August 2023 E-News

In 2009 the UN General Assembly established 29 August as the International Day against Nuclear Tests. Since then, activists and affected communities around the world have been using this date to raise awareness about the humanitarian and environmental harm caused by nuclear tests and to call for the adoption of measures to address this legacy. During the 2023 Preparatory Committee of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) earlier this month, the delegations of Kiribati and Kazakhstan reminded that “beyond the physical harm caused by nuclear weapons and long-term genetic disturbances, victims also continue to experience post-traumatic stress disorders and other forms of trauma, as well as disruptions to cultural practices, displacement, and environmental damage on a long-term or permanent basis as a result of nuclear testing and maintenance.” 

Yet, despite the extensive evidence of the grave harm caused from all activities associated with nuclear weapons—from the mining of uranium to the processing of the fuel and building of the bomb, from the detonation of the weapon to the storage of radioactive waste—states parties to the NPT reached a new low during the recent Preparatory Committee, ending two weeks of discussions by fighting over which documents could be listed in the meeting’s procedural report. If anything, this meeting demonstrated that the NPT “will likely continue deeper into the quagmire its nuclear-armed states parties have created, ” while “those acting most in the Treaty’s interest will continue to work together for nuclear disarmament, peace, and security through the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons,” as Ray Acheson wrote in the editorial of the latest edition of the NPT News in Review. Get the full scoop on these events and much more with our latest E-News! 

In this edition:

Current and upcoming disarmament meetings

Ninth Conference of States Parties (CSP9) to the Arms Trade Treaty

The Ninth Conference of States Parties (CSP9) to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) is taking place from 21–25 August 2023 in Geneva, Switzerland. Check out RCW’s website for conference documents. Statements, side events, and other information can be found at the ATT website.

Fourth session of the Open-Ended Working Group (OEGW) on Reducing Space Threats 

The fourth session of the OEWG on Reducing Space Threats will take place in Geneva from 28 August to 1 September 2023. Check out the UNODA website for statements, conference documents, and more.

11th Meeting of States Parties of the Convention on Cluster Munitions

The Eleventh Meeting of States Parties of the Convention on Cluster Munitions will take place from 11–14 September 2023 in Geneva, Switzerland.

UN General Assembly high-level debate, 78th session

The 78th UN General Assembly high-level debate will take place from 19–26 September 2023. As in previous years, Reaching Critical Will will track references to disarmament and arms control for our country-based index.

13th Conference on Facilitating Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (Article XIV Conference)

The 13th Conference on Facilitating Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (Article XIV Conference) will take place at the United Nations in New York on Friday 22 September 2023. Modalities for civil society participation are outlined in this information note. Any non-governmental organisation that wishes to attend the Conference in-person must apply to the Secretariat of the Conference to attend by 8 September. Details on the application process, as well as further information about the Conference, are available at the RCW website.

Recently concluded disarmament meetings

Open-ended Working Group on security of and in the use of information and communications technologies

The fifth substantive session of the Open-ended Working Group on security of and in the use of information and communications technologies took place from 24–28 July 2023 in New York, USA. WILPF has uploaded conference documents, working papers, and other submissions on our website. For a summary of what happened during the session, check out this article by Allison Pytlak.

2023 NPT Preparatory Committee

The first session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2026 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) met from 31 July–11 August 2023 in Vienna, Austria. After two weeks of discussing issues that have a serious bearing on the continued existence of the world, states parties ended the meeting by fighting over which documents could be listed in the procedural report. Iran, Russia, and Syria objected to the inclusion of the Chair’s summary of the meeting, as well as his recommendations for the second session of the PrepCom, in the list of official documents. In the end, to enable the adoption of the PrepCom’s procedural report and have a record of the meeting, the Chair withdrew his summary and tabled the recommendations as a working paper. For details about all two weeks of discussion at the PrepCom, see our NPT News in Review. We have also posted all available documents, statements, and other information online.

Anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings 

On 6 and 9 August of 1945, an estimated 140,000 people perished in Hiroshima, and another 70,000 lost their lives in Nagasaki, with countless others experiencing enduring health issues and trauma, as a result of the use of nuclear weapons in these cities. Survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, known as hibakusha, faced not only unimaginable pain on the days of the bombings but also lifelong health challenges, including radiation-related illnesses and birth defects. Furthermore, the bombings caused severe environmental damage, impacting the affected regions for generations to come. In this blog, you can explore a series of videos featuring powerful firsthand accounts shared by hibakusha and their families and delve into a deeper understanding of the harrowing magnitude of human loss and the lasting impact of nuclear weapons. (Image credit: WILPF)

In order to mark the anniversary, several initiatives took place around the world. In the Netherlands, peace and climate activists blocked the entrance of the US-run Volkel Air Base for 78 minutes—one minute for each year since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In Vienna, activists organised the Hiroshima Day Memorial to commemorate the anniversary of the bombing and the importance of taking action against nuclear weapons, including through the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). During the Peace Memorial Ceremony in Japan, the Hiroshima Mayor Matsui Kazumi reminded about the suffering of the hibakusha and urged Japan to join the TPNW and attend the Second Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty. In his message to the Ceremony, the UN Secretary-General called on the world community to “lift the shadow of nuclear annihilation, once and for all”.

A New Agenda For Peace

On 20 July 2023, the UN Secretary-General (UNSG) launched A New Agenda for Peace as an input to preparations for the 2024 Summit for the Future. Reaching Critical Will published a paper providing a review of the Agenda's recommendations on disarmament and demilitarisation. As highlighted in the paper, the UNSG is clear about the problems that militarism poses to global peace and security and the Agenda offers several strong recommendations to eliminate weapons and prevent conflict, including a clear call for the time-bound negotiation of a treaty prohibiting autonomous weapon systems, and the implementation of the Political Declaration on the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.

However, in some places the Agenda stops short of suggesting actions that would dismantle the systems of war profiteering and structural violence that oppress the majority of people in the world. RCW’s assessment of the disarmament and demilitarisation-related portions of A New Agenda for Peace highlights the strong recommendations but also outlines some of these shortfalls and offers suggestions for how to strengthen this Agenda moving forward.

WILPF and many other organisations stand against the release of radioactive water from Fukushima Daiichi

The government of Japan announced that it will start releasing wastewater from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant on Thursday, 24 August 2023. WILPF released an open letter strongly opposing this initiative due to the harm to the environment it will cause, along with the impact on the people and marine life in and around the Pacific nations. The letter says, “The Japanese government and TEPCO should give priority to the human rights perspective of protecting the global environment and the health, lives, and livelihoods of all human beings. Abandon the ocean release plan, and reconsider other alternatives that do not risk further radioactivity in the environment. Once released, it cannot be undone.” (Image credit: @DimityHawkins)

WILPF’s call follows several other organisations, governments, activists, and academics that have strongly opposed the release. Many of them highlight a recent research that revealed that fish living near the nuclear power plant contained levels of radioactive cesium that are 180 times Japan’s safety limit, as reported by the Guardian.

International Day Against Nuclear Tests

The International Day against Nuclear Tests is commemorated annually on 29 August. Since 1945, when the United States (US) government built and detonated the first nuclear weapon in the deserts of New Mexico, more than 2000 nuclear “tests” have been conducted worldwide by nine nuclear-armed states, causing widespread cancers and other health tragedies, environmental contamination, and displacement.

The first nuclear test, known as the “Trinity test,” has recently received worldwide attention due to the movie Oppenheimer. However, peace organisations such as WILPF are fervently emphasising the importance of critically exploring the film’s omissions. RCW Director Ray Acheson published a Twitter thread providing an insightful review of the aspects overlooked by the movie and shining a light on the crucial missing information regarding the human toll of nuclear weapons production and use. For instance, one of the gravely overlooked aspects that require recognition is the impact of the Trinity Test’s radioactive fallout on various communities. The film’s selective focus neglects to portray the dire consequences borne by local Indigenous people, workers communities, and those living near the test site in New Mexico. 

Several initiatives are taking place on the occasion of the International Day Against Nuclear Tests to raise awareness about the nuclear legacy experienced by affected communities. The Youth4Disarmament Initiative, for example, has launched the #StepUp4Disarmament Youth Campaign 2023. The UN is also holding a high-level event to mark the occasion. For more information about worldwide nuclear testing impacts, check out ICAN’s nuclear weapons test map, which shows each test that occurred in the United States as well as those all over the world featuring resources and testimonials from experts and survivors. 

Australian Labor Party reaffirms commitment to the TPNW and continues to disagree about AUKUS

Earlier this month, the Australian Labor Party held its national conference in Brisbane, in which the Party reaffirmed its policy to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) in government. The Party also committed to consider steps on assistance for affected communities and environmental remediation in relation to the British nuclear tests in Australia, and nuclear testing in the Pacific, consistent with Articles 6 and 7 of the TPNW. 

Every three years the Labour party meets to discuss its platform for the years to come, and this years’ conference is the first within a decade that has been held while the party is in government. The initial commitment from the party to sign the TPNW was made in 2018, when Anthony Albanese, current Prime-Minister, led efforts to secure that promise. This year’s policy also welcomes the First Meeting of States Parties to the TPNW, and at an event organised by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), the government announced that it will attend the Second Meeting of States Parties to the TPNW from 27 November–1 December this year at the UN in New York. ICAN members organised a rally outside the Conference and several other initiatives to gather support for the TPNW. (Picture credit: ICAN Australia)

Meanwhile, the agreement between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States (AUKUS) to acquire nuclear submarines continued to be an object of debate. Defence Minister Richard Marles, speaking at an online town hall meeting with hundreds of party members about AUKUS, reaffirmed its support for the agreement. However, as said by the Director of ICAN Australia, Gem Romuland, "Especially in the context of AUKUS, the party and broader public are looking for reassurance that Labor is truly committed to nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament." 

Different branches of the Labor party have been opposing AUKUS, including the Balmain Branch, the Southern Highlands Branch, the Woodend Branch, the Milton Ulladulla Branch, and the Melbourne Branch. Former Labor leaders, diplomats, and academics signed an open letter questioning whether there has been adequate assessment of the many risks associated with the AUKUS agreement.

In the United States (US), Republicans are using AUKUS as leverage for more defence funding. As reported by the Financial Review, “Republican senator Roger Wicker, a supporter of AUKUS, who said he won’t back current legislative language on the sale of submarines to Australia without assurances from the Biden administration about adequate funding for America’s domestic submarines program.” The US government has also announced plans to sell rock systems to Australia in a deal valued at 975 million USD.

The government of Aotearoa New Zealand is also considering joining “pillar 2” of AUKUS, which involves the sharing of information in new military technologies, such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and cyber capabilities. But many civil society groups, academics, and others are warning against this move. As Professor Robert G. Patman argued in a recent article, “Given New Zealand’s independent foreign policy based on non-nuclear security and closer ties with the Pacific, joining pillar two of AUKUS presents significant risks to its standing in the world.”

Human Rights Council adopts resolution about transparency in arms transfers

On 5 July 2023, the Human Rights Council (HRC), at its 53rd session, adopted without a vote a draft resolution on “Impact of arms transfer on human rights” (A/HRC/53/L.22 as orally revised, which will soon be released as A/HRC/RES/53/15). This is fifth HRC resolution on this topic, with the first one having been adopted 10 years ago.

