WHAT'S NEW IN INES?
Dateline: June 5, 2003
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. 17/2003
MEMBERSHIP AND PROJECTS NEWS
2003 INES Council Meeting
This year's INES Council Meeting is to take place at Paris, France, from 10 to 12 November. The date correlates with the European Social Forum (ESF) which also takes place at Paris from 12 to16 November. Some of the many ESF seminars and events will be organized by INES, together with the World Federation of Scientific Workers (WFSW), the Syndicat National de l’Enseignement Supérieur (SNESup) which also hosts the INES Council, and some other organizations. (see also the information bit "Invitation to prepare seminars on 'Building Peace'" elsewhere in this WNII issue)
A focal point of the INES Council will be the discussion on the consequences of the Iraq war and the figth against the "New World Order". What are the answers of responsible scientists and engineers engaged in peace activities, sustainability and the responsible use of science? We have to look back at the disappointing World Summit on Sustainable Development, held in Johannesburg, and we have to work out how wee can scientifically as well as through different actions, strengthen the process for a sustainable and peaceful world.
These points are strongly connected to each other. A sustainable world is impossible without peace, and peace is a preliminary to sustainability.
During the 2003 Council Meeting we have to put ourselves the following questions:
Agenda of the INES Council
International Peace Bureau calls for Immediate Release of Aung San Suu Kyi
2nd July 2003. The International Peace Bureau (IPB) calls for the immediate release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Laureate and leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD) in Burma. She is being held in "protective custody" by the ruling military junta, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC). The IPB also calls for the release of her NLD colleagues who have been placed under house arrest.
According to reports received by the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB), at approximately midnight last Friday night (30th May), the motorcade carrying the democratic leader was attacked near Monywa by 500 armed soldiers, members of the SPDC-sponsored Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA) and prisoners who had been promised freedom and rewards. The reports state that up to 70 people were killed and more than 200 NLD members were arrested. Suu Kyi is said to have suffered a serious head injury.
Security officials have sealed shut the Rangoon headquarters of the NLD, and the universities and colleges have been closed indefinitely. The NCGUB reports that protests the next day in Monwya were beaten by the army, USDA and the police, and that three people were killed, including the Reverand U Pañña Thiri who was trying to calm the situation.
Contact the IPB office for further details/updates: < >
New Zealand: Engineers for Social Responsibility (ESR) Newsletter June 2003 (Vol. 19/No. 2) http://www.esr.org.nz
The latest ESR Newsletter carries the following main articles:
Newsletter Editor: Neil Mander < >
THE US-UK WAR AGAINST IRAQ
Due to the delay of recent WNII issues, there is now a huge amount of Iraq-related information to be edited. I therefore decided to devote the next WNII issue almost entirely to the various aspects of the situation in Iraq and some of the international consequences. After that, WNII issue 19 should be again edited as usual.
UN Security Council Resolution 1483
SPECIAL SECTION ON THE US MISSILE DEFENSE POLICY
Danish parliament approved missile defence talks with US (Source: Agence France Press, 27 May 03) See also: http://www.spacewar.com/2003/030527130620.l4pnfkfg.html
On 27 May, Denmark's parliament voted to allow the government to begin talks with Washington on the modernisation of a US air base in Greenland, believed to be a cornerstone of the controversial US missile defence shield. The Thule radar station on Greenland, a Danish overseas territory, is thought to be one of the major listening posts required to develop the "son of star wars" missile defence system.
Members of Denmark's parliament voted 97 to 12 in favour of the government's proposal to begin negotiations following a request from Washington to modernise the base and renew a 1951 defence agreement between the United States and Denmark.
Among those opposed to the plan were Greenland's two deputies to the Danish parliament, representing the local ruling party and the opposition, who criticized the decision as going against Greenlanders' interests. Greenland's 57,000 inhabitants generally fear the US missile shield will put their island at the centre of a new conflict. Greenland, a vast island in the Arctic which has been under Danish control since 1721, shed its status as a Danish colony in 1953, becoming instead a dependent territory, and won limited autonomy in 1979.
Others who voted against the proposal were the far left parties, who also fear that the shield will start a new arms race and make Greenland a target.
A former prime minister of Greenland and a member of the ruling Siumut party, Lars Emil Johansen, has accused the Danish government of bowing to US demands in order to gain "foreign policy advantages."
Michelle Ciarrocca: Missile Defense
"Missile Defense" is a new policy brief provided by the US-based Foreign Policy in Focus (FPIF) project. Michelle Ciarrocca is a research associate for the World Policy Institute's Arms Trade Resource Center at the New School for Social Research.
