Bits From Abroad (April 2011)

April 2011

Under the terms of the START treaty, which came into force in February, a US team is expected soon in Russia to inspect the country’s latest range of nuclear missiles.

 Mayors for Peace have organized a petition demanding the abolition of nuclear weapons.  It now has a million signatures and went on exhibition at the United Nations Headquarters in March. 

 Management failures in the US nuclear weapons industries have added at least $70 billion to the projected costs over the last two years.

 A white paper on China’s national defence policy says it is adhering to “no-first-use of nuclear weapons at any time and in any circumstances“.

A report from IKV Pax Christi, a Dutch nuclear abolitionist group, says that

France is the biggest obstacle to ridding Europe of tactical nuclear weapons.

 The Simons Foundation and the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA) have released the “Vancouver Declaration”.  It affirms that nuclear weapons are incompatible with international humanitarian law, because of their uncontrollable blast, heat, and radiation effects.
The declaration calls on states to commence and conclude negotiations on the global prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons as unanimously required by the International Court of Justice in 1996.  An annex to the declaration states: “It cannot be lawful to continue indefinitely to possess weapons which are unlawful to use or threaten to use, are already banned for most states, and are subject to an obligation of elimination.
For more information, see http://www.ialana.net and http://www.lcnp.org.