This year’s resolution, presented by Peru and Ecuador along with other 25 co-sponsors,* has a focus on transparency and access to information, but also requests a stocktaking exercise on overall concerns regarding the negative human rights impact of arms transfers. The HRC requested the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to: 

  • Prepare “an analytical report on the impact of arms transfers, including the diversion of arms and unregulated or illicit arms transfers, on the enjoyment of human rights, with a focus on the role of access to information in preventing mitigating and responding to the negative human rights impact thereof” to be presented to HRC56 (June 2024); and
  • Organise a full-day intersessional workshop for stocktaking discussions on the role of states and the private sector in preventing, addressing, and mitigating the negative human rights impact of arms transfers. It is to be held before HRC57 (September 2024) and is to inform the preparation of a report on gaps and future steps on the subject, to be presented to HRC58 (March 2025);

Both the report and workshop will be important opportunities for civil society to continue to bring attention to the devastating impacts of arms transfers and to push for accountability of states and companies. 

This is the first HRC resolution on arms transfers adopted without a vote while the United States (US) is an HRC member (a previous resolution on this topic was adopted without a vote for the first time in 2021, but the US was not an HRC member). Although, the US disassociated itself from preambular paragraph 12, OP3 and OP5, three paragraphs with references to due diligence. The proceedings of the adoption of the resolution are available by video, including the statements delivered by Ecuador and Peru, India, and US. 

As with previous HRC resolutions on arms-related concerns, WILPF was actively engaged in advocacy in the negotiations of this resolution, working closely with the Quaker United Nations Office in Geneva and other organisations. We successfully advocated for the focus of resolution to be broader than preventing corruption, since transparency and access to information play a crucial role in allowing the public to oversee arms transfer decisions and ensuring access to justice by individuals whose rights have been violated. We also provided strong arguments to prevent the dilution of requirements of due diligence both for states and companies.

*Armenia, Australia, Austria, Botswana, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Greece, Haiti, Honduras, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Mexico, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Sierra Leone, South Africa, State of Palestine, Switzerland, and Uruguay. 

WILPF submits statement to the Human Rights Council on Disarming the Enablers of the Firearms Industry

WILPF submitted a written statement to the upcoming 54th session of the Human Rights Council in response to a report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on the impact of firearms. The report sheds light on the role of the arms industry, including its aggressive lobbying strategies to shield itself from any form of liability; its use of globalised supply chains to locate weapon manufacturing in countries with more permissive arms exports laws so as to circumvent stricter national arms control regulations; and its irresponsible marketing strategies that, for example, exploit gender norms, and sometimes appeal to racist ideologies. The report also examines the integral importance of social media, and the gaming and entertainment industries, for the marketing of firearms. And it recalls the responsibility of investors to respect human rights in their investment decisions and stewardship activities.

WILPF’s statement maintains that the firearms industry should be dismantled and the arms trade should end, emphasising that in the meantime, these industries must conduct robust human rights due diligence before, during, and after sales; and take action to prevent and address human rights risks and abuses related to firearms, including through mitigation measures, abstaining from business when necessary, and providing remedies. WILPF also fully agrees with OHCHR that criminal and civil liability are essential in deterring violations of firearms-related legislation, be it by civilians, manufacturers, dealers or others; in addressing impunity; and ensuring effective remedies to individuals whose rights have been violated.

Earlier this year, WILPF submitted a contribution to this OHCHR report, highlighting some of the human rights concerns linked to firearms availability and emphasising the responsibility of the business sector, particularly the gun industry, in firearms-related violence. WILPF emphasised that the analysis in the report should also cover the role of investors. 

The OHCHR report was requested by the Human Rights Council through a resolution on firearms spotlighting responsibility of arms producers and dealers, and adopted in July 2022.

Gender and Disarmament Database: Recommendation of the month

Our Recommendation of the month is the article “Indigenous women's resistances at the start and end of the nuclear fuel chain,” by Anne Sisson Runyan. The article examines the gendered effects of uranium mining and nuclear waste dumping on North American Indigenous women and their resistances to these processes. The article “reveals how mining and dumping are made possible by the denial or deflection not only of Indigenous peoples' sovereignty over their lands, but also of Indigenous women's political and cultural authority and bodily autonomy.”

