European Parliament Considers Global Nuclear Weapons Ban.

n February 7, 2018 in Strasbourg, France, Ms. Beatrice Fihn addressed the European Parliament. Beatrice Fihn is Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, or ICAN – the driving force behind a historic legal accomplishment in July 2017: adoption of an international agreement to ban nuclear weapons from the face of the Earth. For its efforts, ICAN became recognized and honored as recipients of the 2017 Nobel Prize for Peace.

***

(Transcript)

“Distinguished members of the European Parliament: Thank you so much for this invitation to address you here today. The Nobel Committee has seen fit on a few occasions to recognize not just one extraordinary person but a valuable body with awarding them the Nobel Peace Prize, and they did so last year in awarding the coalition of almost 500 organizations that I represent – the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.”

“And they did so in 2012, in recognizing the European Union for your efforts to advance peace and reconciliation, democracy, and human rights. And it is an honor to stand here with the other another Nobel Peace Prize recipient, not as one individual, but a part of a body, a large coalition working to safeguard our planet and our future. And I come to you … before you today, at a time when the need to do so is dire. I come to address one huge challenge before all of us to make every other debate in this chamber irrelevant.”

“I come to talk about the urgent danger of nuclear weapons, and the very real threat they pose to life in Europe. This is a dangerous time. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has just moved the Doomsday Clock to two minutes to midnight, meaning we are closer to Armageddon than at any point in the last 65 years. The war of words between North Korea and the United States threatens to boil over to a war of nuclear weapons, and Russia, China, and all the other nuclear-armed states are embarking on what essentially is a new nuclear arms race.”

“If we keep these weapons forever they will be used by intent, by accident, miscalculation or through a cyber or terrorist attack. If we continue to rely on nuclear weapons their use is a matter of when, not if. If we don’t act our luck will eventually run out. And the immediate effects of a nuclear blast would be devastating : the initial blasts that could level an entire city, the following fires will burn and suck out the oxygen of the remains of that city, and many survivors will die in agony in the days to years to come, through radiation poisoning or cancers.”

“No adequate humanitarian response will be possible, and the effects of radiation on human beings would cause suffering and death decades after the initial explosion. And Europe is not immune to these threats. It could very well be here that the next nuclear weapon will be used. And Europe has a great responsibility to address them through rational coöperation, the very principle or what this chamber was founded on. A start in fact exists within today’s dangerous mix of instability, decreased coöperation and violent rhetoric.”

“And the fact is that the majority of the world’s nuclear weapons are right here in Europe. Four out of the nine nuclear-armed States have littered this continent with the most dangerous weapons ever invented, either on their own soil, that of their allies, and of course patrolling the seas around us. And the world’s attention may currently be turned to the east to the Korean Peninsula, but we are all standing on a ticking bomb right here. The risk of nuclear weapons use is even greater today than at the end of the Cold War, but unlike the Cold War today we face many more nuclear-armed states, terrorists, cyber warfare … ”

“All of this makes us less safe. Along with the many moral and strategic reasons for Europe to pursue peace globally, reduce the nuclear threat beyond the shores, you have a responsibility to lead on this issue, because it affects all your citizens. You must decide whether weapons of mass destruction and luck will remain at the heart of the framework in Europe or if you will lead the way to something new – a security framework worthy of the 21st century. The only nuclear policy that increases security is the only rational and responsible one: the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons.”

“And last week the United States released its new Nuclear Posture Review. It is a violent lurch in the wrong direction, and it outlines a new Trump nuclear doctrine that abandons the work for nuclear disarmament. The settlement, if European allies and others under the nuclear umbrella have long understood it, shows a deliberate strategy to make nuclear weapons easier and more likely to be used. Even as a response to a non-nuclear conflict, it is an all-out attempt to take nuclear weapons out of the silos and on to the battlefields.”

“And the problem does not stop there. Similar threat-filled rhetoric in nuclear doctrines are seen from Russia and China and other nuclear-armed States. We are seeing a very dangerous new nuclear arms race that attempts to blur the lines between nuclear and conventional weapons, and today we are just counting down the days until nuclear weapons will be used again. This is not peace through strength. This is instability through terror. It is a luck-based security policy, and that is simply not good enough. Are you going to support the new Trump nuclear doctrine, join the thinking of Russia and North Korea, cheer on a new nuclear arms race … or are you going to support the [uncertain word … “warm”?] work for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons?”

