For a number of years now, the UN has set 21 Sept as Peace Day. While we would like every day to be peace day, it is useful to have one common day during which many people and organizations reflect on a common theme. This 21 Sept the UN has set disarmament as the theme of the day. Also during Sept. the US President will chair a session of the UN Security Council devoted to disarmament which should attract some attention to the subject. Thus, I am sending my recent article on disarmament. While it says nothing new, it is up-to-date concerning UN negotiations. Thus, I thought that you could share it as a world citizen contribution with other groups marking the day. I am also sending it as an attachment as there are times when it is easier to copy an attachment. With all best wishes, Rene Wadlow
New Energy for a Nuclear-weapon-free World
Peace is the only battle worth waging. - Albert Camus
Almost from the moment that the first atomic bomb was detonated in New Mexico in July 1945, the menace of the nuclear age inspired visions of a world free of nuclear weapons. However, the efforts of Governments and popular anti-nuclear weapon movements have gone in cycles with some milestones such as the Russell-Einstein Manifesto in 1955, the 1970 ratification of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and the 1982 2nd UN General Assembly Special Session on Disarmament.
There have also been long periods when attention focused only on USA-USSR nuclear issues, with short periods of attention given to India-Pakistan nuclear tensions or more recently the nuclear potential of North Korea and the Islamic Republic of Iran. Even in non-nuclear arms control, there have been long barren periods. The Vienna conventional-forces-reduction talks continued for 16 years from 1973 without results until an improvement in relations between the Soviet Union and the United States led to the conclusion of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe in late 1990.
For over a decade, the UN disarmament body, the Conference on Disarmament, has been inactive, starved of resources, attention and serious human capital. Since the end of the Cold War in 1990 and thus the end of the danger of a Soviet-American nuclear conflict, the arms control emphasis of Governments have been on non-proliferation and on the danger of nuclear arms in the hands of non-State enemies such as terrorists. However, on 29 May 2009, the Conference on Disarmament was able to adopt at least a programme of work for negotiations to ban fissile material production for nuclear weapons, security assurances for non-nuclear-weapon States, and the prevention of an arms race in outer space. While negotiations will be difficult and easily blocked by using the “rule of consensus”, the programme is an important step forward. The programme shows a certain shift in the attitudes of Governments. This shift is also seen in the relatively favourable atmosphere in the most recent preparatory meeting for the 2010 Review Conference on the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the joint disarmament statements made by Russia and the USA in July 2009. Taken together, these measures suggest that Governments are slowly building momentum toward real progress in a multi-State framework.
With these steps on the part of Governments, it is crucial that the broader civil society, as structured through non-governmental organizations (NGOs), devote new energies to the creation of a nuclear-weapon-free world. There have always been NGOs which have had nuclear disarmament or general and complete disarmament as an important part of their mandates. Many NGOs would meet at an annual world conference in August in Hiroshima, and many have participated in the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conferences starting in 1975.
Nevertheless, there has been relatively little impact of NGOs on the over-all strategic doctrines of Governments. The NGO impact has been most felt in the lead up to the Treaty banning anti-personnel mines and the convention on cluster munitions. In both these efforts, humanitarian and human rights organizations, largely absent from earlier arms control efforts, played important roles. The same holds true for efforts to control the “small arms” conventional arms trade as conventional arms often assist in the perpetration of serious violations of human rights such as torture, the excessive use of force by security personnel, extrajudicial executions, and disappearances.
Now, it is an appropriate time to build a broad coalition of people and organizations to develop a world security framework and to review the strategic and arms policy of each State in the light of a world security framework. The renewed efforts of the Conference on Disarmament and the 2010 NPT Review can provide a focus for new civil society energies for a nuclear-weapon-free world.
* Rene Wadlow, Representative to the UN, Geneva, Association of World Citizens
I would like to welcome everyone to the Spiritual Fasting Group starting on 11th of January 2009 for at least 21 days or more. However, need support let me know because our group will provide any knowledge. Fasting is very powerful to bring forth things in your life that are positive and remove anything that is negative. Fasting purifies the spirit and enhance the mind and body to a healthier and peaceful life. See below:
Know that all human hearts are welcome here, regardless of one's color, creed, condition or philosophy, because everyone is just like you and me--wanting happiness, and disliking suffering. In other words, seeking joy and freedom from suffering is the birthright of all living beings.
