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              Nuclear weapons -  at risk of facing a humanitarian catastrophe                                                                                                       - Beatrice Fihn     

        The idea that nuclear weapons are important is not only held by North Korea to justify their nuclear weapons, but by all nuclear weapon states as an excuse to keep theirs. They argue that nuclear weapons have a  deterrent effect which is the final assurance of their national security.

If our security should be based on nuclear deterrence, that strategy must work perfectly for ever.  It won’t.  If nuclear weapons are kept, sooner or later, the world will see a nuclear detonation, either by intent or accident.  The utility of nuclear weapons is at best doubtful, but what we know for  sure is that nuclear weapons put us at risk of facing a humanitarian catastrophe.

The current  geopolitical context further demonstrates that the risks of nuclear war are as high as they have been in recent memory.  Furthermore, nothing but sheer luck has gotten us 72 years, without an accidental nuclear detonation.   The treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons is the best response responsible states can make to reject the nuclear sabre-rattling which is a threat to the international community. 

(Nobel Peace Prize 2017 was awarded to International campaign to abolish Nuclear Weapons, a coalition of NGO s in 100 countries, promoting a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director).

          Civil society actors not aware of mechanism & processes of VNR                                                                                                    - Pradeep Baisakh

          The meeting of the UN high-level political forum (HLPF)on sustainable development took place in New York to discuss the progress made on the sustainable development goals(SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda.  Forty three member nations presented their report.

Before the meeting, the governments undertook long consultations to prepare their reports.  Was the exercise worth? However, there was significant apathy or antipathy among governments to consult and include suggestions from civil society actors in the Voluntary National Review (VNRs).

There was also a visible lack of awareness among civil society actors across the world about the mechanism and processes of VNR.  The secretariat of high-level political forum (HLPF) of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs has no place for carrying the shadow reports on of  sustainable development goals(SDGs) of civil society organizations.  

A survey done in 20 Voluntary National Review nations (VNRs) by action for sustainable development(SDGs), a global civil society organization’s platform on SDG’s , suggests : “ In many cases, although there is a sense that the SDGs are included in existing national plans, the ‘transformational’ aspect of the agenda has been significantly diluted or lost”.

The shadow reports prepared by civil society on sustainable development goals (SDGs) find that the scale of inequality is constantly raising while governments “austerity” measures of cutting public investment in the social sectors is continuing.   There is simultaneously reduction in  the corporate taxation.  This is worrying as the UN Secretary General’s Report finds that in 2016, only 45% of the world’s population was protected by some social protection system.

A clear road map needed to address pressing challenges of refugee crisis, terrorism, fundamentalism, increase in the in-equality and climate change.

             (Pradeep Baisakh works with global campaign on poverty and in-equality).