“You cannot do both. This is the choice before each member of this European Union: the rapid escalation of a new nuclear security framework, one that lowers the threshold for nuclear weapons use and raises the likelihood of that happening, – or a rejection of the threats of nuclear war in favor of a new security framework predicated on the prohibition of nuclear weapons, just like we have prohibited other weapons of mass destruction. And we are looking to the EU for leadership in this. The world is looking to the EU for leadership on this. Who else on the global stage today will be the responsible actor ? Who else can we look to, to uphold human rights humanitarian law and the protection of civilians?”

“And the EU together with a high representative Federica Mogherini has been extremely effective in brokering an agreement with Iran, and this very body overwhelmingly in 2016 voted to support our collective work towards the nuclear bomb treaty. All over the objections of powerful interests, one hundred and twenty-two (122) nations adopted the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons last July, and EU member states like Austria, Ireland, Sweden showed great leadership throughout the negotiations. And we need all European states to show that leadership now.”

“There is a clear pathway for you to do so. The treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons is a political means to a nuclear weapons-free world, and now we need political leadership. All EU member states should join the UN treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons. And this is entirely consistent with those obligations some EU members have through their collective defense in NATO. And nothing in the North Atlantic treaty signed EU states up to a nuclear instability doctrine based on luck and high risk. Nothing in our collective defense should force us to participate in using nuclear weapons on civilians; that is the opposite of collective security.”

“The security interest of Europe is not served by a new nuclear arms race, one that takes nuclear weapons onto the battlefield and threatens to end us all. We must move towards disarmament, not destruction. Threatening to use weapons of mass destruction to indiscriminately slaughter hundreds of thousands of civilian runs counter to the humanitarian values and moral leadership of this body and all of Europe. As the hands of the Doomsday Clock are being wound in the wrong direction, Europe must urgently take a stand. Show the world that Europe leads on standing up for the principles of democracy, human rights and collective security.”

“And that first step can happen today. Go back to your governments and urge them to join the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons, to join the community of nations who uphold the rule of law and laws of war, and in doing so reject the outdated 20th century security framework that sits on an unhealthy obsession with Cold War death relics. And this body, the European Parliament, is more important than ever. At such a critical moment it is vital that this body speak forcefully that it has done in the past in support of disarmament and non-proliferation, and in particular for the nuclear ban treaty.”

“And I urge you to turn those words into action by using the unique power of the European Parliament to promote policy in line with the EU values. Where there is uncertainty we should work towards understanding and consensus. And this is the process parliamentarians in countries like Italy and Norway are undergoing, investigating what the nuclear ban treaty will mean for their wider policy and security. And this body should follow suit. The EU non-proliferation consortium has provided invaluable guidance on implementation of, for example, the prohibition on biological weapons.”

“And members of the European Parliament should request the non-proliferation consortium to examine how member states can join the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons. And the European Parliament can back up your support for a policy with funding. This body should use its budgetary discretion to support civil society efforts for a nuclear weapons free world – an implementation of the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons.”

“A highlight of this treaty was a close working relationship between political leaders and civil society. So the European Parliament should step up and be firm and strengthen its union with civil society. And the members in this room can, and should swiftly, take these steps, rejecting the trend to increase the discord and dangerous nuclear posturing, and supporting disarmament through the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons.”

“It is time for Europe to stand against this move towards nuclear disaster, stand against the Trump doctrine, stand against developments of more usable nuclear weapons, stand against the nuclear saber-rattling from all sides, and stand against the threatening to use weapons of mass destruction on civilians as an acceptable foreign policy.”

“It is your responsibility to protect your people against the use of nuclear weapons. So stand up for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons.”

“Thank you.”

***

(Thank you to Frederick Moulin at YouTube)

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Nobel Peace Prize Address: Nuclear States Issued Historic Challenge.

(Transcript cross-posted from NobelPrize.org)

International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) – Nobel Lecture

NORWAY – International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) leaders Setsuko Thurlow (center) and Beatrice Fihn (right) accept the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize

Nobel Lecture given by the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2017, ICAN, delivered by Beatrice Fihn and Setsuko Thurlow, Oslo, 10 December 2017.

[Beatrice Fihn:]

Your Majesties,
Members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee,
Esteemed guests,

Today, it is a great honor to accept the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of thousands of inspirational people who make up the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

Together we have brought democracy to disarmament and are reshaping international law.
__

We most humbly thank the Norwegian Nobel Committee for recognizing our work and giving momentum to our crucial cause.

We want to recognize those who have so generously donated their time and energy to this campaign.

We thank the courageous foreign ministers, diplomats, Red Cross and Red Crescent staff, UN officials, academics and experts with whom we have worked in partnership to advance our common goal.

And we thank all who are committed to ridding the world of this terrible threat.
__

At dozens of locations around the world – in missile silos buried in our earth, on submarines navigating through our oceans, and aboard planes flying high in our sky – lie 15,000 objects of humankind’s destruction.

Perhaps it is the enormity of this fact, perhaps it is the unimaginable scale of the consequences, that leads many to simply accept this grim reality. To go about our daily lives with no thought to the instruments of insanity all around us.

For it is insanity to allow ourselves to be ruled by these weapons. Many critics of this movement suggest that we are the irrational ones, the idealists with no grounding in reality. That nuclear-armed states will never give up their weapons.

But we represent the only rational choice. We represent those who refuse to accept nuclear weapons as a fixture in our world, those who refuse to have their fates bound up in a few lines of launch code.

Ours is the only reality that is possible. The alternative is unthinkable.

The story of nuclear weapons will have an ending, and it is up to us what that ending will be.

Will it be the end of nuclear weapons, or will it be the end of us?

One of these things will happen.

The only rational course of action is to cease living under the conditions where our mutual destruction is only one impulsive tantrum away.
__

Today I want to talk of three things: fear, freedom, and the future.

Continue reading “Nobel Peace Prize Address: Nuclear States Issued Historic Challenge.”

Nobel Peace Prize 2017: International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)

Major shareholders at nuclear weapons building corporations are anticipating brisk “business” when $1 trillion of United States taxpayer money becomes spent over 30 years on nuclear stocks “modernization and upgrades”.

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons being named recipients of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize is undoubtedly the most welcome and profound development the world has ever experienced with regard to war and peace, establishing a new and higher moral standard for any intent on choosing the “right side of history”.

A new reality has manifested on Earth. The (9) nations possessing nuclear weapons are now more clearly seen as on “the wrong side of history”, in essence outlaw regimes, or the “black sheep of the human family”.

Leaders in those nations possessing nuclear weapons may or may not understand, as Gandhi’s book title “All Men Are Brothers” reminds, that from a spirit perspective there is no such thing as “us and them”, but one human family sharing the Earth during this period of eternity.

The path toward total abolishment of nuclear weapons forever is now clearly visible to all people. Choosing that sacred path is the initial step toward establishing peace on Earth forever.

Global Justice in the 21st Century

 

Finally, the committee in Oslo that picks a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize each year selected in 2017 an awardee that is a true embodiment of the intended legacy of Alfred Nobel when he established the prize more than a century ago. It is also a long overdue acknowledgement of the extraordinary dedication of anti-nuclear activists around the planet who for decades have done all in their power to rid the world of this infernal weaponry before it inflicts catastrophe upon all living beings even more unspeakable that what befell the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on two infamous days in August 1945. Such a prize result was actually anticipated days before the announcement by Fredrik Heffermehl, a crusading Norwegian critic of past departures from Nobel’s vision by the prize committee. In making the prediction that the 2017 prize would be given in recognition of anti-nuclear activism Heffermehl…

View original post 1,637 more words

World Ban On Nuclear Weapons Closer To Reality.

*******

“A specter is haunting mankind. It is the specter of annihilation in a thermonuclear war.”

– ERIC HASS (1905-1980) American writer, editor

___

“Global war has become a Frankenstein’s monster, threatening to destroy both sides… It contains now only the germs of a double suicide.”

