Kazakhstan reaffirms commitment towards reducing nuclear threat

Kazakhstan reaffirms commitment towards reducing nuclear threat

“The cooperation with your organization is part of Kazakhstan’s efforts to work towards the reduction of the nuclear threat”, Kanat Saudabayev, Secretary of State and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, stated during a visit to the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) on 13 January 2010. With an impeccable track record on issues relating to nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament, “Kazakhstan is showing an important example to all of us”, stated Tibor Tóth, the Executive Secretary of the CTBTO.

Read the highlight here.

Ban cites "Window of Opportunity" to advance disarmament

"Today there is a new window of opportunity in disarmament and non-proliferation," declared United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at a meeting with the heads of international organizations dealing with disarmament, including Tibor Tóth of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO). The Secretary General also praised the CTBTO for laying the "groundwork for the global verification regime to monitor compliance with the Treaty."

Read more here.

Putting the CTBT into Practice

"The CTBT presents a model for verification that is unlike other multilateral arms control instruments," conclude Malcolm Coxhead and David Jepsen in a brief written for VERTIC. The article examines "the infrastructure that is being set up to support verification of the CTBT," and considers "how States Parties can work to fulfill their responsibility of judging compliance with the Treaty."

Read the VERTIC Brief here.

Arms control leaders convene major strategy session

"About 50 senior think tank and advocacy executives packed the K Street conference room of the Ploughshares Fund to strategize and rally the troops for the upcoming policy war" over the Obama administration's arms control agenda, which includes ratification of the CTBT, writes Josh Rogin for The Cable.

Read the article here.

Obama's Big Nuclear Test

"Obama needs to implement transformational rather than incremental changes in nuclear weapons policy" in order to orient the forthcoming Nuclear Posture Review to support the administration's nonproliferation and disarmament goals, states Daryl Kimball. Only then will the president be able to achieve key tasks, such as persuading "undecided Senate Republicans that the time has finally come to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty."

Read more here.

Making Good Time: Doomsday Clock Moves 1 Minute Back to 6 Before Midnight

"Citing an increased awareness and interest in stopping key threats to humanity," including nuclear conflict, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has moved its Doomsday Clock one minute away from midnight. One way to sustain this awareness "is for the world's nuclear powers...to ratify agreements such as the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty," according to Scientific American.

Read more here.

Manmohan signals return to Vajpayee line on CTBT

"The Prime Minister’s remarks signal a subtle return to the CTBT line adopted by the erstwhile Vajpayee government, which declared soon after the 1998 nuclear tests that India “would not stand in the way” of the treaty entering into force," write Siddharth Varadarajan and K.V. Prasad for The Hindu.

Read more here.

Four global crisis spots

"The case for [CTBT] ratification is strong. If it occurs here, that will be a good boost in the arm for the broader international effort to delegitimize nuclear weapons," argues Michael O'Hanlon in the Washington Times. According to O'Hanlon, the fate of the Treaty in the U.S. Senate is the "most important indicators to watch on the international front in 2010."

Read more here.

Biden reviews U.S. nukes

Vice President Joe Biden and Energy Secretary Steven Chu convened a meeting with the heads of Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore and Sandia National Laboratories in order to review the state of the U.S. nuclear stockpile. According to Politico, the "Vice President hosted the briefing as part of the Administration's ongoing commitment... to the President’s vision of a world without nuclear weapons and to ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty."

Read more here.

A False Nuclear Alarm

"With its latest editorial calling for more nuclear weapons and more weapons spending, the Wall Street Journal has gone over a journalistic cliff," argues Joesph Cirincione in Foreign Policy. Building and testing new nuclear weapons would "break U.S. commitments, bring down the global nonproliferation regime, and increase the threats to America."

Read the article here.

Classified Recordings of First Fusion Bomb Test Found in Old Safe

"The long-distance scientific recordings of the blast wave from the first hydrogen bomb test have been rediscovered in a formerly classified safe at Columbia University," reports Wired Science. Although devices such as high-flying balloons and satellites monitored weapons tests in the past, the signing of the CTBT has resulted in the deployment of "cheap, easy-to-deploy microbarograph stations" all across the globe.

Read more here.