No. 44, February 2004



The INES office has a new address. All mailing should be sent to:

INES c/o Hellminch
Fehrbelliner Str. 38
10119 Berlin, Germany

Telephone, Fax and E-mail access remain the same.




Peace and Sustainability Under the Umbrella of US Military Policies
The case of the Middle East -- Bahig Nassar

Chemical Weapons Convention after the First Review Conference -- Jiri Matousek

The dawn of a pseudoscience
Between astrology and revealed truth: Economy
-- Hugo Estrella Tampieri

Sending humans to Mars won't save the earth --
A press statement by Scientists for Global Responsibility

Farewell to Luis Masperi -- Hugo Estrella Tampieri

INES Council 2003

Peace and conflict in a time of globalization
Conference announcement

INES Executive Committee 2004



Peace and Sustainability Under the Umbrella of US Military Policies
The case of the Middle East

By Bahig Nassar

Coordinator, Arab Coordination Center of NGOs, Cairo


Sustainability has been connected to socio-economic development and then expanded to cover new areas such as culture, ethics, science and technology. Relations of sustainability to problems of war and peace were almost absent from our agenda. Possibly the dissemination of propaganda after the end of the cold war claiming that conflicts and contradictions among states can be managed and settled by economic measures without resorting to wars and military clashes had its impact. However, the current US military policies, mainly implemented in the Middle East (ME), brought to an end all these claims. According to the US new definition, this region comprises the traditional ME and former Soviet Republics of Central Asia together with Afghanistan. Huge reserves of oil are located in these areas.

This paper will concentrate on two issues with special reference to the ME:

  1. US military policies and their impact on efforts to achieve durable peace and sustainable human security;

  2. Their impact on constructive solutions of the Global Problem which affect the very survival of human societies (nuclear weapons proliferation, depleted oil resources and scarcity of water).

The approach to these problems will be from the ME peace movements point of view which should deal with both US policies and those of its ME allies.

Unlimited Power

Speaking about those responsible for "the marginalisation of international institutions, the diversion of resources away from meeting challenges to global sustainability, weakening of fundamental civil liberties and a basic human security," the statement of the Pugwash Conference held 17-21 July 2003, openly said "Primary among these is the current US administration, which has abdicated its moral responsibility as the world’s strongest power in not taking the lead to rid the world of nuclear weapons. To the contrary, the US administration has declared its intention of relying on nuclear weapons as a core component of US national security for the indefinite future. Without a 180 degree reversal of US nuclear weapons policies, there is no chance of eliminating the incentives of other countries to acquire nuclear weapons and abolishing such weapons entirely."

The current US administration (Republican Party) totally relies on military structures and policies built up and pursued by the former Clinton administration (Democratic Party). One should recall that the Clinton administration had launched a pre-emptive missile strike to destroy a factory producing medicine close to the capital of Sudan under the unfounded allegation that it was producing chemical weapons. It created the Counter Proliferation Strategy to launch military attacks combined with nuclear weapons against "rogue" states hostile to US interests if they try to acquire weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their delivery systems. It reactivated the production of missile defense systems and deployed them in the ME and other regions to kill missiles of its adversaries while their skies will be opened to hit any target on their territories, and furthered the capability and effectiveness of US rapid deployment forces together with their "special units" which usually undertake secret operations in other countries. Development of technologies necessary to project military power on its adversaries to avoid the involvement of its massive armed forces in ground clashes continued unabated. They include, the development of intelligent bombs, stealth technology, reconnaissance and communication systems and suppressive technology which obliterates the functions of the adversary’s military and civil systems.

All these military structures and policies developed or created by the Clinton administration laid the ground for the new excessive and fanatic policies of the Bush administration. Campaigns to defeat the later policies should continue after they will achieve the target in order to abolish their military foundation built up by former US administrations.

The Bush administration maintains the former "mutual assured deterrence" strategy, pursued with the former Soviet Union. US confrontation with Russia has receded, and both countries agreed to reduce their strategic nuclear weapons to 1700 or 2200 by the year 2012. But the US administration declared its intention to re-link 2000 nuclear warheads to their missiles if future developments will deem it necessary. In other words the US old triad of strategic bombers, land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine-based long rang missiles will be maintained and used if a possible confrontation with Russia or any other nation will emerge.

But, according to the "Nuclear Posture Review" report presented by the Pentagon to the Congress, another triad is emerging to face new adversaries who may try to acquire WMD and their delivery vehicles. It comprises nuclear weapons integrated with conventional weapons, missile defense systems integrated with missile offensive systems together with advanced communication, information and intelligence systems to hit any target in any region which may emerge suddenly and in surprise development. In addition to China the adversaries are rogue states. Five of them are named by the Pentagon report; North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Syria and Libya. Four of them are located in the ME and more countries may be added to the list.

Since the events of September 2001 in Washington and New York, the necessity of launching a pre-emptive strike was intensively discussed to effectively respond to rogue states and terrorist groups.

Finally "The National Security strategy of the United States" presented by the White House adopted the pre-emptive war as a US official military doctrine to be launched by a decision of its own. Formerly US launched pre-emptive strikes (the missile raid to destroy a medicine factory in Sudan), but to officially adopt this strategy is leading to grave consequences.

International legality and international institutions, mainly the UN, will be totally ignored and violated. This will be particularly grave because the US war against terrorism has boiled down to invasion and occupation of states hostile to its interests.

In addition, "the national security strategy" stresses that US "enjoys a position of unprecedented and unequalled strength and influence in the world." The implications of this statement will go far beyond human boundaries after, on 16 September 2003, the US congress approved a budget allocated by the administration (6 million dollars) to conduct necessary studies for the production of low-yield nuclear weapons of five kilotons or less and another budget (16 million dollars) on researches to produce earth penetrating nuclear weapons to be used in actual operations.

Other states can economically compete with the US at the global level. The Euro is already effectively competing with the US at the global level. But the military influence of other states is confined to their regions. Consequently the US uses, at present, its military power as the main component of its plan to impose its hegemony, regionally and globally. The use of military force is now the basic rule to implement US policy.


American Internationalism

The national security strategy of the United states speaks about "American internationalism that reflects the union of our values and national interests." It emphasizes that "the great strength of this nation must be used to promote a balance of power that favors freedom." But freedom as expressed in the National Security Strategy is always connected to "free trade and free market" which should be opened to US corporations, otherwise there will be neither freedom nor democracy.

It is said that war is an extension of politics by other means (military). Thus, US war against terrorism and rogue states is an extension of American internationalism that reflects our (US) values and our (US) interests. In the case of Iraq neither WMD have been found nor any trace of relations between Ben Laden and Saddam Hussein was discovered. The only target is oil. Also, the American internationalism which reflects US relations with other nations should serve US interests. Values and interests of other nations should be identified with those of the US otherwise these nations will be on the side of the US enemies: the terrorist groups.

The US unilateral acts of violence and aggression come at a time when efforts are made to reach a historic compromise among world nations, members of the UN, to develop its structure and replace the former historic compromise reached through negotiations between East and West (socialist and capitalist countries) after the end of the second world war. A new element is affecting the current efforts since it is no more confined to negotiations mainly between developed countries of West and East. The newly emerging states together with the rest of developing countries are playing a role to defend their interests. It is in this context of competition between developing and developed countries, as well as, among parties of both groups that the US with its concept of internationalism is trying to be at the helm of the world order to guide all others. Building up new alliances (possibly between several European countries, China and many developing countries) will be decisive in determining the course of negotiations to save and develop UN and international legality, and consequently will deal a blow at American Internationalism. Compromises and concessions to build up a balance of relations in favor of the UN, international legality and multilateral agreements are very much needed.

In addition, the afor-mentioned process is taking place within the framework of the current globalization. Almost all economic, social, political and cultural problems are of global scale. Even the very simple local problem has its trans-local and trans-national dimensions (think globally and act locally). Multilateral approach by all relevant parties to the current problems is a must to ensure sustainability of their solutions.

To challenge this approach, the US is using its nuclear-capable forces. Already, it had abrogated, violated or withdrawn from multilateral agreements on nuclear weapon nonproliferation and disarmament.

 The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (LTBT) to prevent all nuclear weapon tests signed by the Clinton administration in 1996 was rejected by the majority of the Republican Party, members of the senate, in 1999. Recently the US administration has reduced the time necessary to prepare for nuclear tests from three years to 18 months.

 The 1972 Anti Ballistic Missile Treaty, concluded between the US and the Soviet Union to contain and restrain threats of strategic nuclear weapons was unilaterally abrogated by the Bush administration in December 2001.

 The Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention of 1973, had been ratified by the US and 143 other states. But the Bush administration refused a protocol designed to provide on-site inspection, dealing a blow at the implementation of the convention itself.

 The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty NPT signed by more countries than any other treaty (188) is the result of a bargain committing non-nuclear weapon states NNWS to refrain from acquiring nuclear weapons in exchange of a promise by nuclear weapon states NWS to abolish their weapons (Article VI of the Treaty) and to provide NNWS with the necessary technology for the peaceful use of nuclear energy (article IV). The promise to abolish nuclear weapons has not been fulfilled and nuclear technology is scarcely provided for peaceful use.

 Finally, the US Senate lately approved the allocation of budgets for researches to seek the possibility of producing nuclear weapons which can be used in military operations including pre-emptive wars.

As a result of these steps, nuclear weapons are the core of US plans to dictate its will on other states. Many countries will have the incentives to seek WMD and their delivery vehicles to counter this deadly threat. El-Baradei, international Atomic Energy Agency Chief, attacked the US plans to research mini-nukes. He also said, "unless we are moving steadily toward nuclear disarmament, I’m afraid that the alternative is that we’ll have scores of countries with nuclear weapons and that is an absolute recipe for self-destruction" (Reuters, September 30, 2003). Also, the use of low-yield nuclear weapons in military operations will not prevent nuclear escalation and the use of nuclear weapons of high-destructive capabilities. Sustainability will be out of question if this policy will not be checked and halted.


The Middle East and the Pax Americana

It is clear that the second major shift in geopolitics after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the US becoming the sole super power, is the US shift to pursue unilateral approach to world problems.

