WHAT'S NEW IN INES?
Dateline: November 2, 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. 30/2002
MEMBERSHIP AND PROJECTS' NEWS
UK: Scientists for Global Responsibility: Preparing a Convention on Knowledge
"Kowledge – Common Heritage, Not Private Property" is the theme of a discussion meeting on 10 November which is organised by SGR UK and supported by the UK National Commission for UNESCO.
SGR together with the Institute of Science in Society, the International Network of Engineers and Scientists, the Tebtebba Foundation (International Centre for Research, Education and Capacity Building for Indigenous Peoples) and the Third World Network are developing a Convention on Knowledge. The current version of a series of discussion drafts may be seen on SGR's website at: http://www.sgr.org.uk/SciencePolicy/ConvKnowledge.html.
The programme of the 10 November meeting can be found at: http://www.sgr.org.uk/SciencePolicy/Speakers.html
For registration, visit: http://www.sgr.org.uk/SciencePolicy/RegForm10Nov.html
"Sustainability at and after the Johannesburg summit: beyond neo-liberalism, confronting geopolitics"
This is the title of a paper written by INES Executive Committee member Joachim H. Spangenberg who is also a vice-president of the Sustainable Europe Research Institute. The paper is available from the WNII Editor as an rtf-formatted email attachment.
International Peace Bureau project on EU arms trade
In December, the International Peace Bureau, in coalition with IPPNW and IALANA, is going to activate an EU Project for an EU Regulation of arms trade. Although it will mainly focus on Europe, "those in conflict regions outside the EU may also be able to assist and may find the project useful," as IPB Secretary General Colin Archer explains. A briefing overview on the current status of the project is available from the WNII Editor as an rtf-formatted email attachment.
For cooperation and more details, contact the Project Coordinator Dr. Fulgida Barattoni, Italian IPB consultant: < >
THE US POLICY ON IRAQ
International Peace Bureau Steering Committee: No War on Iraq!
Meeting in Barcelona, 25-27 October, the IPB Steering Committee adopted the following call for a further international action by encouraging groups in all 60 countries where IPB has members to seek a meeting with their Foreign Minister or Ministry, and also approach the embassies of member countries of the Security Council:
The International Peace Bureau strongly condemns the dictatorial regime of Saddam Hussein. We did so even in the 1980s, when the USA and other Western nations supplied Iraq with most of the weapons they now wish to inspect. However, we must urge respect for the basic ideals and the express provisions of the UN Charter and ask that all people and nations oppose the new war plans.
A war will have devastating consequences for the people of Iraq and for stability in the region and the world. On humanitarian, moral and political grounds, both the sanctions and the war plans have been rejected by practically the entire international civil society.
The hope for humanity lies in replacing the law of power with the power of the law. A war against Iraq would violate the UN Charter and established international law :
1. The supreme purpose of the UN is to avoid wars. Thus the use of military force is prohibited under the UN Charter, Art. 2.4. The power to legally start an armed attack rests exclusively with the UN Security Council (Art. 42).
2. The right of self defence in Art. 51 only permits a state to use force against an attack in progress until the Security Council can act in the matter. In the Iraq situation, there is no attack in progress, nor any sign or likelihood of an Iraqi attack on the USA.
3. However much we dislike weapons of mass destruction and wish them removed, they are not under international law a cause for war, whether they be located in India, Pakistan, Israel or Iraq - or one of the big powers. The US Congress has authorized the President to start a war without legitimate cause.
4. The right of the SC to authorize military force requires a finding of both a threat against international peace and security and that the alternative measures in Art. 33 and 41 of the UN Charter have been tried and failed to solve the situation.
5. The right of the SC to use military force cannot be delegated. Under the Charter the SC cannot leave it to the US to decide on the use of military means (Art. 39 and 42).
6. Under the UN Charter the use of force is a serious and extraordinary measure and can only be seen as authorized if there is express language to this effect in the operative points of the resolution. Unspecific language on "serious consequences" or preambular references to the right of self defence are not sufficient to authorize military attack.
7. It is the duty of all UN member states, in particular those with a seat on the Security Council, to ensure that the most fundamental rules of international law are respected by all UN members. As the world's strongest power, the USA has a special responsibility to respect and protect international law and justice.
The USA has consistently failed to live up to legal obligations to eliminate nuclear weapons, and to react against Israel´s nuclear weapons, and thus does not speak from a high moral ground on the matter of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. The US war plans would also have looked more legitimate, had they they not appeared as the latest round of Western exploitation of Middle Eastern oil resources, and if credible assurances had been given that neither the USA nor its citizens or companies would stand to benefit.