The brief is available in full at: http://www.fpif.org/briefs/vol8/v8n01missile.html
Please also see a new commentary by the same author at: http://www.fpif.org/commentary/2003/0305nuke.html
Abolition 2000 homepage: http://www.abolition2000.org Grassroots News: http://www.napf.org/abolition2000/news/
Appeal re North Korea Nuclear Weapons Crisis
Colin Archer, General-Secretary of the IPB, urges everybody to sign the following letter:
Dear President Bush, President Kim Jong-Il, President Hu Jintao, President Putin, Prime Minister Koizumi, Prime Minister John Howard, Secretaries of State and Foreign Ministers,
The undersigned organisations, representing millions of people, are writing to you to urge that a peaceful solution be reached to the problems posed by the possible existence of nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula.
We believe strongly that talk of military solutions and 'regime change' must be firmly removed from consideration, and a solution arrived at that promotes the well-being and security of all parties on an equal basis, and that contributes to the elimination of tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
It must also be borne in mind that whatever the size and capabilities of the DPRK nuclear arsenal, it in no way remotely compares with the 8-12,000 warheads of the US arsenal, the approximately 22,000 warheads of the Russian arsenal, the roughly 400 warheads held by China and France, the 200-400 held by Israel, the 150-200 held by the UK, nor even with the arsenals held by India and Pakistan. The DPRK has from at least 1956, faced the threat of US nuclear weapons and up to 100 tactical nuclear warheads were stationed south of the DMZ until at least 1991.
The desire of the DPRK to defend itself may be understandable. Nonetheless, a DPRK nuclear capability could lead to the early pursuit of nuclear capabilities by the RoK, Japan and Taiwan, putting the global framework of nuclear nonproliferation in grave jeopardy. Further nuclear proliferation must be prevented. A return to a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula is not at all an empty dream, but a vital necessity.
However it is the strong belief of the undersigned organisations that attempts to use force, sanctions, threats of sanctions, 'regime change', or talk of such measures not only bear no possibility of producing a peaceful and nuclear free Korean Peninsula, but run a real risk of complete catastrophe. Threats of this kind, as the DPRK itself has repeatedly made clear, will induce the DPRK not only to retain and to augment its nuclear arsenal, but may induce it to actually contemplate its use.
Even a conventional war on the Korean Peninsula, which would almost certainly result from military action, would be catastrophic. Some 4 million people are said to have died in the 1950-53 Korean War, while up to 10 million people are unable to visit families because of the border. The existence of a large number of nuclear power plants in the RoK would mean that even a conventional conflict could be catastrophic in its consequences.
The undersigned organisations believe that the only way to solve the proliferation problem is for the US and the other nuclear weapon states to finally make good on their nuclear disarmament commitments under Article VI of the NPT. The double standard regarding their ownership must be eliminated along with the weapons themselves. The ownership of nuclear weapons by the US is in itself the most powerful motivator for a DPRK arsenal, whatever its real capabilities. It is vital, not only that the DPRK uphold and not withdraw from the NPT, but that the US abide by its NPT obligations. The US cannot ask the DPRK to respect the NPT when US plans to develop new nuclear weapons types violate its clear Article VI obligations.
Estimates of DPRK capabilities vary, but it seems reasonable to suggest that if it does not now have at least a rudimentary nuclear arsenal, it soon will have. It is prudent to make the most pessimistic assumptions in assessing the risks of any course of action, and not to assume that DPRK claims are 'bluff'.
Accordingly, we can only conclude that the risk of nuclear weapons actually being used, is such that military options, or options that could eventually lead to military options, should be decisively removed from consideration and be demonstrably taken off the menu of possibilities. In this case even the very contemplation of such options creates a very real risk of a 'pre-preemptive strike'.
We absolutely urge the US administration to desist from the contemplation of military options or of any option that might lead to military action.
We urge the US administration to signal to the DPRK by its own actions, that will encourage the DPRK to enter into real engagement with the RoK, with Japan, with Russia and China, and with the US itself, that will lead to an overall reduction of tensions on the Korean Peninsula. The DPRK has asked the US for a nonaggression pact. We believe this is a reasonable request that would lead to a genuine reduction of tensions in the peninsula.
We are firmly of the belief that this is not merely a realistic option, but that it is the ONLY realistic option.
If the US is serious about discouraging nuclear proliferation worldwide, the single most vital thing it must do is live up to its own obligations under article VI of the NPT, to accomplish the total and unequivocal elimination of its own vast nuclear arsenal.