– DOUGLAS MacARTHUR (1880-1964) American general

___

“The power to destroy the world by the use of nuclear weapons is a power that cannot be used – we cannot accept the idea of such monstrous immorality… The time has now come for the nations of the world to submit to the just requisition of their conduct by international law.”

– LINUS PAULING (1901-1994) American scientist, Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1954, Nobel Peace Prize 1962

___

“If we are not able to prevent a third world war, we shall go down in history – as the guilty generation, the generation which did nothing to prevent the annihilation of mankind itself.”

– U THANT (1909-1974) Burmese Secretary General, United Nations

___

(Article by Jan Oberg – Originally posted at Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research … Thank you.)

On Mainstream Media Coverage of Nuclear War Risks and Nuclear Abolition

By Jan Oberg

TFF PressInfo # 421

June 30, 2017

ou’re probably an avid consumer of news and reports in one or more daily media – local, national or global. You want to be well-informed and say interesting things when you meet friends and colleagues.

And you certainly don’t want to find out that you’ve been taken for a ride by fake news, half-truths, bias or omissions by media that you trusted because you thought you could.

Now ask yourself whether you remember to have seen one or more of these essentially important initiatives and reports recently, all pertaining to nuclear weapons, the risk of nuclear war and advocacy of nuclear abolition:

1) That a large majority of UN members have drafted a treaty that shall declare nuclear weapons illegal, once and for all?
If not, go here and enlighten yourself on one of the most constructive and visionary initiatives in today’s otherwise gloomy world situation.

2) That a conference is taking place these very days about that goal and its process?
If not, go here.

3) That a scary new film shows why Americans should be very nervous about nuclear arsenals?
If not, go here.

4) That the Marshall Islands filed a lawsuit against all 9 nuclear weapons states for failing to comply with their international legal obligations?
If not, go here and see how the smallest actor of all took responsibility on behalf of 7 billion people.

5) That the Nuclear Crisis Group advocates – just a couple of days ago – that steps be taken urgently to de-escalate nuclear flash points such as NATO-Russia and North Korea?
It consists of predominantly former nuclear weapons commanders, ambassadors and scholars, mostly American.
If not, go herethis report has not been mentioned by one single mainstream/make-believe media!

6) That there is an open letter written to Trump and Putin, meeting in Hamburg soon, urging them to declare that a nuclear war can’t be won and must never be fought, and to cooperate on a series of other issues?
If not, go here – they are politicians, ministers and ambassadors from the US, Russia, Germany and England.

How many of these had you any knowledge about?

How prominently do you think they were featured if you saw them in the mainstream media – given their importance for the very survival of humankind?

If there were more than one or two you had never heard about, consider this:

They all involve NATO countries which possess the far majority of the world’s nuclear weapons. NATO is an alliance that is built on the right to use nuclear weapons.

There has never been a referendum about the desirability of nuclear weapons in any of the countries – also not those who call themselves democracies – that have acquired nuclear weapons. One must assume the reason to be that most normal citizens would not like to be “defended” by nuclear weapons.

It’s a tiny minority of countries, most of them NATO members who have nuclear arsenals. Many more countries have decided to never acquire nuclear weapons.

Let’s say that there are about 100 people in each of the nuclear countries who decide on whether or not to use nuclear weapons in a given situation – thus around 1000 people. It’s the largest concentration of power ever in human history – a God-like power to decide whether or not human beings worldwide shall continue to exist, or not.

In short, non-constituted, dictatorial and non-democratic. No one should be given the power to decide about the existence or destruction of 7 billion people. No political goal can justify it.

And finally ask yourself: Why do most of these so-called ‘leading’ media systematically ignore these issues today? Why is it that any sex scandal or details of the Cosby trial is more important? What should be our priorities?

Would it not be natural for them to provide public education and offer a fair hearing of the pros and contras of nuclear weapons and the whole mental and societal construction underlying these weapons – the nuclearism of our times?

Admittedly, I’ve got a nasty hunch: If citizens around the world were given free press balanced information instead of being kept in the dark, there would be a much stronger worldwide movement for the abolition of each and every nuclear device anywhere.

