WHAT'S NEW IN INES?
Dateline: September 18, 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. 24/2002
MEMBERSHIP AND PROJECTS' NEWS
USA: Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF), The Sunflower, No. 64, September 2002
Back issues: http://www.wagingpeace.org/sf/backissues.html Events are listed at: http://www.wagingpeace.org/calendar/events_current.html
The September 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 goto: http://www.wagingpeace.org/sf/index.html (The newsletter is also available in pdf format online)
USA: Project on Defense Alternatives (PDA) of the Commonwealth Institute
Links to 500 recent full-text documents newly added, re: terrorism, homeland security, US military transformation, and military developments in China. Major website updates to:
Also for forthcoming updates at:
THE US POLICY ON IRAQ
Annan's and Bush's addresses to the United Nations
On 12 September, US President George W. Bush spoke to the United Nations, "forcefully urging it to compel Iraq to comply with Security Council directives on weapons of mass destruction", as CNN put it afterwards. Others stated that, " President Bush's speech to the UN has presented that body and its members with a dilemma rather than a choice. Whichever path they take in response will make explicit their weakness and involve them and the UN in deep humiliation." (*) Bush's Speech can be found at: http://www.un.org/webcast/ga/57/statements/020912usaE.htm
Also on 12 September, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan spoke to the UN General Assembly. His speech can be found at:
Alternately, both speeches are available in full from the WNII Editor as an rtf-formatted email attachments.
(*) Anatol Lieven, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington DC, in an article published in the British daily The Guardian on 13 September. This article, too, is available from the WNII Editor as an rtf-formatted email attachment.
Amnesty International's response to the Bush speech (Source: Amnesty International, 13 Sep 02)
In his speech to the UN General Assembly today, President George Bush made reference to the serious human rights violations perpetrated upon the Iraqi people by their government. In the background paper distributed to the media, several references were made to Amnesty International's reports published over the years on the human rights situation in Iraq.
"Once again, the human rights record of a country is used selectively to legitimise military actions." Amnesty International said.
"The US and other Western governments turned a blind eye to Amnesty International reports of widespread human rights violations in Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war, and ignored Amnesty International's campaign on behalf of the thousands of unarmed Kurdish civilians killed in the 1988 attacks on Halabja.
As the debate on whether to use military force against Iraq escalates, the human rights of the Iraqi people, as a direct consequence of any potential military action, is sorely missing from the equation.
Life, safety and security of civilians must be the paramount consideration in any action taken to resolve the current human rights and humanitarian crisis. The experience of previous armed intervention in the Gulf has shown that, all too often, civilians become the acceptable casualties of war.
In the event of military action there is a serious possibility of large flows of refugees and the internal displacement of thousands of people. A humanitarian crisis can emerge caused by difficult or impossible delivery of basic supplies leaving shortages in food, medicine and the destruction of civilian infrastructure and institutions."
Selected US governmental web resources (Source: FAS Project on Government Secrecy "Secrecy News", Volume 2002, Issue No. 89, September 13, 2002)
Australian Peace Groups Welcome Weapons Inspections For Iraq, United States (Source: Friends of the Earth Australia Press Release, 1 Sep 02)
Australian peace groups and antinuclear groups have welcomed calls by the European community and Mr. Downer to send weapons inspectors back into Iraq and have called for inspectors to be sent to the United States, to determine progress toward the elimination of the worlds largest and by far the most sophisticated stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, which the US is legally bound to eliminate under the nuclear nonproliferation treaty.
According to the groups: "We strongly support the idea of inspections to eliminate weapons of mass destruction in ALL countries that have them, not only Iraq but in the countries that really do have the monster weapons stockpiles - The US, Russia, China, France, the UK, India, Pakistan, and Israel."
"To prioritise the elimination of weapons of mass destruction is quite right. But the very existence of a tiny, pathetic, Iraqi WMD arsenal is open to question, while we know that the nuclear powers continue to maintain massive arsenals with the capability to wreak the kind of damage associated with the impact of a large asteroid, in spite of unambiguous and internationally recognised legal obligations to eliminate those arsenals. Nobody has suggested invading the west coast of the US when a subcritical nuclear test was carried out last Thursday, or a missile was tested some weeks ago. Nobody even suggested military action when India and Pakistan carried out highly provocative and dangerous missile tests months ago. Where is the balance?"
IISS: Iraq Lacks Material for Nuclear Bomb (Source: The Washington Post, 10 Sep 02)
A report issued by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) stated that Iraq could produce a nuclear weapon "in a matter of months," but only if it manages to acquire fissile material from an outside source. The report said Iraq does not currently possess facilities to produce enough fissile material to make nuclear weapons, but might be able to obtain such material on the black market.
The report also said Iraq has an extensive biological weapons capability, a smaller chemical weapons stockpile and a small supply of missiles to deliver such weapons. It called Iraq's development of weapons of mass destruction "the core objective of the regime," and said Baghdad had pursued this goal relentlessly for the past 11 years -- in defiance of commitments it made in agreeing to a cease-fire to end the 1991 Persian Gulf War.
But the report stopped short of endorsing military action against Iraq along the lines being proposed by the Bush administration and its allies.
"Wait and the threat will grow; strike and the threat may be used," John Chipman, director of the institute, said. "Clearly, governments have a pressing duty to develop early a strategy to deal comprehensively with this unique international problem."
Articles available from the WNII editor
The following selected articles are available from the WNII Editor as rtf-formatted email attachments:
UNEP: Global Network on Energy for Sustainable Development launched (Source: UNEP News Release 2002/60)
Launched at the WSSD Johannesburg, the new Global Network on Energy for Sustainable Development (GNESD) is aimed at helping to promote the research, transfer and take-up of green and cleaner energy technologies to the developing world. Initially, the GNESD is made up of 10 centres in 10 developed and developing countries. The list of energy centres includes, for example, the Tata Energy Research Institute (TERI) in India, the African Energy Policy Research Network (Kenya), the Bariloche Foundation (Argentine), ENDA Tiers Monde (Senegal), and the Energy Research and Development Centre (EDRC) in South Africa.
"The underlying rationale of the Network is that it increases the capacity of developing country research institutions to look at energy for sustainable development issues", said Mark Radka, head of UNEP's Energy Unit. "Furthermore, it creates a shared research and information base on policy and technical guidance, advice and information." The creation of GNESD is in line with the G8 Renewable Energy Task Force Report (2001) which recommended that its member countries "expand support for assistance programmes and networks for capacity building" to help promote the policy shift towards sustainable energy solutions.
The idea of the Network was developed by UNEP in cooperation with the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs (UN/DESA) and The World Bank, drawing on proposals and inputs from the energy centres themselves. Initial funding partners are the Governments of Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Denmark, along with the UN Foundation.
For more information contact Mark Radka, Energy Programme Coordinator, UNEP Paris: < > http://www.uneptie.org/energy
34 Million Landmines Destroyed. ICBL Annual Report published (Source: ICBL Press Release, 13 Sep 02)
More than 34 million stockpiled antipersonnel mines have been destroyed by 61 states, including seven million in the past year, according to the fourth annual report released by the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL). “Five years after the Mine Ban Treaty was negotiated in Oslo and first signed in Ottawa, it is clear that the world is embracing a new international norm rejecting the antipersonnel mine,” said ICBL Ambassador Jody Williams, who shared the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize with the ICBL.
According to the report, the export of antipersonnel landmines has nearly ceased, the number of countries producing the weapon has decreased from 55 to 14, mine action programs have expanded, there are fewer new mine casualties than in the past, and use of antipersonnel mines has fallen off. “Perhaps the most encouraging development noted in this report is the decrease in the number of governments and rebel groups using antipersonnel mines,” said Williams. Nine governments were reported to have used antipersonnel mines in the reporting period (since May 2001), compared to at least 13 governments in the previous year. And two of the nine governments, Angola and Sri Lanka, stopped use in 2002 with cease-fires and have not resumed.
Eight countries became States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty since the last annual report, including three that have recently used antipersonnel mines but now spurn the weapon--Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Eritreaas well as regional leaders Nigeria and Chile. There are 125 States Parties to the treaty, and another 18 countries have signed but not yet ratified. More than a dozen governments have pledged to join in the near future, including Afghanistan, Greece, Indonesia, Turkey, and Yugoslavia.
The ICBL singled out non-treaty signatories India and Pakistan as especially deserving of criticism. Since December 2001, both countries have engaged in massive new mine-laying operations along their common border, possibly the biggest anywhere in the world in decades, resulting in numerous civilian casualties. These operations likely mean than more mines went into the ground globally than in the previous reporting period.
The ICBL also condemned extensive ongoing use of antipersonnel mines by the governments of Myanmar and Russia (in Chechnya), and lesser-scale ongoing use by Nepal and Somalia. In addition, despite a declared use moratorium in place since 1996, Georgian forces apparently laid antipersonnel mines in the reporting period.
In Afghanistan, there were reports of limited use of mines and booby-traps by Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters, as well as the Northern Alliance. There were no instances of use of antipersonnel mines by the United States or coalition forces. In another disturbing development, Iran, which ostensibly instituted an export moratorium on antipersonnel mines in 1997, has apparently provided mines to combatants in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Mine clearance organizations in Afghanistan are encountering many Iranian-manufactured antipersonnel mines dated 1999 and 2000.
Among Mine Ban Treaty States Parties, the ICBL is most concerned about the failure of Tajikistan to meet treaty requirements. It has not submitted required transparency reports, not adopted any national implementation measures, not started or even planned for stockpile destruction, and most disturbingly, has apparently consented to use of antipersonnel mines by Russian forces inside Tajikistan.
New casualties due to landmines or unexploded ordnance (UXO) were reported in 69 countries in 2001. A majority of these countries (46) were at peace, not war. The number of new mine/UXO casualties each year is now estimated by Landmine Monitor to be some 15-20,000 per year. Landmine Monitor identified at least 7,987 new reported casualties in 2001, roughly the same number as in 2000, but many casualties go unreported. “While the number of new reported mine casualties in some of the worst affected countries has fallen in recent years, landmines continue to take an appalling civilian toll. The needs of hundreds of thousands of landmine survivors around the world will have to be met for decades to come,” said Sheree Bailey of Handicap International Belgium, coordinator for victim assistance for Landmine Monitor.
Ninety countries are affected by landmines and/or unexploded ordnance, including several from World War II. In 2001 and early 2002, some form of mine clearance was underway in 74 of those countries. While on a global scale mine clearance and other mine action programs have expanded greatly over the past decade and particularly since 1997, a number of these programs have suffered financial crises recently. Global mine action funding has totaled over $1.4 billion in the past decade, including $237 million in 2001. However, the 2001 figure, which is roughly the same as in 2000, represents the first time since 1992 that a significant increase has not been registered. “It is increasingly clear that at current levels of mine action funding and demining, many mine-affected states will not meet the ten-year treaty deadline for completion of clearance,” said Janecke Wille of Norwegian People’s Aid, acting chair of the ICBL Mine Action Working Group.
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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