WHAT'S NEW IN INES?
Dateline: January 5, 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. 1/2002
MEMBERSHIP AND PROJECTS' NEWS
USA: Nuclear Age Peace Foundation: Top five lists for 2001
Dear Friends and Supporters,
Historical perspective awakens our memories and allows us to take steps to avoid repeating mistakes of the past. Since the beginning of the Nuclear Age, the earth and its inhabitants have been threatened indiscriminately with nuclear annihilation. To review the events of 2001 as they relate to nuclear issues, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation has prepared the following "Top Five" lists*). We encourage you to review these lists and circulate them widely. We also invite your response to the lists and encourage your contribution by offering any items we may have overlooked.
With best wishes for a peaceful and healthful new year, Carah Ong Director of Research and Publications < >
*) The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation's Top Five List of
The Foundation's Top Five List of Nuclear Events for 2001 as well as the other Top Five lists may be found at: http://www.wagingpeace.org/resources/index.html
USA: Nuclear Age Peace Foundation: Withdrawal from the ABM Treaty Threatens US and International Security (Press Release, 20 December 2001)
The Bush Administration's announcement on 13 December to withdraw from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty in order to proceed with plans to develop and deploy ballistic missile defenses threatens both US and international security. The announcement that the US will withdraw from the accord negotiated with the former USSR is a signal that the US is willing to act unilaterally and outside the jurisdiction of international law. US withdrawal from the ABM treaty may provoke arms races, including in Outer Space, and undermine international disarmament and non-proliferation efforts.
The deployment of ballistic missile defenses is not an effective means to countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. The deployment of ballistic missile defenses will only produce instability and insecurity in critical regions of the world, including in North East Asia, the Middle East, and South Asia.
Although the proposed US missile defense systems would have been utterly useless in the 11 September terrorist attacks, the Pentagon and other proponents of the systems have continued to call for increased funding for missile defense in the US 2002 fiscal year (FY 2002). The FY 2002 Defense Authorization Bill includes $7 to $8.3 billion for missile defense spending (the President is provided authority to spend $1.3 billion either for missile defense or to combat terrorism, a $3 billion or 57% increase over the authorized FY 2001 budget.
The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, an international non-profit, non-partisan education and advocacy organization, believes that a much better option to increase global cooperation and security is to preserve the ABM Treaty until something more comprehensive can replace it. While the stated purpose of ballistic missile defense systems is to defend against missile attacks, it is unlikely that they could do so effectively.
Additionally, the inherent link between the deployment of ballistic missile defense and the weaponization of outer space means that withdrawal from the ABM Treaty will allow the US to continue conduct tests of space weapons. A far better option for the US would be to take the lead on long-promised negotiations for the abolition of nuclear weapons, as well as other weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.
The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation urges Congress oppose the President's announced withdrawal from the ABM Treaty. The Foundation also urges the US, Russia, China, and other countries to renew and fulfill their commitments to multilateral agreements, in particular all nuclear weapons states should fulfill their nuclear disarmament obligations in accordance to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
For more information on global initiatives to prevent the proliferation of ballistic missiles and abolish weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, please visit the website of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation at: http://www.wagingpeace.org
USA: Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF), The Sunflower, No. 56, January 2002 Back issues: http://www.wagingpeace.org/sf/backissues.html Events are listed at: http://www.wagingpeace.org/calendar/events_current.html
The January 2002 issue of The Sunflower covers the following:
To read "The Sunflower", please send an email to Carah Lynn Ong, Director of Research and Publications: < >
or go to: http://www.wagingpeace.org/sf/index.html (The newsletter is also available in pdf format online)
Abolition 2000 homepage: http://www.abolition2000.org Grassroots News: http://www.napf.org/abolition2000/news/
New Approaches to Disarmament are Needed
Egyptian INESAP member Bahig Nassar, in his capacities as coordinator of the Arab Coordination Centre of NGOs, and member of the AAPSO (Afro-Asian Peoples' Solidarity Organization) Disarmament Committee, has recently disseminated a 5-point "Urgent Request to All Abolitionists: New Approaches to Respond to Grave Recent Developments". Explaining the initiative, he writes:
" At the time of NPT Prep Com to be held next April 2002 seven years will be passed since the program of Abolition 2000 Campaign to free the world from nuclear weapons had been approved. Many grave and far reaching developments had taken place recently. New points for the program may be needed and others may be reformulated in order to meet the current dangers of nuclear weapons and their delivery systems."