There is a clear choice:
On the one hand, peace on the Korean Peninsula.
On the other side, a continued increase in tensions, a continued increase in both conventional and nuclear arsenals, and finally a disastrous resort to military action that risks the use of nuclear weapons against Korean, Japanese, or possibly US, cities.
The choice is clear. We urge you to choose peace.
Please send your signature to John Hallam, Friends of the Earth Australia:
Field Guide for Citizen Weapons Inspections (Source: Steven Staples, Polaris Institute Canada, 28 May 03)
A new website has been launched to encourage people to take action to abolish weapons: http:// www.cwit.org
Citizens can learn how to organize their own "citizen weapons inspection teams" to challenge military bases, corporate facilities, weapons labs and other facilities involved in producing and storing WMDs.
"We hope that www.cwit.org will inspire people to work for the abolition of nuclear weapons and all weapons of mass destruction," said Steven Staples of the Polaris Institute, a researcher and activist who has participated in previous citizen weapons inspections.
Included on www.cwit.org are resources to assist citizens in organizing inspections, and to learn from the experience of others:
Hiromichi Umebayashi: Achieving a nuclear-free Northeast Asia
The first step calls for South Korea, North Korea and Japan to form the core of the zone as nonnuclear states. Concurrent with this, China, Russia and the United States will extend legally binding guarantees to these three countries that they will engage neither in nuclear strikes nor threats of such aggression.
The Preparatory Committee for the Review Conference of the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) convened in Geneva in late April. For our nonprofit organization, Peace Depot, this gathering was notable for the fact that we became the first Japanese nongovernmental organization to be given the opportunity to present its views at this official venue.
As so well reported in the media of late, North Korea has apparently chosen to withdraw from the NPT. Within the shifting and unstable international landscape following the war in Iraq, meanwhile, the security of Northeast Asia has emerged as a critical concern for the international community. It is highly significant, therefore, that Peace Depot was able to propose its concrete vision for bringing peace to this region in the presence of the various government representatives.
The United States, backed by massive military might, has been in effect thumbing its nose at the multilateral system of late. In view of this, the time is ripe for NGOs to speak out against this position, and convey their conviction that it is indeed the restoration of the authority and function of multilateral conferences that is the high road to the forging of a lasting and reliable peace.
In our opening statement, which I personally delivered, my intent was to appeal to North Korea to return to the NPT fold. As the International Court of Justice noted in a 1996 advisory opinion, the NPT provides a precious cornerstone in multilateral efforts to eradicate nuclear weapons. Specifically, the court has advised that all signatory nations have ``obligation to bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament.''
North Korea has stated its position as follows: ``Though we are withdrawing from the NPT, we have no intention of building nuclear weapons.'' North Korea thus claims to remain among the ranks of nonnuclear states at the present time.
In addition to continuing to press North Korea to rejoin the NPT, there is yet another potent method of containing the ``nuclear volatility'' of this region: moving toward the establishment of a Northeast Asia nuclear weapon-free zone.
We are well aware of a precedent that the Latin America Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (Tlatelolco Treaty) maintained nonnuclear Latin America and thus contributed to regional security before Brazil, a nuclear-technology power of the region, joined the NPT in 1998. In this sense, the creation of a nuclear weapon-free zone in Northeast Asia would hold even greater significance in engineering the transformation of the security framework of the region.
Northeast Asia is currently divided into two blocs largely defined by the presence or absence of military alliances with the United States-a superpower from outside the region. U.S. military might is currently the deciding factor in defining the security equation for the region. But unfortunately, the fallacy inherent in this structure has never been clearer, as moves toward nuclear proliferation are taken in Northeast Asia. Yet, this is a region that should be painfully aware of what horrors lie at the opposite pole of security. Several hundred thousand Japanese and another 100,000 ethnic Koreans mostly displaced from the Korean Peninsula ended up as atomic bomb victims in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The Northeast Asia nuclear weapon-free zone concept, which I refer to as the "3+3 formula," is a realistic approach rooted in the policies already affirmed by the countries involved.
In a nutshell, based on the 1992 joint declaration by North and South Korea pledging to achieve a nonnuclear Korean Peninsula and Japan's three nonnuclear principles, the first step calls for South Korea, North Korea and Japan to form the core of the zone as nonnuclear states. Concurrent with this, China, Russia and the United States will extend legally binding guarantees to these three countries that they will engage neither in nuclear strikes nor threats of such aggression.
