Minutes 1/6/96

January 9, 1996/San Francisco Zen Center/U.S. West Coast Abolitionists and friends

Present: Alice Slater, Dietrich Fischer, Philomena Fischer, Marylia Kelley, Joan Levinson, Jackie Cabasso, Claire Greensfelder, Mayumi Oda, Pamela Meidell. (Minutes by Marylia and Pamela.)

1. Report from Hague (includes info on Canberra Commission)
2. Report from Philadelphia Meeting
3. Visioning process for brainstorming ideas
4. Communication
5. Strategy Ideas
6. Calendar
7. April Events at Nevada Test Site
8. Chernobyl 10th Activities
9. U.S. Women Activists Retreat/March
12.CTBT update

[Note: you can use the above numbers to skip to those areas of most interest to you]

1. Report from Hague Meeting (including info on Canberra Commission)

Jackie and Pamela reported on the Hague meeting on November 5. Readers are referred to the minutes of this meeting for full details (posted on the abolition network listserve). Gist: NGO Abolition Caucus statement (now Abolition 2000 Network statement) adopted as basic platform for the "Abolition 2000 Network for the World-wide Elimination of Nuclear Weapons." Ten working groups set up: Chernobyl, Media, Eurobomb, Testing, Fissile Materials, NW Convention, Newsletter, Legal Issues (Use and Threat), Outreach and Regional Nuclear issues. An interim committee was formed to identify a location for a Clearinghouse, to develop ideas for fundraising and support, and to prepare agenda for the next meeting in Edinburgh on March 3.

Crucial upcoming events: (a) World Court Decision on legality of threat and use of nukes expected in March or April. Groups are poised to announce Convention on Elimination of NW as next step, whatever the decision. (b) Canberra Commission for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, a 15-member commission formed by the Australian goverment, meets for the first time on January 22-24 in Canberra. Groups are urged to identify members and develop a relationship with them. The Commission, based on a meeting that Abolition 2000 representatives had with the Australian embassy in the Hague, is open to input from the Network. Alice Slater offered to confer with McNamara, who is on her ECAAR board of directors.

Members of the Canberra Commission are:

Ambassador Celso Amorim from Brazil : former Foreign Minister 1993-94 and current Permanent Representative at the UN

General George Butler from US : Commander in Chief of US Strategic Air Command 1991/2 - served as deputy to General Powell

Ambassador Richard Butler : Australian Ambassador to UN and former Disarmament Ambassador

Field Marshal the Lord Carver UK: Commander in Chief Far East of the British Army (1967-69), Chief of Defence Staff (1973-76)

Ambassador Dhanapala, Sri Lanka: Chaired 1995 NPT Conference, former Director of UNIDIR, Ambassador for Sri Lanka to UN

Ambassador Rolf Ekeus, Sweden: Executive Chair UN Special Commission - mandate to identify and eliminate Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. Former Amb for Disarmament and Amb to CSCE

Ambassador Dr Nabil Elaraby, Egypt: international lawyer, member of International Law Commission. Amb of Egypt to UN, New York

Prof Imai,Japan: Counsellor to the Japan Atomic Power Company. Former Amb of Japan to CD, to Kuwait and Mexico.

Dr Ron McCoy, Malaysia Chair IPPNW Malaysia, President Malaysian Medical Association. email address: rsm@mccoy.pc.my

Robert McNamara, US: Former Secretary of Defence under Kennedy and Johnson

Prof Robert O'Neill, Australian in UK. Prof of History of War, Oxford; former Director International Institute Strategic Studies London.

Michel Rocard, France: Former Prime Minister ( 1988-91). Member European Parliament and French Senate.

Prof Joseph Rotblat UK: Winner 1995 Nobel Peace Prize, President Pugwash.

Prof Roald Sagdeev,Russian: Prof Physics Dept University of Maryland and Director of the East-West Space Science Centre. Former Chair Committee of Soviet Scientists for Global Security

Dr Maj Britt Theorin, Sweden: Member EU, Former Swedish Amb for Disarmament and President IPB, Chair of UN Commission of Experts on Nuclear Weapons 1989/90.

Excerpts from Proposed Mandate for Commission:

Commission will consider and develop recommendations on:

- Identification of concrete and realistic steps for achieving a nuclear weapons free world, including development and establishment of necessary verification and control mechanisms and new international legal obligations. Possible areas of focus include:

- contribution of a CTBT, NWFZones, a Cut-Off Convention on cessation of production of fissile material for nuclear weapons, possible treaty requiring all states to declare and account for present stocks of fissile material, strengthening international safeguard system.