The Gender and Disarmament Database, created and maintained by Reaching Critical Will, features a wide range of resources such as reports, articles, books and book chapters, policy documents, podcasts, legislation, and UN documents. The database allows the exploration of relevant resources based on their references to distinctive gender aspects in disarmament, such as gender-based violence, gender norms, or gender diversity, and different related topics or types of weapon systems. It currently contains more than 800 resources, and suggestions of new additions can be sent to disarm[at]WILPF[dot]com.

Upcoming events


Ninth Conference of States Parties (CSP9) to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)
21–25 August 2023 | Geneva, Switzerland

Fourth Session of the Open-Ended Working Group on Reducing Space Threats
28 August–1 September 2023 | Geneva, Switzerland

International Day against Nuclear Tests
29 August 2023 | Global

11th Meeting of States Parties of the Convention on Cluster Munitions
11–14 September 2023 | Geneva, Switzerland

UN General Assembly high-level debate, 78th session
1926 September 2023 | New York, USA

13th Conference on Facilitating Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (Article XIV Conference)
22 September 2023 | New York, USA

International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons
26 September 2023 | Global

Events and webinars

Balkan Forum on Nuclear Disarmament
25 August 2023 | Albania and online

Abolition and the Nuclear Age
2 September 2023, 16:30–18:00 CDT | Chicago, USA and online

Supporting LGBTQ engagement in the Women, Peace & Security agenda
18 September 2023 | Belfast (UK) and online 

Military and conflict GHG emissions: From understanding to mitigation 
26 September 2023 | Oxford (UK) and online

Featured News

Work to produce plutonium pits is ramping up at Los Alamos

Los Alamos has been increasing its operations to produce plutonium pits. In 2018, the US Congress passed a law mandating that the laboratory produces 30 pits a year by 2026. As reported by The Times, Around 5 billion USD has already been spent, and another 4.6 billion USD has been approved to be used in Los Alamos this fiscal year alone, which corresponds to a 130 per cent budget increase over what the lab received just five years ago. 

The number of the staff to work in the facility has also increased. From 14,054 total employees in 2022, it is claimed to have 17,244 total employees as of July 2023. For plutonium pit production alone, Los Alamos estimated it would need around 4,105 full-time equivalent staff. “By way of comparison, at the height of the early Cold War in 1952 and with a large research and testing agenda, the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory (LASL) employed some 2,800 persons, plus maintenance and construction workers, which was itself a big increase from the 1,411 who worked at LASL in 1950,” says the Los Alamos Study Group.

US Senate votes to expand assistance for US nuclear impacted communities

As written by ICAN, “On 27 July, the US Senate voted to expand the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) to include more people affected by US nuclear testing, including the first US nuclear test in New Mexico, as well as to include workers in the uranium mining industry after 1971. One week earlier, a new research study was released indicating that U.S. atmospheric nuclear testing in New Mexico and Nevada resulted in fallout across all 48 states, as well as Canada and Mexico.” Read more about the study here.

Study shows that number of financial institutions restricting investments in companies producing nuclear weapons is growing

A report published by PAX and ICAN found that investors are actively rejecting nuclear weapons following the adoption of the TPNW. The report “Moving Away from Mass Destruction” lists financial institutions actively restricting investments in the companies producing nuclear weapons, and analyses the policies of these banks, pension funds, insurance companies and asset managers, and shows year-over-year growth in the number of investors avoiding the nuclear industry.

European Union ramps up preparedness for possible chemical and nuclear emergencies due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine

The European Commission allocated a total of €242 million to Finland to create the EU’s first strategic reserve against chemical, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) threats for use by all member states. As reported by Euronews, the “new reserve will include critical medical countermeasures, such as vaccines and antidotes, medical devices and field response equipment to ensure better protection in preparation and in response to biological, radiological and nuclear accidents.”

