WHAT'S NEW IN INES?

No. 32/2002

Dateline: November 22, 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. 32/2002



MEMBERSHIP AND PROJECTS' NEWS

IPB: MacBride Prize awarded to Barbara Lee

On 14 November, Member of US Congress Barbara Lee (Democrat, California) has been awarded by the International Peace Bureau (IPB) with this year's Sean Mac Bride Prize. The Congresswoman was selected for her opposition to US bombing of Afghanistan following the horrendous terrorist crimes committed on September 11, 2001. As the only member of Congress to vote against that form of retaliation, she displayed remarkable courage despite enormous pressure and threats against her.

Ms Lee joins an illustrious group of MacBride Prize winners including John Hume (Ireland) a Nobel Peace Laureate; The Committee of Soldiers, Mothers of Russia for opposing the war in Chechnya; and Praful Bidwai and Achin Vanaik, Indian journalists who have campaigned against nuclearization of South Asia.

The Prize is named for Irelandís late great statesman and human rights activist who was a founder of Amnesty International; was UN Commissioner for Namibia; and was President of the IPB from 1974-85. Also, Sean MacBride was a Nobel Peace laureate in l974.


"The SEU TIMES" Emergency Issue of 22 November 02

"The SEU TIMES" is the electronic newsletter of the "Socio-Ecological Union", one of the Russian INES member organsiations.

On 22 November, an Emergency Issue was dispatched regarding the fate of the Danube biosphere reserve. The alarming point is that, according to SEU Times, the Ukrainian Minister of Transport has issued a draft decree which states that 5600 ha should be withdrawn from the reserve territory for ship canal construction.

The Danube biosphere reserve was created several years ago to protect the Danube delta ecosystems. The Danube Reserve is part of the UNESCO bilateral biosphere reserve "Delta of the Danube". A construction of a canal according to the mentioned project will cause a degradation of the significant part of the reserve, killing one of the most valuable natural territories. The reserve is also a Ramsar site, one of the 200 biodiversity rich wetlands of the world.

More details about the reserve can be found at:

http://www.seu.ru/projects/eng/dunay 

Editor: Sviatoslav Zabelin < > Previous issues of "The SEU Times" may be found at "The Online Gadfly": http://www.igc.org/gadfly 


New Zealand: Engineers for Social Responsibility (ESR) Newsletter October 2002 (Vol. 18/No. 5) http://www.esr.org.nz 

The latest ESR Newsletter carries the following main articles:

Newsletter Editor: Neil Mander < >


THE US POLICY ON IRAQ 
(SPECIAL SECTION)

Selected comments on UN Security Council Resolution 1441

NOTE that the originals of UNSC Resolution 1441 and the subsequent Iraqi letter of acceptance are available from the WNII Editor as rtf-formatted email attachments.


UK: CND lays down historic legal challenge to government (Source: CND Press Release, 20 Nov 02)

On 20 November, Lawyers for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) have sent a letter and a top QCís opinion to Tony Blair, Geoff Hoon and Jack Straw warning that they will face a legal challenge over Iraq unless a written guarantee is given within 7 days that the UK will not use armed force against Iraq without a further Security Council Resolution.

It gives the government the option of accepting that SC Resolution 1441 does not authorise force and that a fresh resolution authorising force is required, or justifying its position within international law in a judicial review. The letter attaches an opinion from Rabinder Singh QC and Charlotte Kilroy, both at Matrix Chambers in London.

For the full legal opinion go to the CND website: http://www.cnduk.org/  and follow the relevant link.

For further information contact CND press officer Ian Martin: < >


NUCLEAR WEAPONS


Abolition 2000 homepage: http://www.abolition2000.org   Grassroots News: http://www.napf.org/abolition2000/news/ 


Draft for a Northeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone to be presented in North Korea (Source: Asahi Shimbun, 8 Nov 02)

Japanese INES member Dr. Hiro Umebayashi, in his capacity as president of the Japanese NGO Peace Depot, informs that Peace Boat is to send a citizen delegation to North Korea in January 2003 to propose a treaty to make Northeast Asia a nuclear weapon-free zone. According to Umebayashi, "North Koreans have agreed to accept such delegation." Peace Boat has organized five cruises for citizens exchange to North Korea since the 90s. Two thousand citizens in all have joined those cruises.

