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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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Posted by on Jul 2, 2017 in Blogs

Affecting Operations

Affecting Operations

Nuclear Ban Daily, Vol. 2, No. 7 Affecting operations 23 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 Civil society is not able to report from Thursday’s meetings. The morning session was an informal discussion on transit, while the afternoon was a closed meeting on the revised preamble. On Friday, states will return to consideration of articles 2–5 of the draft treaty text. All of these potential treaty components are related to one another. Each has implications for the structural, operational, and political aspects of nuclear weapon programmes and policies. If the preamble conveys a strong political message about the rejection of nuclear weapons based on their catastrophic harm and inherent immorality, this helps set the stage for strong prohibitions. It also provides impetus for the obligations related to elimination of nuclear weapon programmes and cessation of related activities and doctrines. As noted in previous...

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Posted by on Jul 2, 2017 in Blogs

The Ban and Other Law

The Ban and Other Law

Nuclear Ban Daily, Vol. 2, No. 6 The ban and other law 22 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 the full edition On Tuesday morning, the conference wrapped up its read through of the President’s draft treaty text. In the afternoon, states engaged in an informal, off-the-record discussion. We are not reporting on that session but welcome the decision to permit civil society to observe. In terms of the draft text, one of the issues discussed on Tuesday morning was the relationship between this treaty and the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which is currently described in article 19. Since the process to ban nuclear weapons began its supporters have had to defend against accusations of undermining or even destroying the NPT. Such accusations are not based on any real risk or challenge to the NPT regime. The ban treaty is an attempt by most NPT states parties to...

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