Programs to implement this global strategy differ from region to region. In North East Asia the US administration has made efforts to solve possible nuclear proliferation in North Korea by diplomatic means. Resorting to invasion and occupation are not appropriate due to many facts including the location of Russia and China close to North Korea, the refusal of South Korean people to use force against North Korea and the possible possession of advanced nuclear weapons by Japan once North Korea will acquire the bomb, a step which will change the nuclear weapon scene worldwide. Transforming the Korean peninsula into a nuclear weapon free zone is accepted, but the US refusal to conclude a non-aggression pact with North Korea has delayed a settlement. In the ME the situation is totally different.

The main strategic components which determine the US policies in this region are oil resources and the Israeli presence in the region. Former Soviet Republics in Central Asia with their oil resources are considered, at present, by US as part and parcel of the ME. Controlling this area together with the Gulf and the rest of the ME will avail the US of the biggest and richest oil reserves in the world. A strategic advantage to bear pressure on other powers which are in need of oil will be available to the US.

With regard to Israel, political analysts from the West usually speak about the two standard policies pursued by the US, contrary to Arab interests and in favor of Israel. But one should not overlook the very effective role Israel is playing in the implementation of the US policies. Reagan, former US President, correctly said that Israel is a US strategic asset. Both states refuse to settle the Arab-Israel conflict within the UN framework. From the very inception of Israel’s state existence it has used military force to annex territories allocated by the UN for the Palestinian people whereas the US vetoed many UN Security Council resolutions which could hamper Israeli policies. The US policy of condoning Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons while using or threaten to use military force against Arab countries which may acquire WMD to counter threats of Israeli weapons is very well known.

To further this cooperation, symmetrical military structures of both the US and Israel are maintained. The two states have nuclear weapons and missile defense systems. Thanks to the three dolphin submarines provided by Germany which carry cruise missiles to launch nuclear warheads, Israel can now launch its missiles from land, air, sea and from the bottom of international waters, similar to the US. Pre-emptive strikes are part of their military doctrines and unilateral acts had been undertaken by Israel (regionally) and by the US (globally). At the same time, the US military bases in several Arab countries together with the irrational and inhuman policies of the Saddam Hussein regime have contributed to the success of the Bush administration.

With this set of doctrines and military structures the Bush administration has been able to create new realities in the ME. Under the banners of war against terrorism US military presence emerged in the Central Asian Republics; Afghanistan is now under US occupation and pipelines will cross its territories to convey gas and oil to ports located on the Pakistan shores of the Indian Ocean, to be delivered to Japan, China and the newly emerging states in East Asia. Also, the US military presence in the Gulf Arab States has escalated to support its invasion and occupation of Iraq, and consequently American forces are deployed on the boarders of Syria and Iran. Israel (US close ally) is occupying Palestinian Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem together with the Syrian Golan Heights since 1967. Military facilities are available to the US in several countries of the region including Egypt and Morocco. All these vast areas are under the control of the US Rapid Deployments Force and its Central Command.

Thanks to these realities, some of which had been recently created due to mistakes of certain Arab regimes, as well as Israeli and US Policies, the US is now making every effort to impose its Pax American on and within the countries of the region. A program has been prepared to achieve this target, comprising military, political, economic, educational and cultural sub-programs. The role of Israel has been amplified. In addition to the afore-mentioned cooperation between the US and Israel in the military field, as well as new security advantages and new annexation of territories, which Israel is expected to acquire in exchange of Israeli withdrawal from occupied Arab territories, it is now a partner in the implementation of Pax Americana. The coordination between the US plan to impose economic sanctions on Syria and the Israel air raid to destroy a building near Damascus in last September, overlooking the UN and its Charter, testify to this fact. Both actions are also an open message to Iran.

Among the important aspects of this cooperation is the joint role of Israel and the US to prevent economic cooperation between the developing countries of the region to integrate their economics and to change the balance of relations with developed countries in favor of sustainable development of their societies. Many regional markets in developing countries in Latin America, Asia and South Africa are in the making to this end. Naturally, relations between developing and developed countries will continue, but the question is the effort to acquire economic, financial and trade terms in favor of developing countries, otherwise their sustainable development will not be achieved. This is a political question of great importance and a subject of intensive struggle in all international institutions dealing with development problems. For reasons of their own, the US (a developed country located far from the ME) and Israel (a developed country in the region) have their incentives to establish regional economic order based on and led by tight cooperation between their national economics to defend their national interests in the ME. In addition, the US is imposing economic sanctions on several countries of the region.

These policies are hampering efforts of the ME developing countries (mainly Arab Countries), to build their own free market as a step enhancing their abilities to create the appropriate conditions for sustainable development free from unfair conditions imposed by the current process of globalization.

A change of Israeli policies from consolidating Pax Americana and the practices of US transnationals to mutual and multilateral cooperation and assistance with the countries of the region in order to change the balance of relations in favor of the inalienable rights of people to independence and sustainable economic, cultural and scientific-technological development, together with effective normalization of relations and cooperation between Arab Countries and Israel in all spheres including the abolition of WMD and the elimination of the root causes of terrorism of state and non-state actors will be a historic turning point in the region leading to durable peace and sustainable human security.


Global Problems in the Middle East

If human power will challenge the power of nature by the use of force, humanity will be defeated and possibly will be annihilated. The danger will not only befall those who use force but all people without exception. This is the rationale behind the necessity of managing Global Problems rationally and with full respect for a balanced relation between nature and society to sustain and develop both of them. The question is no more confined to issues related to mere socio-economic development but goes far beyond human boundaries threatening the very existence of civilizations. In spite of this alarming and acknowledged fact there are those who try to manage Global Problems by the use of force. The policies of the Bush administration and its close allies with regard to depleted oil resources, scarcity of water and proliferation and possible use of nuclear weapons in the ME are clear examples.

At present 10% of the US consumed oil is imported from the ME, but 40% of Europe’s imported oil and almost 70% of Japan’s oil are from the region. Controlling ME oil is a pressure card available to the US and its transnationals to gain economic and political power internationally. US control of the newly discovered oil resource in the Caspian Sea region together with the invasion of Iraq which has the second oil reserves in the world after Saudi Arabia will intensively consolidate this control.

Also, oil helps the US dollar to continue as the strongest currency in the world. In 1971, the Bretton Woods system of exchanging dollars for US gold fell apart. As a result the reliance on dollars has been reduced. But, in 1973 the price of oil quadrupled and the OPEC countries continued to accept dollars in exchange of their oil. Consequently, the demand for dollars soared very high since they had been effectively backed by oil instead of gold. Countries which want to purchase oil, including big industrialized countries, must accumulate dollars to get their oil and poor developing countries started to borrow dollars to buy oil. In addition, oil producing countries, the members of OPEC, recycled huge amounts of their dollars to be invested in transnational corporations and banks mainly those of the US, enabling the later to offer debts to developing countries to buy oil and consequently further their exploitation.

But if oil exporters abandon dollars for other currency in exchange of their oil, the afore-mentioned process would be reversed. This possibility is emerging. The Euro, the official currency of Germany, France and several European countries is now competing with the dollar. Saddam Hussein in 2000 demanded to get permission from the UN to be paid for oil in Euros. Iran and Russia have also considered paying their oil in Euros and the President of Venezuela at the OPEC summit, September 2000, proposed to set up a barter system enabling members to trade oil for goods and services without the use of dollars. It is clear that the growing competition between Dollar and Euro and the efforts of several powers, France, Germany, Russia and China to seek oil resources lie behind their differences with the US policies pursued in connection to its invasion of Iraq.

It is also clear that these differences will continue in ups and downs but will gradually escalate. The reason is the fact that oil is a depleted natural resource. At the same time it is one of the main pillars of modern civilizations. A report prepared in early 2001 by Vice President Dick Cheney and released by the White House in May 2002 referred to this problem, stressing the need to overcome foreign resistance to the outward reach of American energy companies.

Reviewing this report Prof. Micheal T. Klare (Pacific News Service, April 23, 2002) referred to three key points of the report:

 The United States must satisfy an ever increasing share of its oil demand with imported supplies (by 2020; daily US imports will total 17 million barrels, or 65 percent of the consumption).

 The United States cannot depend exclusively on traditional sources of supply (Saudi Arabia Canada, Venezuela) but must also obtain substantial supplies from new sources (Caspian states, Russia, Africa ..)

 To this end the US cannot rely on market forces alone to gain access to these added supplies, but will also require a significant effort on the part of government officials to overcome foreign resistance to the outward reach of American energy companies.

Commenting on the third point, Klare said:

"This means, of course, that American efforts to obtain increased supplies of foreign oil will require more than trade deals and diplomacy. It will also require the threat of or the use of force to dissuade hostile forces from attempting to obstruct the flow of petroleum to the United States. This in turn, will require an enhanced US capacity to operate military in areas of likely fighting over oil."

The US occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq and the huge arms build up in the ME which comprises the biggest concentration of US military forces outside its territories testify to this conclusion. Moreover, other big countries (China, France, Germany, Japan) are in great need of oil, and emerging new powers (e.g. India, Brazil) together with many developing countries will also need an open ended flow of oil necessary for their socio-economic development: Is the use of force pursued by the US the solution to these problems or will it lead to unprecedented clashes of interests worldwide? The correct answer to the question is vital to our civilization because oil itself is a depleted natural resource.

Another problem which affects the future of the ME region is the scarcity of water. The share of the Arab countries is around 15% of world total land and 5% of its total population, but less than 1% of the world renewable fresh water. The growth of population of the ME countries, waves of Jewish emigration to Israel and agricultural, industrial and services development, combined with the lack of proper use of water are amplifying the crisis. In addition 75% of the rivers in the ME are located outside the Arab territories. These are well-known facts already leading to sharp conflicts.

Egypt is concerned about the water development of the upstream users of the river Nile. An understanding reached in 1991 between all countries located in the river basin, known as the Nile Basin Initiative, has improved the regional cooperation for more effective use of water and better management of water resources. Also, joint production and distribution of electricity is planned among countries of Eastern and Southern areas of the Nile basin. The countries of the basin have the intention to solve problems of water through negotiations and multilateral agreement without resorting to force. This peaceful trend needs to be maintained and strengthened.