We contend that such guarantees do not conflict with the conventional policies maintained by the nuclear-weapon states. In this way, therefore, North Korea will be able to exact a pledge of security assurance from the United States, with Japan able to win similar assurances from China and Russia.
The most important factor is that, within this concept, the three key nations in the region will lead the security arrangement as protagonists.
The present situation finds North Korea adamant about resuming talks with the United States on the issue of nuclear development. For that matter, I have no intention of denying either the importance or the value of such exchanges as an interim measure.
Sooner or later, though, it will prove necessary for both the governments and their citizens to realize that the two Koreas and Japan must form the bulwark of regional security in this corner of the world.
>From my perspective, such a posture would go a long way toward truly consolidating the foundation forged by the Japan-North Korea Pyongyang Declaration of last September.
(The author, a Japanese INES member, is president of the Peace Depot nonprofit organization. He contributed this comment to The Asahi Shimbun.(IHT/Asahi: June 6,2003)
Measuring multinational companies' ethical performance (Source: IPB mailing, 28 May 03)
The International Peace Bureau (IPB) draws attention to "Covalence", a Geneva, Switzerland, based "information system measuring multinational companies' ethical performance. The system allows civil society organizations to raise companies awareness by transmitting information towards the public and financial markets. It is also a tool for ethical investing and reputation risk analysis". Its website http://www.covalence.ch provides links such as:
In addition, you might receive regular News selected by Covalence (subscription through this URL mentioned above).
Invitation to prepare seminars on 'Building Peace' From Arielle Denis, French Peace Movement, 22 May 03
The last months have shown how important is the work for building peace in the new international context. It gives new responsibilities to peace organisations and those working in other frameworks ( trade unions, associations for development, human rights, globalization, etc...) which include the action for peace, to confront there analyses and launch proposals and actions for "another Europe" active for building peace .
The European Social Forum could be an important moment to improve and share peace activities at the European scale. The Axe 1 of conferences will tackle these questions, how can we, as peace activists, feed these conferences with our analyses and proposals?
How to divide these questions in smaller groups ?
After the discussions we had among peace activists of many countries in Berlin (ESF preparatory committee), we launch the proposal of building a permanent seminar "For building peace" during the Social Forum. At least 8 different seminars could be held which should be proposed and prepared by different European organisations.
Mouvement de la paix, as a French peace organisation -who coordinate the anti war mobilisation in France-, is willing to facilitate this preparation and the contacts among all of you. From the different discussions some subjects are already arising which have to be improved. Many of them are linked with proposals of concrete actions; it seems to be a good direction.
To give you a guide line of the subjects which are commonly shared through our first discussions, here is a first list of proposals. Of course it has to be improved.
1. Europe for peace, no to NATO, no to militarisation of Europe, new cooperation with the South and East, OSCE, etc... (Article 1 : Europe rejects war as a mean of conflict resolution...)
2. Disarmament : industry and trade of weapons, fight against nuclear weapons, land mines, small arms, ( Nuclear weapons preparation of the NPT review treaty in 2005)
3. UNO : Role and necessary improvements, evaluation, proposals...
4. " New Pacifism" anti war movement / peace movement, global vision of peace through a "culture of peace" , links with the social movement.
5. Fight for peace resolution of the conflicts (in Europe -Kurdistan, Balkans, Cyprus, Tchétchénia, ...- in the Middle East, in Africa, in Asia...) solidarity with the peace forces, What role of Europe for the resolution of the actual conflicts? What campaigns?...
6. Education to a culture of peace and non-violence (experiences, decade for a culture of peace, etc...) etc...
If the proposal of a permanent seminar on peace is accepted by the preparatory committee of ESF, we could dream to have also a permanent space and organise together many different activities: workshops, expositions, bookshop, audition of personalities and testimonies , youth activities, concerts, meals etc...
Please send your ideas and proposals, the success of this "permanent seminar on building peace" depends much on our ability to have an attractive project with many supporters!
Arielle Denis, Co-president of le Mouvement de la paix
NOTE the website of the European Social Forum at: http://www.fse-esf.org
Foreign Policy in Focus: Discussion Paper series on Strategic Choices Facing the Peace Movement
Foreign Policy in Focus is committed to promoting strategic dialogues within the peace movement--and other citizen movements--on how to engage in the current geopolitical context. The three discussion papers, referred to below, are the first in a series of papers intended to provoke and promote such discussion. Your feedback is welcome, including proposals for future discussion papers. Please send all feedback to: < >
INES WEB AND E-MAIL SERVICE
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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