No. 13/2002

Dateline: April 25, 2002

This is the weekly electronic information service of the International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility

Editor: Tobias Damjanov, e-mail: 
WNII is archived at: http://inesglobal.org/archive.htm    
INES homepages: http://inesglobal.org       http://www.inesglobal.com/
INES International Office   
INES Chair: Prof. Armin Tenner    [Please note that the first "1" in q18 is the number one, while the last "l" is an "L"]

CONTENTS of WNII No. 13/2002


David Krieger: A Peace Proposal: Bring In the Children

We receive many positive proposals for peace from friends and readers of the Sunflower and our wagingpeace.org web site. I want to share some of them from time to time with a broader audience in the hope that they may spark your ideas and actions. Here is one from Janie, a mother in Philadelphia. She begins by observing that "the world seems to be falling apart" and notes that the format of international meetings hardly changes and the results are generally minimal. "What are we to do?" she asks.

She answers her question this way: "When things don't work out with a child, a new tactic is in order, and various tactics are attempted until the right one surfaces and the final breakthrough is accomplished." Based on her experience, she makes the following proposal:

"Why doesn't someone initiate at the next world conference for anything (nuclear disarmament, environment, peace in the Middle East, etc.) that each representative brings to the meeting a grandchild (under the age of about 7 years) and if no grandchild fits this category then a grandniece/nephew or any child that one is extremely fond of?"

"I think the results would be alarming, surprising," she writes. "Representatives to these meetings come with their egos, agendas, power, etc. No wonder nothing much is achieved. Get some children in there and what will happen right off the bat is that no one's heart remains with quite the same hardness and impenetrability. The egos become a little less, the feeling of nationalism decreases a notch. My religion, your religion doesn't quite hold the power it had. Why? Because the hearts of children have the power, tremendous power to melt the heart, anyone's heart."

She concludes: "So that's my contribution to conflict resolution, the peace process, disarmament put the future generations before these people, put their very own loved ones, vulnerable ones, sweet and innocent ones in their face and maybe things could get moving to secure a world that they deserve. I am so very serious about this. Is it not worth a try?"

Of course, it is worth a try. We need leaders who think and act as if they are in the very presence of future generations. We need leaders who are able to shift their thinking and actions from representing powerful corporate interests to representing people and particularly the children who, after all, are the future. We need leaders who, like the native Americans, think of the seventh generation in the future when they make decisions.

The problem, of course, is how to get a great idea like Janie's implemented. It seems clear that it would change the tone and tenor of international meetings concerned with peace, disarmament, human rights, the environment, etc. It is difficult to move entrenched leaders, particularly those that seem indebted to vested interests. Perhaps the best way to implement an idea like this is for the children themselves to make their voices heard and to demand a seat at the table.

I encourage you to talk this idea over with friends and family, including your children and grandchildren. Perhaps we should withhold our votes from leaders who do not make decisions as if in the presence of future generations and who would not be willing to bring children into the halls of government and to international meetings to determine whether it is possible to live in peace with our planet and each other.

David Krieger is president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, and vice-chair of INES. He can be contacted at < >

New Zealand: Engineers for Social Responsibility (ESR) Newsletter April 2002 (Vol. 18/No. 2) http://www.esr.org.nz 

The latest ESR Newsletter carries the following main articles:

Newsletter Editor: Neil Mander < >

Alberto Salazar Martínez: A comment on transgenic cultives in Mexico and Nature magazine

Mexico is one of the 17 countries in the world that possess 70% of biodiversity (both terrestrial and marine). Although biotechnologies have a big potential to improve welfare, they can also pose risks to the biodiversity and human health.

In its 29 November issue, Nature published [1] the paper "Transgenic DNA introgressed into traditional maize landraces in Oaxaca, Mexico" by David Quist and Ignacio Chapela, University of California, Berkeley. The impact of this article has been great since it serves as a scientific and empirical basis to show that transgenic corn is grown illegally and without any control, risking hybridizing of traditional maize cultives, and that this situation could be extrapolated to many other regions of Mexico. Consequently Mexico's Comisión para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad (CONABIO) and Instituto Nacional de Ecología (INE) made similar studies to confirm transgenic corn in amounts about 3-10% in the same regions. Even though transgenic corn has not been proved so far to cause any damage in human populations, it can affect the biodiversity in the regions and in both agricultural and cultural uses linked to maize cultives.

