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Posted by on Jul 7, 2017 in Blogs

We’ve got a treaty banning nuclear weapons

We’ve got a treaty banning nuclear weapons

Nuclear Ban Daily, Vol. 2, No. 12* We’ve got a treaty banning nuclear weapons 4 July 2017 Ray Acheson Ray Acheson is the Director of Reaching Critical Will. She provides analysis, research, and advocacy across a range of disarmament and arms control issues. Download full edition in PDF There are many ways to ban nuclear weapons. The draft text that the President of the conference released on Monday evening is one of them. And it’s a good one. It is a categorical prohibition of nuclear weapons that also provides a framework for their elimination. To paraphrase the former leading US arms control negotiator Paul Warnke about nuclear treaties: “I could have written a much, much better agreement…. But of course, I could not have negotiated such an agreement.” The treaty that delegations here in New York have negotiated may not satisfy all visions or interpretations of the “best” way to ban nuclear weapons, but it does constitute a progressive, sound, legally-binding effective prohibition of these genocidal, suicidal weapons of mass destruction....

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Posted by on Jul 7, 2017 in Blogs

One more week to the nuclear ban

One more week to the nuclear ban

Nuclear Ban Daily, Vol. 2, No. 11* One more week to the nuclear ban 3 July 2014 Ray Acheson Ray Acheson is the Director of Reaching Critical Will. She provides analysis, research, and advocacy across a range of disarmament and arms control issues. Download full edition in PDF On Friday evening, the President of the ban treaty conference convened a plenary meeting to reveal new drafts of the treaty’s articles. These drafts are the results of the work of two days of closed consultations amongst negotiating states. Ambassador Whyte chaired the consultations on article 1, while representatives of Ireland, Chile, and Thailand facilitated the work on articles 2–5, 6–8, and 9–21, respectively. The result is a much stronger draft treaty. There are a few areas where improvements should be made in the time available. We’ve got a bit of time this week to address some of these challenges. States and civil society have brought the draft to a pretty solid place and we need to work hard together to solve the outstanding issues...

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Posted by on Jul 5, 2017 in Blogs

Dealing with disarmament in the prohibition treaty

Dealing with disarmament in the prohibition treaty

Nuclear Ban Daily, Vol. 2, No. 10 Dealing with disarmament in the prohibition treaty 29 June 2017 Ray Acheson Ray Acheson is the Director of Reaching Critical Will. She provides analysis, research, and advocacy across a range of disarmament and arms control issues. Download full edition in PDF Wednesday’s negotiating sessions were off-the-record, so the Nuclear Ban Daily will not be reporting on those discussions. Instead, we offer some thoughts about the challenges being faced in the development of articles 2–5 of the draft treaty. These articles deal with nuclear-armed states and the elimination of their weapons and weapon programmes. They also address safeguards against the reconstitution of these weapons and against possible proliferation by non-nuclear-armed states that become parties to the treaty. There are many pathways to a nuclear weapon free world, as explored by the International Panel on Fissile Materials in a 2009 report on this subject. The paths—and their end result—are distinguished by how transparent they are, and how irreversible they are. Nuclear ban negotiators need to decide what this treaty...

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Posted by on Jul 4, 2017 in Blogs

Running through draft two

Running through draft two

    Nuclear Ban Daily, Vol. 2, No. 9 Running through draft two 28 June 2017 Ray Acheson Ray Acheson is the Director of Reaching Critical Will. She provides analysis, research, and advocacy across a range of disarmament and arms control issues. Download full edition in PDF The President’s team released a new draft treaty text on Tuesday morning, which was the focus of the debate in the afternoon plenary session. The overwhelming majority of states taking the floor said that this text is going in the right direction, is a good basis for further work, and reflects many of the points of convergence reached last week. All states did say the text needs further work, but most expressed confidence that agreement could be reached on a treaty by 7 July. This is welcome news. States seem generally pleased with the preamble. The preamble would benefit from the addition of a reference to the principles of international environmental law, to complement the references to international humanitarian law and human rights law. The...

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Posted by on Jul 3, 2017 in Blogs

Confronting the profits and legacies of nuclear violence

Confronting the profits and legacies of nuclear violence

  Nuclear Ban Daily, Vol. 2, No. 8 Confronting the profits and legacies of nuclear violence 27 June 2017 Ray Acheson Ray Acheson is the Director of Reaching Critical Will. She provides analysis, research, and advocacy across a range of disarmament and arms control issues. Download full edition in PDF As the majority of the world’s countries have been gathered at the United Nations negotiating the nuclear weapon ban treaty, the Center for Public Integrity has been releasing installments of a new report about workplace hazards at the US nuclear weapon laboratories. Monday’s installment of the report reveals a “litany of mishaps” across the eight sites that involve workers inhaling radioactive particles, receiving electrical shocks, being burned by acid or in fires, splashed with toxic chemicals, or cut by debris from exploding metal drums. Los Alamos National Laboratory, where the plutonium cores for nuclear warheads are produced, has “violated nuclear industry rules for guarding against a criticality accident three times more often last year” than any of the country’s other 23 nuclear installations combined....

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