Michael Adams Lecture and Conversation at the United Nations by Peter Weiss

On November 21, LCNP and IALANA President Emeritus Peter Weiss delivered the J. Michael Adams Lecture and Conversation at the United Nations. He covered a range of topics, from decartelization to decolonization to human rights to the illegality of nuclear weapons, and more. In the Q&A, in response to a question from LCNP Board member Jonathan Granoff, he recalled that the 1981 founding of the Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy was inspired by a paper on international law and nuclear weapons whose lead author was Professor Richard Falk, a member of the LCNP Board. 

A webcast of the event is linked at www.lcnp.org and is at:


JALANA Statement on the 2nd US-DPRK Summit

April 1, 2019

Takeya Sassaki,

President, Japan Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (JALANA)

Japan Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (JALANA) hereby expresses its views on the Hanoi Summit between Donald Trump, the president of the United States, and Kim Jong Un, the chairman of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) held on February 27 and 28 as follows:

1. President Trump and Chairman Kim did not adopt at this meeting an official document such as the “Joint Declaration” signed last year. We regret it a bit because we had expected a sort of document to be made.

2. However, President Trump says that: “it was a very productive two days;” and “he has a vision and it’s not exactly our vision, but it’s a lot closer than it was a year ago.” Rodong Sinmun, on the other hand, reports that both leaders will “continue productive dialogues;” and “said goodbye, promising the next meeting.” This means that no decisive rift has been occurred. Indeed, some words like “talks broken off” and “resume missile launch and nuclear testing” are coming up. However, the US-South Korea large-scale military drill has been suspended, while neither launch of long-range rockets nor nuclear testing is to be conducted so far. It cannot be said that the trust between the U.S. and DPRK has broken down.

3. The reason for not having reached a signature this time is that the U.S. reportedly did not agree to the DPRK process of nuclear weapons abolition. The DPRK proposed a partial lifting of the UNSC Resolutions on the sanctions in exchange for writing up its commitment to halt permanently nuclear tests and missile launch and dismantling completely its nuclear facilities at Yongbyon in the presence of US experts (although there are some reports saying that the DPRK has demanded all sanctions off, the DPRK foreign minister says “partial.”) It is in itself a fruit of the talk that those disputing points have been made clear.

4. The DPRK Foreign Minister Ri says that “we need such a first step on the road to complete denuclearization.” Secretary Pompeo says that “I’m still optimistic…We have said to our team, since the beginning, that this would take time…to work out a very complex problem.” It is rather too optimistic to think that the two countries, which have continued military confrontation for as long as 66 years, would reach a full “détente” in one or two meetings. We expect that working level talks will be continued from now on to reach an agreement between both parties and to make a time schedule.

5. JALANA requests the two parties to act in accordance with the principle of peaceful settlement of disputes set forth in Article 2 paragraph 3 of the UN Charter and the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice (July 1996) that declared the threat or use of nuclear weapons would be contrary to the international law, and then to set forward denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, taking into account the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons adopted in July 2017.

6. Meanwhile, Japanese government is reportedly satisfied with President Trump’s “no simple compromises.” Their reluctance to devote themselves to a peace and denuclearization process of the Korean Peninsula does all harm and no good. They should first give up refusing state recognition of the DPRK and then shift their policy from pressure only to a solution through dialogues.

7. Undaunted by this standstill of the US-DPRK summit, we, as a member of civil society, resolve to make further efforts for peace and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

UNHRC about Nuclear Weapons in General Comment No. 36

UNHRC about Nuclear Weapons: The Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy analyses the Comment about Nuclear Weapons by the Human Rights Committee in 2018. The general comment No. 36 considers the threat and use of nuclear weapons incompatible with the right to life.

The statement in the General Comment by the UNHRC about nuclear weapons was found in paragraph 66, stating “the threat or use of weapons of mass destruction, in particular nuclear weapons, which are indiscriminate in effect and are of a nature to cause destruction of human life on a catastrophic scale is incompatible with respect for the right to life and may amount to a crime under international law. States parties must take all necessary measures to stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including measures to prevent their acquisition by non-state actors, to refrain from developing, producing, testing, acquiring, stockpiling, selling, transferring and using them, to destroy existing stockpiles, and to take adequate measures of protection against accidental use, all in accordance with their international obligations. They must also respect their international obligations to pursue in good faith negotiations in order to achieve the aim of nuclear disarmament under strict and effective international control. And to afford adequate reparation to victims whose right to life has been or is being adversely affected by the testing or use of weapons of mass destruction, in accordance with principles of international responsibility.”

View the video of the discussion with the title “The Right to Life versus Nuclear Weapons: A Bold Intervention by the UN Human Rights Committee”

Chaired by Dr. John Burroughs (Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy), speakers were Dr. Roger S. Clark (Rutgers Law), Ariana Smith (CUNY School of Law), and Peter Weiss (Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy, International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms, European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights).