The situation in Euphrates and Tigris rivers Basins is different. Both rivers originated in south eastern Turkey, flow through Syria and Iraq and finally meet in south Iraq to end in the waters of the Gulf. Ninety percent of the Syrian water and 98% of the water resources of Iraq are from the two rivers. But, Turkey is implementing a huge water project comprising 22 dams and 19 power plants on the two rivers leading to a substantial reduction of water flowing to the two Arab countries. The Turkish slogan, "Arabs are selling their oil and I shall sell my water" is deceptive because the US or Iraqi oil is totally in each of these countries whereas international rivers are shared by several countries and they should conclude multilateral agreements for the benefit of their people.

The most serious water conflict in the region has centered around the ground water in the occupied Palestinian Gaza, West Bank and East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan Highs together with the water of the Jordan river and its tributaries. The latter could be available for consumption by Palestinians, Syrians, Lebanese, Jordanians and Israelis.

The struggle to control these resources started before the establishment of the Israeli state. Zionist leaders following the British promise to offer a home for Jews in Palestine, demanded to include all of Palestine together with the Golan Highs, South of Lebanon and the River Jordan in the proposed Israeli territories. When the Zionist leaders failed to achieve their target they resorted to their policy of establishing Jewish settlements in Syria and Lebanon, a step to be followed by others, but the French authorities (occupiers of both countries) foiled their attempt.

After the UN adopted their resolution on the partition of Palestine to establish two states for the Arabs and Israelis, several clashes erupted between Israel and its neighboring Arab countries around water resources. As a result of the 1967 war all water resources formally suggested to be part of Israel by its leaders had been under its occupation.

Apart from Jordan which settled the question of water with Israel as part of their Peace Treaty, the under- ground water of the Golan Highs, Gaza and the West Bank together with all the Palestinian share in the Jordan river water were diverted to Israel. The final settlement of water resources in Southern Lebanon is still in question.

With regard to the underground water in the West Bank, Israeli occupied authorities prohibit the Palestinians from drilling new wells without permission which is almost impossible to get, blocked or sealed several existing water wells and determined the depth of the wells in order to reduce the water consumption. The underground water in Gaza has been seriously polluted by sea water, infiltrated and mixed with fresh water. All pumping stations which had provided Palestinians with water from the river Jordan before the Israeli occupation were either destroyed or confiscated. At present, an Israeli uses about 370 cubic meters per year a Palestinian uses between 107 and 156 cub per year, and a Jewish settler between 650 and 1,714 cub per year. [1]

The use of force to unilaterally manage problems of water scarcity will not solve them. Major conflicts and wars will ensue from such a policy. To meet the continuous increasing demand of water it is absolutely imperative to conclude multilateral agreements to ensure the sustainable development to this vital natural resource..

The third Global Problem in the ME is the deployment and proliferation of nuclear weapons which, at present, assumes new dimensions. Jonathan Schell and David Krieger discussed in their paper, "The Second Nuclear Age,"[2] the situation after the first age dominated by confrontation between US and the Soviet Union, came to an end. More studies are required to further our understanding of the current nuclear age. According to what had been said in this report. "The Second Nuclear Age" maintains at a low level the old strategy of mutual assured deterrence, the core of nuclear weapons policy in the era of the cold war. But, a new nuclear doctrine and strategy has emerged and developed in the second nuclear age to defeat new adversaries hostile to the US national interests in various regions. At first, they were rogue states and after the events of September 11th, 2001 in New York and Washington, terrorist groups had been added. Major regional wars and military clashes, spread across the globe, can be launched in response to "malicious and mischievous" acts of these adversaries. Practically, the response of the US to these acts boiled down to occupation of certain states or threats to use force against others to enhance the US national interests:

Two distinctive features characterize the second nuclear age.

 In addition to the general programme designed to conclude a Nuclear Weapon Convention to abolish these weapons allover the world (the 13 points of the 2000 NPT Conference and others), the implementation of special programmes in regions where countries are suffering from operations undertaken by US nuclear capable forces assumes special importance. The main confrontations are taking place, at present, between the US and countries located in these regions. The global and regional plans to abolish nuclear weapons are interconnected and are consolidating each other. This is one of the main lessons drawn from the world demonstrations of February 15, 2003. Slogans to prevent the war against Iraq and to unmask the US double standard policy with regard to nuclear weapons in the ME had been raised together with slogans calling for the full respect for the UN Charter and international legality and for the abolition of all nuclear weapons.

 The second feature is the current preparation for the actual use of low-yield nuclear weapons in military operations which qualitatively distinguish the second nuclear age from the former one. It is a radical shift from mere deterrence towards a strategy of nuclear weapon use, breaking the taboo which had separated nuclear weapons from conventional weapons. The motive behind this shift is the fact that the low yield nuclear weapons will not be used against Russia or other big nuclear states for fear of escalation to the use of nuclear weapons of high capabilities. Simply, they will be used against non-nuclear-weapon-developing countries: the "rogue" states. To deal with the deployment and proliferation of nuclear weapons in various regions it is imperative to take in consideration the special features of each of them. In the ME the following can be identified:

 Different from other regions where nuclear weapons are not deployed (Latin America) or acquired by parties involved in conflicts (Pakistan and India in South Asia), Israel is the only state in ME region that acquires an arsenal of nuclear weapons threatening other countries of the region. Israel claims that it will maintain this arsenal until peace will be established in the region, but peace will never be achieved as long as Israeli nuclear weapons are threatening other people.

 Due to the Israeli refusal to accede to the NPT and its insistence on maintaining nuclear weapons, other states of the region seek every possibility to acquire WMD to counter the Israeli threats. A new development has emerged. The problem is no more confined to nuclear weapon elimination. Abolition of all WMD should be the target (Egyptian initiative in 1991).

 The US financially and technologically assists Israel to produce its Arrow missile defense system to neutralize and kill missiles of its adversaries. Another development has emerged. Elimination of all WMD in the ME should also cover their delivery systems including missiles (resolution of the 1995 NPT conference and final documental of the 2000 NPT conference).

 Concurrently, Israel unilaterally uses military force to prevent the possession of nuclear weapons by any country of the region (raid on Iraq rector near Baghdad). Also, the US did the same and launched a preemptive missile strike on a factory close to the Sudanese capital.

 But, pre-emptive strikes may not prevent other countries from furthering their efforts to acquire WMD. This possibility has been used by the US administration to go beyond airplane or missile strikes and use mass nuclear capable forces to invade and occupy other countries. The case of Iraq is a clear example.

 To successfully achieve its target, the US has further developed its military plan and took steps to produce low-yield nuclear weapons to be used in military operations in the ME and other regions.

The net result of these policies will not prevent nuclear weapon proliferation. On the contrary, they will prompt other states to seek WMD. Nuclear weapon proliferation will escalate and the NPT will fall apart.

All these grave developments can come to an end if the US and all countries of the region agree in good faith to transform the ME into a zone free from nuclear weapons and other WMD and their delivery systems, a great contribution to abolish nuclear weapons worldwide.



The alternatives are well-known. The problem is the lack of political will for their implementation.

Wars, military clashes, the use of force to impose settlements on conflicts and violation of the UN Charter and international legality are conducive to more conflicts, sharp clashes of interests and new military clashes and wars.

Nobody is against cooperation between the US (together with other big powers) and the ME countries in all fields. On the contrary, such a cooperation is indispensable to benefit all parties. But, the people of the region have the right to resist practices of hegemony and exploitation, mainly occupation of their territories and attempts to impose economic and political orders which serve the interests of transnationals and further the irrational consumption of the natural resources of the region. Nuclear weapon threats leveled at the ME people and foreign military presence on their territories should come to an end. The prospect to achieve this target is not gloomy. Few months after the Iraq occupation with utter disregard of the UN charter the US is facing hatred, losses of lives and financial difficulties that it returns to the UN begging other nations to extend their assistance.

A constructive response to the concerns of Israel and the Arab countries is indispensable to reach compromises leading to durable solutions of problems and just settlements to conflicts. Three main Israeli concerns should be dealt with: First, the Holocaust and the terrible experience of the Jews in Europe has a special role in defining the concept of absolute and exclusive Israeli security. Second, the Israeli geographic and demographic predicament as a tiny State surrounded by Arab environment. Third, the possible narrowing of the gap between Israeli and Arab capabilities in conventional weapons which will not favor Israel.

There are also Arab concerns that must be addressed: First, the Israeli nuclear weapons pose a direct threat at the security of the Arab countries and even on the existence of their people. Second, Israeli involvement in the US economic and military plans in the Middle East, thus entrenching practices of the current process of globalisation. Third, its insistence on imposing balance of force to annex territories and control water resources.

Reviewing all these concerns in one package, one can conclude that durable and solid reconciliation between Israel and the Arab countries requires compromises which induce each side to offer the other the human conditions to live and prosper in peace. To give up narrow national security and adopt a vision of regional security in the interest of all countries is the most important among them. Arab countries should accept Israel as a State safely located in the ME whereas Israel should prove that its presence in the region should not jeopardize the basic economic, social and security interests and the inalienable rights of the people of the region in particular the Palestinian people. The present settlements now achieved between Israel and Arab countries due to US mediation, are only leading to suspense of military clashes combined with fragile relations among them. Unless both sides will strike the appropriate Compromises, no durable peace will persist in the Middle East.

Either security in the ME will be based on WMD proliferation, military alliance, interference by big powers, US military presence and bases, violation of international law and policies of hegemony and domination or on a zone free from nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, general disarmament, non-offensive defense, balance of interests, economic and cultural symmetrical relations, cooperation and dialogue among cultures. To this end the following specific steps are required:


Disarmament steps.

 The necessity of ending the US occupation of Iraq and the Israeli occupation of Palestinian and Syrian territories, as well as the dismantlement of US military bases.

 Legal commitments of all countries to abide by and implement in good faith all conventions concluded on non-proliferation and the prohibition of WMD, a step that includes Israeli accedence to the NPT and its acceptance to put its nuclear activities under the rules of the IAEA safeguard regime.

