Reaching Critical WIll E-News Advisories August 30, 2007
Dear Reaching Critical Will friends and advisors,
As RCW gears up for another busy September and October here at the UN in New York, we are asking you to support the work we do and the resources we provide for the global community of disarmament experts, analysts, and activists.
With your support, our work in the upcoming 2007 UN General Assembly First Committee on Disarmament and International Security will be even stronger. We will:
* Index every disarmament statement made at the UN General Assembly General Debate and post it so you can access it on line and know what your government is saying on a myriad of issues;
* Report on the disarmament-focused debates in our First Committee Monitor in topic based weekly summaries;
* Provide the only online access to all First Committee statements, resolutions and papers;
* Keep you updated on any disarmament action-items via our General E-news list;
* Coordinate a NGO Working Group for the duration of the First Committee to collectively strengthen our advocacy; and
* Facilitate access to rooms at the UN for NGO side events during the First Committee.
We need your support to continue our full range of reporting and advocacy work!
The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom created the Reaching Critical Will project in 1999 to "improve the quantity and quality of NGO engagement in multilateral disarmament decision making fora", to serve your needs, and to increase global transparency on global security by connecting you to information about multilateral disarmament processes and the governments that drive them. We are asking the community that knows the value of our work and uses it regularly to contribute give a tax-deductible (for US residents), end of the summer, here comes that First Committee sprint, contribution to the project.
Please help us keep up our work for global disarmament, and serve you better. You can either send us a cheque made out to:
Jane Addams Peace Association
777 UN Plaza, 6th floor
New York, NY 10017 USA
(Be sure to put RCW in the memo line of the cheque!)
Or contribute via PayPal by clicking on the Donate Now! button here: http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/about/donate.htm and putting "RCW" in the "note to seller" line that comes up on the review page after you submit your donation and continue to checkout.
Thank you for your continued support!
Ray Acheson, Acting Project Associate
1) CTBT Article XIV Conference
As in past years, NGOs are given the opportunity to make one statement to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Entry Into Force conference, to be held at on 17-18 September 2007 at the Hofburg Congress Centre, Heldenplatz, A-1014, Vienna, Austria. (For more information on the conference, please see http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/legal/ctbt/ctbtindex.html#2007 .)
A first draft of the for-the-record statement is now available for review, and its authors are seeking your input. A shortened version will be presented in a 5 to 7 minute speech at the conference.
The draft statement is available at http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/legal/ctbt/NGOdraftstatement2007.doc . Please submit your edits by September 7th to Alex Bollfrass of the Arms Control Association at email@example.com. We will do our best to represent your point of view, but cannot guarantee that every suggestion will make it into the final draft. Once we have incorporated your input, we will send the statement out again and you can sign on your organization. We would appreciate receiving only one set of comments per organization.
Monday, 17 September 2007
Hosted by the Government of Austria. All participants invited.
Time and place: 13:30 - 15:00, Dachfoyer, Hofburg Congress Centre
Monday - Tuesday, 17-18 September 2007
"Verifying the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban"
Experts from the CTBTO's technical divisions will demonstrate how a seismic station works, how data is processed, and how an on-site inspection is conducted. The 2007 re-release of the CTBTO Movie "CTBT: For a Safer and More Secure World", which includes CTBTO findings with regards to the announced nuclear test by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in October 2006, will also be shown in the exhibition area.
Time and Place: all day, Dachfoyer, Hofburg Congress Centre
Tuesday, 18 September 2007
VERTIC and ACA Seminar
"The CTBT Achievements, challenges and opportunities"
The Verification Research, Training and Information Centre (VERTIC) and the Arms Control Association (ACA) will be holding a seminar on political and verification challenges and opportunities for the Treaty and its verification system.
Time and place:
13:00 - 15:00, Kleiner Redoutensaal, Hofburg Congress Centre
Official Background Document
The CTBTO has released an Official Background paper on the CTBT Article XIV Conference, available online at http://www.ctbto.org/reference/article_xiv/2007/CTBT-ART.XIV-2007-3_English.pdf.
2) UN General Assembly General Debate
The UN General Assembly opens its session with a General Debate, September 18 - October 3, wherein heads of state, foreign ministers, or other high-level representatives have the opportunity to address the entire international community to express their state's concerns, priorities and opinions. During the General Debate, RCW complies all references to disarmament, peace, and security and posts them online by country and topic. The statements from the General Debate will give us an idea of the issues on which governments will be focusing during the General Assembly First Committee, which begins on October 8.