Peace Depot has been granted fund for studying "Frameworks for Northeast Asia Security" from the Toyota Foundation, and is working for a draft Northeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone Treaty and educational activities to promote the idea in public. Also, Peace Depot is requesting both the Japanese and the North Korean Government to put the agenda of a NWFZ on the negotiating table of the coming talks between the two countries, while calling the United States for dropping its own nuclear programs and its hostile policy against North Korea, as well.

An NGO Joint Declaration entitled "Bringing a 'Northeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone' to the negotiating table" is available from the WNII Editor as an rtf-formatted email attachment.

For more details, contact Peace Depot: < >

~ As to the official position of the North Korean government regarding the possession of nuclear weapons, the Korean Central Broadcasting Station (KCBS) stated recently: "To safeguard our sovereignty and right to exist we are entitled to have powerful military countermeasures, including nuclear weapons." (Source: Associated Press, 18 November 02)~


Partial Victories on Nuclear Weapons in US Congress (Source: David Culp, Friends Committee on National Legislation (Quakers), USA, 14 Nov 02)

On November 13, 2002, Congress completed action on the defense authorization bill, H.R. 4546. This annual bill authorizes funds for the Defense Department and for the nuclear weapons portion of the Energy Department. Nuclear disarmament advocates had both victories and losses in the final bill. In short, we stopped the mini-nuke and we put speed bumps in the way of the bunker buster.

Ban on "mini-nukes" retained. In 1993, Congress banned the development of nuclear weapons of less than five kilotons, also known as "mini-nukes." The House version of this year's military authorization bill would have weakened the Congressional ban and allowed research to begin on developing these new nuclear weapons. The conference committee dropped this language in the final bill, leaving the current prohibition on "mini-nukes" in place.

"Bunker buster" funded with restrictions. The administration requested $15 million to begin the first year of a three-year feasibility study on another new nuclear warhead, called the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP), or "bunker buster." The Senate deleted the funds in its version of the defense bill. The final bill funds the warhead study with restrictions. The funds will not be released until 30 days after the Defense Department reports on (1) the military requirements for the RNEP; (2) the nuclear weapons employment policy for the RNEP; (3) the detailed categories or types of targets that the RNEP is designed to hold at risk; and (4) an assessment of the ability of conventional weapons to address the same types of categories of targets that the RNEP is designed to hold at risk.

The National Academy of Sciences will conduct a study for Congress on the short-term and long-term effects of using a nuclear earth penetrator on the nearby civilian population and on U.S. military personnel who may carry out operations in the area after such use.

This outcome delays the beginning of the feasibility study by half a year and throws the decision on whether to continue the warhead into the next Congress.

Test Site readiness remains unchanged. The House bill would have required the Energy Department's Nevada Test Site to be able to resume nuclear testing within 12 months. The final bill simply requires the administration to prepare cost estimates of being able to resume testing within six, 12, 18 and 24 months. This is an important partial victory.

These issues will be raised and debated again by nuclear weapons proponents in the new Congress next year.


BRIEFINGS

UN First Committee Resolution voting results

To view texts and voting results of resolutions in the 57th Session of the UN General Assembly First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, go to:  http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/1com/1com02/res/resindex.html 


OHRLLS: new UN website

The UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (OHRLLS) has established a new website:  http://www.un.org/ohrlls 

The website contains a broad range of information regarding the OHRLLS, as well as the three vulnerable groups of countries upon which the Office was mandated to draw international attention: Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

This is the first comprehensive website prepared in respect of these three vulnerable groups of countries for which the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) specifically called for global partnership to address their specific needs. The information provided in the site would be beneficial to all stakeholders of the relevant programmes of these groups of countries. The website will also be of immense benefit to media, academia, foundations and the private sector.

The OHRLLS has been established by the UN General Assembly in December 2001. Its mandate is global coordination and advocacy for the implementation of the Brussels PoA and other relevant programmes for LLDCs and SIDS.


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: