Thursday, October 30, 2008
In his latest report to the United Nations, Mohamad ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) , has cited "substantial progress" in clarifying questions about Iran's nuclear program, stating unequivocally that the agency "has been able to continue to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran".
This admission by the UN's atomic agency naturally raises serious questions about the legitimacy of coercive UN sanctions on Iran for refusing to halt nuclear activities that are completely legal from the standpoint of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The legal and transparent nature of Iran's uranium-enrichment program in effect renders moot the UN's demand, and the sooner the UN backtracks on its unjustified demands the less the harm to its image. More >>>
Monday, October 27, 2008
HONG KONG, Oct 27 (Reuters) - The risks of inaction over climate change far outweigh the turmoil of the global financial crisis, a leading climate change expert said on Monday, while calling for new fiscal spending tailored to low carbon growth.
"The risk consequences of ignoring climate change will be very much bigger than the consequences of ignoring risks in the financial system," said Nicholas Stern, a former British Treasury economist, who released a seminal report in 2006 that said inaction on emissions blamed for global warming could cause economic pain equal to the Great Depression.
"That's a very important lesson, tackle risk early," Stern told a climate and carbon conference in Hong Kong. More >>>
Saturday, October 25, 2008
“The costs and risks of [disarmament’s] alternatives never get the attention they deserve,” Mr. Ban said in his address to the East-West Institute in New York. “But consider the tremendous opportunity cost of huge military budgets. Consider the vast resources that are consumed by the endless pursuit of military superiority.” More >>>
Friday, October 24, 2008
Could China's plan to help Pakistan build nuclear power plants be the first of many pacts in the region?
Washington - October 24, 2008 - China's agreement to help Pakistan build two nuclear power plants is prompting warnings that the new US-India civilian nuclear deal is already pushing other countries to pursue their own nuclear relationships.
The concern among South Asia experts and nonproliferation advocates is that the American deal allowing India to pursue an expanded civilian nuclear program with limited safeguards is prompting other countries in a volatile region to seek a similar deal – something the US had said would not happen.
"You can't help but hear about China supplying Pakistan with nuclear power plants and see it as a reaction to the US-India deal," says Michael Krepon, a South Asia nuclear proliferation expert at the Henry L. Stimson Center in Washington. "Pakistan is desperate for energy, as is India, but there are lower-cost and shorter-timeline options for producing it, so there is something else going on here and in the Middle East." More >>>
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso and his visiting Indian counterpart, Manmohan Singh, signed a joint statement on security cooperation Wednesday in Tokyo, agreeing to enhance strategic dialogue and participate in joint military exercises to ensure the safety of maritime transportation in the Indian Ocean, a key sea lane for the transport of Middle Eastern oil. More >>>
Sunday, October 19, 2008
The commission, headed by former foreign minister Gareth Evans, will discuss the path towards the eventual elimination of nuclear weapons. The Prime Minister appointed the commission in June to press for a new focus on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which will be reviewed by the international community next year. Former Japanese foreign minister Yoriko Kawaguchi co-chairs the commission, which also includes Indonesia's former foreign minister Ali Alatas, former politician and nuclear arms expert Alexei Arbatov from Russia, former Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo and former US defence secretary William Perry.More >>>
Friday, October 17, 2008
October 16 2008 - The U.S.-India nuclear agreement is an unneeded and potentially disastrous Bush administration initiative that undermines a 30-year nonproliferation policy pioneered by the United States and adopted by 189 nations.
It will accelerate both the nuclear and conventional arms races between India and Pakistan, countries that have fought three wars in the past 60 years and have come close at least two other times within the past decade.