The article [1] has received severe criticism since its publication; and the authors agreed to obtain further data from different laboratories and techniques: among others Instituto de Ecología, UNAM and CINVESTAV, IPN.  These institutions have been under constant pressure (a race against time) to prove beyond reasonable doubt that transgenes have indeed become integrated into the maize genome in Mexico. At the present time there is disagreement between the (incomplete) data already presented and one of the referees from Nature magazine as to whether these results significantly bolster their argument.

Finally, Nature has decided to publish a brief communication from M. Metz and J. Futerer saying that results obtained from Quist & Chapela are dubious and their implications pure speculation, so far. M. Metz himself works as consultant of Tilligen Inc., Seattle, a company developing an alternative technology to transgenic crops that could lose some financial advantage as a result of the submitted critique. Incidentally this communication and the editorial of Nature 416 happen to occur few weeks before the next meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (ICCP) that aims to ensure the safe transfer of modified organisms in The Hague, Netherlands, 22-24 April 2002.

Alberto Salazar Martínez, Facultad de Ciencias, UNAM < >

[1] I. H. Chapela & D. Quist. Nature 414, 541-543 (2001)

"The SEU TIMES" No 3 (25) - No 5 (27) – April 2002

"The SEU TIMES" is the electronic newsletter of the "Socio-Ecological Union", one of the Russian INES member organsiations.

The second April 2002 edition No 3 (25) covers the following:

The third April 2002 edition No 4 (26) covers the following:

The fourth April 2002 edition No 5 (27) is a special brief edition on "Chernobyl Day protests in Moscow – unprecedented violence from Kremlin Police"   Action photos at: http://www.seu.ru/projects/eng/atom 

Editor: Sviatoslav Zabelin < >  Previous issues of "The SEU Times" may be found at "The Online Gadfly": http://www.igc.org/gadfly 


Action against the withdrawal from the ABM Treaty

The letter urging the US Senate to take action against the withdrawal from the ABMT can be found at: http://www.wagingpeace.org/articles/02.04/0417lantiabmletter.htm 


Abolition 2000 homepage: http://www.abolition2000.org  Grassroots News: http://www.napf.org/abolition2000/news/ 

On the outcome of the NPT PrepCom, 8-19 April 2002

Rebecca Johnson, Acronym Institute: Low Key NPT Meeting Masks Deep Disagreements Over Treaty Implementation, Especially on Nuclear Disarmament (New York, April 19, 2002)

The NPT PrepCom in New York concluded on Friday, April 19th, after adopting a procedural document containing arrangements for organising future PrepComs in Geneva (2003) and New York (2004) and the next Review Conference (New York 2005). The Chair, Henrik Salander of Sweden, annexed his "Chair's factual summary" of the meeting, which had been presented to delegations the night before. The short, 7 page summary identified the major issues raised at the meeting and sought to give a balanced account of the views expressed by states parties on a range of substantive questions, including highly contentious issues such as implementation of the nuclear disarmament commitments in the Treaty, the nuclear programmes of India, Israel and Pakistan and associated regional security concerns, lack of compliance by Iraq and North Korea and so on.

Salander made clear that he took responsibility for the summary's characterisation of the meeting's substance and that it would not therefore be opened for negotiation or amended.

After adopting the PrepCom report with the summary attached, several delegations took the floor to commend Salander for his balanced approach to a very difficult task, while others expressed their country's reservations about how some of the issues and debates had been characterised.

Having overcome deadlock in its first week over opposition by the United States and France to inclusion of reporting requirements in the work programme, this first PrepCom for the 2005 Review Conference appeared to conclude rather smoothly. In fact, the apparently low key statements and debates masked a mounting degree of frustration about policy developments in key nuclear weapon states that are inconsistent with the NPT and consensus agreements undertaken as part of the Treaty's review process in 1995 and 2000. The frustration, expressed in the corridors of the UN, but seldom in the PrepCom itself, at times fuelled angry comments about having been cheated by nuclear weapon state promises in 1995 and 2000, while others expressed concern that if states began to view the NPT review process as futile they would lose confidence in the wider non-proliferation and disarmament regimes that underpin international security.

