Dateline: October 20, 2001

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. 41/2001


URGENT INVITATION: Conference on "Dangers, Doctrines and Deterrence: The Challenges of Missile Defense, Militarisation of Space and Nuclear Disarmament"

The US Government's controversial Missile Defense programme - sometimes described as "Son of Star Wars"- has been criticised from all sides for posing grave dangers to world peace and undermining arms control. TV and newspapers report almost daily the concerns of European, Russian, Chinese and other countries.

Why is Missile Defense (MD) so dangerous? Because, far from reducing the threat of nuclear weapons, it is likely to increase it. If MD goes ahead, it will undermine the international framework of disarmament treaties, notably the ABM Treaty and the Non Proliferation Treaty. It threatens to lead to militarisation of outer space and a new arms race. It will reinforce all the dangers of nuclear deterrence and introduce new perils.

The terror attack of 11 September on the US heightens these dangers. Already it is being used inside and outside the US as an added reason for going ahead with NMD, even though NMD would not have prevented this or similar attacks. More generally, the 11 September incidents, and the US retaliation that has flowed from them, have sharply increased international tensions, especially in the Middle East. They have increased the threat of possible use of weapons of mass destruction, and may put in question disarmament initiatives. A new debate has begun.

This Conference in Geneva plans to bring together NGOs, diplomats, researchers and journalists to take a wider look at these issues. Why Geneva? Because Geneva is the site of the Conference on Disarmament, where multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations take place. Or rather, should take place, because they have been deadlocked now for several years. MD makes this even worse.

How can the international community change this situation? How can the deadlock at the CD be broken? Or should efforts for nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament focus elsewhere?

NGOs have a crucial role to play in bringing the voice of civil society to governments' attention. This Conference will provide an opportunity for NGOs to coordinate their strategy. It will provide a platform for a distinguished list of speakers from a wide variety of backgrounds. It promises to be a stimulating debate and an important forum for urgent new initiatives.


* = To be confirmed

NOTE: the state of play in the Conference on Disarmament (CD) and the UN General Assembly will be addressed in all sessions.

For registration and more details, mailto:  

Background information: The Geneva NGO Committee for Disarmament http://www.ipb.org/disarm/NGOcom.htm   facilitates interaction between NGOs interested in peace, disarmament, international security and the work of related bodies in the UN system. As a forum of more than 30 organisations, the Committee itself does not take positions, but serves its members and the wider NGO community through conferences and seminars in Geneva and other places in Europe. The Committee has over 30 years of experience as a forum for the exchange of information on disarmament and related matters, making it an important intermediary between civil society and the "official" world of international diplomacy. Its secretariat is at the Office of the International Peace Bureau, Geneva.


2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development: New web references regarding the Regional Preparatory Process


War Resisters' International: Say No! A Call For Conscientious Objection to War and to War Preparations

War Resisters' International, an international network of pacifist organisations with 85 affiliates in more than 40 countries, calls for conscientious objection whenever and wherever war is being prepared or fought. We are deeply shocked and outraged by the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11th. Equally, we condemn the so-called war on terrorism. Responding to the crime of the terrorist attack by committing the crime of bombing and killing equally innocent people would not set the balance equal, nor make people feel more secure- it only adds to the suffering. We call for justice without war. A war of retaliation will only fuel the cycle of violence. Confronted by President George W. Bush with the choice: If you are not with us, you are with the terrorists, we choose a third option: nonviolence. Nonviolence is an active response and offers each and every one of us the opportunity to resist war and the preparations for war. It enables us to build a world in which security is gained through disarmament, international co-operation and social justice, not through escalation and retaliation.

Consequently, War Resisters' International urges

War Resisters' International, 29th of September 2001 < >


2001 UN General Assembly First Committee on Disarmament and International Security (Source: Women's International League for Peace and Freedom - WILPF)

Each year the General Assembly First Committee on Disarmament and International Security meets for 4-6 weeks to produce around 50 resolutions on a whole range of disarmament subjects. This year the First Committee has begun on October 8 and goes for five weeks, and is chaired by André Erdös of Hungary.