- carrying through commitment by nws to eliminate their nuclear stockpiles through a systematic process, including safe and secure arrangements for weapons dismantlement and destruction

- problem of nuclear threshold states and the related issue of achieving universal participation in the NPT

- Development of durable security arrangements, both globally and regionally including:

- maintenance of stable deterrence while the reduction and eventual elimination of nuclear weapons is being achieved

- link with other weapons of mass destruction and their control or elimination

- measures to prevent break-out, nuclear theft and nuclear terrorism/criminality

[I have yet to see an agenda for the January 22-24 meeting. The contact address for the Commission:

Canberra Commission on Elimination of Nuclear Weapons
International Security Division
C/o Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Canberra ACT 2600, Australia.
fax 61 6 261 2640, phone 61 6 261 1264]

2. Philadelphia Meeting Report

Minutes and list of participants are posted on abolition listserve. U.S. groups endorsed Abolition 2000 Statement as platform. Jonathan Schell will draft a "vision" statement. Good participation from East Coast groups. Peace Action volunteered to keep, update list of participating groups in U.S. and to do or facilitate mailings in the U.S. Next meeting in Philadelphia on February 3.

NOTE: Grassroots, public support for abolition is wider than we sometimes suppose.

3. Envisioning: Brainstorming: What does the world look like without nuclear weapons? Put ourselves in the future after they have been eliminated. Look back. How did we do it?

-We went over and around governments, and used the internet.

-We got a grant to utilize internet and facilitate communication world wide. Used is to provide internet access to partner groups in the Southern Hemisphere.

-Used popular music, films, poetry, etc. to popularize the abolition idea and inspire people. Ted Turner saw the light/gave support.

-We had a contact person/group for each member of the Australian Commission.

-The turning point came when we began to ask for what we want and stopped trying to second guess "mainstream."

-1996 election in US important. People realized we can't have nuclear weapons in 21st century.

-Re: terrorism and hostage taking: The world is held hostage to nuclear weapons and we should express our outrage.

-World Court declares nuclear weapons illegal and many previously hesitant people see the light and put their energies into a Convention on Elimination of NW. At the grassroots, sailors on nuclear ships returned to port, citing violation of international law if they continued on patrol.

-Based on World Court success, nuclear power was taken to court.

-Popular U.S. platform to balance budget, taking into account the $4 trillion ($9.5 million an hour) the US has spent on nukes in the past 50 years, fix the U.S. infrastructure and abolish nuclear weapons.

-Shift from nuclear power to renewable sustainable power. We realized it was abundant.

-Nuclear waste and transportation issues catalyzed American public consciousness against nukes and power.

-Shift to a more egalitarian relationship between countries now called "1st" and "3rd" world.

-Peace movement, environmental movement, progressive economics movement, sustainable development, and corresponding NGOs came together with a joint educational campaign to point out "spoils" of Cold War are "spoiled economies, spoiled environments," etc.

-Our initiatives around the world financed by municipal funds from Nuclear Free Zone municipalities (as already occurs in Manchester, England for example).

-Recognized international polling firms publicize that 80% of people want demilitarization and elimination of NW. International politicians get asked questions and those who support abolition get elected and can be held accountable. Example: Start with publicizing the abolition of the military in Haiti, which Aristide did based on knowledge that the majority of Haitians wanted it.

-Bronx Project to research ways to transform and ultimately get rid of nuclear waste given high priority and international funding and support.

-Nuclear Sites become museums, public education sites where people learn about secret history.

-Scientist campaign is successful: Scientists outside the U.S. began letter-writing campaign to U.S. colleagues not to work on alternative nuclear testing technologies (Stockpile Stewardship) or on any nuclear weapons R&D. U.S. scientists broke silence and sunk Stockpile Stewardship.

-Female president announces that nuclear weapons labs are closed and reopened as renewable energy centers.

-Countries that foreswore nuclear power led the way in developing solar hydrogen and other environmentally friendly technologies. -International Sustainable Energy Agency established to provide access to developing countries and others.