A more detailed report and analysis of the NPT PrepCom will be posted on the website and published in Disarmament Diplomacy as soon as feasible. For related documentation, please visit our site at:  http://www.acronym.org.uk 

Those present at the Abolition 2000 annual meeting on 13 April - participants from the U.S.; U.K.; Russia; France; Norway; Germany; Japan; Belau; Egypt; and Aotearoa (New Zealand) - issued a statement on the NPT proceedings. You can find it on Abolition 2000 letterhead, and in French, by visiting:  http://www.gracelinks.org/nuke/docs/ab2000/press.html and clicking on "April 13th Press Release".

INESAP Briefing Papers http://www.inesap.org 

On the occasion of the NPT PrepCom meeting held April 8-19 in New York, INESAP published two new Briefing Papers:

Unfortunately, the INESAP webserver had to be shut off due to outside intrusion attempts, but the papers will be available there soon. Paper #8 is also available from the main page of http://www.mbmd.org  and from: http://www.wslfweb.org/docs/missilecontrol.pdf 

International Peace Bureau report on NPT PrepCom

Written by David Hay-Edie, IPB has released a report on the recent NPT PrepCom which is available from the WNII Editor as an rtf-formatted email attachment.

Reaching Critical Will's Final Analysis

Women's International League for Peace and Freedom's Reaching Critical Will project has published a Final Analysis on the NPT PrepCom, which is available from the WNII Editor as an rtf-formatted email attachment.

Minutes of the Abolition 2000 Annual General Meeting

On April 13th, Abolition 2000 network members from 11 countries gathered in New York, during the NPT, for the annual general meeting. The Minutes of this meeting are downloadable in microsoft word format at: http://www.gracelinks.org/nuke/docs/ab2000/links.html 


Special website for PrepCom IV

The National Preparatory Committee of Indonesia for PrepCom IV has launched a website dedicated to serve the preparation of PrepCom IV in Nusa Dua, Bali, 27 May to 7 June 2002 - http://www.baliprepcom.org 

Also, Baliprepcom.org provides a free message board and a free mailing list.

For comments, please email to: < >

What's new at the Heinrich Boell Foundation World Summit website


Stakeholder Dialogue on Sustainable Water Management

"Sustainable Developments", published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development, provides a Summary Report from the Stakeholder Dialogue on Sustainable Water Management (Volume 73, Number 1, 28 April 02).

The Stakeholder Dialogue on Sustainable Water Management - Priorities for Policy Frameworks and Best Practices convened from 25-26 April 2002 at the Swiss Re Centre for Global Dialogue in Rüschlikon, Switzerland. Organized by the Swiss Federal Government, which was represented by the interdepartmental working group, IDARio, and Swiss Re, the Dialogue brought together over 140 participants from governments, intergovernmental and non- governmental organizations, and the academic, investment and business communities.

Goals of the Stakeholder Dialogue included: identifying priority problem areas; identifying and assessing technical, regulatory, procedural and market solutions, as well as measures to improve equity and efficiency of regional and global water supply; fostering public-private partnerships in the areas of water management and framework conditions; and providing relevant input to awareness-raising programmes and media coverage, regional and international debates on water conservation, education, and in- depth solution-oriented research. The Dialogue also aimed to further develop the conclusions of the International Conference on Freshwater, which took place from 3-7 December 2001 in Bonn, Germany, and to contribute to discussions on the freshwater issue at the upcoming Implementation Conference and the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD).

The Summary Report can be found at:  http://www.iisd.ca/linkages/sd/ruschlikon/ 


 "Trust & Verify" No. 101/March-April 2002

The latest issue of "Trust & Verify", published by the London-based "Verification Research, Training and Information Centre (VERTIC)", carries the following:

"Trust & Verify" can be ordered from: < >


No new or changed email or web addresses in this issue.  All INES e-mail addresses and homepages are available upon request from:  

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