January 2012 E-News

Happy new year! 2012 is already off to a big start with preparations underway for several UN disarmament-related conferences. This edition of the E-News is focused on information relating to these upcoming events. However, RCW is also following world events and we were pleased to learn that the New York City and Moscow General Assemblies of Occupy Wall Street have proposed a joint declaration on eliminating nuclear weapons and reducing military expenditure and that the US FY2012 appropriations bill issued by the House and Senate slashes funding for the new plutonium pit facility at Los Alamos and disallows construction in FY2012.

RCW also has a few projects well underway. The third and final report of our project monitoring the implementation of the 2010 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Action Plan will be released later this month (the first two reports, on nuclear energy and non-proliferation, are available online). Our comprehensive study of the nuclear weapon modernization programmes of all nuclear weapon possessors will be ready by March 2012. And the RCW website is undergoing a complete renovation—the new and improved site will be up and running later this year.

We look forward to working with everyone through the coming year.

In peace,
Ray Acheson, RCW Project Director

2012 NPT PrepCom: Information for civil society
Welcome to a new review cycle of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The first preparatory committee (PrepCom) will be held in Vienna, Austria from 30 April to 11 May 2012.

The NGO coordinator for the 2012 PrepCom is Ray Acheson, Director of Reaching Critical Will. All information regarding the NPT PrepCom is available at www.reachingcriticalwill.org and is updated regularly. In addition, please subscribe to the Reaching Critical Will E-News, which is distributed monthly by email, in order to keep up to date with the latest news. If you cannot find an answer to your question on the website or in the E-News, please email [email protected]

NGO accreditation and registration
Information about accreditation and registration will be available by the end of February. Please note that neither Reaching Critical Will nor the United Nations can assist NGO representatives with procuring visas, booking flights or accommodations, or paying for travel.

Civil society orientation
An orientation for all civil society participants will likely be held on Sunday, 29 April 2012. More information will be available closer to the date; please check the website regularly and subscribe to Reaching Critical Will’s E-News.

Side events
There will be a room for NGOs to hold side events. It will seat approximately 100 people. There should be a projector and screen available in the room, however, this will be confirmed closer to the date. If you need a bigger room for a special event, you must get a government sponsor for your event and have them book a separate room for you.

Booking the NGO side event room is done a first come, first serve basis. Please email [email protected]. A calendar is available online.

NGO office
There will probably be an office with computers and a photocopier available for civil society use during the PrepCom. Details will be available closer to the date.

Civil society presentations
Whether or not you are planning to attend the PrepCom, consider getting involved in drafting civil society presentations to the meeting. NGOs are generally allocated time to address PrepCom delegates in an official meeting. The date of this meeting has not yet been confirmed though it will take place during the first week of the PrepCom. You can subscribe to the listserv we use to draft presentations by going to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/npt_presentations. Email traffic on this list will be quite heavy between February and May 2012.

Conference on Disarmament 2012 session
The 2012 session of the Conference on Disarmament (CD) will begin in Geneva on 23 January 2012. As in previous years, Reaching Critical Will will be monitoring, reporting on, and providing materials from this year’s CD session. The CD will meet in three parts: 23 January–30 March; 14 May–29 June; and 30 July–14 September. During 2012, the rotating presidency of the Conference will be held by the Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France and Germany.

You can find all CD resources on the RCW site

You can subscribe to receive the CD Reports electronically, which provide timely and analytical reporting on every plenary meeting of the Conference. They will also be archived regularly on the RCW site. The first plenary meeting will be held on Tuesday, 24 January 2012.

Arms Trade Treaty: Fourth PrepCom
The fourth session of the Preparatory Committee for the UN Conference on an Arms Trade Treaty will be held from 13–17 February 2012 in New York. This PrepCom will focus on setting the procedural parameters for the final negotiating conference.

Information on NGO registration procedures can be found on the website of the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs. The deadline to apply for organizational accreditation has already passed. If you missed the deadline, please note that the negotiating conference will be held 2–27 July 2012.

Reaching Critical Will is again teaming up with other civil society organizations including Global Action to Prevent War and the International Action Network on Small Arms to provide daily coverage of the ATT PrepCom. You can find our joint blog online athttp://attmonitor.posterous.com/. Previous editions of our daily ATT Monitor can also be found online.

2012 Disarmament Calendar
Reaching Critical Will has posted its calendar for 2012, listing intergovernmental and civil society disarmament events. Please email us at [email protected] to have your event added.

Upcoming Events
Global Conference for a Nuclear Power Free World

14–15 January 2012 | Yokohama, Japan

Conference on Disarmament’s 2012 Session: Part One
23 January–30 March 2012 | Geneva, Switzerland

Fourth preparatory committee for the UN Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty
13–17 February 2012 | New York, USA

45th Anniversary of the Treaty of Tlateloco
14–15 February 2012 |Mexico City, Mexico

Featured News
Occupy Wall Street and nuclear weapons
The New York City and Moscow General Assemblies of Occupy Wall Street have proposed a joint declaration on eliminating nuclear weapons and reducing military expenditure.

Funding cut for new plutonium pit facility at Los Alamos
In December 2011, US House and Senate conferees issued their “megabus” appropriations bill for fiscal year 2012. The bill slashes funding for the new plutonium lab at Los Alamos and disallows construction in FY2012.

Peace activists occupy nuclear submarine base entrance to honor MLK
On 14 January 2012 activists from a local peace group, Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, blocked entry to the main gate at the Navy’s West coast Trident nuclear submarine base for nearly a half hour in an act of civil resistance to nuclear weapons.

United States rejects EU code of conduct on outer space
Ellen Tauscher, US undersecretary of state for arms control and nonproliferation, announced that the US will not sign on to a European Union code of conduct for operations in outer space because it is “too restrictive”. She indicated that the US government would soon announce an alternative multilateral proposal.

Los Alamos Study Group recognized for its work
The Study Group was recently named one of the Ten Small Green Groups That Make a Big Difference by Counterpunch.

Podcast with hibakusha
The UN Office for Disarmament Affairs has a new podcast available, featuring Setsuko Thurlow, Atomic Bomb Survivor and Special Communicator for a World Without Nuclear Weapons.

Recommended Reading
Global Fissile Material Report 2011: Nuclear Weapon and Fissile Material Stockpiles and Production
, International Panel on Fissile Materials