4. Communication

Discussion of status of various lists for mailing, faxing, emailing, and the various people responsible for each aspect. At present, Michael Christ, Xanthe Hall, Jackie Cabasso, Alice Slater, Selma Brackman, and Pamela Meidell are all working on various aspects of this task. The goal is to have a complete integrated list of all groups signed onto the Abolition 2000 statement, complete with name, address, tel, fax, email, contact person, and any responsibilities they have taken on. Jackie and Pamela took responsibility for several tasks to make this happen.

PROPOSAL: We adopt guidelines for communication on the internet. Agendas for all major meetings (such as the upcoming meetings in Philadelphia and Edinburgh) are posted on the listserve in advance of the meeting. Minutes of such meetings, as well as meetings of decision-making bodies (such as the Ad Hoc interim International Abolition 2000 committee), are posted on the listserve. This group proposes that these guidelines be presented at the Phil. and Edin. meetings.

5. Strategy Ideas

--In the U.S., 1996 elections are important because they are the last before we go into the 21st century. Military budget needs to be made visible to people in their living rooms. Make this an election issue. The $4 trillion spent on nukes in last 50 years equals and IS the national deficit. MESSAGE: If you don't abolish NW, you won't have $ for medicine in your old age, etc. $30 billion is slated to be spent on nuclear weapons R&D (i.e. stockpile stewardship).

--A strategic tool that uses the internet to develop, share, implement ideas and keep people accountable is available. This groups will investigate and report to Philadelphia meeting. It may be possible to be a "pilot project" and to get funding.

--Stop all in-lab testing and shut all test sites.

--Meet with Ron Dellums re: cutting the military budget, focussing on cutting NW R&D as the cornerstone. [Current military budget is $267 billion/year and lab testing is $1.5 billion/year] Encourage candidates to include downsizing the military budget in their campaigns and to make the local connection in their communities.

--Develop different ways of targetting and reaching groups/publics. Short term goal to focus on political platforms and candidates in 1996 elections. Long term goal to develop public participation in abolition, making it local. Look at previously successful campaigns and learn. For example, the campaign to abolish slavery.

--Use triggering events, such as the government shutdown to convey our message (with letters to editor, opeds, etc.). People are seeing what they like about government, i.e., national parks. What else do they like? Build on these points.

--We in the U.S. are the biggest violator in that we have the most NW and started the whole thing with the Manhattan Project. We need to come to grips with our responsibility, get the message to the local level, and find ways to get our representatives to take leadership in the goal of abolition.

--Link the issues of nuclear power and nuclear weapons at every opportunity.

--Develop ways to involve younger voters.

6. Calendar:

Please feel free to email additions to Pamela Meidell at pmeidell@igc.apc.org who will periodically post updates on the listserve.


The following calendar offers a guideline for groups to brainstorm about ways to highlight the dates to advance the goal of nuclear weapons abolition. We especially urge groups to start planning for Judgement Day, the day the International Court of Justice issues its advisory opinion on the legality of nuclear weapons.

January 15: 10th anniversary, Gorbachev zero option speech
January 22: National Call-in Day/CTBT
January 22-March 29: Conference on Disarmament Session I/Geneva
January 22-24: First Meeting of the Canberra Commission/Canberra
January 24: 50th anniversary UNGA first resolution calling for "elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons and of all other weapons of mass destruction"
January 27: Nevada Day--45th anniversary of first nuclear test at the Nevada Test Site
February: French Nuclear Testing Stops
February 3: U.S. Abolition Meeting/Philadelphia
March: Public Hearings in the US on the future of the Nuclear Weapons Complex.
March 1: Bikini Day--42nd anniversary of U.S. "Bravo" hydrogen bomb shot in Marshall Is.
March 2-3-4: Edinburgh Peace Festival/Abolition 2000 Network meeting
March 26: California Primary for U.S. elections
March 27: Three-Mile Island Day--17th anniversary of nuclear power plant failure at Three Mile Island, PA
March-April: Judgement Day: advisory opinion from the ICJ on nuclear weapons expected
April: Month-long actions around the world recalling the 10th anniversary of the Chernobly nuclear power accident
April 1-8: Healing Global Wounds/Nevada Test Site, USA/Days of action opposing the six proposed subcritical nuclear tests at the NTS.
April 5-26: British Atomic Mirror Pilgrimage
April 26: Chernobyl Day: 10th anniversary of Chernobyl nuclear accident
April: G7 Nuclear Summit in Lyon
May 13-June 28: CD Session II/Geneva
June: Russian elections
June 15: CND major action at Faslane, Scotland, site of British Trident Base.
June 15-21: World Renewable Energy Congress IV/Denver, CO/Sponsored by NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)
June 18: First "subcritical" test at Nevada Test Site: "Rebound" July 29-September 13: CD Session III/Geneva
August 12-15: Republican Convention in San Diego, CA (U.S.)
August 26-29: Democratic Convention (U.S.)
August: INES conference in Amsterdam. Workshop on Abolition with Joseph Rotblat and Zia Mian.
September 12: "Holog" Subcritical test at Nevada Test Site
September: Possible CTBT Signing?
September: South Pacific Arts Festival/performances focussing on nuclear issues
September 23: UN General Assembly opens.
November: U.S. elections

NPT 1st PrepCom
4th UN Special Session on Disarmament?
Proposed "Citizen's Summit" on Nuclear Abolition
May - last date for UK General Election
Fissile Cut-Off Treaty?
French Atomic Mirror Pilgrimage?
Hong Kong Handover
Caribbean Islands Arts Festival focussing on nuclear issues

NPT 2nd PrepCom
Russian Atomic Mirror Pilgrimage?
Southern U.S. Arts Festival focussing on nuclear issues
December 10: The 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. Possible theme: "A World Free of Nuclear Weapons is a Human Right."

100th anniversary Hague Peace Conference
End of the UN Decade of International Law
Silk Road (Pakistan, India, China) Atomic Mirror Pilgrimage?
NPT 3rd PrepCom

NPT Review Conference
November: U.S. Presidential Election
NUCLEAR WEAPONS CONVENTION: Beginning of Nuclear Free Millennium

7. April events at NTS.

Discussion of the Shundahai Network proposal for a series of events at the Nevada Test Site from April 1-8. To include April 1-4: Nuclear Abolition Summit\Breaking the Nuclear Chain 1996 and Beyond, April 4-7: Healing Global Wounds Spring Gathering and arrival of Lenten Desert Experience Holy Week Walk from Las Vegas (March 31-April 5), April 8: International Nuclear Abolition Day of Action (Shut down the Nevada Test Site, focus on stopping preparations for the subcritical tests scheduled for June 18 and September 12).

The Philadelphia meeting will decide if the next meeting of the U.S. Coalition Abolition 2000 will take place at the test site during these events.

PROPOSAL: Put on the agenda for the Edinburgh meeting: Boycott campaign of U.S. products following the first subcritical test at the Nevada Test Site on June 18. As we heard at the Hague meeting, Russia may resume testing if the U.S. tests underground AT ALL.

8. Chernobyl:

Greenpeace, USA and Nuclear Information and Resource Service are coordinating a month-long effort in April to collect and send clothes, medicine, etc. to Chernobyl via the Children of Chernobyl Project. NIRS is also acting as an information clearinghouse for Chernobyl anniversary events in the US. Contact them via email: nirsnet@igc.apc.org for more information. Many activities are also planned in Europe, including the British Atomic Mirror Pilgrimage which will culminate on Chernobyl day at Sellafield.

9. U.S. Women Activists Retreat in Texas scheduled for March 22, 23, 24. Purpose:

To bring together U.S. women's groups and activists working on nuclear issues.

10. Media:

Proposal to the Philadelphia meeting as a high priority: Raise enough money to hire a media person to get our message out. Strategic priority: To get the abolition and budget issues to the American public during the U.S. election campaign. Use video resources, including the "After Hiroshima" video that ECAAR is distributing (For more information, contact Alice Slater at ECAAR, 25 W. 45th St. # 1401, New York, NY 10036, tel: 212/768 2080, fax: 212/768-2167, email: ecaar@igc.apc.org or alice.slater@environet.org)

11. Fundraising:

Develop proposal as indicated above. Also to be included in proposals: (1) update the Abolition 2000 Network Statement graphically for better presentation (2) Establish Abolition 2000 Network homepage on the World Wide Web.

12. CTBT:

Two years ago, some people said if we don't bring up laboratory testing in the CTBT negotiations, no one else will, so don't bring it up. Well, now it is 1996, and India has introduced language in the negotiations at the CD. If we want a CTBT, we have to deal with lab testing. Therefore, Western States Legal Foundation is introducing language for the preamble of the treaty that addresses the intent of the treaty. Jackie handed out the suggested language. For copies, contact WSLF, 1440 Broadway Suite 420, Oakland, CA 94612, fax: 510 839-5397, tel: 510 839 5877, email: wslf@igc.apc.org


Abolition 2000