Further, thanks to humanity’s civilizational process these Evil weapons would be condemned and/or thrown on the heap of history as other evil constructs: slavery, cannibalism, absolute monarchy, dictatorships, child labour, pedophilia – and we would begin to question whether the exact same should not be done to non-nuclear weapons and wars too.

In the name of ethics, humanity, common sense and civilization. The US $ 100 billion which are spent annually on nuclear weapons systems alone could be allocated to alleviating human suffering.

Top editors of the ‘leading’ media look to what they believe would sell on the – shrinking – market. If they served humanity’s 7 billion instead of about 1000 masters of (nuclear) war they might well get more readers and sell more subscriptions and be seen by citizens as a force for the common good, not an integral part of MIMAC – the Military-Industrial-MEDIA-Academic Complex – that runs all these wars.

Yes, I know I’m just using the main argument of the Zeitgeist: the market and what will sell and yield a profit to shareholders.

If media people would think in terms of common sense, ethics and civil courage too and give us diverse, balanced and critical coverage of nuclear war risks, so much the better! Until then, bless the struggling independent truth-seeking media on the Internet!

Make-believe coverage of the feasibility or legitimacy of nuclear weapons and war as well as omissions of the nuclear facts of our daily lives contributes to increasing that very risk – the risk of the unthinkable: the end of humanity and the world as we know it.

***

Many others in the years since the first atomic bomb have shared Mr. Jan Oberg’s profound concerns over the potential use of nuclear weapons, and likewise called for their total abolition.

Among the men and women, holding varying positions which cross the spectrum, in “Good Thinking: Those Who’ve Tried to Halt Nuclear Weapons” – Anthony Donovan (3-hour, 38-minute documentary) are the following:

  • Sister Megan Rice
  • Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Karen Silkwood
  • Dorothy Day
  • John F. Kennedy
  • Jimmy Carter
  • Ronald Reagan
  • Mikhail Gorbachev
  • Linus Pauling
  • Albert Schweitzer
  • Paul Nitze
  • Michael Dukakis
  • George Bush
  • Dick Cheney
  • Jonathan Schell
  • Andrei Sakarov
  • Carl Sagan
  • Adlai Stevenson
  • Leo Tolstoy
  • Mahatma Gandhi
  • Grigoris Lambrakis
  • Pete Seeger
  • Pope John the 23rd
  • Thomas Merton
  • Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Veterans for Peace
  • John LaForge
  • Nelson Mandela

Historical events, situations and issues covered and discussed in the film include:

  • North Korea and nuclear weapons
  • Nuclear power and nuclear weapons
  • Nuclear weapons and the role of money
  • Taxes, military spending and nuclear weapons
  • United States Departments of Defense and Energy, nuclear weapons
  • Hiroshima and Nagasaki
  • Bomb shelters, air raids and nuclear weapons
  • The Continental Walk Against Nuclear Weapons
  • Sweden, shining example on nuclear weapons
  • United Nations conference to ban nuclear weapons
  • Terrorism and nuclear weapons
  • The nuclear corridor
  • United Nations, nuclear disarmament
  • The Golden Rule 1958
  • Deterrence, and the will to use nuclear weapons
  • Drones, warfare, nuclear weapons
  • Our veterans courage
  • We’ve been lucky
  • Nuclear weapons ban proclamations and Mayors for Peace
  • “Deterrence is obsolete, it will fail”
  • Wall Street profiteering, nuclear weapons
  • What do artists think about nuclear weapons?
  • How do our faiths inform us?
  • Precious Earth and animals
  • The women’s movement, nuclear weapons
  • Solar energy and nuclear weapons
  • Prestigious universities and nuclear weapons
  • Nevada test site, radiation
  • Within 5 minutes of blowing up the planet
  • What one nuclear detonation does
  • Engaged in magical thinking
  • A public health question
  • Verification delays progress – make them illegal

Humanity found the moral courage to create effective rules criminalizing biological and chemical weapons worldwide. Now is the time for humanity to rise with one voice and carry out determined collective actions powerful enough to accomplish the goal. Banish nuclear weapons from this Earth forever.

*******

Here is a segment from the documentary, focused on the multi-billion dollar nuclear weapons industry – the military-industrial complex warned about by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in his famous Farewell Address.

(Thank you to Good Thinking – The Documentary at YouTube)

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