GSI eNewsletter December 2009
It really did not surprise me that the Middle Powers Initiative's (MPI) session during the United Nations General Assembly was so overcrowded with diplomats that some had to stand. It was evidence that there is a renewed interest in making progress on preserving and strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime. Moreover, the presentations by the Ambassador of the United States, Susan Burke, and MPI Chairman Henrik Salander were substantive and instructive. They both made clear that sentiments alone will not become success unless there are strategic and sophisticated approaches that build political momentum.
GSI President Granoff in Berlin. Panel includes Paolo Cotta-Ramusino (Pugwash Conferences), F.W. de Klerk, Giulietto Chiesa (World Political Forum) and Mikhail Gorbachev.
Others have come to the same conclusion. On December 4, the Right Livelihood Award was bestowed upon Alyn Ware, the brilliant driving force whose vision and passion have created the ever-expanding Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament. GSI is pleased to highlight Secretary-General Ban's strong support for this initiative.
In an upcoming letter, I will report on two recent extraordinary trips: the 10th Rome Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Berlin and a conference in Hiroshima hosted by the Hiroshima Peace Institute and Chugoku Shimbun. In Berlin, I had the honor of addressing the Nobel Peace Laureate Summit on a panel with Mikhail Gorbachev and Willem de Klerk, and in Japan I had the honor of leading an MPI delegation which included a private session with Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada. We presented the Foreign Minister with a letter from MPI Chairman Henrik Salander, BSG Director Robert Grey and myself, a copy of the MPI Brief, "Making Good on the Promises: From the Security Council Summit to the 2010 NPT Review," and a copy of my presentation to the Hiroshima conference, titled "For Reminding Us, Thank You, Hiroshima."
One of the best aspects of this journey was learning from Ambassador Bob Grey, Director of the Bipartisan Security Group. His capacity to simply and clearly explain a complex diplomatic security issue, a skill honed from years of such work at the highest levels of US statecraft, is an inspiration. While in Hiroshima, Bob was interviewed by Chugoku Shimbun. I am thus confident that the BSG is effectively communicating to Congress the message that committed US progress on disarmament is necessary to sustain the non-proliferation regime. I do not think there is anyone better at such a task.
On September 24, 2009 the Security Council passed Resolution 1887. The Security Council Summit constituted a significant step in the process of getting to and keeping the world at zero nuclear weapons, the subject of "The Process of Zero," recently published in the World Policy Journal. This session was a first in several respects. Here are three: It was the first time the President of the United States ever chaired a Security Council session; it was the first time the Council crisply took on the subject of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament; it was the first time that the Security Council expressed appreciation for the work of civil society, and for that GSI says, "Thank you."
But we must do more than express gratitude. We must succeed in ensuring an effective Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in May 2010. We must succeed in building support so that the call for the elimination of nuclear weapons echoed by President Obama and Secretary-General Ban is realized. We must inspire you to energetic engagement and support for us so that we can do this vital work.
Your support is essential. Please consider a generous gift at this critical moment. If you cannot make a generous gift, please consider a modest gift. We will be appreciative and put both to good use.
This is a season for bringing thanksgiving into our hearts and the birth of peace and love into the world. There has never been a time when the world needed this more. May we become the bearers of these gifts.
Middle Powers Initiative Activities
Chairman Henrik Salander, Ambassador Susan Burk and Ambassador Libran N. Cabactulan, President of the 2010 Review Conference
MPI and Swiss UN Permanent Mission Host 74 Representatives from government and civil society
On Tuesday, October 13, the Middle Powers Initiative and the Government of Switzerland co-hosted a panel discussion on "Defining Success at the NPT Review Conference." Seventy-four representatives from governments, NGOs and UN staff gathered for the event, which featured presentations by MPI Chairman Henrik Salander, US Ambassador Susan Burk, Swiss Ambassador Jürg Streuli and Mexican Ambassador Pablo Macedo.
Keynote speakers Ambassador Henrik Salander and MPI ISC member Dr. Rebecca Johnson
MPI Chairman Gives Keynote Address at International NGO Conference
From November 6-8, 2009, the Swedish Network for Nuclear Disarmament held an international NGO conferene in Stockholm titled "Reaching Nuclear Disarmament." The goal of the conference was to convene representatives from the international movement against nuclear weapons and to facilitate a coordination of strategies that will lead to a successful NPT Review Conference in 2010. MPI Chairman Henrik Salander delivered a keynote presenation.
Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament Activities
PNND at the United Nations
PNND held its Annual Assembly on 11-12 October during the time of the United Nations General Assembly First Committee Session (Disarmament and Security). The PNND Assembly included the PNND Council Meeting, a conference on The Role of Parliamentarians in advancing nuclear abolition, a public forum on Supporting the UN Secretary-General’s five-point plan for nuclear disarmament, a meeting of PNND Council members with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and a special PNND Dinner with guest-of-honor the Rt Hon Helen Clark (Head of the United Nations Development Program and former Prime Minister of New Zealand).
(L-R): Mani Shankar Aiyar, Tadashi Inuzuka, Narae Lee, Mikyung Lee, Dennis Kucinich, Alyn Ware, Uta Zapf, Ban Ki-moon, Jonathan Granoff, Henrik Salander, Bill Siksay, Maryan Street, Douglas Roche, Bill Kidd, Edine von Herold.
At a special meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, PNND Council members discussed his five-point plan for nuclear disarmament, parliamentarians’ actions urging governments to reduce the reliance on nuclear deterrence, and proposals for regional security including nuclear-weapon- free zones. The meeting included a presentation to the Ban Ki-moon of the Parliamentarians’ Declaration Supporting a Nuclear Weapons Convention (a core component of his five-point plan), and a Parliamentarians’ Statement in Response to North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons Test, which included support for the Comprehensive Test-Ban treaty and the proposal for a North-East Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone.
UNDP Administrator Helen Clark and MPI Chairman Emeritus
At the PNND Council Dinner, Helen Clark commended PNND for its effective work engaging parliamentarians in key nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament issues and initiatives.
Ms Clark also commended PNND for recognizing the links between disarmament and sustainable development, noting that just 10% of the annual $1.4 trillion global military budget could fund the Millennium Development Goals of adequate food, fresh water, health care and housing for the world’s population. (See PNND Co-President’s statement on disarmament for development).
PNND thanks the Malaysian Mission to the United Nations and the Bahai Centre for providing the venue and facilities for the Assembly and Council Meeting.
» Read the full report of the PNND Assembly and meeting with the Secretary-General
» View the photo gallery of the meeting with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
» View the photo gallery of the Assembly and Conference
The 2009 Award Ceremony. From left to right: Matron Ejigayehu, Annette Bennett, René Ngongo, Jakob von Uexkull, Alyn Ware, David Suzuki, Margot Wallström
On December 4, PNND Global Coordinator Alyn Ware received the 2009 Right Livelihood Award in recognition of "his effective and creative advocacy and initiatives over two decades to further peace education and to rid the world of nuclear weapons". The award, presented in the Swedish parliament, has sometimes been referred to as the “Alternative Nobel Peace Prize.”
High-level meetings in Costa Rica
President Oscar Arias and PNND Global Coordinator Alyn Ware
On November 4, PNND Global Coordinator Alyn Ware and PNND Council Member Edine von Herold met with Costa Rican President Oscar Arias to discuss key initiatives in which PNND and Costa Rica are collaborating. The Arms Trade Treaty will likely absorb more of President Arias’ time over the next year or so, now that the US shift to support has enabled the start of a negotiating process. PNND is supporting through its joint events with the Parliamentary Forum on Small Arms and Light Weapons. PNND has been publicizing President Arias’ Costa Rica Consensus and campaign on the implementation of Article 26 of the UN Security Council, as well as promoting disarmament-for-development in general through such actions as the May 2008 PNND Co-Presidents statement marking International Women’s Day for Disarmament which calls for a reduction in military spending and other demilitarization steps in order to provide resources for development. Arias was very interested in discussing the emerging possibilities for negotiations on a Nuclear Weapons Convention – and whether the Model NWC which Costa Rica submitted to the UN General Assembly and Non-Proliferation Treaty conference has been helpful. The Nobel Peace Laureates’ nuclear abolition campaign was also discussed briefly.