The Index will be available following the General Debate on the RCW website:
By country: http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/political/1com/1com07/disarmindex.html
By topic: http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/political/1com/1com07/disarmindextopic.html
Fact sheet on the General Assembly
RCW has developed a two-page backgrounder on the General Assembly - what it is, and why its important for you to know! It's meant to be part of a series of backgrounders RCW will develop on disarmament machinery and issues as a way to promote awareness and understanding of this challenging field of work. This first backgrounder on the GA is available in PDF at http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/resources/factsheets/ga.pdf.
3) UN General Assembly First Committee
The General Assembly First Committee on Disarmament and International Security is to be held October 4 - November 2 in New York. The First Committee is one of the best opportunities for outreach, education, and advocacy efforts on disarmament and non-proliferation issues.
First Committee Monitor
Since 2000, Reaching Critical Will has coordinated a group of NGOs sharing the monitoring and reporting responsibilities in an attempt to make the work of the First Committee more transparent and useful for people not directly involved in the small New York disarmament community. We edit a weekly newsletter, the First Committee Monitor, covering the broad range of issues discussed by the First Committee. The Monitor is distributed to all delegates of the First Committee, and is available on our site and through a free email-based subscription service in both PDF and HTML. It has been hailed by diplomats, UN staffers, and activists as one of the most useful resources produced during the General Assembly.
If your group would like to participate in this important collaboration, contact the Project Associate today. In the upcoming weeks, we will be holding a meeting to coordinate the various responsibilities required for such an effort.
If you are interested in following events at the First Committee, subscribe to the First Committee Monitor today by sending an email to ray[at]reachingcriticalwill.org with the subject line "subscribe First Committee Monitor". Please indicate whether you would like the PDF or HTML version.
Side events are an excellent way to educate each other, delegations, and members of the Secretariat on a broad range of disarmament and security issues ranging from missiles to radioactive waste. NGO side events are becoming increasingly popular with both diplomats and civil society. If you are planning a side event, meeting, or strategy session during the First Committee and would like to hold it in the UN, please contact RCW.
A calendar of events is available at http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/political/1com/1com07/calendar.html - please note that dates, times, and locations are tentative and subject to change. Please check back regularly for updates.
What else can civil society do around the First Committee?
Media Outreach: While decisions taken on matters of disarmament and non-proliferation are some of the most critical issues to the world, there remains a lack of adequate coverage of these issues by the mainstream media. Many mainstream media agencies are subsidiaries of military corporations. These agencies are never going to give positive media coverage to groups and messages that challenge their power. Notice the correspondents in the print, radio and TV media covering nuclear or foreign policy matters. Build a data base of media contacts and keep a select group of journalists, or your entire list, informed of your activities and analysis of events and developments in this field.
Create your own media: newsletters, radio shows, video documentaries, email lists, webpages. To find out how to get involved with local independent media near you, see: www.indymedia.org.
Organize an event at home: With the First Committee in session, it is a prime teachable moment to continue your own education, outreach and advocacy efforts at home. To find out what disarmament NGOs are working in your area, check our NGO contact database.
Reach out to your representatives: Contact your representatives in New York and in your capital. Fax or email them letters urging them to support disarmament-focused resolutions. Offer them resources for more information and demand a response. For more information on writing a letter, click here.
Organize a meeting with your representatives; listen to their opinion on nuclear issues and share yours. Find out who represents you at our database of governmental decision-makers.
4) New resources available from Reaching Critical Will
RCW has been working to put out some new backgrounders on subjects relevant to disarmament, non-proliferation, and militarism. We have fact sheets on nuclear energy and the nuclear fuel cycle; updates to the indigenous fact sheets, with special sections on indigeous groups affected by nuclear testing, disasters, and waste in and by the USA and USSR; a two-page PDF backgrounder on the General Assembly; and several updated one- or two-page fact sheets on corporations involved in aerospace and/or nuclear profiteering as part of RCW's Dirty Dozen project.
These resources are available online as follows:
Nuclear Energy: http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/resources/factsheets/energy.pdf
Nuclear Fuel Cycle: http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/resources/factsheets/fuelcycle.html
Indigenous People: http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/resources/factsheets/indigenous.html
General Assembly: http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/resources/factsheets/ga.pdf
Corporate Profiteering: http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/corporate/corporateindex.html
Additional backgrounders will be made available on a rolling basis; please contact RCW if you have any comments or suggestions!
In addition, the Model Nuclear Inventory, previously only available in hard copy or PDF, has been turned into HTML! The 2007 HTML edition is available online at http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/about/pubs/Inventory07.html. The Inventory is a comprehensive database of all nuclear materials, both military and civilian, in the 44 States recognized as having a significant nuclear capability. The 2007 edition was originally released in April 2007, just prior to the NPT PrepCom.