foreign policy

International Day Against Nuclear Tests

Since nuclear weapons testing began on 16 July 1945, over 2,000 have taken place. In the early days of nuclear testing little consideration was given to its devastating effects on human life, let alone the dangers of nuclear fallout from atmospheric tests. Hindsight and history have shown us the terrifying and tragic effects of nuclear weapons testing, especially when controlled conditions go awry, and in light of the far more powerful and destructive nuclear weapons that exist today.

On 2 December 2009, the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly declared 29 August the International Day against Nuclear Tests by unanimously adopting resolution 64/35. The resolution calls for increasing awareness and education “about the effects of nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions and the need for their cessation as one of the means of achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.” The resolution was initiated by the Republic of Kazakhstan, together with a large number of sponsors and cosponsors with a view to commemorating the closure of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test site on 29 August 1991.

2010 marked the inaugural commemoration of the International Day against Nuclear Tests. In each subsequent year, the day has been observed by coordinating various activities throughout the world, such as symposia, conferences, exhibits, competitions, publications, lectures, media broadcasts and other initiatives.

Since its establishment, many bilateral and multilateral governmental level developments as well as broad movements in civil society have helped to advance the cause of banning nuclear tests.

Moreover, “convinced that nuclear disarmament and the total elimination of nuclear weapons are the only absolute guarantee against the use or threat of nuclear weapons,” the General Assembly designated 26 September as the “International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons”, which is devoted to furthering the objective of the total elimination of nuclear weapons, through the mobilization of international efforts. The International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons was observed for the first time in September 2014. The International Day against Nuclear Tests, together with other events and actions, has fostered a global environment that strongly advocates for a world free of nuclear weapons.

The international instrument to put an end to all forms of nuclear testing is the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). Unfortunately, this has yet to enter into force.

As the Secretary-General recognized in his disarmament agenda “Securing our Common Future” launched on 24 May 2018, the norm against testing is an example of a measure that serves both disarmament and non-proliferation objectives. By constraining the development of advanced new types of nuclear weapons, the CTBT puts a brake on the arms race. It also serves as a powerful normative barrier against potential States that might seek to develop, manufacture and subsequently acquire nuclear weapons in violation of their non-proliferation commitments.

Every effort needs to be made to ensure the entry into force of the CTBT and to preserve its place in the international architecture. In this regard, the Secretary-General appeals to all remaining States whose ratifications are required for the CTBT to enter into force to commit to sign the Treaty at an early date if they have not already done so, and to accelerate the completion of their ratification processes.

It is the hope of the UN that one day all nuclear weapons will be eliminated. Until then, there is a need to observe International Day against Nuclear Tests as the world works towards promoting peace and security.

To learn more about the background and significance of this observance, please visit un.org/en/observances/end-nuclear-tests-day.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP. For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bobbinassar@gmail.com or bknotts@uua.org. 

Past, Present and Future: Conflict and Cooperation in U.S. – China Relations

The U.S. and China

Past, Present and Future: Conflict and Cooperation in U.S.-China Relations

The prophetic historian Howard Zinn taught that if we don’t know our history, we can’t be free.  Without that knowledge, he warned, whenever a president comes on TV and says that we are in danger from here or there, we lack the framework needed to critically judge its truth.  Today the near unanimous Washington, media, and even scholarly and expert consensus is that China poses a dire threat to democracy and freedom around the world, and that our freedom requires defend them by challenging and containing China militarily, economically, technologically, diplomatically, and politically.  Provocative military operations near Taiwan or in the South China Sea carry the danger of an accident or miscalculation escalating to war, even a nuclear war.  Demonization of China also drives anti-Asian racism and violence across the United States, which must immediately be ended.

Understanding Chinese history and the history of U.S.-China relations provides us what we need to advocate for mutually beneficial policies and diplomacy, bringing the world back from the brink and opening the way for collaborations to address the existential threat of nuclear weapons, the climate emergency, and pandemics. Professors Mark Seldon and Zhiqun Zhu are uniquely qualified to share the essential histories of China and of U.S.–Chinese cooperation and competition.

