(MENAFN – Swissinfo) In January nuclear weapons were banned by international treaties. But the treaty doesn’t apply to any nuclear powers, because none of them signed it. So is nuclear really prohibited?
This content is published on 23 February 2021 – 10:00 23 February 2021 – 10:00 Imogen Foulkes
Imogen Foulkes reports from Geneva for SWI swissinfo.ch as well as the BBC.
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In this episode, Imogen Foulkes speaks with Cordula Droege of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Beatrice Fihn of the International Campaign for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and Elaine Whyte Gomez, ambassador from Costa Rica, who directed the agreement through the United Nations.
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The Australian Prime Minister said he invited President Joe Biden to visit in September during a “very warm and interesting” phone call between the two leaders on Thursday.
By ROD McGUIRK Associated Press
4 February 2021, 07.26
• 3 minutes reading
CANBERRA, Australia – The Australian Prime Minister said he invited President Joe Biden to visit in September during a “very warm and interesting” phone call between the two leaders on Thursday.
“He saw Australia“US relations provide an anchor for peace and security in our region,” said Prime Minister Scott Morrison. “And that is right. We share that view. In terms of our relationship between Australia and the United States, there is nothing to improve there, only things to develop. “
The White House later said Biden described Australia as an anchor for stability in the “Indo-Pacific and the world.”
“They also agreed to work together, along with other allies and partners, to hold those responsible for the coup in Burma accountable,” said the White House statement, referring to the country also known as Myanmar.
“The leaders affirm their commitment to working together to advance our common values, global security and prosperity,” he added.
Morrison invited Biden to visit Australia to mark the 70th anniversary of the ANZUS Treaty, a defense treaty that once covered New Zealand and signed on September 1, 1950.
Morrison said Biden reacted positively to the invitation.
“He told me he didn’t need a specific reason to come to Australia, he liked the place,” Morrison said. “But they (Biden and first lady Jill Biden) are eager to be in Australia one day, and we will see how it progresses.”
American presidents who fly 15,900 kilometers (9,900 miles) between the country’s two capitals usually include visits to Asian or Southeast Asian capitals.
Diplomatic trips have almost been stalled around the world by the coronavirus pandemic, but success in vaccinating people will allow such trips to continue.
Australia has made an exception to its strict travel restrictions for important allies.
Australia’s foreign and defense ministers highlighted the importance of US relations by flying to Washington, DC, for the annual bilateral meeting in July. They must be quarantined at the hotel for two weeks upon their return.
Morrison’s only overseas trip from the pandemic is to meet Japan’s new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga in November. He will also need to be quarantined on his return.
Morrison said his conversation with the president also includes an alliance the two countries have with Japan and India known as the Quad as well as a Five Eyes intelligence-sharing partnership that includes Canada, the UK and New Zealand. They also discussed pandemics and climate change.
Morrison said he does not expect a change in US direction towards China under Biden.
“I think in the United States, Australia had, and still has, a very, very strong and effective partner on this Indo-Pacific security issue,” said Morrison.
The last US president to visit Australia was Barack Obama.
Australia has sometimes had a troubled relationship with the President Donald Trumpadministration, with friction over an Obama-era deal for the US to take out Muslims refugees refuse entry to Australia and differential US steel tariffs.
Australia’s then Prime Minister John Howard was in Washington, DC, marking the 50th anniversary of the ANZUS Treaty when terrorists attacked the Pentagon and New York City on September 11, 2001.
Australia responded by sending combat troops to the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003.
The governments of Great Britain and Northern Ireland have made a voluntary contribution of £ 29,000 to support training activities at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
The donation was officiated at a ceremony between the UK’s Permanent Representative to the OPCW, Ambassador HE Joanna Roper CMG, and OPCW Director General, HE Mr Fernando Arias, which was held at the OPCW Headquarters in The Hague.
The fund will support training for supervisors and other relevant OPCW personnel in skills required for non-routine inspections, investigations and deployment of Rapid Response and Assistance Missions (RRAMs), as well as for regional Assistance and Protection training in the Caribbean.
Ambassador Roper commented: “I am pleased to make further contributions to support the OPCW inspector training and capacity building activities in the Caribbean. These voluntary contributions will enable real improvements to the capabilities of States Parties and help achieve a world free of chemical weapons. “
The Director General stated: “I am grateful to the British Government for its continued support of the OPCW. Developing personnel skills is essential to maintaining the readiness and ability of the Organization to assist its member states during emergency and non-routine situations. In addition, building regional assistance and protection capacities ensures a greater ability of Member States to confidently deal with chemical crises. “
The Rapid Response and Assistance Mission (RRAM) was established in May 2016. RRAM was deployed at the request of States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention requiring emergency assistance due to a chemical attack. Consisting of a group of experts from the OPCW Technical Secretariat, RRAM has the capability to provide advice on a variety of different scenarios that may occur during a chemical attack. RRAM can also support States Parties in coordinating efforts with other International Organizations.
The OPCW specialized Assistance and Protection Branch provides expert advice and programs to Member States to develop and enhance their emergency response capacities against the use or threat of chemical weapons use. The Branch is also responsible for maintaining a state of readiness in the Organization to respond promptly and effectively to requests for assistance made by Member States in accordance with Article X of the Chemical Weapons Convention and for coordinating and providing assistance to requesting Members. Country.
As the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW, with its 193 Member States, oversees global efforts to permanently eliminate chemical weapons. Since the Convention entered into force in 1997, it is the most successful disarmament agreement to eliminate an entire class of weapons of mass destruction.