The word 'spiritual' has many connotations, but all of us who've done prolonged, skillful fasting know our mind is clearer, sharper and more efficient--a greater clarity of consciousness. By using this fasting-enhanced clarity, our journey into the human interior can reward us with many essential correctives to the extreme materialism of our external culture and its dominant sciences. Also, just as our own inner-mind becomes clearer, our own extrasensory instinct becomes keener. Thus, we find ourselves more in tune with the gentle voice of Nature and its Natural Laws. And so, the increase in energy prolonged fasting confers is our own reward for getting back in touch with these so-called Laws of Nature.
World Peace and World Love
1. Wars and rumors of wars (Palestinians and Jews), 2. Ecology (Planet is dying), 3. Suicide, 4. Earthquakes, 5. Killings. The devastation must stop at all cost! We will all become extinct.
Я в столицею волей судеб и надеюсь скоро ее покину.
Мурзук этой мой старый никнейм, так меня прозвали друзья. Была такая сказака у Бианки. А так меня зовут Яна ))
Я сегодня еду на родину, отпишусь вам позже!
Обнимаю! Берегите себя.
Безумно рада встрече! ))
Dear Colleague, As this is World Food Day, I thought that you might be interested in this article on the need for a world food policy. Best wishes, Rene Wadlow
16 October — World Food Day — The Three Fs
“determined to promote the common welfare by furthering separate and collective action for the purpose of raising levels of nutrition and standards of living”
Preamble of the FAO Constitution
The current financial crisis joins those of food and fuel to challenge the world economy. The three crises are inter-related and impact each other. Paying hundreds of billions of dollars to rescue the world’s financial industry looks likely to cut both humanitarian aid and development spending. The price of oil has dropped but is still high and is a drain on the funds of developing countries.
Foreign development issues may be the first victims of the financial crisis as government officials focus on domestic issues, especially if there is the predicted slowdown in the economy and a rise in unemployment in North America and Europe.
At a recent funding meeting in Geneva, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Antonio Guterres recognized that the financial crisis would raise challenges for those who have traditionally financed UNHCR programs. “At the same time, I must point out that the resources required to support the 31 million people we care for are very modest indeed when compared to the sums being spent to bring stability to the international financial system. It would be tragic if the funds available to the humanitarian community were to decline at the very time when demands upon us are increasingly so dramatically.”
Yet the decline in governmental aid to the developing world is probably inevitable. Thus an emphasis must be placed on creating a world food policy which draws upon improving local self-reliance while not creating nationalistic policies which harm neighbours. Food is a key aspect of deep structural issues in the world society and thus must be seen in a wholistic framework.
Jean Ping, the chairman of the African Union Commission noted recently that “The sharp increase in basic food prices has had a particularly negative effect on African countries. In the medium and long term, the Commission proposes measures to regulate speculation, the sharing of public cereal stocks, strengthening the financing of imports and reliable food aid, promoting investment in social protection and increased investment to boost agricultural production.” The African Union has 53 state-members with some 750 million people, over half of which are in what is now called “the bottom billion” — people living on $1.25 a day or less. While there is something artificial in poverty lines based on buying-power, such poverty statistics give an indication of the challenges faced.
While constant improvements in technology, mechanization, plant breeding and farm chemicals have steadily increased food production per acre in much of the world, African food production per acre has stagnated, and in some areas has gone down. Likewise, the portion of development assistance in Africa dedicated to agriculture has declined from 15 per cent in the 1980s to 4 per cent in 2006.
Thus the first need in Africa is to develop the local economies: Currently, poverty, lack of adapted technology, population pressure on ecologically fragile areas, a growth of urban slums due to rapid rural to urban migration is the lot of many Sub-Saharan African countries.
Increased action to improve rural life needs to be taken quickly. As the recent UN-sponsored Millennium Ecosystem Assessment notes “Human activity is putting such strain on the natural functions of Earth that the ability of the planet’s ecosystem to sustain future generations can no longer be taken for granted. It is becoming ever more apparent that human society has a rapidly shrinking window of opportunity to alter its path.”
World Food Day needs to be marked by a sharper analysis of the causes of rural stagnation and a renewed dedication to cooperative action.
Rene Wadlow, Representative to the UN, Geneva, Association of World Citizens