No. 22/2002

Dateline: August 17, 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. 22/2002


Are you missing WNII 21/2002?

A part of those WNII readers, who receive WNII individually, might not have gotten WNII 21/2002 due to a failure of my university-based server. Unfortunately, I lost the list of those who might not have received this WNII issue. So, please do not hesitate to contact me if you are missing this particular edition.

Tobias Damjanov Editor

Nuclear Age Peace Foundation Statement Opposing War Against Iraq

We are firmly opposed to waging war against Iraq.

The rush to war against Iraq violates the spirit and letter of the US Constitution, as well as disregards the prohibitions on the use of force that are set forth in the UN Charter and accepted as binding rules of international law. The proposed war would also have dangerous and unpredictable consequences for the region and the world, and would likely bring turmoil to the world oil and financial markets, and might well lead to the replacement of currently pro-Western leaders in Egypt and Saudi Arabia with militantly anti-American governments.

The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation opposes on principle and for reasons of prudence, the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction, especially nuclear weapons, by any country, including, of course, Iraq. Our position is one of support for the Non-Proliferation Treaty as a temporary expedient, while a good faith effort is being made to achieve the overall abolition of nuclear weapons through a disarmament treaty with reliable safeguards against cheating. Unfortunately, at present, no effort to achieve nuclear disarmament is being made.

At the same time, the acquisition of nuclear weaponry, prohibited to Iraq by Security Council resolution, is not itself an occasion for justifiable war. After all, the United States, along with at least seven other countries, possesses, and continues to develop such weaponry. There is no good reason for supposing that Iraq cannot be deterred from ever using such weapons, or from transferring them to al Qaeda or other terrorist groups. The government of Iraq, notwithstanding its record of brutality and regional aggression, has shown a consistent willingness to back down in the face of overwhelming force, as it did in the Gulf War and during the subsequent decade.

It is necessary to take seriously the possibility that al Qaeda operatives could gain access to weaponry of mass destruction, and would have little hesitation about using it against American targets. Unlike Iraq, al Qaeda cannot be deterred by threats of retaliatory force. Its absence of a territorial base, visionary worldview, and suicidal foot soldiers disclose a political disposition that would seek by any means to inflict maximum harm. The US government should guard against such risks, especially with respect to the rather loose control of nuclear materials in Russia. Going to war against Iraq is likely to accentuate, rather than reduce, these dire risks. It would produce the one set of conditions in which Saddam Hussein, faced with the certain death and the destruction of his country, would have the greatest incentive to strike back with any means at his disposal, including the arming of al Qaeda.

The recent hearings of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee did not provide an occasion for public debate, as the witnesses called accepted the premise of a regime change in Baghdad, disagreeing only with respect to the costs and feasibility of a war strategy. No principled criticism of the strategy itself was voiced, and thus the hearings are better understood as building a consensus in favor of war than of exploring doubts about the war option. As well, it is regrettable that the hearings paid no attention to the widely criticized punitive sanctions that have had such harsh consequences on Iraqi civilians for more than a decade.

Granting the concerns of the US government that Saddam Hussein possesses or may obtain weapons of mass destruction, there are available alternatives to war that are consistent with international law and are strongly preferred by America's most trusted allies. These include the resumption of weapons inspections under United Nations auspices combined with multilateral diplomacy and a continued reliance on non-nuclear deterrence. This kind of approach has proved effective over the years in addressing comparable concerns about North Korea's pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability.

We are encouraged by the reported opposition to the proposed war by important US military leaders and most US allies. We urge the American people to exercise their responsibilities as citizens to join in raising their voices in opposition to waging war against Iraq.

New Zealand: Engineers for Social Responsibility (ESR) Newsletter August 2002 (Vol. 18/No. 4) http://www.esr.org.nz 

The latest ESR Newsletter carries the following main articles:

Newsletter Editor: Neil Mander < >


"Proposal to the WSSD: Transition to a Sustainable Civilisation"

This is the title of a paper by Dr. Michael Ellis, Chair of the Australia-based Centre for Change in the Third Millennium, and Dr. Pavel Kasyanov, President of the Russian Society for Ecological Economics. Thanks to Russian INES member Vladimir Zolotarev, it is now available from the WNII Editor as an rtf-formatted email attachment.

