Posted by: ctbtonewsroom | July 20, 2018

Youth Group pushes the boundaries of disarmament

Louis Reitmann, a member of the CTBTO Youth Group, writes in his article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, that the disarmament establishment has assumed for decades that young people are chronically disinterested in nuclear issues and need to be engaged. However, he argues, the CTBTO Youth Group proves that energized young people committed to the nuclear issue already exist.

Reitmann describes the experience of fellow Youth Group member Grace Liu (25), a research associate at the James Martin Centre for Non-proliferation Studies and an intelligence analyst in the US Army National Guard, when texts sent to their phones alerting them to a seismic event in North Korea.“We saw this was in Northeast Asia,” recalled Liu, speaking at the recent 2nd CTBT Science Diplomacy Symposium in Vienna. “We knew that North Korea has been testing and that they had been looking to test again. So we got really excited and rushed home.”

At the Science Diplomacy Symposium held from 21 May – 1 June 2018 in Vienna, projects like Liu’s proved how contributions from the youngest participants were often the most innovative, courageous and promising. This is why the disarmament community should be aware that a group of young people has a very strong and powerful voice. Their inputs should definitely be taken into consideration since they could contribute to bring about change.

“Maybe it is time that well-established professional institutions ask not what the youth can do for them, but what they can do for the youth. They are full of astonishing ideas worth pursuing, and dynamism that can pull disarmament out of a vortex of frustration” adds Reitmann.

See full article here.


Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, who currently co-chairs the conference on facilitating the entry into force of the CTBT together with Iraq, has mentioned in a letter sent to Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Member of the Group of Eminent Persons (GEM), that the EU should cooperate with the United States on the North Korean issue. He argued that the EU can play a more important role by joining forces with IAEA and CTBTO and needs to appeal to various related parties on ratification of the CTBT.

Full article here

Edition numérique des abonnés

(Source: Photo News)

“North Korean leader Kim Jong Un can take a unilateral step towards denuclearization that is straightforward, quick and has other positive benefits: He can sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)” comments Robert Kelley, a distinguished associate at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, in his article published in Kyodo. 

According to the author, that signing the CTBT alone does not assure an end to nuclear testing. For this, it is necessary to ratify the Treaty; that would be a meaningful move towards the end of nuclear testing. The United States signed the CTBT in 1996, nevertheless they never ratified it. If the leader of North Korea decides as a first step, to sign it, then he would be on par with the U.S. and subsequently can decide if he also wants to ratify the CTBT on the same day that the United States does so.

“There is an additional positive outcome that could come from such a North Korean move. If the political landscape changes as a result of U.S. ratification driven by Kim, the CTBT, which has been stalled for two decades, might have a chance of signature and ratification by the important handful of outstanding states that have not signed and ratified” adds Kelley.

Kelley writes that Kim now has the opportunity to take a step towards denuclearization by signing the Treaty. Doing so would put North Korea “on the same plane” as the U.S. and would make entry into force of the Treaty more likely. This development could also lead to a worldwide change in the attitude towards the Treaty, observes Kelley.

Read the full article here.


Robert Kelley


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