PNND Around the World
Now with over 700 members in more than 70 countries, the network of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament is promoting nuclear disarmament in legislatures around the world. PNND Update 25 was published in November, which features reports on activities such as:
- PNND Council Member US Representative Ed Markey's letter to President Obama urging him to use the Nuclear Posture Review process to reflect his vision for a nuclear weapons-free world;
- the adoption by consensus of an Italian parliamentary resolution, introduced by PNND Council Member Federica Morgherini, that calls on the government to foster within NATO a discussion on the need to rethink the role and importance assigned to nuclear weapons, and to promote a European Nuclear Weapon Free Zone;
- PNND Council Member Bill Kidd of Scotland hosted an NPT-focused event at the Edinburgh NATO Parliamentary Assembly;
- PNND member Philippe Mahoux introduced a bill into the Belgian Senate which would amend the Belgian constitution in order to prohibit nuclear weapons;
GSI's Disarmament and Peace Activities
(L-R): Dr. John Steinbruner, Dr. Nancy Gallagher, Cesar Jaramillo, Rhianna Tyson Kreger and Ambassador Marius Grinius
UN Panel on Outer Space Security
Technology in outer space is outpacing the global legal regime governing their use. New arrangements are therefore needed to ensure that space is kept safe for peaceful purposes. On October 14, the Global Security Institute and the Government of Canada co-sponsored a panel at the United Nations to discuss the issue. Rhianna Tyson Kreger, Senior Officer of GSI, chaired the panel.
Panelists included BSG Member Nancy Gallagher, Dr. John Steinbruner, Canadian Ambassador Marius Grinius and Cesar Jaramillo of Project Ploughshares. Mr. Sergey Rogov, the Director of the Russian Academy of Sciences at the Institute for the US and Canadian Studies, also spoke.
Religions for Peace Launches Global Youth Disarmament Campaign
Group photo with President Oscar Arias Sánchez
On November 7, Religions for Peace launched "Arms Down!" the first youth-led, global, multi-religious campaign for disarmament at an international conference in San José, Costa Rica. The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Costa Rican President Oscar Arias Sánchez offered support for this historic initiative. More than a hundred senior religious leaders of different faiths, youth, and dignitaries committed to the campaign at the event.
GSI Senior Officer Rhianna Tyson Kreger and PNND Global Coordinator Alyn Ware delivered expert presentations on nuclear disarmament and led several capacity-building workshops at the San José conference.
Inter-Religious Panel in Washington, DC
On November 19, Jonathan Granoff joined Dave Robinson of Pax Christi and Ibrahim Ramey of the Muslim American Society for a panel discussion on Capitol Hill titled "Faith, Fear and the Future of Nuclear Weapons: An Inter-Religious Response to the Global Crisis."
GSI Senior Officer
Getting to Zero: How and When?
On October 28, Senior Officer Rhianna Tyson Kreger chaired a panel event organized by the UN-based NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace and Security titled "Getting to Zero: How and When?" The event was intended to illustrate various perspectives on the way to reach "nuclear zero", and to highlight the need for coordinated action from civil society as we approach the 2010 Review Conference of the NPT.
Other panelists included Mr. James Acton of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Ms. Alicia Godsberg of the Federation of American Scientists, Mr. Steve Leeper of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation and Ms. Emiko Okada, an atomic bomb survivor from Hiroshima.
Peace Constitutions for Global Disarmament
Jonathan Granoff delivered a presentation at an international conference at the Port of Puntarenas, Costa Rica, on July 16, organized by the Japanese organization Peace Boat. More than 150 participants from Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama, the United States, Switzerland and Japan explored the value of Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution and of Article 12 of the Costa Rican Constitution in their historical perspectives and contemporary contexts, as well as their regional and global significance.
In a passionate message read on his behalf at the opening ceremony, Costa Rican President Oscar Arias welcomed the holding of the event in his country and spoke of Japan and Costa Rica's choice of "peace as a way of life" as "the start of a long and challenging journey." He encouraged participants to stay the course, as "the work of sustaining a lasting peace is endless."
Other written and video messages of support to the conference were sent, including by US Congressman Dennis Kucinich, former Costa Rican President Luis Alberto Monge, Colin Archer of the International Peace Bureau, Ikeda Masanori of the Japanese Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (JALANA), and more, praising the role played by Costa Rica's and Japan's peace clauses in bringing about a culture of peace.
» Read Jonathan Granoff's presentation, "Let Us All Be Peace Boats: Reflections on the UN, Articles 9 & 12 and Costa Rica"
» Read the Final Declaration of the Conference
» Program of the conference
» Full list of speakers and their profiles
» Messages and Speeches
Disarmament and Bridging Cultures
On July 10-11 King Mohammed VI of Morocco convened a conference of over 1,000 participants and several hundred leading thinkers from the Islamic world devoted to peace, spiritual awakening, and non violence. The aim of this gathering of Sufi leaders was to enliven an effective response to violence and promote human unity.
