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Needed: Good Leaders to Cut the Nuclear Posturing
Editorial, by Rebecca Johnson
This month's edition of Nuclear Non-Proliferation News includes information on:
Previous editions of Nuclear Non-Proliferation News are available at: www.acronym.org.uk/news.
For further coverage go to Acronym's NPT page.
North Korea is undermining international security with its high risk nuclear brinkmanship. In conducting its nuclear test, North Korea is playing a high risk game of nuclear brinkmanship that underscores the global urgency of bringing the CTBT into force.
North Korea probably hopes to put pressure on the Obama administration and the Six Party Talks, and increase the price of its denuclearisation as required by the UN Security Council. This test demonstrates the need to make the global prohibition on nuclear testing fully binding in international law. Condemnation is not enough: the US and China have particular responsibility and must accelerate their own efforts to ratify the CTBT.
180 states have signed the CTBT and 148 have ratified, including Britain, France and Russia. The treaty cannot enter into force until 9 specified states ratify, including China and the US.
For further background on North Korea, go to Acronym's North Korea page.
Published by UNIDIR, Unfinished Business: the Negotiation of the CTBT and the End of Nuclear Testing, by Rebecca Johnson details how the CTBT was fought for, opposed and finally negotiated. It considers how a decade of political and institutional obstacles have prevented the CTBT from entering into full legal effect, including the Indian and Pakistani nuclear tests of May 1998, the US failure to ratify the treaty in 1999, and the October 9, 2006 nuclear test by North Korea.
For more on CTBT go to Acronym's CTBT page.
Acronym Institute Executive Director Dr Rebecca Johnson was part of a plenary panel on International Expectations of the Obama Administration, chaired by Naila Bolus of the Ploughshares Fund.
Transcripts, video and audio recordings of the panel are available from the CEIP website at:
President Obama has reaffirmed his commitment to a world without nuclear weapons. Obama said that the US would lead the endeavour to eliminate nuclear weapons, saying that as the only country to have used a nuclear weapon, it had a 'moral responsibility' to act.
Acronym coverage of the summit:
Full analysis of the 63rd UN First Committee will be published in Disarmament Diplomacy No. 89, early in 2009.
Acronym Institute director Rebecca Johnson attended the UN First Committee in New York. For week-by-week reporting and analysis on the First Committee, see the First Committee Monitor, produced by Reaching Critical Will and supported by Acronym Institute and other NGOs:
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