Learn more about the threat of Nuclear weapons here.IALANA Logo

Threat and use of nuclear weapons contrary to right to life, says UN Human Rights Committee

On 30 October 2018, the UN Human Rights Committee (HRC), which is in charge of the implementation of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), has adopted its General Comment (GC) no. 36 relating to the right to life (Article 6 ICCPR). It is in many respects a remarkable document and a new example for bridge-building between nuclear arms control and human rights. In para. 66, the HRC considers the threat and use of WMD, in particular nuclear weapons, incompatible with the right to life and reiterates the duties of the States Parties in the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

Continute reading Daniel Rietiker’s text:

Threat and use of nuclear weapons contrary to right to life, says UN Human Rights Committee

Japanese Translation by JALANA:

Read more about the HRC statement here

Renew Nuclear Arms Control, Don’t Destroy It

By Andrew Lichterman and John Burroughs

A hard-earned lesson of the Cold War is that arms control reduces the risk of nuclear war by limiting dangerous deployments and, even more important, by creating channels of communication and understanding. But President Donald Trump and his National Security Advisor John Bolton appear to have forgotten, or never learned, that lesson.

In late October, Trump announced an intent to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo subsequently stated that the US will suspend implementation of the treaty in early February. While US signals have been mixed, initiation of withdrawal at that point or soon thereafter appears likely.

Agreed to in 1987 by the United States and the Soviet Union, the INF Treaty prohibits the two countries from deploying both nuclear and conventional missiles with ranges between 310 and 3420 miles.

The main reason cited for withdrawal is that Russia has tested and deployed ground-launched cruise missiles the treaty prohibits. Russia denies that the missiles violate the treaty and has made its own accusations, foremost that US ballistic missile defense launchers installed in Eastern Europe could be used to house treaty-prohibited cruise missiles.

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Presentation at United Nations First Committee

On October 17, Jackie Cabasso spoke to the United Nations First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) in New York, as part of a segment dedicated to statements by civil society organizations.

The statement, entitled Creating the Conditions for International Peace and Human Security”, was presented on behalf of Western States Legal Foundation and Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy, members of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms and the Abolition 2000 Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons.

Read the full statement

Wind of Change in Nuclear Disarmament: The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons as a New Example of Humanitarian, Victim – centered Arms Control

The adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) in New York, on July 7, 2017, shifted the paradigm in nuclear disarmament after more than twenty years of stagnation in the field. After biological and chemical weapons bans in 1972 and 1993, respectively, the remaining weapons of mass destruction will be banned once the TPNW enters into force. Even though there is considerable disagreement on the practical impact of a treaty for nuclear disarmament and international security, the award of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017 to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), the coalition that was instrumental in the negotiations and adoption of the treaty, demonstrates the treaty’s significance and immediate impact.

READ the full paper by Daniel Rietiker

Nuclear Weapons and the Law on Human Rights and Future Generations

A Report about the Panel Discussion on Nuclear Weapons and the Law on Human Rights on May 1, 2018.
By Seth Shelden, for the Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy.

In a compelling side event held May 1, 2018 at the NPT PrepCom at the United Nations in Geneva, speakers analyzed nuclear weapons under the rubric of human rights law and law protecting future generations. The event was sponsored by the Basel Peace Office, the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA) and the Abolition 2000 Working Group on Nuclear Weapons and International Law.

READ the full report

NEW POLL: Europeans reject US nuclear weapons on own soil

On the first anniversary of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), new YouGov polling commissioned by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) has found an overwhelming rejection of US nuclear weapons. The poll was conducted in the four EU countries that host US nuclear weapons: Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and Italy. In each country, an overwhelming majority of people surveyed were in favour of removing the weapons from their soil, and for their countries to sign the Treaty that bans them outright.

What did the survey find?

1. At least twice as many people are in favour of removing the weapons than keeping them.
2. At least four times as many people are in favour of their country signing the TPNW than not signing the TPNW.
3. At least four times as many people are against companies in their country investing in nuclear weapons activities than in favour of it.
4. A strong majority of people are against NATO buying new fighter jets that are able to carry both nuclear weapons and conventional weapons.

READ the full survey

76% of French are for France’s commitment in the nuclear weapons’ elimination process

France must ratify the Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty

For the 50th anniversary of the NPT [1] and the first anniversary of the Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty [2], Le Mouvement de la Paix commissioned to the IFOP a poll based on “French, military spending and elimination of nuclear weapons” in collaboration with French newspapers La Croix and Planète Paix. This study was conducted from June 22 to 25, 2018, based on a sample of 1001 people over 18 years, using the quota method. Such report had already been conducted in 2012 by the same institute for the pacifistic organization.

Continue reading: Press Release: Survey of Mouvement de la Paix