New report discussed hierarchies, ethics, and barriers to access in nuclear archives

A new report from the Nuclear Truth Project discusses how affected communities, researchers, civil society, and governments interact with nuclear archives. It includes case studies and community stories around nuclear archives, and some tools for researchers coming to this work. The report is informed by experiences of affected community members, researchers, and activists.

The Nuclear Truth Project is committed to providing relevant scientifically and culturally rigorous resources to help build understandings around nuclear truths. Check out their website to learn more about the project and explore other available resources, and see a recording of the event launching the report.

Africans Against the Bomb

Dr. Olamide Samuel and Dr. Vincent Intondi, in collaboration with the Centre de Recherche et d’Information pour le Désarmement et la Sécurité (CRIDS) and the Nyuklia Eureka ( African Youth For TPNW) have announced a conference seeking to examine the history of Africa and nuclear disarmament. The conference will be held in virtual format and it is possible to submit papers and panel ideas for consideration.

Use of drones in Ukraine raises concerns

In a recent blog by Ulrike Franken, Senior Policy Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, the expert explains how “The Ukrainian battlespace features the most intensive use of drones in a military conflict in history, marking a shift in warfare tactics and technology.” Experts have also raised concerns that the revolution in drone warfare in Ukraine can be exploited by non-state actors. Despite these concerns, the Ukrainian Ministry of Digital Transformation has expressed intention to “launch an electronic warfare army and an ‘Army of Robots’” for use against Russian forces with the cooperation of industry partners. 

Israel and US advances use of AI in military operations

As reported by Bloomberg, the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) started to use artificial intelligence (AI) to select targets for air strikes and organise wartime logistics. The AI systems used by the IDF allows it to “crunch huge amounts of data to select targets for air strikes” and to “calculate munition loads, prioritize and assign thousands of targets to aircraft and drones, and propose a schedule.”

Meanwhile, in the US, an experimental combat drone has made its first flight under the control of artificial intelligence. A piece published by Politico also reports on the use of robotic droids by law enforcement agencies in New York, and further highlights other concerning technologies deployed by these agencies, including automated car plate readers and facial recognition technologies.

AI Act and the Council of Europe Convention contain potential loopholes that could allow intrusive AI technologies to be used whenever “national security” grounds are invoked

In a recent blog written by Francesca Fanucci, Senior Legal Advisor at the European Center for Not-for-Profit Law, and Automated Decision Research manager Catherine Connolly, the authors analyse the EU’s AI Act and the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention on AI, and explores “what needs to happen to ensure against the unrestricted use of AI systems on national security & defence grounds, and the need for a new international legal instrument on autonomous weapons systems.” You can also check out this twitter threat about it.

Saudi Arabia announces several new military deals amidst reports of mass killings of migrants at Yemen border 

In late July, Saudi Arabia signed a major order for Turkish drones. A few days later, the country asked the UK, Japan, and Italy to be made a full partner in their joint effort to build the next generation of fighter jets, as reported by the Guardian.  Saudi defence companies have also signed a memorandum of understanding with Brazilian firms that could lead to joint ventures and technology-sharing agreements.

Meanwhile, a recent report by Human Rights Watch showed that border guards have killed at least hundreds of Ethiopian migrants and asylum seekers who tried to cross the Yemen-Saudi border between March 2022 and June 2023. According to the organisation, “People travelling in groups described being attacked by mortar projectiles and other explosive weapons from the direction of Saudi border guards once they had crossed the border. Those interviewed described 28 incidents with Saudi border guards using explosive weapons.”

Conflict in Sudan has intensified with massive aerial bombing and heavy fighting

The latest Sudan Situation Report published by Insight Insecurity informed that the fighting between the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) that erupted on 15 April 2023 in Sudan has largely been concentrated in Khartoum state, accounting for over 60 per cent of all reported violent incidents. “Despite over two months of clashes,international pressure for talks and at least 17 associated short-lived ceasefires, Khartoum is still contested, with artillery duels and occasional air strikes continuing unabated,” writes the organisation.