The paper is available from the WNII Editor as an rtf-formatted email attachment. Alternately, you can contact Bahig Nassar directly through: < >
2002 WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT NEWS
INES members discussing proposals
Alice Slater on an International Sustainable Energy Agency (ISEA)
Dear Friends, Is it possible to add to the INES petition for the Johannesburg WSSD that governments establish an International Sustainable Energy Agency (ISEA). Our Working Group for Abolition 2000 has developed a model statute for ISEA; EuroSolar in Germany is also working on such an initiative as is a Swiss group, Sun21. We need to build world support to have it introduced by a government as an official initiative at WSSD. Any help or promotion that INES could add would be greatly appreciated. The model statute and explanatory material can be found at: http://www.gracelinks.org/nuke/sustainable_energy.html
Many thanks for your help with this. Peace and joy in the New Year!
Alice Slater President, Global Resource Action Center for the Environment (GRACE), USA < >
Ari Lampinen on an International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)
Hi, I strongly support the previous speaker on the importance of supporting and participating the lobbying effort towards establishment of a new UN agency for renewable energy. The same substantiations that made the establishment of IAEA possible are now valid for renewable energy (but no longer for nuclear energy). Furthermore, the Johannesburg summit MUST create something concrete, such as a new powerful sustainability actor, just like creation of UNEP in Stockholm in 1972 and creation of GEF in Rio in 1992. (Of course, the world environmental organization will be on the agenda).
IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency) has been (mildly) discussed for a couple of decades but never before has the opportunity been so obvious as now. But the effort lead by World Council for Renewable Energy WCRE has unfortunately been too tame so far. And the German government official initiative, proposed by MP Hermann Scheer of Eurosolar, has not become a reality, despite time running very short now.
Let me put this in another way: Why would INES NOT support the IRENA initiative, or whatever name is given to it?
Or: Why has the INES appeal concentrated on peace issues only? There are plenty of other issues worth promoting and now is the time for INES to appeal for ALL the issues important to its members. From the INES Rio+10 input its members, possible new members and outsiders should be able to read what it is that INES really wants.
Why not, in this context, think about e.g. the agenda and activities of Union of Concerned Scientists, including their decision to leave INES membership.
Regards, Ari Lampinen University of Jyvaskyla, Finland < >
An Assessment of the Status of the World's Remaining Closed Forests
Efforts to save the world's last, critically important forests should initially focus on just a handful of countries, a new report, entitled "An Assessment of the Status of the World's Remaining Closed Forests", has found. A unique satellite-based survey of the planet's remaining closed forests, which include virgin, old growth and naturally-regenerated woodlands, has found that over 80 per cent are located in just 15 countries.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), one of the key organizations behind the report, believes that targeting scarce conservation funds on these 15 key countries may pay dividends in terms of environmental results.
Importantly, the survey also reveals that the pressure from people and population growth on most of these remaining closed forests, such as those in Bolivia and Peru, is low. Others, such as the remaining closed forests in India and China, are under more pressure from human activity and may require a bigger effort to conserve and protect, the report concludes. But, overall, an estimated 88 per cent of these vital forests are sparsely populated, which give well-focused and well-funded conservation efforts a real chance of success.
The findings have come from scientists with UNEP working with other researchers including ones from the United States Geological Survey and NASA, the United States space agency.
Among the 15 key countries identified in the report, Russia has the lowest level of protection with just two per cent protected followed by Mexico, 3 per cent; China, 3.6 per cent, the United States, 6.7 per cent and Canada, 7.4 per cent. The report has also found that 53 countries have more than 30 per cent of their land cover under closed forests. Some of those, especially ones with low population densities, could also eventually be the focus of vigorous conservation efforts after the forests of the first 15 countries have been made secure.
The report can be downloaded as an PDF-formatted file from:
UNEP's "UCCEE News" November 2001
The November 2001 newsletter from the UNEP Collaborating Centre on Energy and Environment is now available online at: http://www.uccee.org/UcceeNews/November01.pdf
Among articles, details are given on:
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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