Register here: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZModOmorz4rHtwRKZ9w0MwVaDenIP6Hy8GI

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org

[Rescheduled] Review Conference of the Parties to the NPT

In light of the situation related to the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, States Parties have decided to postpone the Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to a later date but no later than February 2022.

2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) was originally slated to be held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 27 April to 22 May 2020. Please adjust your calendars accordingly, as civil society’s voice cannot be excluded from this critical session.

Stay apprised & register to participate here: un.org/en/conferences/npt2020

About:

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is a landmark international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote co-operation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament. The NPT represents the only binding commitment in a multilateral treaty to the goal of disarmament by the nuclear-weapon States.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development-NY, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org.

No-First-Use: A powerful tool to achieve a world without nuclear weapons

Dear colleagues,

We draw your attention to the international launch on July 15 of NoFirstUse Global, a campaign platform and network promoting no-first-use policies globally as a measure to prevent nuclear war and to help achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world.

Support for No-First-Use policies is growing in nuclear armed countries and around the world, as evidenced by the recent Open Letter to Presidents Biden and Putin on No-First-Use which was endorsed by over 1200 political, military and religious leaders, as well as legislators, academics/scientists and other representatives of civil society. Find out more by attending the launch event.

Register here for Session B, which is timed for the Americas, Europe, Africa and the Middle East: us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_LIMFa4HXTzqCVaAKToVr1Q

July 15 Program:

  • Tribute for the 76th anniversary of the Trinity nuclear test;
  • Introductions to NoFirstUse Global from cosponsoring organizations;
  • Video messages from prominent supporters;
  • Launch of a social media action ‘Don’t even think about starting a nuclear war’
  • Questions and comments from the audience/participants

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bobbinassar@gmail.com or bknotts@uua.org. 

UN HRC47 side event: National security and civic space in Asia

Across Asia, there has been a growing trend of using national security and counter-terrorism legislation to curb the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

In this virtual side event to the 47th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council organized by Civicus, Franciscans International, and FORUM-ASIA, Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay will join human rights experts from India, Indonesia, and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on peaceful assembly and association Clément Voule in examining the impact of counter-terrorism legislation on civic space and in making recommendations on human rights protection to the United Nations Human Rights Council, States, and civil society.

Register here!

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bknotts@uua.org or bobbinassar@gmail.com. For more information on the Alliance of NGOs on Crime Prevention & Criminal Justice, please visit crimealliance.org.

Roundtable on the United Nations’ Role with regards to the Dangers of Anocratic States

This roundtable, co-hosted by the Center on Governance through Human Rights and the Stimson Center, will discuss how and why anocratic states have become the “new normal.” Studies and research on democracy often focuses on two political regimes: democracy and autocracy. Register here!

Chair

  • Gabriel Amvane, Vice President and Director, French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless People (OFPRA)

Participants

  • Anja Mihr, Program Director, Center on Governance through Human Rights
  • Richard Ponzio, Senior Fellow and Director, Global Governance, Justice & Governance Program, Stimson Center
  • John-Mark Iyi, Associate Professor, University of the Western Cape
  • Kseniya Kizilova, Head of Secretariat, World Values Survey Association
  • James Kim, Research Fellow, Asan Institute for Policy Studies
  • Daisaku Higashi, Professor, Center for Global Education and Discovery, Sophia University

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit  ngocdps.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bobbinassar@gmail.com or bknotts@uua.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Migration, please visit ngo-migration.org

Principles and Process: Civil Society Mobilization for Meaningful Post-UN75 Implementation Roundtable

The Coalition for the UN We Need and the Stimson Center will host a roundtable discussion to review recommendations from the Fulfilling the UN75 Declaration Expert Roundtable Series through the lens of a framework of principles for civil society engagement and mobilization – “A People’s Commitment” – that formed part of the UN75 People’s Declaration and Plan for Global Action, adopted in May 2020.

Register here!

Featured Speakers

  • Maria Fernanda Espinosa, Member, Group of Women Leaders: Voices for Change and Inclusion and former President of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly
  • Dan Perell, Representative to the United Nations, Baha’i International Community
  • Natalie Samarasinghe, Executive Director, United Nations Association of the United Kingdom
  • Jeffery Huffines, Senior Advisor, Coalition for the UN We Need
  • Maja Groff, Convenor, Climate Governance Commission (Global Challenges Foundation)
  • Cristina Petcu, Research Analyst, Global Governance, Justice & Security Program, Stimson Center

Moderated by Fergus Watt, Coordinator, Coalition for the UN We Need

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com.

