Statement to the 3rd Preparatory Committee for the 2020 NPT Review Conference

Cesar Jaramillo Featured Leave a Comment

May 3, 2019

Chair,

Click on image to download PDF of statement

Nearly fifty years after the entry into force of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the international community remains woefully distant from a credible process that would make even the most optimistic observer believe that the abolition of nuclear weapons is within sight.

To this day, nuclear weapons possessors extol the value of nuclear weapons in safeguarding their national interests, but expect no one else to embrace the same rationale. They demand immediate, consistent compliance with non-proliferation obligations, but disregard their own responsibility to disarm. They consider the pursuit and possession of nuclear weapons by some states unacceptable, but are content to accept the nuclear-weapons programs

10 Things You Should Know About Killer Robots

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…individuals in industry and academia can pledge not to direct their research and innovation to the development of autonomous weapons systems. They can also proactively put in place commercial and legal restrictions that limit the end use or end users of certain systems, as some companies have already done.

6. Is a diplomatic forum addressing this issue?

The United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) in Geneva is the primary venue for such multilateral discussions. Since 2014, the 125-member body, whose mandate is to consider weapons “Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects,” has engaged in discussions on autonomous weapons systems.

In 2016, a UN Group of Governmental Experts was established to examine…

Tracing Canada’s military exports: Analyzing the 2017 report

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…Canadian military exports on record.

In 1990, the government of Canada committed to publishing an annual report on Canadian military exports and their countries of destination. Although this commitment has been reinterpreted over the years, the ongoing publication of this report remains a core component of the government’s commitment of transparency to the Canadian public and international community, as well as a means to monitor potential diversion, illicit trafficking, and misuse of Canadian military goods.

Each annual report compiles information on the export permits that Canadian military producers are required to obtain before exporting items on the Export Control List (ECL). Canadian military exports to the United States, which are an estimated 60 per cent of total military exports, are…

Nobel Peace Lectures 2018

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…a human right. I call on States to support the initiative to create a Global Fund for reparations for victims of sexual violence in armed conflicts.

Fourth, on behalf of all widows, all widowers and orphans of the massacres committed in the DRC and all Congolese in love with peace, I call on the international community to finally consider the “Mapping Project report” [conducted by the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, “which describes no fewer than 617 war crimes and crimes against humanity and perhaps even crimes of genocide”] and its recommendations.

May justice prevail.

Nadia Murad

Today is a special day for all Iraqis, not only because I am the first Iraqi to win…

The future of war: Missiles and space as seen by the United States in 2019

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By Jessica West

Published in The Ploughshares Monitor Volume 40 Issue 1 Spring 2019

Two new policy documents released in the United States cast light on what future war could look like, especially the central and entwined roles of missiles and outer space.

The Missile Defense Review (MDR)

WHAT IT IS: MDR is a review of the status of U.S. missile defence capabilities, the perceived level of threat, and a roadmap for future investment priorities and technology development; an unclassified version was released to the public on January 17, 2019.

WHAT IS NEW: It reveals the U.S. government’s desire to expand the role, goals, and technical capabilities of its ballistic missile defence systems.

Expanded role: In addition to containing regional

Preserving peace through Moon culture

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…have decided to create an alternate track to a Convention. We are working with private entities to develop agreed guidelines and principles regarding heritage. PTScientists has already signed a Declaration and we are moving into a second phase of drafting with a number of other companies on this point. We actually see the commercial “buy in” happening more swiftly than formal advancement at the government level.

Still, we have been granted Observer status at the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and remain deeply grateful for the consideration and recognition we have received from the UN’s Office for Outer Space Affairs and all of the members and observers of COPUOS.

JW: What can/should we learn from…

The military, AI, and why it’s time to worry

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…modern weaponry is supposed to make possible. In his view, such descriptions fuel “delusional fantasies of frictionless exercises of power through military force,” while “the high precision of modern weapon systems is often questionably invoked to assert ethical superiority by the side that uses them.”

This ethical superiority has been observed in United Nations discussions on autonomous systems. The United States and some other countries have suggested that autonomous weapons, in their hands, would protect civilian lives.

But, as Bousquet illustrates in his book, promises of accuracy and precision often do not reflect the reality. So, while weapons are getting more precise over time, they are still not able to prevent the harming of noncombatants.

More importantly, autonomous weapons will…

Preserving the peace

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…competition between two superpowers.

The goal of today’s space race is more than flags and footprints. According to the United States, the intent is to establish a permanent presence on the Moon as “a foundation for an eventual mission to Mars and, perhaps someday, to many worlds beyond.” This is a marathon, not a sprint.

This new lunar race involves not only the United States and Russia, but China and other ascending powers. India’s second robotic mission to the Moon is expected to launch later this year. Japan’s lunar program includes plans for a robotic base. The European Space Agency also has a robotic lunar program and interest in resource extraction. The United Arab Emirates will participate with NASA in…

Arms sales, murder, and the illusion of firmness

Cesar Jaramillo Featured Leave a Comment

…become clear that the deed will mostly go unpunished. Germany took the bold measure of halting all arms shipments to Saudi Arabia. But, with the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Canada continuing to export arms to the Kingdom, it seems unlikely that the German example will be replicated.

Why so little negative response to such egregious behaviour? The answer, to a significant extent, has to do with the lucrative contracts that some arms-exporting countries have to sell weapons to the Saudis. Strategic considerations related to Saudi Arabia’s regional influence, including its stand against the Iranian government, as well as the power it wields in the global oil market, also constitute key factors.

A troubling precedent

The Canadian government…

Time for answers: Letter to Trudeau on the Saudi arms deal

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…to “freeze or entirely cancel an export permit.” She further affirmed that it was “essential for us as a matter of our national sovereignty to be able to control the movement of these goods out of our country.” In December 2018, you told Canadians that your government was trying to see if there is a way of “no longer exporting these vehicles to Saudi Arabia.”

Meanwhile, the humanitarian situation in Yemen has continued to deteriorate. According to recent information from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, almost two thirds of the Yemeni population require humanitarian or protection support. 17 million are food insecure. Three million have fled their homes. 14.5 million require access to safe drinking…