Use of landmines increases in Myanmar

UNICEF Myanmar has published an infographic covering known landmine and explosive remnants of war (ERW) incidents from January–June 2023, in which they cite a total of 556 casualties. According to the agency, this is 3 times as much as was known for the January – June 2022 time period, and 4 and a half times the January – June 2021 time period.

Action on Armed Violence investigates how arms manufacturers put a positive spin on weapons production

A recent study published by Action on Armed Violence analyses the marketing techniques used by some of the world’s largest arms manufacturers. By examining the websites of 25 of the world’s largest weapons producers, the organisation identified “a number of strategies used to put a positive spin by these arms companies and their armament products, side-stepping the harder – but basic – truth that such weapons are primarily used to kill and maim other humans.” According to the organisation, “Such marketing sleight-of-hands include techniques such as framing product-sales in terms of national security (evident in 48% of the 25 websites scrutinised) and job creation (28%), but also promote green-sustainability (52%) and diversity (40%). Others build an image of their company as a force for good through advertising their support of humanitarian and development projects as well as other contributions to human rights (28%).”

Groups protest against the arms trade ahead of UK’s Arms Fair

Ahead of the Defence and Security exhibition (DSEI) taking place in September in the UK, the network of groups and individuals Stop The Arms Fair has been organising to put an end to DSEI and all UK arms fairs. Check out their events page to take part in the activities planned.

Recommended Resources

Video: Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell, “How A Nuclear War Will Start - Minute by Minute,” 22 August 2023

Elisabeth Hoffberger-Pippan und Barry de Vries, “Chemical attacks under the Convention against Torture: A new possible avenue?,” Peace Research Institute Frankfurt Blog, 21 August 2023

Myrriah Gomez, “A deadly love affair: New Mexico, physics, and the film Oppenheimer,” The Equation, 11 August 2023

Video: 101 East, “The human cost of France’s nuclear tests in the Pacific,” Al Jazeera, 10 August 2023

Joshua Frank, “Revisiting the Bombing of Nagasaki, 78 Years Later,” CounterPunch, 9 August 2023

Video: What do people who were exposed to radiation in the U.S. nuclear program think of the movie Oppenheimer?AJ+, 28 July 2023 

Will Knight, “More battlefield AI will make the fog of war more deadly,” WIRED, 27 July 2023

Richard Tanter, “Cover up: The Australian Government’s secret list of US bases,” Pearls and Irritation, 25 July 2023

Michael Riley, David Kocieniewski and Eric Fan, “How the US drives gun exports and fuels violence around the World,” Bloomberg, 25 July 2023

Leila Hennaoui and Marzhan Nurzhan, “Dealing with a nuclear past: Revisiting the cases of Algeria and Kazakhstan through a decolonial lens,” The International Spectator, 24 July 2023

Revisiting the nuclear age with ‘Oppenheimer’”, Science Friday, 21 July 2023

Tewa Women United, “Oppenheimer — And the other side of the story,” 18 July 2023

ENAAT, Rete Italiana Pace & Disarmo, and Ohne Rüstung Leben, “How European weapons fuel armed violence in Mexico,” 17 July 2023

Michael Klare, “AI Versus AI,” TomDispatch, 11 July 2023

Anna-Katharina Ferl, “Imagining meaningful human control: Autonomous weapons and the (De-) legitimisation of future warfare,” Global Society, 8 July 2023

Global Partners Digital, “Inclusive cyber norms,” July 2023

NYCAN, “The abolitionist viewing guide for Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer,” July 2023 

Nick Ritchie and Mikhail Kupriyanov, “Understanding the humanitarian consequences and risks of nuclear weapons,” Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs of the Republic of Austria, July 2023; there is also a recording of the event launching this report.