Last year, a group of NGOs came together to share the monitoring and reporting responsibilities, trying to open the UN First Committee up to those who were not in New York by:

1. putting all speeches and draft resolutions on the Reaching Critical Will web site on the day released at: http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org 

2. producing a weekly summary report;

3. providing information to individuals emailing or calling us with particular requests about their country's positions and statements.

Like last year, WILPF's Reaching Critical Will project (Felicity Hill, Dimity Hawkins) Emily Schroeder), Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy (Jim Wurst) and the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War/Physicians for Social Responsibility (Merav Datan) will be providing this same information service.

They intend to cluster the areas of focus as follows:

If you would like to receive weekly reports about the 2001 UN General Assembly First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, send a message to: < > with "Re: Invitation to Join First Committee List" in the subject line

For more general information about the First Committee go to:


Civil Society Day Conference on the New International Crisis

The attacks on the USA on Sept 11 have left the world in shock and horror. They have given us a new sense of vulnerability and insecurity, matched by fear of the US military escalation and the Taliban's threats of reprisals against its neighbours. At the time of writing, the US has begun massive military strikes on Afghanistan and it may attack other countries it considers implicated in the Sept. 11 attacks.

We have entered a new era of international terror, and also a new realignment of international relations. How to respond? What are the short and long term implications and consequences of the declared 'war on terrorism', in military, political, economic, social and cultural fields? There is a need to reflect, discuss and debate.

The organisers of the day conference aim to provide a space in which we can consider these implications and consequences, and look for solutions, especially to ensure protection of civilian populations. At this point it is hard to structure the day since the evolution of events over the next weeks and months cannot be predicted. However some of the topics we hope to cover are:

We see this event as a further preparatory meeting for the World Civil Society Forum which is due to be held in Geneva in July 2002.

For more details, mailto:  

Conference "Facts on Depleted Uranium"

The organizers explain the conference aim as follows (slightly abridged/edited):

"We consider it necessary to comment on the reason which made us organize this conference: In reply to a letter pointing out the gravity of using Depleted Uranium in war operations in Persian Gulf and in Balkans, sent to the President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Havel by the vice-chairman of our association Res publica Jiri Horak, it was stated that the problem of using arms with depleted uranium is becoming ever more relevant and that V. Havel has been perceiving susceptibly all possible perils making possible with the deployment of arms of this type to endanger the health of all peoples. In organizing this conference we wish to contribute to the realization of the idea, supported also according to the mentioned reply by Vaclav Havel, that the whole problematic would be subjected to a proper expert opinion and on this basis relevant conclusions would be deduced as well as urgent steps resulting in the security of the protection of human lives.

"Hence, the main focus of this conference is on an expert level. We are interested in hearing technical, military, political, juristic, health, ecological and other expert's views on this problem. We have asked [INES Executive Committee member; the ed.] Prof. Jiri Matousek from the Institute of Environmental Chemistry and Technology Faculty of Chemistry, Brno University of Technology, to be a Conference expert moderator. From quite natural reasons we consider it correct to invite also members of various humanitarian, health, ecological and peace organizations. For your information we mention that in view of the nature of the conference we calculate with the participation of the approximately fifty persons. Contributions from this conference will be published in a conference volume.

"Also, we allow us to draw your attention to the fact that we have just established internet site >du.publica.cz< where step by step, you are to find information on the conference in preparation as well as other material dedicated to depleted uranium. If you send us corresponding material, or a brief annotation on links on appropriate materials, it will be very welcomed.

For registration, paper submission, and/or more details, contact: < > Or: < >

10th International Conference on Conflict Resolution

Despite lengthy announcements, no further details have thusfar been made available.

For more details, contact Steve Olweean, Conference Co-coordinator: 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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