In his presentation to the conference, at its closing session, GSI President Jonathan Granoff said: "Let us remind humanity that peace is the only way to peace. Violence does not bring peace. Let us remind humanity that to be human is exalted and that all humans, whether they believe or do not believe, are worthy of our care. For if the Prophets only loved those who knew already, how could they have patiently taught? Jesus (may God's peace be upon him) said love God with all your heart, might and soul and like unto that love your neighbor as yourself. In today’s world the neighborhood is global and thus one… Our task is to help turn from the love of power to the power of love itself.”
Bipartisan Security Group Activities
Uta Zapf, MdB, PNND Co-President
BSG Program Associate Kevin Davis arranged a series of meetings on Capitol Hill with PNND Co-President Uta Zapf, who also serves as the Chair of the German Parliament Subcommittee on Disarmament and Arms Control.
Over two packed days, Ms. Zapf met with US administration officials, senior members of the US congress, congressional staffers and disarmament experts to discuss key disarmament and security issues including the START negotiations, CTBT ratification and entry-into-force, the Nuclear Posture Review, Iran, Afghanistan, NATO nuclear doctrine and North-East Asia. Uta was joined in some of the meetings by PNND Council Member Senator Tadashi Inuzuka (Japan), PNND Global Coordinator Alyn Ware and Mr. Davis.
START Briefing in the House of Representatives
On Wednesday, December 16, the Bipartisan Security Group will co-sponsor three briefings in the House of Representatives titled "The New START Treaty: What Next for the Nuclear Weapons Infrastructure?" The briefings are co-sponsored by the Alliance for Nuclear Acountability and the Federation of American Scientists. Speakers include: Ambassador Robert Grey, Director of the Bipartisan Security Group; Dr. Ivan Oelrich, Acting President of the Federation of American Scientists; and Ralph Hutchison of Alliance for Nuclear Accountability.
The briefings are designed to educate Congressional representatives and their staff on the risks of "trading" ratification of a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty in exchange for the construction of nuclear warhead production facilities.
Analyzing the Obama Administration's New Anti-Bioweapons Strategy
On Thursday, December 17, BSG member Barry Kellman will deliver a presentation on Capitol Hill titled "US Foreign Anti-Bioviolence Policies and Programs- An analysis in light of the Administration's new strategy." The briefing will be held from 10:30 - 12 pm, in Rayburn House Building 2200.
For more information, contact BSG Program Associate Kevin Davis: (202) 543-0799.
New multimedia resources
New video resources are available online, including:
Jonathan Granoff on
- Al Jazeera English channel's interview with Jonathan Granoff moments after US President Barack Obama chairs a Summit of Heads of State at the Security Council;
- GSI Board Member Rev. Tyler Wigg Stevenson's presentation, "The Post-Atomic World," at the 2009 Q Conference;
- BSG Member Dr. Barry Kellman's presentation, "Disease as a Weapon" at the World Future Society's 2009 conference;
- a UNITAR Geneva Lecture featuring Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and GSI Advisory Board Member Mikhail Gorbachev reflecting on the new momentum towards nuclear disarmament;
Visit our library of video resources for newly added clips.
Critically acclaimed book
A new book edited by Dr. Chris E. Stout, with a forward by Dr. Mehmet Oz, is receiving rave reviews. Titled "The New Humanitarians: Inspiration, innovations and blueprints for visionaries," the three-volume book features a chapter on the Global Security Institute, written by GSI Senior Officer Rhianna Tyson Kreger.
In recent months, GSI's leaders have published over a dozen op/eds and LTEs in mainstream media:
- "The Process of Zero," World Policy Journal, by Jonathan Granoff, Winter 2009 edition.
- "Thinking the Unthinkable on Nuclear Policy," Huffington Post, by PNND Coordinator Alyn Ware
- "A Well-Deserved Nobel Prize," The Edmonton Journal, by MPI Chairman Emeritus Douglas Roche
- "Evangelical Voices Against Nukes," Washington Post/Newsweek, by Rev. Tyler Wigg Stevenson
- "Arms Control Has Been Bipartisan," Wall Street Journal, by BSG Chairman Thomas Graham, Jr.
- "One Small Step for the Council, One Giant Leap for Humankind," Huffington Post, by Jonathan Granoff and Rhianna Tyson Kreger
- "Nuclear Weapons Free: Let's Support President Obama," Huffington Post, by Jonathan Granoff
- "Japan ready for 'no nukes'," The Japan Times, by Shingo Fukuyama and MPI Steering Committee member Hiromichi Umebayashi
- "Obama Needs Friends on Nuclear Weapons," Embassy, by Douglas Roche