The last two centuries saw the steady growth of international law and institutions intended to put an end to the horrors of war. In the last decade this system has been undermined by leading states. When one member state insists that UN bodies should pass resolutions in violation of the Charter - or else this state will itself break the Charter - then the central institution charged with ensuring an orderly and peaceful world is indeed in great danger.
Barcelona, 27 October 2002
David Krieger's Statement at the European Parliament
On 22 October, INES Deputy Chair Dr David Krieger delivered a keynote speech to an Hearing on Iraq at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Entitled "We Can Stop This War Before It Begins", the speech is available from the WNII Editor as an rtf-formatted email attachment.
Appeal of the Americas in Favor of Peace and Against Military Aggression and Terrorism (forwarded by David Krieger)
The following has been jointly issued by the Latin American Circle for International Studies (LACIS), Mexico, and the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space:
We, intellectuals, media workers, academics, researchers, legislators, public figures, activists in non-governmental organizations, women and men of good will of the Americas, have signed this appeal in favor of peace and against military aggression and terrorism of any kind. We are deeply concerned that in the name of the fight against terrorism, the government of the United States, its European allies and Israel, are preparing an unjust and unjustifiable war against the people of Iraq, under the pretext of putting an end to Saddam's Hussein’s regime, which is conveniently -and falsely- characterized as an ally of the international terrorist network Al Qaeda.
It is the people of Iraq who have undergone unspeakable suffering in the previous aggressive campaigns waged by the United States and its allies, while Saddam Hussein and his clique enjoy power and personal well-being.
We also wish to express our great concern that, in the name of a supposed new strategic doctrine, President George W. Bush’s government claims the right to militarily attack –including with weapons of mass destruction- countries that have such arms in their arsenals or.-in the opinion of Washington- have capacity to be able to have them. In such a situation, the world would be defenseless vis a vis the United States and at the mercy of the pronouncements, phobias, and speculations of those who hold power in that nation.
Finally, we call on our colleagues the world over to support this appeal and make the voices of men and women of good will heard in the face of the aggressive and terrorist intentions of the United States and its allies.
To indicate your support or to ask questions, contact Luis Gutierrez-Esparza (LACIS): < >
Selected articles' update
SPECIAL SECTION ON US MISSILE DEFENCE POLICY
Re: Report "Beyond Missile Defense" (WNII 29/2002)
Please note that this report was already published as INESAP Briefing Paper #8 on the occasion of the NPT PrepCom in New York. You can also find it at: http://www.inesap.org
Fact sheets on missile defense flight test charts (From: Center for Defense Information, Missile Defense Update #64, Oct. 29, 2002)
In the missile defense debate, it is easy to lose track of how the various missile defense programs are developing. To counter this, the Center for Defense Information, USA, created charts detailing the successes and failures of every integrated flight test held by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA). Each test's specific characteristics are spelled out, making it easier to determine whether significant progress is occurring. It is readily apparent that while advances have been made, the systems are still many tests and years away from becoming trustworthy national defense assets. Included are charts for the Ground-based Midcourse Missile Defense System, the Boost Vehicle for the Ground-based Midcourse Missile Defense System, the Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System, the Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC)-3 Lower Tier Terminal Phase Missile Defense, and the Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) Upper Tier Terminal Phase Missile Defense.
For the fact sheets, go to: http://www.cdi.org/missile-defense/systems.cfm
Richard Falk and David Krieger: Subverting the UN
This article which has been published in "The Nation" (November 4, 2002) is available from the WNII Editor as an rtf-formatted email attachment.
Richard Falk is chair and David Krieger is a founder and president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, one of the INES member organisations in the USA.
CONFERENCES, MEETINGS, SEMINARS
Outer Space and Global Security
At this seminar, experts, academics, delegates to the Conference on Disarmament, and representatives of non-governmental organisations will examine civilian and military reliance on outer space, and consider ways and means of preserving it for peaceful purposes.
For more, contact Nicholas Gerard at UNIDIR: < >
NOTE: Prior to the seminar, the NGO Committee for Disarmament will hold its business meeting on 25 November (at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva). For details, contact the Committee's Secretary, Colin Archer: < >
Material about the Committee can be found at: http://www.ipb.org/web/seccion.php?tipus=Programmes-Disarmament
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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