Given the tensions between NATO members and Russia in recent times, it is important to rethink the role of nuclear weapons in NATO’s defense policy. A new report by the Nuclear Threat Initiative urges NATO leaders to reassess the desirability of forward-deployed tactical nuclear weapons in Europe.
Two contributions written by members of Pugwash Netherlands provide further context and proposals in order to denuclearize the European continent.
The first paper (below) produced by Pugwash Netherlands’ Working Group on ‘Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Weapons Free Zones’ (main author: Laurens Hogebrink) questions the wisdom of maintaining a policy of reciprocity concerning the drawback of forward-deployed tactical nuclear weapons in Europe.
The second paper (authored by Biejan Poor Toulabi) argues that the NATO will only benefit if the alliance were to lessen its reliance on nuclear weapons and, particularly, unilaterally remove forward-deployed tactical nuclear weapons in Europe.
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The report on Pugwash International activities in the period 2016-2017 is available for download here.
Noteworthy is that the next Pugwash conference will take place in Yerevan, Armenia in August 2019.
Pugwash Nederland has a new chair. This was decided on April 5 2018 at the general meeting in Utrecht. Interim chair prof. dr. ir. Georg Frerks is succeeded by Marc Vogelaar. Marc Vogelaar served as ambassador for the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He is certainly not unknown within the Pugwash organization, as he already held a board position a few years ago as general board member.
In addition, Rens de Man has resigned from his duties as general board member. Biejan Poor Toulabi and Michiel Hoogeveen were appointed as treasurer and secretary, respectively. They both already served interim during the chairmanship of Georg Frerks.
Pugwash Nederland expresses the sincere appreciation to Georg Frerks and Rens de Man for their time and effort.
Ambassador Marc Vogelaar (left) takes over the role of chair from Prof. dr. ir. Georg Frerks (right)
On February 2, 2018, the Pentagon released the new Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), stating that it rests “on a bedrock truth: nuclear weapons have and will continue to play a critical role in deterring nuclear attack and in preventing large-scale conventional warfare between nuclear-armed states for the foreseeable future.” The global landscape is already filled with simmering nuclear tensions, as well as other serious issues of conflict. Stressing the role of nuclear weapons is not merely unhelpful but is likely to increase these tensions.
From 2 to 12 May 2017 the Netherlands will chair the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) for the 2020 Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). This will not be an easy task, considering the failure to reach consensus among the NPT member states during the 2015 Review Conference. Moreover, polarisation among the NPT member states may be even more increased by the current nuclear weapons developments in the United States, Russia and North Korea and the Nuclear Ban Treaty negotiations at the United Nations in which the nuclear weapons states do not participate. What are the perspectives for nuclear arms control in these circumstances, and for the 2017 PrepCom in particular? These issues will be discussed during the seminar “Challenges in Nuclear Arms Control: The Non-Proliferation Treaty at Risk?”.
Date: Monday 24 April 2017
Venue: Nieuwspoort, Lange Poten 10, The Hague
(10 minute walk from Central Station).
15:00 Introduction: Concise overview of actual challenges in nuclear arms control (Sico van der Meer, Clingendael Institute)
15:15 Keynote: The great unravelling of diplomatic accomplishments to reduce nuclear dangers (Michael Krepon, Stimson Center)
16:00 How to reach the NPT goals of disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful uses (Susi Snyder, PAX)
16:15 Chairing the NPT Prepcom 2017: Dutch aims and expectations (Marjolijn van Deelen, Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
You are most welcome to attend this seminar. Please register before 19 April via firstname.lastname@example.org.
With kind regards,
Sico van der Meer
Netherlands Institute of International
P.O. Box 93080
2509 AB The Hague
Pugwash convened a meeting on “Peace and Security in Afghanistan” on 23-24 January 2016, in Doha, Qatar. Approximately 55 participants from a wide range of backgrounds gathered to discuss the shared goal of peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan. The meeting was a non-official (“academic”) exploration of current issues and not an official negotiation.
Read the full report of the meeting here.
“Het Noord-Koreaanse atoomwapen-programma is niet agressief bedoeld, maar wordt ontwikkeld uit ‘zelfverdediging’ tegen Amerikaanse en andere buitenlandse vijandigheden.” Zo kondigde de Noord-Koreaanse staatsmedia op 6 januari aan dat de test met een waterstofbom succesvol was verlopen. Het lijkt ondertussen een terugkerend fenomeen te worden; 2006, 2009, 2013 en nu 2016. Noord-Korea doet een kernproef en legitimeert zich hiermee richting haar volk. Zuid-Korea, Japan en de Verenigde Staten veroordelen de kernproef en misschien komt er nog een resolutie van de Verenigde Naties bij. Op wat extra sancties na gebeurt er niets en is het weer wachten op volgende kernproef. Continue reading
By Pugwash President Jayantha Dhanapala and Pugwash Secretary General Paolo Cotta-Ramusino
Statement on the DPRK Nuclear Test
Today, 6 January 2016, North Korea conducted a new nuclear test. Over the last 17 years, the DPRK has been the only country in the world to continue to conduct nuclear weapon tests.
Today’s test was announced as a test of a thermonuclear weapon, although more probably it was a test of an ordinary fission weapon with possibly some (fusion) “boosting”.
While the DPRK probably has a long way to go toward building real thermonuclear weapons that could be placed on long-range missiles, still, the general political message associated with this latest test is far from positive.
The political tensions present in the North-East Asian region should be addressed by political means—and not by escalating the arms race and sending threatening messages. The resumption of the six-party talks, and the facilitation of communication between the two Koreas, are important steps that should be sustained by all the states involved, as well as by the international community.
Jayantha Dhanapala, President of Pugwash
Paolo Cotta-Ramusino, Secretary General of Pugwash
Also available online: http://pugwash.org/2016/01/06/statement-on-dprk-nuclear-test-3/
Copyright © 2016 Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, All rights reserved.
Algemene Leden Vergadering Pugwash Nederland (ALV 2015)
De ALV wordt voorafgegaan door een lezing:
Westerse Veronachtzaming van Rusland en de Crisis in de Oekraïne:
De Kwestie van Realpolitik
Dr. Tom Sauer, Associate Professor Internationale Politiek, Universiteit Antwerpen
(lid Pugwash Nederland)
The evolving strategic context, the re-emergence of chemical weapons and their use by militant non-state actors and extremists, challenge the future effectiveness of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).
The future challenges of the Convention have been take up in a March 2015 OPCW document titled «The OPCW in 2025: Ensuring a World Free of Chemical Weapons» (document S/1252/2015), attached here.
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