Welcome to the ABOLITION section of WILPF's DISARM! Campaign

Report from the NPT Review Conference in New York, Ending the Threat of Nuclear Devastation: Mayors Conference at the United Nations.

For more information about Abolition, please contact Carol Urner.

ABOLITION covers a wide range of disarmament issues and seeks to provide background for both WILPF Branches and individual members working for a world free of war. We use our International WILPF UN website at Reaching Critical Will as a major source of information as we seek myriad creative and non-violent ways to push our country and our world toward abolition of nuclear weapons and general and complete disarmament.

  1. Since the bombing of Hiroshima WILPF has always emphasized Abolition of Nuclear Weapons.
  2. The 2002 Nuclear Posture Review makes it clear that the current US Administration has abandoned the effort to abolish nuclear weapons and instead is planning resumption of nuclear testing and development of new types of nuclear weapons. We have much work to do!
  3. We continue to place special emphasis on resisting missile defense which the current Administration hopes will provide the shield from behind which proactive strikes (both nuclear and conventional) can be made against other nations that challenge “US national interest."
  4. We also encourage discussion and support for a related issue: banning weapons and nuclear power in space.
  5. In light of current US military and foreign policies of global domination, pre-emptive wars and unilateralism, we seek to bring the US back into the UN disarmament treaty process.
  6. We also give special emphasis to building support for the Bio-weapons inspection protocol and destruction of worldwide chemical weapons stocks.
  7. Each year we examine the increasingly enormous US military budget and propose alternate ways in which our tax money could be spent to enhance human life and build healthy societies at home and abroad rather than build increasingly diabolical and destructive weapons.
ABOLITION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS

We recognize the World Court decision in 1996 that nuclear weapons are illegal and we thank WILPF member Ann Fagan Ginger for her writings an suggestions on ways to press our nation into honoring that decision, and the UN Charter and ratified Nuclear Disarmament treaties which are now part of the supreme law of our land.

Internationally, WILPF leads the NGO effort to push the nuclear disarmament process forward in the United Nations. Currently UN WILPF emphasizes building support for ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which the USA signed in a previous administration, as the next positive step toward nuclear disarmament. The current US Administration, however, apparently wants to kill the treaty.

Reaching Critical Will at UN WILPF also seeks to raise awareness of the Thirteen steps toward nuclear weapons abolition, which our country previously agreed to take under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty, but which the current U.S. Administration is flouting. At the 2005 NPT REview Conference, which over 100 WILPF members attended, the U.S. would not allow discussion of the 13 steps and effectively destroyed the treaty process. Read analyses of the tragic failure of the NPT Review Conference by our WILPF UN staff and other NGOs.

UN WILPF has created an excellent small manual on nuclear education which can be adapted for use in classrooms or with adult groups. WILPF Branches and members are also involved in a variety of demonstrations at nuclear sites. An example of one type of creative action is the Citizens inspection in which WILPF members participated in November 2002 at University of California Lawrence Livermore Labs. Other members in Colorado, California, Arizona and Maryland have participated in similar citizen inspections of nuclear weapons sites.

NUCLEAR POSTURE REVIEW

The Disarm! Campaign has also issued a WILPF statement on the controversial U.S. Nuclear Posture Review which is available as a tool for Branch action. Western States Legal Foundation has a resource list on this 2002 NPR document which puts nuclear weapons at the center of U.S. military policy. Find current information on international repercussions of nuclear weapons policy at the Center for Defense Information. WILPF's EYE on Congress issues frequent action alerts on measures we need to oppose such as development of mini-nukes, nuclear warheads on missile interceptors and resumption of nuclear testing.

One outcome of this radical change in nuclear weapons policy is the spate of funding requests for new nuclear weapons development. Alliance for Nuclear Accountability has prepared excellent fact sheets on these programs. The bunker buster, or RNEP, and the reliable replacement warhead are two of the most horrific. The proposed new nuclear bomb plant for producing plutonium triggers is another. The Stockpile Stewardship Program includes these and other dangerous programs including possible resumption of nuclear testing and upgrading of current weapons. All of these programs seem to blatantly defy the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. And at the same time the U.S. is further developing its own nuclear arsenal, instead of working toward nuclear weapons abolition, it is actively also threatening other non-nuclear nations with pre-emptive nuclear strikes.

