Kawaguchi indicates inclusion of "nuclear abolition by 2020" in ICNND report difficult

by Junichiro Hayashi, Staff Writer

On October 19, the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (ICNND) continued its discussions at a hotel in downtown Hiroshima. Yoriko Kawaguchi, a co-chair of the ICNND and former Japanese foreign minister, spoke to the abolition of nuclear weapons by 2020, which Mayors for Peace, led by Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba, has proposed. Ms. Kawaguchi expressed her view that it would be difficult to include the idea in their report, saying, "We appreciate various ideas, but we will propose an action plan we feel is realistic."

On the second day of discussions, 26 committee members and members of the ICNND advisory board from 16 nations, including former senior government officials, exchanged views at a closed-door meeting. They held discussions that covered the entire draft of the ICNND report, which consists of about 200 pages with 20 chapters and provides a road map toward nuclear abolition.

After the discussions, Ms. Kawaguchi commented, "Realistically speaking, the question [about nuclear abolition by 2020] has already been answered." Reportedly, the chance is slim that the ICNND will specify a target time for nuclear abolition in its report.

The ICNND members had animated discussions on the measures and timing for reducing the role of nuclear weapons. The meeting lasted more than eight hours, over an hour longer than scheduled. It is said that the ICNND members have confirmed that the commission will call on all nuclear weapons states to adhere to a "no first use" policy requiring nuclear weapon states not to use their nuclear weapons unless hit by a nuclear strike.

The ICNND members also agreed to include the number of nuclear weapons to be reduced by 2025 in the report. The members reportedly voiced such opinions as “I wonder if nations will be capable of dismantling their nuclear warheads” and “The control of nuclear fissile materials is critical.”

October 20 is the last day of the ICNND discussions and the members will make final adjustments in the overall content of the report. Ms. Kawaguchi said, “We will develop a feasible plan, which each government can realistically implement [in pursuit of nuclear abolition].”

(Originally published on Oct. 20, 2009)

NGO advisor says early start of negotiations for nuclear weapons convention is "essential in ICNND report"
by Yumi Kanazaki, Staff Writer

Tilman Ruff, 54, non-governmental organization (NGO) advisor to the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (ICNND), sat down for an interview with the Chugoku Shimbun on October 19 and spoke about the ICNND final report, now being discussed by the committee members. In sharing his views, Mr. Ruff said, "It is essential that the report urge an early start to negotiations for a nuclear weapons convention."

Mr. Ruff, chair of the Australian management committee of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, stressed, "The consensus among civil societies is that a framework to comprehensively ban the development, acquisition and use of nuclear weapons is essential to realizing the elimination of nuclear weapons." With the stance of international NGOs seeking "the conclusion of the nuclear weapons convention by 2015" in mind, Mr. Ruff called on the ICNND to include the immediate commencement of negotiations for the convention in the report.

The draft of the ICNND report recommends that international support be built for a nuclear weapons convention by 2025.

(Originally published on October 20, 2009)

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