| A behind the scenes look into our work. |
Historic Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty In Sight
For more than seven decades, UN member states and civil society organizations have urged the world’s nuclear-armed states to address the threats posed by nuclear weapons.
Under the 1968 nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), the vast majority of states foreswore nuclear weapons and the five original nuclear-armed states committed to pursue disarmament negotiations in good faith. An obligation to disarm, however, does not constitute a prohibition.
Now, a new, legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons is within sight. From June 15 to July 7, delegations representing some 130 countries will reconvene at the United Nations in New York for continued negotiations on a new treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons possession, developoment, testing, stationing, and use.
At our June 2 annual meeting, former U.S. Undersecretary of State Tom Countryman, Ambassaor Susan Burk, and Ambassador Jan Kickert of Austria to the UN (pictured above) shared their views on the status of these negotiations and their relation to the NPT.
The emerging nuclear weapons prohibition treaty is a significant new factor in the disarmament equation. As I told The New York Times May 22 “[t]he vast majority of world states say nuclear weapons are not essential for security, and that we want to reduce their salience by banning them."
In my view, the new agreement has the potential to further delegitimize nuclear weapons as instruments of national power and to strengthen the legal and political norms against their possession and use.
The June issue of Arms Control Today includes two in-depth articles on the treaty negotiations by John Burroughs on “Key Issues in Negotiations for a Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty” and by Dr. Zia Mian and his Princeton colleagues on “Addressing Verification in the Nuclear Ban Treaty.”
We will be at the United Nations monitoring the talks and engaging with key delegations to ensure the new treaty reinforces the NPT, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and other long-standing safeguards. You can follow developments as they happen via Twitter by following @DarylGKimball and @AZakre. Research Assistant Alicia Sanders-Zakre will also be providing updates on our website at “Banning the Bomb Blog on the Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Talks.”
Clearly, the nuclear weapons prohibition treaty is not an all-in-one solution. Additional and difficult work lies ahead.
You can count on us to provide practical ideas and information to help meet the challenges.
Thanks for your support,
Daryl G. Kimball,
TAKE ACTION: Support Diplomacy, Not Conflict, with North Korea
As Arms Control Association members and supporters are well aware, North Korea has conducted provocative ballistic missile tests several times over the last year and continues to threaten more.
In response, the Trump Administration has recklessly stirred tensions and threatened what the president calls a “major, major conflict.” To buttress this bluster, the president has sent aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines, and a host of other military forces towards North Korea.
Despite the deafening drums of war, South Koreans just elected a new, progressive president, Moon Jae-in, who campaigned on a pledge to engage in talks with North Korea to freeze and reverse its nuclear program.
On June 29-30, President Moon will be in Washington to meet President Donald Trump.
This is our chance to send a loud and clear message to South Korea and to President Moon that the American people support diplomacy with North Korea.
In cooperation with several other pro-diplomacy organizations, we will deliver your signature to President Moon in support of negotiations to halt and eventual reverse North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.
| |Incoming Arms Control Association board member Ambassador Laura Kennedy (see below) appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show June 5 to discuss President Donald Trump's recent participation at the NATO summit.
2017 Annual Meeting Offers A Look Forward
The 2017 Arms Control Association Annual Meeting was a remarkable opportunity for engagement among members, experts and U.S. and UN officials. We want to extend our thanks and appreciate to each of the speakers and panelists, and colleagues around the room, that made it a success once again.
For the second time in a row, the event was carried live by C-Span. Videos and transcripts of the remarks by Dr. Ford, Ms. Nakamitsu, and each of the panels are now available on our website and mobile Arms Control App.
- The “First Trump Budget Continues Unnecessary and Unsustainable Nuclear Weapons Plans,” reports Kingston Reif in his latest Arms Control Now blog post, June 7, 2017.
- Maggie Tennis asks “Can the United States and Russia bridge the growing gap on arms control?” following U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s appearance on Meet the Press last month, June 1, 2017.
- Alicia Sanders-Zakre recently updated several Association fact sheets, including "Nuclear Diplomacy with Iran," "U.S. Missile Defence Programs At A Glance," and country profiles on North Korea, Israel, and the United States.
- Kingston Reif appeared on CNN’s Situation Room to discuss the US’s successful test of a missile defense interceptor last month, May 30, 2017.
- Jeff Abramson describes how a “Defiant Congress Sparks Showdown With Trump Over Saudi Arms Deal,” in May’s Foreign Policy. May 26, 2017.
- In The New York Times’ “U.N. Panel Releases Draft of Treaty to Ban Nuclear Arms,” Daryl Kimball comments on the draft Convention to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, May 22, 2017.
- Jeff Abramson details “The (Possibly Illegal) Art of a $100 Billion Saudi Arms Deal” in Mother Jones, May 19, 2017.
- The Trump administration’s “Sanctions Waivers Show U.S. Support for Iran Nuclear Deal,” notes Kelsey Davenport in a recent blog post, May 17, 2017.
Spotlight: New Members of the Arms Control Association Board of Directors
Ambassador Susan Burk served as the special representative of the President for nuclear nonproliferation from 2009 to 2012, leading U.S. preparations for and later participation in the 2010 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference. That position capped a long career at the Department of State, the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA), and the Department of Defense.
Prior to his current position at Lewis-Burke Associates LLC, Leland Cogliani was the lead Senate staff member at the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations with budget responsibility over the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the Office of Science, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), and other Defense programs. Prior to that, he spent 7 years as a senior defense analyst at the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
Thomas Countryman was a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, achieving the rank of Minister-Counselor, and served as acting undersecretary for arms control and international security, a position to which he was appointed on October 9, 2016. He simultaneously served as assistant secretary for international security and nonproliferation (ISN), a position he had held since September 2011.
Deborah Fikes served as executive adviser to the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) and was also the former Permanent Representative to the United Nations for WEA. She is a board member of the International Center for Religion & Diplomacy and also serves on the Advisory Board of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard School of Public Health.
Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins was the Department of State’s Coordinator for Threat Reduction Programs in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation. Jenkins promoted the U.S. government programs in chemical, biological, nuclear and radiological security (CBRN). She was also the Department of State lead on the Nuclear Security Summit, and previously worked as a program officer at the Ford Foundation.
Ambassador Laura Kennedy spent almost 40 years as a diplomat with the State Department. After retiring in 2013, Kennedy was recalled to active service in May 2014 to serve as Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Turkmenistan and then as Chargé at the U. S. Mission to the United Nations in Vienna with concurrent service on the Board of Governors of the IAEA until July 2015. She is an elected member of the American Academy of Diplomacy.
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