Beyond UN75: A Roadmap for Inclusive, Networked & Effective Global Governance

The Stimson Center will launch its latest report, “Beyond UN75: A Roadmap for Inclusive, Networked & Effective Global Governance.” The report considers the new kinds of tools, networks, and institutions, combined with enlightened global leadership, required to take forward the twelve commitments at the heart of the UN75 Declaration.

The Stimson Center’s Global Governance, Justice and Security program is pleased to announce its participation at the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) Annual Meeting 2021, Toward a Fit for Future UN System (24-26 June). Please register for the conference and join the Stimson Center for this session.

Register here!

Panel Chair

  • Sultan Barakat, Director, Centre for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies, Doha Institute of Graduate Studies

Featured Speakers

  • Richard Ponzio, Senior Fellow and Director, Global Governance, Justice & Governance Program, Stimson Center
  • Joris Larik, Assistant Professor of Comparative, EU, and International Law, Leiden University and Senior Advisor, Stimson Center
  • Cristina Petcu, Research Analyst, Global Governance, Justice & Governance Program, Stimson Center
  • Banou Arjomand, Research Assistant, Global Governance, Justice & Governance Program, Stimson Center

Discussant

  • Mónica Serrano, Research-Professor of International Relations, El Colegio de México

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org.

Global Governance Innovation Network Launch

The Stimson Center, ACUNS, Plataforma CIPÓ, and Leiden University are pleased to announce the launch of a new Global Governance Innovation Network (GGIN). At this ACUNS Annual meeting plenary session, participants will be informed about how they can engage GGIN activities and advance its core mission of bringing together scholars and policymakers to examine and offer solutions to major global governance problems.

The Stimson Center’s Global Governance, Justice and Security program is pleased to announce its participation at the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) Annual Meeting 2021, Toward a Fit for Future UN System (24-26 June).

Please register: stimson.org/event/global-governance-innovation-network-launch

Welcome Remarks & GGIN Overview

  • Lise Howard, President, ACUNS, and Professor of Government and Foreign Service, Georgetown University
  • Richard Ponzio, Senior Fellow and Director, Global Governance, Justice & Security Program, Stimson Center

Featured Speakers

  • Ibrahim Gambari, Chief of Staff to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari; Founding Chairman, Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy, and Development; and former UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs and Foreign Minister of Nigeria
  • Marie McAuliffe, Head, Migration Research Division, International Organization for Migration
  • Thomas G. Weiss, Presidential Professor, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, and former President and Executive-Director of ACUNS
  • Joris Larik, Assistant Professor of Comparative, EU, and International Law, Leiden University and Senior Advisor, the Stimson Center

Moderated by

  • Adriana Erthal Abdenur, Co-Founder and Executive-Director, Plataforma CIPÓ

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org.

The Contribution of Development to the Enjoyment of all Human Rights

Dear NGO colleagues,

Please consider yourselves invited to participate in a one-day intersessional seminar on the contribution of development to the enjoyment of all human rights, which will be held online on 28 May 2021, from 11 am to 1 pm and from 3 to 5 pm Central European Standard Time (CEST). The seminar is organized as requested by the Human Rights Council, in its resolution 41/19 (para.14), in order to allow Member States, relevant United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, international organizations, national human rights institutions, civil society organizations and other stakeholders to identify challenges and gaps and share good practices and experiences in this regard.

More information, including the concept note and programme of work is available at this link: ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Development/Pages/contributionofdevelopment.aspx

All participants are required to register at indico.un.org/event/35807. The link to the meeting and instructions about the list of speakers will be made available to the registered participants.

Delegations are reminded to submit copies of their statements prior to delivery to r2d@ohchr.org.

For further details, please contact Mr. Diego Valadares (ext. 79177; dvaladares@ohchr.org) or Ms. Helen Ochero (ext. 89668; hochero@ohchr.org).

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bobbinassar@gmail.com or bknotts@uua.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org.

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