 An ME zone will be implemented within a time-bound framework and, possibly in the course of three or four phases. As a first step, the countries concerned should halt the production of these weapons, commit themselves to no first use, de-link all warheads, nuclear chemical and biological, from their delivery vehicles and store them under effective safeguards.

 To prevent threats of US nuclear weapons, a Protocol should be implemented (together with NWSs) on strict compliance with the terms of the ME zone.

 To adopt a package of military confidence building measures such as prior information on movements of military forces and of military maneuvers, transparency of arms production and purchase, exchange of opinions on military doctrines and strategies, building up joint information centers, early warning systems and other mechanism to peacefully resolve disputes.


Non-military steps:

Conclusion and implementation of regional projects on sustainable economic development, environment and natural resources protection, and scientific and technological development should concurrently accompany the above mentioned disarmament measures, among them:

 The ME economic project proposed by the US and Israel must not exclude the establishment of special cooperation among the developing countries of the region to develop their capabilities and enhance integration of their national economics in order to offset and prevent practices of hegemony undertaken by certain developed countries and their transnational corporations. The economic relations between the countries of the Pacific Ocean do not prevent special cooperation between the ASIAN countries.

 To implement major projects to ward off the dangerous consequences of water scarcity of the region which will lead, if left unchecked, to sharp conflicts.

 To seek alternative energy resources, specially the establishment of regional projects for the safe use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and to generate solar energy.

 To implement regional projects on environment conservation (halting desertification of land, conservation of soil fertility, etc....) and rational use of natural resources, mainly oil.

 To initiate joint projects in the fields of science, technology and culture to enhance the capability of people to absorb the non-stop increase of information, essential for the socio-economic and cultural development.

Implementation of these projects will be a solid base for;

 constructive cooperation which equally benefit all the countries of the region;

 just and balanced distribution of information and knowledge, the main wealth of nations;

 exchange of experiences to promote sustainable development;

 balanced interdependence leading to durable peace and sustainable human security.

For several years to come there will be in all ME countries peace and social forces which persistently struggle for human security, sustainable economic, social and cultural development and constructive solutions of Global Problems. In addition, other forces will exist which stick to chauvinism and fundamentalism, and support Pax Americana to serve their narrow and exclusive national interests. Declarations of peace forces is only an expression of good intention. Unless they build up the necessary political, economic and cultural conditions which will prompt and bind the other side to also accept the terms of peace, compromises will not be achieved and confrontation will continue.

Every support by peace and social forces the world over is very much needed to defeat policies of the US administration and its allies and build up alternatives leading to peace and sustainability.



[1] The water conflict in the ME from a Palestinian Perspective, Applied Research Institute, Jerusalem.

[2] INES Newsletter No. 43, November 2003.

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Chemical Weapons Convention after the First Review Conference

Jiri Matousek

Prof. Matousek is head of the EU Research Centre of Excellence for Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University Brno,
625 00 Brno, Czech Republic. He is a member of the Executive Committee of INES


The Chemical Weapons Convention is shortly characterised by stressing their main principles, inter alia the General Purpose Criterion. The status of its implementation by November 2003 shows the main obligatory data provided by the 157 State Parties (SPs) and the main achievements in destruction of chemical-weapon stockpiles, destruction or conversion of chemical-weapon production facilities and their verification. The Organisation for the Prohibition of the Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is briefly presented and the main results of the First Review Conference are analysed.


The convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction, shortly depicted as the Convention on general and comprehensive prohibition of chemical weapons, or the Chemical Weapons Convention, abbreviated as CWC, was adopted in 1992 after complex negotiations on the soil of the Conference on Disarmament (and previous multilateral negotiating fora in Geneva), and is lasting for nearly a quarter of a century. It came into existence in the time of East-West confrontation and the Cold War but was mainly stimulated by the worldwide spread of the chemical industry and the possibility of relatively easy clandestine synthesis of chemical warfare agents in militarily relevant quantities. This and also the bad experience with the previously adopted Convention on the Prohibition of Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and of Their Destruction (opened for signature in 1972, entering into force in 1975), which in the first line was lacking any objective verification mechanism, resulted in very careful definitions and criteria, also defining purposes not prohibited by the Convention, and mainly in a very complex and sophisticated verification system.

The CWC is by no doubt a very impressive convention and is the most elaborated disarmament document, totally outlawing one important and very dangerous kind of weapons of mass annihilation, committing the State Parties to the destruction of the chemical-weapons stockpiles and the production facilities (CWPF).

Ten years after opening for signature and six years after entry-into-force, the First Conference of the State Parties, reviewing operations of the CWC has been convened in the Den Haag, stating generally good acceptance by the international community, showing positive results of implementation of the CWC provisions, and defining the course for the future.

Chemical Weapons Convention – Basic Facts

The Chemical Weapons Convention was opened for signature in Paris, on January 13, 1993 and entered into force on April 29, 1997. Its complexity is reflected by almost 200 pages of text, containing a preamble, 24 articles and three annexes: On Chemicals (6 p), On Implementation & Verification (105 p), On Protection of Confidential Information (5 p).[1]

Some of the main pillars of the CWC are:

 Verified destruction of chemical weapons and chemical-weapon production facilities, i.e. disarmament;

 Verified non-production of chemical weapons, i.e. non-proliferation;

 Assistance and protection;

 International cooperation.

The spirit of this Convention lies inter alia in the mood of defining the scope of the prohibition. The CWC is rather purpose than compound oriented. This means that it is nothing like a list of prohibited compounds as some less informed people expect. The CWC’s leading principle, which is often reported as the General Purpose Criterion is contained in the wording of Article II, § 1, defining the purposes of the CWC for "Chemical Weapons:"

Article II - Definitions and Criteria

For the purposes of this Convention:

 "Chemical Weapons" means the following, together or separately:

 Toxic chemicals and their precursors, except where intended for purposes not prohibited under this Convention, as long as the types and quantities are consistent with such purposes;

 Munitions and devices, specifically designed to cause…..

 Any equipment specifically designed for use…..

Purposes, not prohibited by the Convention are defined in Article II § 9 (a-d):

Industrial, agricultural, research, medical, pharmaceutical or other peaceful purposes, protective purposes, namely those directly related to protection against toxic chemicals and to protection against chemical weapons, military purposes not connected with the use of chemical weapons and not dependent on the use of the toxic properties of chemicals as a method of warfare as well as law enforcement including domestic riot control.

Toxic chemicals are further defined in Article II para 2 as meaning

"Any chemical which through its chemical action on life processes can cause death, temporary incapacitation or permanent harm to humans and animals. This includes all such chemicals, regardless of their origin or of their method of production and regardless of whether they are produced in facilities, in munitions or elsewhere."

From these quotations of relevant articles of the CWC which are consistent with the mentioned General Purpose Criterion it becomes evident that the Convention:

 is not a mere list of prohibited compounds,

 covers any toxic chemical intended to be used for chemical warfare (and therefore developed, produced and stockpiled). Pursuant to Article II, § 1 (a) and § 2, this refers even to those chemicals not yet synthesised. This means that the CWC is open-ended and that the prohibition covers any scientific and technological development.

As a verification instrument, the CWC lists the most important toxic chemicals and their precursors, in three schedules, constituted according to their risk. Schedule 1 contains super-toxic lethal chemicals and key precursors that have no peaceful uses, Schedule 2 contains less dangerous toxic chemicals and precursors produced in small quantities, and Schedule 3 lists toxic industrial chemicals (that were in the former history used for chemical warfare) and precursors produced on mass scale. A frequent misunderstanding is to consider the schedules as the lists of "prohibited compounds," although it is clearly stated in the CWC that "Schedules do not constitute a definition of chemical weapons." The open-ended prohibition does not limit itself to the chemicals contained in the schedules. New toxic chemicals may be used on battlefields by non-State-Parties or by terrorist groups or with lower probability by State Parties breaching the CWC. That is why the scientific and technological development is to be very cautiously watched. International verification measures are to be extended, national authorities and operation systems must be established. Respective legislation has to be adopted in order to enable prevention and adequate response in real time (repression, protection, rescue and recovery) in cases of emergency.

Status of implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention

(If not otherwise stated, the status of implementation is by November 2003).

 At present, there are altogether 157 States Parties to the Convention. Important is the membership of all P-5 members of the UN Security Council and a vast majority of states with declarable CWC facilities.

 Four State Parties (Russia, USA, India and South Korea) declared the possession of chemical weapons.

 Among the State Parties, there are 11 possessors of former (after 1946) chemical-weapon production facilities (CWPFs), i.e. Russia, USA, India, South Korea, France, UK, China, Iran, Japan, Bosnia and Hercegovina and Serbia & Montenegro (the last two countries declared the same former CWPF).

 The CWC implementation and verification regime now covers 90 % of the world population, but more important, 98 % of the world chemical industry.

Reviewing the figure of the number of State Parties, it is also important to note that there are 22 signatory states that have not yet ratified (inter alia Israel) and altogether 15 countries that have not even signed. Besides some less important states it is necessary to mention the DPR of Korea and the neighbours of Israel (Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon and Syria) who make their signature dependent on Israel’s withdrawal from its nuclear weapons programme.

When assessing the universality of the CWC (one of the requirements of the First Review Conference), one comes to interesting results. In Table 1 a comparison is made between the status of the Chemical Weapons Convention and other principal agreements on weapons of mass destruction. It seems that one could be satisfied with the relatively high number of State Parties, six years after entry-into-force in comparison with the other presented arms-control and disarmament agreements. Nevertheless, for the prevention of any use of chemical weapons, it is necessary to reach a higher number of State Parties mainly because most of the above mentioned important non-State-Parties concentrated in the Near and Middle East and on the Korean peninsula are very likely possessors of chemical weapons (not to speak about the possession of other weapons of mass destruction like in the case of Israel).

Table 1. Universality: CWC compared with other main agreements on WMD


Entry into force


other signatories


















The worldwide status of the CWC implementation is shown by other important data:

 146 initial declarations (on possession / non-possession of chemical weapons) were obtained from State Parties,

 128 national authorities were established in the State Parties.