MISSILE DEFENSE

Vision 2020, published by the Space Command in 1998, laid out plans for U.S. control of space through militarize in almost comic book form. This vision was resisted by the Clinton Administration, but is now official Pentagon policy in all branches of the armed services.

You can explore the official government sitefor weapons in space and missile defense. You can also read through the 387 page draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS)prepared for the Environmental Protection Agency in 2004. Use the Table of Contents to find upbeat descriptions of recent tests (although the record is one of failure), and a remarkably full description of plans for directed energy weapons (lasers) and kinetic energy intercept concepts (hit-to-kill technology) from space-based satellites.

Sacramento WILPF Branch submitted testimony on behalf of WILPFat an MDA public hearing in October 2004. The final MDA PEIS should be available on the same web site in late 2005.

NGO sites with good information on missile defense include:

Reaching Critical Will is maintained by the WILPF staff at the United Nations. and is a chief source on the UN Disarmament Treaty negotiations for both NGO's and UN diplomats and staff. Under Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS) information on the 1967 space treaty and on past and current negotiation sin the UN. You will also find a list of other NGO's monitoring space militarization.

GLOBAL NETWORK AGAINST WEAPONS AND NUCLEAR POWER IN SPACE. WILPF is a partner member of this network which maintains the best up-to-date web site on issues of space militarization. Scroll down the Home page and find documents like the chilling US Space Command Master Plan for FY 2006 and Beyond. This is the material projected in Vision 2020 carried to its extreme in this official Pentagon document. This is a very rich site and also outlines current NGO action plans, offers video and book resources and keeps us all in touch with each other

CENTER FOR DEFENSE INFORMATION is one of the few NGOs, other than WILPF and Global Network, closely following the far ranging plans of the Pentagon for waging space warfare. Explore Space Security pages for some of the latest information on Space weaponization, and for the most recent updates on Missile Defense.

A WILPF model flyer in response to Vision 2020 and missile defense is available for adaptation or use by Branches. Download in pdf: Page 1 & Page 2.

BANNING WEAPONS AND NUCLEAR POWER IN SPACE

Space Weapons:

Development of space weapons by aerospace industries is already underway even without open debate, and is integrally related to plans for missile defense and full dominance of space. Explore the Global Issues site for more information on US weaponization of space. Read Global Network's collection of 2005 articlesfor current news. CDI examines funding for space weapons hidden in the 2005 budget.

HR 2420 , introduced by Representative Kucinich and 32 co-sponsors would ban US research and development of space weapons and also require the President to issue negotiations on a treaty banning such weapons. WILPF distributed suggestions for strengthening provisions in the bill including our own proposed Peaceful Uses of Space Act to 136 progressive House members in 2003. Although WILPF would still like a stronger bill, HR 2420 is still the best we have. To build awareness Portland Branch has created a post card to Representatives in support of the Kucinich bill (address) and (card text).

Also available is a copy of Representative Kucinich’s proposed Preservation of Space for Peace treaty . There is a Canadian NGO effort to get this treaty ratified by bypassing the UN PAROS process, which has been blocked by the United States. Click Institute for Cooperation in Space for more complete information on this campaign.

Nuclear Power in Space:

In 2003 Space Daily reported on dangers of DOE-NASA development of nuclear power in space. Global Network and others believe the unstated purpose of NASA's Project Prometheus is to develop nuclear power for the space beds where laser, kinetic kill and other space weapons will be stationed.

UN DISARMAMENT TREATY PROCESS

The ABOLITION project has produced a two sheet fold out flyer on the most important international disarmament treaties, their status and U.S. positions on each. Unfortunately the United States is now blocking progress on almost all of these treaties. A briefing paper on the "Rule of Power or Rule of Law" is provided by the Lawyer's Committee on Nuclear Policy and the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research. You can also read on line the original 191-page document and executive summary Details on the UN Disarmament treaties and links to other sites can be found at Reaching Critical Will.

BIODEFENSE AND BIOWEAPONS TREATIES

As of November 2004, 152 nations had ratified the 1975 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). The treaty outlawed bioweapons but included no provision for inspection. Over a period of seven years an Inspection Protocol was developed. Factions in the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Senate and the pharmaceutical industry were not happy with the protocol, however, and in November 2001, Undersecretary of State John Bolton declared the Protocol dead and against U.S. interests. Efforts to revive the inspection provisions by Europeans and others continue but, thus far, without success. Bradford University provides an index of additional review papers seeking to preserve the treaty and develop an inspection protocol.

