewis Mumford, 1946



The age of warrior kings and of warrior presidents has passed. The nuclear age calls for a different kind of leadership....a leadership of intellect, judgment, tolerance and rationality, a leadership committed to human values, to world peace, and to the improvement of the human condition. The attributes upon which we must draw are the human attributes of compassion and common sense, of intellect and creative imagination, and of empathy and understanding between cultures."  - William Fulbright



“Any nation that year after year continues to raise the Defense budget while cutting social programs to the neediest is a nation approaching spiritual death.” - Rev. MLK
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