Especially the latter number seems to be still insufficient taking into account the tasks of such governmental offices in the national implementation, measures starting with the respective legislation and then the supervision of the domestic chemical industry and any cooperative activities with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

The most important data from the declarations of State Parties (see Table 2) show the worldwide problems concerning possession, storage, former production of chemical weapons as well as the spread of the chemical industry. Points of investigation are not only the destruction of chemical weapons at present and in the near future but also the monitoring of non-production of chemical weapons in the chemical industry in the future.

Table 2. Important data from the declarations by the SPs


Declaring SPs

Declared sites

CW storage facilities (CWSFs)



CW destruction facilities (CWDFs)



CW production facilities



Abandoned CW



Old CW



Schedule 1 chemicals



Schedule 2 chemicals



Schedule 3 chemicals



Discrete organic chemicals



a Of the 61 reported former CWPFs, 41 certified as already destroyed & converted

The total number of declared sites (5664) which are to be regularly or randomly inspected shows the high burden of expected verification activities. At this stage of implementation, the verification activities have been obviously concentrated on storage and destruction, and in industry on facilities producing scheduled chemicals. At present, the most important activity in the implementation of the CWC is destruction of chemical weapons:

As expected, the destruction proceeds slowly; the construction of destruction facilities is retarded by domestic financial and technological problems. As an example, the Russian Federation has now destroyed 400 tonnes (about 1%) of its stockpiles as promised at the First Review Conference. It is expected, that the scheduled 10 years term for total chemical-weapon destruction as set by the CWC will not be kept and the allowed exemption to extend the destruction period for another 5 years will certainly be requested. The latest reports of the USA show the same situation.

Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons – OPCW

Pursuant to the CWC, after its signature, the Preparatory Commission was founded and after entry-into-force the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) with the seat in The Hague (Johan de Wittlaan 32, 2517 JR Den Haag) was established. For more information see: http//

The Organisation consists of three main elements:

  1. Conference of the State Parties (all State Parties meet regularly once a year), present: H.E. Amb. (chair), Noureddine Djoudi (Algeria).

  2. Executive Council (41 members distributed among the State Parties on a regional, rotating base for 2 years term, meets regularly 4 times a year), present: H.E. Amb. (chair),
    Petr Kubernát (Czech Republic).
  3. Technical Secretariat (516 staff members, of them about 200 inspectors): H.E. Amb (Director General), Rogelio Pfirter (Argentina), Subsidiary bodies: Scientific Advisory Board (20 independent experts),
    Confidentiality Commission, Advisory Board on administrative and Financial Matters.

The First Review Conference

The character and tasks of the Conference were determined as follows:

 Review operations of the Convention,

 Take account of scientific and technological development,

 Lessons learned and recommendation for future implementation,

 The conference is not making amendments (revision conference).

The attendance represented 113 State Parties, 2 signatory states (Haiti, Israel), 2 non-signatory states (Libya, Angola), 5 international organisations (ESA, ICRC, PCA, CTBTO, UNIDIR), 22 NGOs and 6 industry associations. Despite a provocative statement by the US alleging non-compliance by Iran and concerns about the Sudan, the Conference did not collapse into disarray, the CWC has not met the fate of the Bacteriological and Toxin Weapons Destruction Conference. The Conference did not result in a radical change of direction of the OPCW and made no substantial decisions on crucial, still outstanding issues, e.g. so called "non-lethal" agents, riot control agents, "law enforcement," nil declarations in respect of "other" chemical production facilities (OCPFs) etc. A number of priorities have, however, been clearly recognised. To those priorities belong:

 Universality of the Convention,

 National implementation measures,

 International Cooperation and Assistance,

 Verification regime for the chemical industry,

 Optimisation of verification measures,

 Scientific and technological development and,

 Functioning of the OPCW.

The detailed explanation goes beyond the frame of this paper. For further information see the adopted documents. This is in the first line the Political declaration containing 23 paras[2] and the main written result, i.e. the Review document with 134 paras.[3] Except many statements, mostly only general, the programme did not go too deep into the problems of impact of scientific and technological development on the CWC that are obviously crucial for its future implementation. This problem was analysed in the document prepared by the OPCW Scientific Advisory Board introduced in the Note of the Director General.[4] It is generally expected that this will give rise to future activities of the OPCW.


Operations of the Chemical Weapons Convention are proceeding satisfactory judging according to the status of its implementation by 157 States Parties and verification by the Organisation for Prohibition of the Chemical Weapons in The Hague six years after entry into force. The First Review Conference stressed the importance of achieving worldwide universality in order to totally eliminate the heredity of past chemical arsenals once forever, prevent threats and utilise benefits of the scientific and technological development for the Chemical Weapons Convention implementation in the foreseeable future.


[1] UN (1993). Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction. UN, New York

[2] OPCW (2003). Political declaration. OPCW, The Hague declaration.html

[3] OPCW (2003). Review document. OPCW, The Hague.

[4] OPCW DG (2003). Note by the Director General: Report of the SAB on Developments in Science and Technology, OPCW, Conference of the SPs, RC-1/DG.2, 23.04.2003. OPCW, The Hague.

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by Hugo Estrella Tampieri

Hugo Estrella Tampieri is Professor of Communication at the University of Cordoba, Argentina. He was the first chairperson of the International Student/Young Pugwash Network and he is a member of the INES Executive Committee. He plays an active role in the struggle for democracy and freedom in Latin America and is INES representative in the World Forum of Education, of which INES recently became a member.

Social Sciences have always carried the burden of gaining consideration as science. Economic studies have been, ever since the XVIII Century, a case of clear force of thought, a tool for questioning and better understanding society. And even a recipe to reform it.

Unfortunately, as with almost every technological development, economy has tuned into a tool of oppression. A way of imposing a worldview, and its coherent practices. A device for making the rich richer and the poor poorer. But this has always been denied. Quite the contrary it is expressed exactly the other way. Economy was meant to increase the general wealth of the population, and to ensure happiness for as many as possible.

Yes, some may argue that the kind of economics I quote was a result of the power games in a given society, and not a scientific, clear and impartial approach.

Maybe it was like that in some cases. But this paper is referred to Economics in its broader present definition; the one supported by the UN related institutions, mainly IMF and the World Bank. They have clear policies determined to accomplish the goals that lay on the basis of Bretton Woods’ institutions: international reconstruction and support. And it will also refer to some critics of that international economic program.

After the end of the Cold War, the ideology of the remaining side has been, at least in terms of economic models, unidirectional. Neoliberal economists represent today what Generals Mac Arthur or Patton represented after WWII. They are praised for the defeat of the so-called "Real Socialism," and their theories are marketed or imposed on developing countries as the one and only, almost magical way to become developed. There are no chances of considering other ways to development, or which are the intrinsic values of the theory.


In the beginning of Modernity, knowledge was intertwined with creed. Several axioms from Aristotle and Christian tradition passed as scientific axioms. It took centuries to clarify the field, to reduce and precise the dominion of science. And it took fight and martyrdom, always from the side of the scientist. The force of dogma was rooted in two main areas: ignorance and power. Power used alternatively popular ignorance and its correlated prejudice, as tools for perpetuating itself, and to prevent others to reflect on the causes of such power, and the ways to change it. Dogma replaced reason, and pseudoscience was sometimes a disguise for the expression of those dogmas. Needless mentioning the long lists of martyrs, but it is reasonable to state a very particular case, right at the time of the birth of science. The polemic between Galileo and his judge, Cardinal Bellarmino, was precisely on that point: it was not the case of Truth (Bellarmino wanted Galileo to admit that both theories were equally valuable), it was the case of authority. His theory could be true, but he had no right, according to the Church, to challenge its authority. On the other hand, the Peruvian gold that nursed almost 150 years of outdated Middle Ages in Spain – and the power of Inquisition – worked a good consolation for the proof of the roundness of the Earth!

I would like to point out that scientists have the right, if not the obligation, of having extra scientific concerns, otherwise they had become machines. As Humans, all of us have dreams and hopes. Science broadens our understanding of the Universe, and makes it possible for us, citizens – scientists included – to change reality. To build a better world, according to our values. And hence, for scientists there is a higher ethical level required. Knowledge belongs to Humanity as a whole; it is our common heritage, as Nature. Being a part of the growing chain of knowledge, producing, distributing and renewing it, carries a higher level of obligation towards the rest. The more I know, the more I owe.

But the risk of adapting data or evidence to fit in a theory, or inducing a theory from a set of empirical data, refusing those that don’t fit, is at least, making bad science. This "contamination" of science with extra-scientific assertions, or the denial of contrasting evidence, constitutes pseudo-science, bad science or as lately known, junk science.

A typical case of pseudoscience is Astrology. I would like to follow, in a substantial part of this paper, a fundamental writing by Karl Popper Science: Conjectures and Refutations. He says: "I knew, of course, the most widely accepted answer to my problem: that science is distinguished from pseudo-science or from "metaphysics" by its empirical method, which is essentially inductive, proceeding from observation or experiment. But this did not satisfy me. On the contrary, I often formulated my problem as one of distinguishing between a genuinely empirical method and a non-empirical or even a pseudo-empirical method-that is to say, a method which. although it appeals to observation and experiment, nevertheless does not come up to scientific standards. The latter method may be exemplified by astrology with its stupendous mass of empirical evidence based on observation on horoscopes and on biographies.

Astrology did not pass the test. Astrologers were greatly impressed, and misled, by what they believed to be confirming evidence so much so that they were quite unimpressed by any unfavourable evidence. Moreover, by making their interpretations and prophecies sufficiently vague they were able to explain away anything that might have been a refutation of the theory, had the theory and the prophecies been more precise. In order to escape falsification they destroyed the testability of their theory. It is a typical soothsayer’s trick to predict things so vaguely that the predictions can hardly fail: that they become irrefutable."

