The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ indictment of the Trump administration’s position on nuclear arms

U.N. chief takes mighty swipe at Trump over his nuclear agenda, Asahi Shimbun, By MASATO TAINAKA/ Staff Writer, August 13, 2018  

NAGASAKI–U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres mounted a thinly veiled attack on the Trump administration during his Aug. 9 peace ceremony address here to mark the 73rd anniversary of this city’s atomic bombing.

Guterres, the first U.N. chief to attend the annual ceremony in Nagasaki, deftly sidestepped naming the United States, but there was no disguising that his speech was a scathing indictment of the Trump administration’s position on nuclear arms.

“States in possession of nuclear weapons are spending vast sums to modernize their arsenals,” he said. “More than $1.7 trillion was spent in 2017 on arms and armies, the highest level since the end of the Cold War.”

Guterres noted “that is around 80 times the amount needed for global humanitarian aid.”

He stated that nuclear weapons states “have a special responsibility to lead” efforts toward nuclear disarmament.

The speech reflected his chagrin with the Trump administration over its refusal to be a party to the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and its pursuit of low-yield, more “usable” nuclear weapons.

Guterres’ decision to speak to a global audience from Nagasaki allowed him the freedom to voice concerns away from the confines of the U.N. headquarters in New York, and the ever-present threat of meddling from Washington.

Guterres also cited the “frustration” felt by many countries over the slow pace of disarmament. This was clearly a dig at the two nuclear superpowers, the United States and Russia, and the inability of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty to move the issue forward.

But only 10 more countries have signed it since then. So far, 14 countries have ratified the pact, far below the 50 required for it to enter into legal force.

Resistance to the treaty by the nuclear powers is the key reason for this. A stark example of how this plays out was evident at the ceremony last December in Oslo to award the Nobel Peace Prize to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, a Geneva-based coalition of disarmament activists.

Ambassadors to Norway from the United States, Britain and France boycotted the ceremony, an unprecedented slight.

Setsuko Thurlow, a survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, attended the gathering to give a speech on behalf of the ICAN.

She said nuclear weapons are “not a necessary evil; they are the ultimate evil.”

“Disarmament processes have slowed and even come to a halt,” he said.

It clearly took courage to refer to the treaty banning nuclear weapons during his speech.

The nuclear prohibition treaty was adopted in July last year with 122 countries in favor, or more than 60 percent of the 193 U.N. member nations.

The treaty’s preamble touches upon hibakusha. It says states that are parties to this treaty are “Mindful of the unacceptable suffering of and harm caused to the victims of the use of nuclear weapons (hibakusha), as well as of those affected by the testing of nuclear weapons.”

When the signing ceremony was held at U.N. headquarters last Sept. 20, Guterres said: “Civil society played a vital role in bringing the treaty to fruition. The heroic survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki–the hibakusha–continue to remind us of the devastating humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons.”

By the end of that day, 50 countries had signed the treaty…………….

Washington also withdrew from the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which was pushed by the Obama administration, intensifying tensions in a region already beset by conflict.

The United Nations also faces a financial crisis as the United States, the largest contributor to the global body’s regular budget, at 22 percent, has failed to pay its dues, along with 80 other member nations.

Asked about the NPR and U.S. refusal to pay its U.N. dues, Guterres adroitly avoided any direct criticism of the United States, telling reporters in Nagasaki that it was a U.S. decision. He added that the United Nations is still deciding what to do………


August 15, 2018 - Posted by | Uncategorized

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: