Curated expert opinion on intractable contemporary issues
By Alexander Kmentt | 12 January, 2021
Since the dawn of the nuclear age in 1945, perceptions and strategic positions amongst States regarding nuclear weapons have always differed. The 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) has thrust these existing divisions to centre stage. The treaty is the result of an increasing emphasis placed by non-nuclear weapon States on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons and the persisting risks posed to all humanity by these weapons.
By Dr Tanya Ogilvie-White | 10 January, 2021
I’ve spent my life studying the risks posed by nuclear weapons. I’ve always worried that one day an unhinged leader would emerge in a nuclear-armed country, with the authority to launch a nuclear attack. To me, the assumption that nuclear-armed leaders will act rationally has always seemed fundamentally flawed and dangerous. Robert McNamara, former US secretary of defence, highlighted this problem when he warned “the indefinite combination of human fallibility and nuclear weapons will destroy nations”. Today, I worry about this more than ever and wish more people would wake up to the problem and push for change.
By Volker Boege | 19 December, 2020
The “state of the planet is broken”. This was the UN Secretary General’s succinct summation of the situation humankind finds itself in today. In his speech of 2 December on the global climate change emergency and the dramatic deterioration of the environment, he listed some of the most important facts which illustrate the severity of the current climate and environmental crisis: “The past decade was the hottest in human history”; “Carbon dioxide levels are still at record highs – and rising”; “We are headed for a thundering rise of 3 to 5 degrees Celsius this century”; “As always, the impacts fall most heavily on the world’s most vulnerable people. Those who have done the least to cause the problem are suffering the most”.
By Gem Romuld | 14 December, 2020
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is a gamechanger. It puts all nuclear-armed states in breach of international law, along with any state that includes these weapons in its security doctrines. It coalesces regional nuclear weapon free zones, builds upon other nuclear arms control agreements and in ten simple pages condemns any activity that condones nuclear weapons.
By Chung-in Moon | 12 December, 2020
With the inauguration of Joe Biden as the next American president all but certain, the eyes of the world are once again turning to the US. People are speculating about the policy line to be adopted by Biden, who has promised to value American alliances and restore multilateralism in the international community in a departure from Donald Trump’s “America First” approach. But little is known about what policy the Biden administration will adopt on the North Korean nuclear issue, the topic of greatest interest to those of us in South Korea.
By Chung-in Moon | 09 December, 2020
It is diplomats’ job to re-evaluate alliances to suit our interests, and they shouldn’t be criticised for it. South Korea’s conservative establishment has been harshly critical of the Moon administration’s attitude toward the South Korea-US alliance. The latest controversy concerns recent remarks by Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and Lee Soo-hyuck, South Korean ambassador to the US.
The views and opinions expressed in Global Outlook are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Toda Peace Institute.