Now, we can begin our comparison between Astrology and Economics, just by following his example. Today’s "leading" economists, follow the astrological line of thinking. They accept a number of data that seem to match their points, and deny the rest. When their predictions fail, they put the burden of such failures on other "non economical" factors, such as politics, labour unions, lack of orthodoxy in the application of their recipes. Being economy a social science, how can it deny the social reality of politicians, labour unions, strikes, democratic consensus building, etc? But they do, and I risk advancing something more dangerous in their substantial way of thinking: it is basically authoritarian and even racist. It is based on another pseudoscience, Social Darwinism. But I will explain this later on.

Economical recipes are as vague as astrological prophecies. They "strongly suggest" actual policies, in order to acquire a state of equilibrium in, say, a national budget. They predict that modifying certain variables, like the level of public expenditure, less taxes will be needed, and therefore that amount of money will become a "liberated productive force in the marketplace." The only taxes that are allowed to be raised, are those based on consumption (i.e.. VAT). These taxes are considered regressive, because they fall "equally" in all sectors. Poor or rich both pay the same amount, and such tax represents a higher percentage of income for the poor than for the rich. But large amount of capital is a productive force.

That "liberated force" will stimulate production, create jobs and upgrade the living standards for all. Great!

But in any given country with a high level of debt, such debt must be paid. Therefore it has to get money out of somewhere. Being deprived of collecting taxes, it has to borrow domestic money from banks. By requiring loans, bank taxes rise, and those "productive forces" are able to make more money just by entering a bank account instead of investing in a factory. Moreover, factories begin to close down, because for the capitalist it is safer and better to invest in the financial sector. At the same time, foreign capitals are attracted by the high interest rates paid. So they come and go, disguised as "foreign investment," and both domestic and international financial analysts praise those national policies, because of the "confidence acquired as emerging markets." So, in the end we have a State sector with an increased debt, stagnation, less employment, and poorer public services because of the lower level of collected taxes. Exactly the opposite of what economists predicted! Such policies are the usual recipe of the IMF missions in Latin America and other Third World countries. And despite the evidence, repeated once and again, the recipe goes on the same. Why? Let’s try to figure out later. Now, back to its scientific value:

Popper goes on, and identifies a number of conditions to be accomplished by a theory to acquire scientific character or status:

  1. It is easy to obtain confirmations, or verifications, for nearly every theory – if we look for confirmations.

  2. Confirmations should count only if they are the result of risky predictions; that is to say, if, unenlightened by the theory in question, we should have expected an event which was incompatible with the theory – an event which would have refuted the theory.

  3. Every "good" scientific theory is a prohibition: it forbids certain things to happen. The more a theory forbids, the better it is.

  4. A theory, which is not refutable by any conceivable event, is non-scientific. Irrefutability is not a virtue of theory (as people often think) but a vice.

  5. Every genuine test of a theory is an attempt to falsify it, or to refute it. Testability is falsifiability; but there are degrees of testability; some theories are more testable, more exposed to refutation, than others; they take, as it were, greater risks.

  6. Confirming evidence should not count except when it is the result of a genuine test of the theory; and this means that it can be presented as a serious but unsuccessful attempt to falsify the theory. (I now speak in such cases of "corroborating evidence.")

  7. Some genuinely testable theories, when found to be false, are still upheld by their admirers-for example by introducing ad hoc some auxiliary assumption, or by re-interpreting theory ad hoc in such a way that it escapes refutation. Such a procedure is always possible, but it rescues the theory from refutation only at the price of destroying, or at least lowering, its scientific status. (I later described such a rescuing operation as a "conventionalist twist" or a "conventionalist stratagem."

One can sum up all this by saying that the criterion of the scientific status of a theory is its falsifiability, or refutability, or testability."

I would like now to mention a usual criticism to the above mentioned requirements. Social sciences deal with entities that don’t behave in a mathematical manner. Societies, and singular human beings, behave in different ways. Their freedom makes them able to react in one or another way. But, again, following that line of thinking it would be impossible to consider social studies as science. And the results of psychological and sociological studies demonstrate that humans and societies behave differently inside a certain framework. We happen to be physical entities, therefore, limited. And so is the extent of our freedom. But, in the case I am referring to, economics, I would like to focus on a more basic spectrum. Human beings happen to be free, and to behave in such or such way. But they all equally need an input of energy, usually on a daily basis, no matter how spiritual they are. They also constitute a part of a system, at least one, in which goods are produced and distributed. The study of that particular system is usually a province of the kingdom of political economy.


I found that already in 1919 Dr. Juan B. Justo – founder of Argentine Socialism – wrote in Theory and Practice of History: "..Political Economy, that pseudoscience which inside bourgeoisie brains has always been the theory of getting rich, the low art of accumulation."

What about Popper? Of the above mentioned requirements he sets for a theory to be scientific, let’s see how many are accomplished by the theories followed and suggested, when not imposed by IMF and the World Bank:

 It is easy to look for confirmations: yes, by considering gross numbers – economical indicators – these theories seem to be right: if you consider the growth of GDP caused by the capital flow and services, it’s a real success.

 Confirmations should count only if result of a risky prediction: no way. We face the typical "safe accomplished prophecies." If you follow the diktat, you get financial support – therefore your economy keeps going, no matter where. If you don’t, we cut your credit, and your country defaults.

 Prohibition: the theory says, for instance, that privatisation reduces public expenditure and the cost of public services. False, that prohibition does not work. The theory prohibits governmental intervention and promotes private investment as the only way to stop corruption. False, there was never a more corrupted administration, at least in Argentina, than at the time of privatisation. We can mention Mexico or Ecuador as well.

 Irrefutability: No data able to refute the theory are considered relevant. As a closed theory, all data that show its failure are put aside, as extra economic. In terms of power or authority, international political power makes mainstream neoliberal economics irrefutable (from now on, please consider the term "neoliberal" as a synonym of "paleoconservative"). Your choices are to be in or out. If in, you must follow them, otherwise you’re out. Isolationism is the other way, but in a globalized context, only mini economies like Cuba can follow that path, at a severe cost.

 Every genuine test of a theory is an attempt to falsify it or to refute it: the failure, repeated once and again, of Neoliberal policies doesn’t show any sign of modifying the theory. The more it fails, the stronger it’s followed.

 Confirming evidence accepted only when it is the result of a genuine test of the theory. The "success" of theory has always been taken in a provisional step. In the case of Argentina, it was attempted to export the case to Russia, at the time of the failure of Yeltsin’s economy. Former Argentine Finance Minister Domingo Cavallo was brought to Moscow by the IMF. Three years later the same Cavallo provoked the fall of a democratic government and the bankruptcy of the whole Argentine economy.

 Some genuinely testable theories, when found to be false, are still upheld by their admirers, I would only add, they are still supported by those who profit from them.


A usual argument used by ufologists is "the impossibility" for Mayas or Egyptians to build enormous monuments and to have advanced astronomical knowledge unless supported by tall and blond aliens. It’s been repeatedly analysed the basic racism of such ideas. Why monuments from the North of Europe or astronomical knowledge from white civilisations are a result of human intelligence, and not the case of Southern, darker populations? The same goes for Third World economies under Neoliberal analysis. Developed economies, from developed countries, are able to support welfare states, to have State owned companies, to subsidise domestic production, to support public universities and to invest in R+D. Moreover, they used those sectors as tools for overcoming tremendous economic crises in the past. But African, Central and Eastern European, Latin American and Asian countries are unable to do so.


I remember a discussion I had some years ago with a former World Bank official. He was against the existence of public, free of charge universities in Third World countries. His point was that the local bourgeoisie used them to educate their children at the public expense. My point, coming from a Third World country, and not being a child from the bourgeoisie, is that free education for as many as possible, has always been, and in some cases still is, the only real tool for social mobility. The only way a grandparent from the so-called "working class," can get to have a professional grandchild, is by the existence of public education. The bourgeois’s don’t usually send their children to domestic universities. They study in the US or in Europe. And on the other hand, the existence of national investment in education has greatly contributed to the creation of knowledge and has been the basis for development. Further on, when the basis of public education were set in the late XIX Century, they worked both for integrating a country with enormous distances and population coming from all over the world, specially Europe. And mandatory, secular public education was the basis for integrating children from such different background into a consistent citizenship, thus enabling and nursing Democracy.

But the public sector in education has to disappear according to paleoconservative economists. The third world population has no need of professionals and has no ability to develop knowledge. Education is a sector that, according to the mainstreaming theory, has to be handed out to market’s productive forces. I can hardly see other but a racist thought behind this.

But there is a step further ahead: Social Darwinism. What has that pseudo science, perhaps one of the oldest, to do with economics? It states the survival of the strongest, not in biology, but in social terms. In a society, the strongest groups, those who are best prepared to compete, are the ones who will survive. They will, in turn, increase the general value of society. During the Nazi regime, it was based in race. Now, being nazi is out of date, so there are other characteristics for qualifying a predominant group. When money is revered as a deity, then the higher prices we pay the closer to god we are. Individuals or groups able to make higher profit are therefore the best adapted to society. They are the "chosen ones" to lead this world. In a society where everything is subject to the marketplace, education, healthcare, etc. The groups that enjoy a better living standard, will continue upgrading it, whilst the deprived ones are condemned to live in the margins if not directly expelled from the system. Whoever shows concern for those growing sectors, is considered out of date, an enemy of the system, or a representative of the "defeated."

This Social Darwinism also applies to nations. Several followers of these doctrines consider that any criticism towards the US backed economic policies is based on envy. Yes, I’ve heard it several times, that if the consumption patterns of the North are questioned, or the growing gulf between North and South income the answer is usually like this: "You say that because you would like to live, or even to be, like us. And that is the reason of your criticism. You should work harder and then you’ll realise how hard it was for us to get what we have today. It is a situation we are not ready to hand out just because poverty is a sad thing." It’s useless to argue about Vietnam War, Bophal, dictatorships imposed from the outside, external debt acquired without democratic consensus, or the imposition of poor labour conditions to Third world countries. Or in economic terms, the deterioration of exchange terms. Nothing. Just plain envy. Why? Because these people want more than what they deserve. And tricky arguments are used from both sides of the political spectrum.