Since rejecting the protocol, the Bush Administration has vastly expanded domestic biodefense programs, including 5.6 billion dollars over ten years for Project BioShield. (Read more about current biodefense research in the October 2004 DISARM Update, and in the article on pages 3 and 4 by Dr. Margaret E. Kosal).

It has been conclusively found that the anthrax terrorist attacks of fall-winter 2001 used the same strain of bacteria found in US military laboratories and private defense contractors; one of the most likely suggested sources is the US Army’s own Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) at Fort Detrick. Dr. Barbara Hatch Rosenberg, then affiliated with Scientists Working Group at the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), pursued the anthrax scare relentlessly, and gave Congressional testimony in support of the Additional Protocol to the BWC. In 2003 the Scientists Working Group moved from FAS to the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. The Center’s involvement and positions on international bioweapons control measures remain to be seen. The Federation of American Scientists is much less provocative since Rosenberg and her colleagues left, but some useful material remains, particularly on the education of bioscientists on inherent risks of their work. FAS also has a copy of the 2002 legislation on Preparation for Bio-Terrorism and other National Health Emergencies.

The major domestic monitor of possible U.S. bioweapons treaty violations is the independent Sunshine Project which estimates as much as another $6 billion is allocated for biodefense projects, many of them top secret. Click on Biodefense at the top to access resources, including a map and index of biodefense and BioShield sites.

In September 2002 the International Red Cross launched an appeal to all nations to enforce the 1972 Bioweapons Convention and the 1927 Geneva Protocol. They cited the dangers of certain types or research, several of which are now being pursued in Project BioShield.

While there are a few American researchers, to find significant work on strengthening multilateral efforts against biological and chemical weapons, one really needs to go beyond the U.S. borders. One of the best academic-based programs can be found within U.K.’s Department of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford, who are also responsible for administering, at the BWC Chairman’s request, the Biological and Toxins Weapons Conventions website www.opbw.org. The “OPBW” website provides documents from all of the BWC States Parties and experts meetings. Another Bradford endeavor, the Project on Strengthening the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention Website provides excellent, in-depth resources, particularly with respect to international diplomacy and to risks of technology.

The Bioweapons Prevention Project (BWCC) was formed after the collapse of the protocol efforts. The Geneva-based watchdog group aims to strengthen the ban on biological weapons by monitoring governments, industry and others, in coalition with partner organizations around the world. The project follows in the footsteps of successful non-governmental efforts to monitor the ban on landmines and the spread of small arms.

MILITARY BUDGET

EYE on Congress has provided us with a complete rundown on the 2004 Defense Appropriations bill and prepared a flyer (Pdf) on the 2005 military budget and alternative productive ways in which our tax dollars could be spent. (You can also download the flyer in Word. The Word document allows you to type your local information into the rectangle provided. If it does not download properly use the PDF version and paste your local information into the rectangle before photo copying.) Watch EYE Action Alerts to help you keep in meaningful communication with your Congressional delegation.

War Resisters League pie chart estimates a 2006 military budget of $558 billion, not counting Iraq war or past military debt. Also counting these expenses they estimate $1.027 trillion of our discretionary budget going to the military. Check National Priorities Project to see how this huge military budget effects your own state and town. The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation has up-to-date information on the 2006 military budget as it proceeds through Congress. And Jane MIdgley, former WILPF Executive Director who brought us the Woman's Budget, has a new book on Women and the U.S. Budgetavailable that can help those of us who still seek conversion to a peace economy!

Watch DISARM EYE on Congress in 2005 for alerts on military spending. Check MilCorp ConneXion, Sections VIII and IX for extensive additional resources on military spending and better ways to use our nation’s resources.

JOIN US!

We invite Branches and members to join us in tracking US positions on vital disarmament treaties, and in working to bring our own country under the rule of international law and the UN charter. Your input, ideas, actions, suggestions and involvement are more than welcomed. This aspect of our campaign is tied closely to the MilCorp ConneXion and EYE on Congress since progress on abolition of nuclear weapons and disarmament will come only when we reign in the military/industrial complex and begin dismantling the war economy. Click here to send your questions or suggestions to Carol Urner who is the volunteer facilitator for the ABOLITION facet of our campaign.

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