May 10, 2002
During the two weeks of the Preparatory Committee (April 8-19, 2002) for the upcoming 2005 Review of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty*, the Global Security Institute held several events at the United Nations for delegates, non-governmental organizations and the public.
GSI, along with other non-governmental organizations, made an important impact on the discussions that took place among delegates. In expressing government representatives’ gratitude for the work of NGOs and the solid, up-to-date information they offered throughout the PrepCom, Amb. Christopher Westdal of Canada said “Of course, I am very impressed with the work of the Global Security Institute’s Middle Powers Initiative and many other NGOs. I challenge the delegations here to produce the kind of professional and consistent work these NGOs have presented.”Middle Powers Initiative Events
Following the opening session, the Middle Powers Initiative – a program of the GSI – hosted a public event: “Nuclear Weapons and Human Security: Ending the Conflict.” The event was attended by a majority of representatives of the 187 States present and served to remind the delegates of the larger human security context of nuclear weapons negotiations. Presentations featured UN Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs Jayantha Dhanapala; PrepCom Chairman, Ambassador Henrik Salander of Sweden; Senator Douglas Roche of Canada, Chairman of the Middle Powers Initiative; and Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell, Director of the Chautauqua Institution’s Department of Religion.
Amb. Dhanapala said, “We must delegitimize all weapons of mass destruction. The only way we can make sure they don’t reach the hands of terrorists is to get rid of them entirely.” After acknowledging the important role GSI and MPI played in the 2000 NPT Review, Amb. Salander said, “The work of NGOs, and not least that of MPI, are invaluable during this process. States parties owe you a great debt of gratitude for that.”
Rev. Dr. Campbell emphasized moral accountability, saying “We are all of one household. Neighbor is not a geographic term, but a moral term. The moral argument against the use of nuclear weapons is rooted in the understanding of the ecumenical. We all drink from the same well. We dare not delude ourselves that “first strike” would poison only the well of the other. Nuclear poison turns the water in the well of life into blood and poison for all who drink from that well.”
Following this event, the Middle Powers Initiative held one a Strategy Consultation, one of a series it has held over the past few years to help strengthen the NPT. Approximately 50 delegates and members of civil society discussed the state of the NPT with a view to practical and immediate steps in which progress could be obtained.
Roald Sadgeev, Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland College Park, and arms control and space advisor to Mikhail Gorbachev spoke about linking unilateral measures to treaty processes. Rose Gottemoeller, former member of the White House National Security Council, spoke regarding fissile materials. Amb. Christopher Westdal of Canada spoke on the need for standardized reporting. Following the formal presentations, the group engaged in constructive discussion and made concluding recommendations. For a detailed report, visit www.gsinstitute.org.
*The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty undergoes a formal review every 5 years by the 187 countries that have ratified it. Each intervening year, Preparatory Committees are convened to prepare for the formal review.
Alan Cranston Peace Award
On April 16 GSI presented the first Alan Cranston Peace Award to UN Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs Jayantha Dhanapala for his tireless work for disarmament. The Award honors leaders who work for Senator Cranston’s vision of a world free from the threats posed by nuclear weapons. Kim Cranston said we are the first generation with the capacity to make itself extinct through a nuclear holocaust. He stressed that the Award honors those who recognize the urgency of this challenge and sieze opportunities we have now.
In keeping with GSI’s strategy to promote disarmament as a part of human security, GSI took the opportunity during the Award presentation to create awareness about the important links between disarmament and environmental issues. Asst. Secretary-General Gillian Sorensen, in introducing the Award presenter Dr. Jane Goodall, announced that Dr. Goodall had only a few hours before been named a UN Messenger of Peace by the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Dr. Goodall then presented the Award, speaking of the connections between her work for the environmental and the need to eliminate nuclear weapons. Dr. Goodall said, “Above all, Alan Cranston dedicated himself to the cause of peace and to the environment. He felt that his work on the environment was the longest lasting, and he saw working on nuclear weapons as the greatest environmental issue. Alan said that ‘when you preserve a wild river or a wilderness or a national park, that is forever.’ By working to eliminate nuclear weapons, Senator Cranston and Jayantha Dhanapala have both worked to preserve all wild rivers, all wildernesses, and all humanity forever.”
At the public ceremony Amb. Dhanapala delivered a substantive keynote analysis of how we must make progress in nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. “Disarmament is preeminently a humanitarian endeavour for the protection of the human rights of people and their survival,” Dhanapala said. “We have to see the campaign for nuclear disarmament as analogous to the campaigns such as those against slavery, for gender equality and for the abolition of child labour. It will be a hard, uphill struggle, but eventually, we shall overcome.”
In a private reception later that evening, Sen. Douglas Roche, Dr. Jane Goodall and Jonathan Granoff honored Amb. Dhanapala. GSI was privelaged to host UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan at the intimate reception where he honored the recipient of the Award, the latest Messenger of Peace, and the Global Security Institute with his supportive presence.
GSI took important steps in keeping with its goals to target key opinion leaders and policy makers. The feedback from Ambassadors on the impact of the work of our Middle Powers Initiative reinforced our conviction that GSI’s civil diplomacy efforts have a unique value in emphasizing a global perspective that must be included in the negotiation process. GSI distributed more than 2,000 briefs, scholary journals, analytic papers and reports to government representatives and NGO participants. The GSI/MPI delegation of more than 30 experts had numerous informal discussions with key diplomats and decision-makers. It is clear from the participation of high-level diplomats and policy-makers that GSI is recognized as a leader in the disarmament movement and has earned the goodwill of leaders at the highest levels influence.