Today’s irrationalism has coined a poor and self-pleasant school that not surprisingly reinvigorates the philosophy of Hitler’s beloved Niestzche, or Hitler’s loving Heidegger. They "interpret" reality, and argue with the same lack of scientific strictness. Everything is symbolic nothing is real. In such a context, everything may be valid. Umberto Eco puts in the mouth of one his characters the idea that "A penis is a phallic symbol"!


The last point I’d like to go through, is the case of democracy. More specifically, on democratic institutions and democratic consensus building. How can democracy be possible in societies torn by poor income distribution lines, lack of education, unemployment and even civil war? How can a society reach consensus when fear is the number one mobilising force? How can we consider citizen’s equality when masses are depending on the most elementary needs?

The disappearance of Government by means of privatisation left a blank space in countries where civil society did not have the chance to be fully developed (due to dictatorship, authoritarianism, etc). There was much to do for other actors who should cover the empty in services like health care, education, social care, etc. Whatever was important in terms of profit, was immediately taken by private companies: high-tech health care, energy, higher education (not a sign of R+D, like national universities always did) and so on. A so-called "revolution of the Third Sector" took place. Backed by international aid agencies, several NGOs tried to deal with the needs of people who could not afford private services. Some succeeded, but demand is always bigger than offer. And of course, corruption took its share. A number of NGOs better known as GoNGOs (Governmental-Non-Governmental Organisations) appeared. Cases like Caritas, in Argentina, are the best example of groups pretending to be independent. They really are almost completely funded by the Government, and at the same time they violate Church and State separation and redouble bureaucracy. Dependency from external support is a weakness for grassroots-based initiatives. The example of women rights and family planning in Latin America is a tremendous example. George W. Bush’s administration has cut funding for family planning programs in the South. Such decision, made after the alliance with US conservative religious groups, led to closing down more than half of the programs in that sensitive area.

Foundations are also a "legal" tool for evading taxes. Leaders and owners of private companies are at the same time officials of their own foundations. Their "salaries" are tax-free, and so instead of getting paid by their companies, they "donate" that money to the foundation, that in turn pays them enormous salaries. But this situation is not a concern for Neoliberal economists. They punish other companies that do not match the "ideal" of the society they represent. Cooperatives, for instance, have always been a backbone for democratic institutions and democratic capitalism. They are forced to pay the same level of taxes that any other profit-oriented corporation pays.

So, we find that companies organised in a democratic way are almost banned from the system, although they don’t question Capitalism. We find that growing masses of citizens are less educated, enjoy poorer living standards and see their rights weakened. What kind of Democracy is that? Let’s see:

 Weak democracies: governments slowly become unable to deal with concentrated capital. The imposition of "structural adjustment" policies makes them unable to accomplish basic obligations such as healthcare, administration of justice, education, etc. There are high levels of corruption in order to pass anti popular laws. Citizens become sceptical about the very democratic system and its institutions. There is less and less participation. This was the case of Argentina until 2001 or Venezuela under Carlos Andres Perez’s presidency.

 Caesarism/populism: based on popular demands, demagogic charismatic leaders arise. They pretend to represent a not clear "national interest," and exercise power in a nondemocratic way. Usually backed by armed sectors, the opposition is identified as "enemy of the Nation." If they are critical about IMF, they are close to enter the "Axis of Evil," and are criticised for not respecting democratic values. This is the case of Venezuela and Mr. Chavez’s "Bolivarian Republic." If allied to the concentrated capital and following IMF’s recipes, they are tolerated, like Mr. Fujimori’s government in Peru.

 Idontcareism: People no longer feel the necessity of participating. Democracy is alien to them, and the Government is an enemy. They feel betrayed by empty promises and feel the system will go the same, no matter the "brand" of the government. This is the case of Mexico, Uruguay, and Colombia.

 Soclosebut: citizens still have expectations. This is usually the step prior to Idontcareism. New movements are formed, struggling for some level of dignity, and expressing politically other contradictions of the system. And usually get close to win. I would think of Bolivia, with the phenomenon of the "cocaleros." They are not just poor, they are at the same time indigenous and their only way to survive is planting coca for a big "narco". Persecuted by the government and the US forces who don’t usually go after the "narcos," they are the weakest group and have begun to organise themselves in order to express their needs. Completely renewing their democratic institutions, they add a colourful though strong voice to be considered in the political arena.


Unfortunately, the enormous energy and imagination unfolded by the Non Global Movement, has opened the gate for other non-scientific or antiscientific proposals. With a right critical approach to the situation imposed by Neoliberal policies, they fall in the absurd. Or even worse, in more conservative choices disguised as "fashionable" heresy. Both in the North and in the South, scholars and activists pretend to question the system in a way that is not just non viable, but simply ridiculous.

I would just mention the case of Vandana Shiva and some "Postmodernists." Although very brave at denouncing Northern corporations and their disregard for local people and their environment, Shiva (and the Postmodernists) is unable to understand the distinction between science and technology. By blaming the first for the misuses of the second, she praises not just irrationalism, but modern institutions as well. Liberal democracy, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and equality for all, become block to be discarded altogether with Union Carbide, Monsanto and nuclear weapons. She pretends to overcome the terror of Neoliberal and "imperialistic" policies just by moving back the clock of history. Lots of meditation, natural medicine and ancient institutions –the same that put women in a secondary role and force them to live in ignorance – are going to be a remedy for a sick Humanity. How happy would Louis XVI be by reading Shiva’s proposal! He had be burning a destructive technological device such as the guillotine.

European and American philosophers, on time, postulate another antiscientific theory. Constructivism – relativism. As I mentioned before, following Mario Bunge’s analysis, they consider not reality as such, but as a sign of something else. And there is also a denial of objective truth. Truth for them, even and specially scientific truth is only conventional. What are the chances left to make social science? Is it impossible to gain knowledge, to build and test theories, etc? There is only subjectivism. And as each subject may have different appreciation, so numerous theories have equal explanatory capacity.

Alain Sokal’s joke with Social Text magazine showed the Naked Emperor in social science. And particularly exposed the pretension of those who think to be "progressive" in the community of social scientists. He makes a perfectly clear explanation:

.".. my goal is to defend what one might call a scientific worldview defined broadly as a respect for evidence and logic, and for the incessant confrontation of theories with the real world; in short, for reasoned argument over wishful thinking, superstition and demagoguery. And my motives for trying to defend these old-fashioned ideas are basically political. I’m worried about trends in the American Left particularly here in academia that at a minimum divert us from the task of formulating a progressive social critique, by leading smart and committed people into trendy but ultimately empty intellectual fashions, and that can in fact undermine the prospects for such a critique, by promoting subjectivist and relativist philosophies that in my view are inconsistent with producing a realistic analysis of society that we and our fellow citizens will find compelling.

David Whiteis, in a recent article, said it well:

Too many academics, secure in their ivory towers and insulated from the real-world consequences of the ideas they espouse, seem blind to the fact that non-rationality has historically been among the most powerful weapons in the ideological arsenals of oppressors. The hypersubjectivity that characterizes postmodernism is a perfect case in point: far from being a legacy of leftist iconoclasm, as some of its advocates so disingenuously claim, it in fact ... plays perfectly into the anti-rationalist really, anti-thinking bias that currently infects "mainstream" U.S. culture.

Along similar lines, the philosopher of science Larry Laudan observed caustically that

The displacement of the idea that facts and evidence matter by the idea that everything boils down to subjective interests and perspectives is second only to American political campaigns the most prominent and pernicious manifestation of anti-intellectualism in our time.

(And these days, being nearly as anti-intellectual as American political campaigns is really quite a feat.)"

This, I think, is a result of the failure of the so-called "real socialism," that once acted as catalyst for so many left wing intellectuals. Feeling disappointed by their belief on the scientific proofs of the inevitability of communism, now they deny any chance for a scientific prospect. And pay a lesser tribute to science with such attitude. Is similar to the case of a religious believer who suddenly understands the non-existence of gods. Having derived his/her moral attitudes from an afterlife, then there would be no purpose for a moral behaviour. And here, is where I am concerned for the fate of economic science at the moment when crowds of believers realise their creed is just that, not a science, unable to make testable predictions, not working, and producing exactly the opposite of what was meant to be. Shall we face a "Post-Neo-liberalism? A Middle Ages-paleo-conservatism?

Hope not. According to my expectation as for several other people, we should try to reconcile economic science as social science with its two basic references: science and society. The deification of Capital led to the present situation of Economy as a Cannon Law, as the Money Metaphysics. Money is a social product, and so far people, dear old Humans, constitute societies. So, Humanism in economy is not just desirable, it’s basic. It has to be a way for ending the alienation that makes producers revere and kill each other by different means in the name of what they have produced. The irrationalism and dogmatism of these theories are in the fundamentals of their founding father, Adam Smith, who considered the market place regulated by "invisible hands" or "Divine Providence." Perhaps that is the reason why these economists are called "Orthodox"?

Wars of religion have been substituted by or integrated into wars over money. And Bretton Woods’ institutions are the new version of the Holy Inquisition.

Economy as science should think in scientific terms, and produce new scientific approaches. Fortunately scholars like Amartya Sen have not fallen into the easy and rewarding solution of following the crowd. His works on basic issues such as collective decisions, majority rule vs. Individual rights, poverty indexes and welfare indicators, and famines, go straight to the point of embracing scientific value with ethical economic standards.

While someone was reading this, tens of children have died or been marked for life for diseases that are easily prevented or cured if available resources were correctly used. That is the best example I can give of the need for a change in prevailing economic mindset, and the reason for the ethical commitment of so many people I admire and work with in shaping a world as Bertrand Russell dreamt "guided by Love and enlightened by Reason."

To my friend Tom B. Hansen, for our shared dreams and efforts to change the World (although the World sometimes seems not to care... it should!)

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A press statement by Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR) [1]

President George Bush’s announcement that he wants to send humans to Mars is yet another sign of misguided priorities on issues concerning science and technology.

Initial estimates of the cost of a mission to Mars put the price at about $1 trillion over the next decade or two [2]. Such a large sum of money could be put to much better use - for example, it is larger than the estimated increase in global aid necessary to provide clean water for all, eliminate hunger and malnutrition, and provide universal literacy [3]. But this is only the latest example of mis-directed science and technology.