Trade Unions webpage

Information about the Trade Union activities related to WSSD can be accessed on the following web page: http://www.icftu.org/wssd2002 


Statement of the Pugwash Council: Science - Sustainability – Security

The Pugwash Council, meeting during the 52nd Pugwash Conference in La Jolla, California, expresses its concern over accelerating threats to global sustainability and security that will require intensified multinational cooperation and the strengthening of international institutions to safeguard human security.

The most immediate of these is the prospect of military action against Iraq, whether carried out unilaterally by the United States or in coalition with other countries, without a UN mandate. A military conflict in Iraq would surely cause widespread human suffering and could lead to political destabilization across the entire region. The Pugwash Council calls on the United Nations and all countries to exhaust every possible option short of military force to compel Iraq’s compliance with UN Security Council resolutions to allow the return of weapons inspectors in order to certify the absence of efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction. It also calls on the US and other governments not to take military action against Iraq without a UN mandate.

More broadly, the shock to the international system caused by the events of September 11, 2001 still reverberates around the world. While much of the coordinated international action to combat organized terrorist groups is both necessary and urgent, the Pugwash Council deplores the fact that the campaign against ‘terrorism’ has become an excuse for increased defense budgets and military deployments, the curtailment of civil liberties, and support for authoritarian regimes on the part of some governments and organizations.

In the nuclear field, woefully inadequate is the recently concluded agreement between Presidents Bush and Putin to lower American and Russian arsenals to 1,700 - 2,200 deployed weapons by the year 2012. Far too many nuclear weapons will remain stockpiled for possible use and too few resources are being devoted to totally eliminating excess plutonium and especially weapon-grade uranium, which represents the greater danger regarding possible terrorist manufacture of a crude nuclear device.

Moreover, US withdrawal from the ABM Treaty has voided important restraints preventing the weaponization of space, while the US Nuclear Posture Review (to the extent made public) signals alarming new trends in terms of the threat to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states and the prospect of developing new, more potentially usable, small yield and fissionless-fusion weapons. The Pugwash Council is especially concerned that the latter could lead to a resumption of nuclear testing that would totally unravel the Comprehensive Test Ban and the Non-Proliferation treaties.

Accordingly, the Pugwash Council calls on all the nuclear weapon states to recognize the illegality and immorality of nuclear weapons and to move expeditiously to eliminate such weapons in the near future. In addition, a massive, broad-based education campaign is needed to alert all peoples to the very real and continuing risk of a nuclear catastrophe.

Regionally, the failure to reach a final and just settlement between the Palestinians and Israelis breeds a horrendous cycle of violence between the two peoples and could well spark a wider Middle East conflict. In South Asia, the military confrontation between India and Pakistan carries with it the risk of a major conflict that could also involve the catastrophic use of nuclear weapons. The international community has a responsibility to assist in the conclusion of equitable settlements of both conflicts.

The need for greater and more equitable international cooperation, especially between industrial and developing countries, extends as well to sustainable development, individual responsibility, and the role of science and technology in promoting true human security for all individuals.

Recognizing the links between the lack of basic resources such as energy and water, and the potential for conflict, the Pugwash Council calls on the leaders meeting at the World Summit on Sustainable Development that begins August 26, 2002 in Johannesburg, South Africa, to implement measures to foster cooperation in energy research, sustainable use of resources, and in achieving global greenhouse gas reductions. Greater risk assessment, transparency and capacity-building is also needed on the part of both industrial and developing countries regarding the use of new biotechnologies in agriculture, medicine and other fields.

In all areas of human endeavor, scientists must anticipate and evaluate the full range of possible consequences of scientific and technological developments, and promote debate and reflection on the ethical obligations of scientists in taking responsibility for their work.

In recalling the founding document of Pugwash, the 1955 Russell-Einstein Manifesto, the Pugwash Council appeals to the scientific community and all peoples to “remember your humanity and forget the rest” in the continuing effort to renounce war and improve the human condition in every region of the globe.


UNIDIR "disarmament forum" two/2002

"Human security in Latin America" is the subject of this year's second issue of "disarmament forum" which is published by the UN Institute for Disarmament Research.

It is available in English at: http://www.unog.ch/unidir/e-df2-2.html and in French at: http://www.unog.ch/unidir/f-df2-2.html 


UPDATE: NGO Strategy Summit

The NGO Strategy Summit will be a gathering of key disarmament activists and experts from various regions of the world to review the current and upcoming work of the First Committee and other fora that deal with both nuclear disarmament and prevention of an arms race in outer space. We will also be examining the current political climate with a view to enhancing civil society influence, formulating joint projects, and improving information flow.

For more details, mailto:   or mailto:  


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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