After two years of arm-twisting by the United States, the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) recently agreed to make an exception to its trade rules for India. Congress followed by voting its approval, and President Bush signed the agreement into law. Until the exception, the NSG rules required that India (and all other 184 countries in its category as defined by the 1970 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty) allow international inspections of all its nuclear materials and the facilities containing them. India had consistently refused to sign the treaty, known as the NPT, and agree to such safeguards, which led to the cutoff of nuclear trade by the United States under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Act of 1978. This law was motivated in part by India's 1974 nuclear test using U.S. nuclear material that violated the sale agreement prohibiting the use of such material for nuclear explosives. India's violation led to the creation of the NSG, which adopted the safeguards standard for nuclear trade in 1992. More >>>
Thursday, October 16, 2008
“Unfair restrictions on the development of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes only serve to strengthen the monopoly of few over nuclear technology and thus aggravate the sense of discrimination and existence of double standards,” Ambassador Zamir Akram, the Pakistani delegate, told the General Assembly’s First Committee, which deals with disarmament and security issues.
“Such discrimination is dangerous for the integrity of the nuclear non-proliferation regime, said Akram, who is Pakistan’s permanent representative to U.N.’s Europeran Offices in Geneva.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
But before that, meltdown defined not the accident of a power plant but the purpose of a nuclear bomb - the liquefaction through intense heat of metal, glass, and everything else caught in an atomic blast. Meltdown is the point.
Last week's financial metaphor was also last week's all but ignored real problem, as America was encouraged to take a large step in the direction of the ultimate meltdown of nuclear war. Over the signatures of Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman, the government released the statement "National Security and Nuclear Weapons in the 21st Century." In brief, the two officials argue that the time has come for the development of a new nuclear weapon, the so-called Reliable Replacement Warhead. Because "nuclear weapons remain an essential and enduring element" of American military strategy, the aging arsenal of several thousand deployed nukes (and many more "stored") must be replaced.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
The agreement admits India into one of the world's most exclusive clubs: states that openly hold nuclear weapons. Proponents say it will boost cooperation between two of the world's largest democracies, allow U.S. business to cash in on the lucrative Indian nuclear-energy market and bring New Delhi into the fight against proliferation. But there's a hitch. India has spurned the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), under which states promise never to build bombs in exchange for access to civilian technology. "By recognizing India's nuclear status anyway, Washington has undermined the treaty at a moment when it is confronting nuclear crises in North Korea and Iran," says Peter Scoblic, author of "U.S. vs. Them," a history of American nuclear strategy. "And for what? To curry favor with a country that is already a friend of the United States." More >>>
Eight years of Bush administration leadership has severely damaged the reputation of the United States abroad. The incoming president will inherit this deficit as well as a host of other foreign policy crises. To gain back trust, he will have to address nonproliferation and climate change.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
However, the real priority for the next president should not be making new nuclear weapons or rebuilding the capacity to manufacture them; it should be eliminating such weapons globally. More >>>
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
The deal will give India access to US civilian nuclear technology and fuel in return for inspections of its civilian, but not military, nuclear facilities. India says the accord is vital to meet its rising energy needs. Critics say it creates a dangerous precedent. They say it effectively allows India to expand its nuclear power industry without requiring it to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as other nations must. More >>>
Sunday, October 5, 2008
It quoted Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith as saying in an interview that if the Taliban were willing to talk, then that might be "precisely the sort of progress" needed to end the insurgency.
"We're not going to win this war. It's about reducing it to a manageable level of insurgency that's not a strategic threat and can be managed by the Afghan army," he said.
He said his forces had "taken the sting out of the Taliban for 2008" but that troops may well leave Afghanistan with there still being a low level of insurgency. More >>>
Friday, October 3, 2008
"At the moment, I'm not aware of a contemplation of a similar such (nuclear) deal at this time with Pakistan," State department Spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters here.
He disagreed with the suggestion that after cutting a "special" deal with India, others would seek civil nuclear cooperation. More >>>
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
* Supporting innovative analytical work on climate change in the context of sustainable development;
* Promoting a network of experts who can bring creative and innovative options to bear on questions of climate change;
* Encouraging the leadership potential of young and promising professionals in their fields.
The programme target group consists of mid-career professionals who are already in a government’s employment and who are nationals of and working in a developing country, preferably SIDS or LDC Party. While fellowships are awarded to individuals, the need for training must occur within the context of the organization for which an applicant works. The training must help the organization to develop its capacity.
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