Over 98% of all declared chemical weapons stocks have been destroyed based on OPCW verification. For its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons, the OPCW received the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.
/ Public Release. Material in this public release comes from the original organization and may be point-in-time, edited for clarity, style and length. view more here.
Today, many people around the world will celebrate the first multilateral nuclear disarmament agreement entered into force in 50 years.
That United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) was adopted at the United Nations in 2017 and finally reached the milestone of 50 ratifications in October. Countries that have signed and ratified include Austria, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Nigeria and Thailand.
“A-Day”: The explosion of the first atomic bomb in Bikini in the Marshall Islands July 1, 1946. PICTURE: Science in HD / Unsplash
The countries that have signed the TPNW are fed up with more than half a century of nuclear-armed states abandoning their obligation to free the world from their weapons. They have affirmed the interests of global humanity and democracy in a way that nuclear-armed states cannot stop.
It is certainly long too late for the most violent and destructive weapon of all – nuclear weapons – to be outlawed. But this agreement is a sign of hope – a necessary and important step towards a less destructive planet.
“It has long been time to ban the most violent and destructive weapons – nuclear weapons – but this agreement is a sign of hope – an important and important step toward a less destructive planet.”
What will the agreement do? The aim of the agreement is a comprehensive and categorical ban on nuclear weapons. This binds the signatories not to develop, test, produce, acquire, control, use or threaten to use nuclear weapons.
Nor can the State “assist, encourage or induce” anyone to engage in any activity prohibited under the treaty – basically anything related to nuclear weapons.
The agreement provides the first legally binding multilateral framework for a process by which all countries can work to eliminate nuclear weapons.
For example, countries with other nations’ nuclear weapons stationed on their territory should remove them.
Nuclear-armed states can “break then join” treaties, or “join and destroy.” They must permanently disassemble their weapons, as well as the programs and facilities for producing them, subject to an agreed schedule and verification by international authorities.
Furthermore, the TPNW is the first agreement binding on member states to provide long-neglected assistance to victims of atomic bombs and weapons testing. It also calls on countries to clean up environments contaminated by the use and testing of nuclear weapons, whenever possible.
Nuclear armed states have been notified Currently, 86 countries have signed the TPNW, and 51 has ratified it (meaning they are bound by the terms). The treaty is now part of international law, and the number of signatories and ratifications will continue to grow.
However, none of the nine nuclear power – The US, China, Russia, France, Britain, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea – have not signed or ratified the agreement.
Many other countries those who rely on other countries’ nuclear weapons for security, such as 27 NATO members, Australia, Japan and South Korea, have also not signed off.
So, why is the treaty issue these states are currently giving against it? And what effect do we expect the agreement to have on them?
While any agreement is technically binding only to the countries that join it, the TPNW establishes a new international legal standard that will now be used to assess all nuclear policy.
In short, the treaty changed the game, and nuclear-armed and dependent nations have been made aware. They know that the treaty jeopardizes the right of their claim to continue threatening the planet with their weapons, as well as their plans to modernize and defend their nuclear arsenal indefinitely.
Their strength opposite is measure about the importance of that agreement. This will impact everything from defense policies and military plans to weapons manufacturing to financial investments in companies that profit from the manufacture of today’s illegal nuclear weapons.
For example, a continues to grow Banks, pension funds and insurance companies around the world are now divesting from companies that make nuclear weapons.
These include the Norwegian Pension Fund (the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund), ABP (Europe’s largest pension fund), Deutsche Bank, the largest Belgian bank KBC, Resona Holdings, Kyushu Financial Group and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group in Japan, and Japanese insurance companies. Nippon Life, Dai-ichi Life, Meiji-Yasuda and Fukoku Mutual.
The belief that a “dangerous” nuclear weapon increases security Does joining the treaty mean countries like Australia, Japan, South Korea and NATO members must end their military cooperation with nuclear-armed states like the US?
Not. There is nothing in the TPNW that prevents military cooperation with a nuclear armed state, as long as nuclear weapons activity is excluded.
Countries such as New Zealand and Kazakhstan have demonstrated that joining the treaty is fully compatible with ongoing military cooperation with the US and Russia, respectively.
“The prohibition agreements have proven successful with other banned weapons – landmines, cluster munitions, and biological and chemical weapons. They have provided the basis and motivation for progressive efforts to control and eliminate these weapons. These weapons are now being produced significantly less, used and used, even by states that haven’t joined the treaty. “
In a latest letter urging their governments to join the treaty, 56 former presidents, prime ministers and defense ministers and foreign ministers of these countries said: “By claiming protection from nuclear weapons, we are promoting the dangerous and misguided belief that nuclear weapons enhance security. As party states, we can remain in alliance with nuclear-armed states, because nothing in the treaty itself or in the respective defense pacts prevents this. But we will never be legally bound under any circumstances to aid or encourage our allies to use, threaten to use or possess nuclear weapons. Given the very broad popular support in our country for disarmament, this will be an uncontroversial and much-lauded move. “
The signatories included two former NATO secretaries general, Willy Claes and Javier Solana.
The ban agreement has proven successful with other banned weapons – landmines, cluster munitions, and biological and chemical weapons. They have provided the basis and motivation for progressive efforts to control and eliminate these weapons. They are now significantly less produced, used and used, even by states that have not joined the treaty.
We can achieve the same result with nuclear weapons. Hiroshima survivor Setsuko Thurlow said at the UN after the treaty was adopted: “This is the beginning of the end of nuclear weapons.“