Annual spending on the so-called Missile Defense system (which won’t defend against terrorists but could lead to an arms race in space) is approaching $10 billion a year with an eventual total cost (under the dubious assumption that it will ever work) of over $1 trillion [4]. The likely links between these two programmes should not be overlooked either.

Back in 1989, when George Bush Sr. first seriously raised the idea of a Mars mission, a US congressional report was published arguing the military case for a major space presence – including a manned Moonbase similar to that envisaged as a springboard for the proposed Mars mission [5].

Meanwhile Bush claims that tackling environmental problems like climate change is too expensive for the US economy – despite the massive potential to save money through energy efficiency measures (especially of cars) and excellent opportunities for new industries based on renewable energy technologies. And perhaps he missed the recent report from the United Nations Environment Programme which concluded that the annual global cost of natural disasters, mostly weather related, has now risen to $60bn, probably due to climate change [6]. Perhaps he also missed the report from World Health Organisation that estimated that 150,000 deaths had been caused by climate change in 2000 alone [7].

And it seems he also missed the conclusions from a study coordinated by Leeds University which concluded that approximately a quarter of all land-based animal and plant species could be extinct by 2050 due to climate change [8].

We are pleased to see the UK Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor, Sir David King, criticise the US Government over their lack of concern on climate change [9]. Now we would like to hear Tony Blair publicly arguing the case that funds for a manned mission to Mars should be redirected.

In the meantime, we call on scientists and engineers across the world not to be complicit in this terrible misdirection of funds and to join us in pressing for responsible science and technology spending which supports efforts to eliminate poverty and protect the environment rather than indulging in prestige projects merely to demonstrate political and military power.

Press contact: Dr Stuart Parkinson, Scientists for Global Responsibility: 07


  1. SGR is a UK organisation of approximately 600 scientists promoting ethical science and technology – based on the principles of openness, accountability, peace, social justice, and environmental sustainability. SGR’s work involves research, education, lobbying and providing a support network for ethically concerned scientists. For more information see
  2. NASA as quoted by BBC news online January, 2004 Estimated additional annual costs of providing basic needs are: clean water for all, $10 bn; eliminating hunger and malnutrition, $19 bn; universal literacy, $5 bn. Worldwatch Institute (2004) State of the World 2004..
  4. Scientists for Global Responsibility (2004) Space technology and the military: a brief history. SGR briefing (forthcoming)
  5. Collins J. (1989) Military Space Forces: The Next 50 Years. US Congress.
  6. United Nations Environment Programme (2003),; See also Munich Re (2003) =140&time_span=year
  7. World Health Organisation (2003)
  8. Thomas C et al (2004) Extinction risk from climate change. Nature 427, 145-148.
  9. BBC news online (2004)

Scientists for Global Responsibility is a Member Organisation of INES.


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Farewell to Luis Masperi

Luis Masperi died on December 2nd 2003, at the age of 62.

Luis had been a long time member of both INES and Pugwash, and belonged to both of their Executive Committees.

A brilliant physicist, born in Italy and moved at early age to Argentina, where he got his Masters. Having received his PhD in Italy, moved back to Argentina, settling in Bariloche with his Italian wife, Vitoria, and raised three children.

As a professor of Theoretical Physics, Luis contributed to the development of the internationally renowned Centro Fisico Bariloche – Instituto Balseiro.

With a bright intellect and progressive ideals, it must have been very tough for him to live and witness the dark times of the last Argentine dictatorship (1976-1983). A particularly hard time for the scientific community of the country, which lost not just its brightest members, but also suffered the loss of academic freedom, the authoritarian intervention of all universities and even the physical elimination of opponents or mere suspects.

The Atomic Centre, in Bariloche, was also considered a strategic piece in the belligerent mindset of the military, whose efforts to turn Argentina into a nuclear power needed a critical human mass of technicians and scientists. Security clearances were also a part of the daily violence exercised against the academic community.

Those reasons were certainly present in his mind at the time of founding the Bariloche Group for Peace world Affairs, a decision to prevent the nightmare of war and authoritarianism from happening again by making engineers and scientists aware of their social responsibility.

His brilliant career was then enriched with a participatory side. He joined a number of organizations like INES and the Pugwash Conferences, devoting his time to their meetings and conferences. Still, he was always critical of the role of such organizations, and wondered about their effectiveness.

Domestically he was a member of the center-left group FRENTE GRANDE, reaching in 1995 the candidacy to Mayor of his town. A growing concern for Human Rights and Peace drove him to be active also at the Permanent Assembly for Human Rights, and the Civil Servants’ Labour Union.

Among his many achievements as a physicist together with Juan Estrada Vigil he derived in 1997 the mass of the lightest conceivable matter particle in our universe, which is a Goldstone boson coming from spontaneous symmetry breakdown at Planck mass scale. That same year we met, at our first Pugwash Conference in Lillehammer – Norway. The same year he was also elected as INES EC member.

Not surprisingly, living in a huge country like ours, we always met abroad. A common concern for Peace and the social aspects of science made our paths cross every year in different conferences, I particularly recall INES 2000. But we discovered also – with surprise this time – a common taste for camping and nature once in a remote town of the Chilean South.

Luis had left for Brazil a couple of years ago, when elected as Chair of the Latin American Centre of Physics, a prominent and well deserved position.

His loss is already being felt by those of us who met him and had the chance to discuss the many issues he was concerned with, and felt particularly by  the scientific community that’s lost a member with the best characteristics a person can put together: knowledge, commitment and honesty.

Hugo Estrella T.

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INES Council 2003

INES held its annual Council Meeting in Paris on November 11th and 12th.

The following new Member Organizations were accepted:

Pole Bernheim for the study of peace and citizenship, Belgium.

Institution founded by the Université Libre de Bruxelles and the Bernheim Foundation. The aim of the institution is to develop a transdisciplinary pedagogical and research program on peace and citizenship within the University, in collaboration with other Universities and scientific institutions in Belgium and abroad.
Coordinator: Frederic Becker, Brussels, E-mail:


Egyptian Society for Endogenous Development of Local Communities. The society propagates the use of renewable material resources within the framework of sustainable development.
Contact: Prof. Hamed El-Mously, Cairo. E-mail:

Four new INES projects were accepted: A water-project, coordinated by Vladimir Zolotarev (see Newsletter No. 40) * A youth project, coordinated by Tom Hansen * The support of a World Tribunal on Iraq proposed by Ayse Berktay from Turkey * Activities in the Einstein year, coordinated by Reiner Braun.

The Council elected a new Executive Committee with Claus Montonen as a chairperson. The new EC-members are listed below.

The traditional workshop combined with the INES Council meeting was this year replaced by the participation in the European Social Forum. Three seminars were organized, together with the World Federation of Scientific Workers, our member organization SNESup-FSU (the French trade union for workers in higher education) and several other organizations. The titles of the seminars were: Scientific research today and tomorrow, whom for, in what kind of Europe? * Convergence for peace as a global project * Disarmament in Europe and demilitarization of research.

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Announcement of the IPRA Conference 2004 and the INES Council Meeting 2004 and Workshop

Sopron, Hungary 5-9 July 2004

IPRA will celebrate its 40th anniversary this year. Since its foundation in 1964, IPRA has been actively involved in developing peace research and its networks. In spite of our efforts, however, the current world is still full of conflicts and violence. What should and can we do as peace researchers in a time of globalization? We would like to get together in Sopron to discuss the strategies for a more peaceful and humane globalized world. I ask you to join our discussion.

Katsuya Kodama,
Secretary General of IPRA


July 5th is fully devoted to plenary sessions; plenaries are also held on the second and the third day during the morning. The remaining time is reserved for the IPRA Commissions and for parallel sessions.

The subjects of the plenary sessions are: globalization, The UN and Peace, Nonviolence, Middle East, Education and Gender .

The commissions are: Arts and Peace * Conflict Resolution and Peace Building * Eastern Europe, Ecology and Peace * Gender and Peace * Global Political Economy * Indigenous People Rights * Nonviolence * Peace Culture and Communications * Peace Education * Peace Theories * Reconciliation * Refugees * Religion and Peace * Security and Disarmament * Youth Commission.


c/o Kodama, Dept. of Humanities, Mie University, 1515 Kamihama, Tsu, Mie, Japan 514-8507, tel/fax +81 59231156, e-mail .


Information about the program, the conference site, accommodation, conference fee etc. may be found on the internet site:

The website also contains a registration form.


INES Council Meeting 2004, INES Workshop

INES will hold its Council Meeting at

Sopron on July 2 - 4, 2004

just before the IPRA conference. It will organize a

workshop on July 5 –7

as a parallel session of the conference.

The workshop will touch such subjects as weaponization and weapon control, proliferation and terrorism, peace and disarmament, peace and sustainability, peace education, responsibility of the scientist, whistleblowing. One session of the workshop will be devoted to European problems, especially those concerning central and eastern Europe.

Participants of the workshop will be registered as participants of the IPRA Conference and may attend all sessions and events. They will have to pay a fee.

More information will be provided by the INES office. A registration form will be circulated later in the year.

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INES Executive Committee 2004

Chitralekha Massey (centre) and Alla Yaroshinskaya (right) with two Russian ladies

At the 2003 INES Council Meeting the following Executive Committee was elected:

Chair: Prof. Claus Montonen, Finland,

Deputy chair: Dr David Krieger, USA,

Deputy chair: Prof. Marian Ewurama Addy, Ghana,

Treasurer: Prof. Armin Tenner, Netherlands,


Tom Børsen Hansen, Denmark,

Prof. Hamed El-Mously, Egypt,

Prof. Hugo Estrella Tampieri, Argentina,

Prof. Gordana Jovanovic, Serbia-Montenegro

Prof Jean-Paul Lainé, France,

Dr Chitralekha Marie Massey, India,

Prof. Ji?í Matoušek, Czech Republic,

Joachim Spangenberg, Germany,

Dr Alla Yaroshinskaya, Russia,

Executive Secretary: Nicola Hellmich, Germany,

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