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C) Announcement of significant policies and important activities
Obama’s Berlin Speech
The U.S. President Barack H. Obama addressed his second-term foreign and security policies, including nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and nuclear security at the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin on June 19, 2013. With reaffirming that “[p]eace with justice means pursuing the security of a world without nuclear weapons -- no matter how distant that dream may be,” he announced:
“After a comprehensive review, I’ve determined that we can ensure the security of America and our allies, and maintain a strong and credible strategic deterrent, while reducing our deployed strategic nuclear weapons by up to one-third. And I intend to seek negotiated cuts with Russia to move beyond Cold War nuclear postures. At the same time, we’ll work with our NATO allies to seek bold reductions in U.S. and Russian tactical weapons in Europe.”
On the same day of this Berlin speech, the U.S. Department of Defense published the Report on U.S. Nuclear Employment Strategy, which was written under the direction by the President “to conduct in-depth analysis as a follow-on to the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR).” According to the Report, “[t]he purpose of this analysis was to conduct a detailed review of U.S. nuclear deterrence requirements in order to align U.S. nuclear planning to the current and projected security environment.” In this Report, the following issues are addressed: the strategic environment; guidance for nuclear employment (guiding principles, nuclear employment planning guidance, reducing the role of nuclear weapons, and the U.S. nuclear hedge); implications for the U.S. nuclear posture and nuclear stockpile, including nuclear force posture (U.S. nuclear triad, non-strategic nuclear weapons, and strategic force levels), the U.S. nuclear stockpile; and additional implications, such as resilience and flexibility, nuclear deterrence, extended deterrence, assurance and defense, and increased reliance on conventional or non-nuclear-strike capabilities or missile defenses. However, few new measures toward nuclear disarmament were included in the Report, except a reduction of the U.S. strategic nuclear arsenal.
Open-Ended Working Group
At the 2012 UN General Assembly, member states adopted the resolution in which they “[decided] to establish an open-ended working group to develop proposals to take forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations for the achievement and maintenance of a world without nuclear weapons.” The open-ended working groups (OEWG) were convened between 14-24 May, 27-28 June, and 19-30 August 2013 in Geneva.
Among the countries surveyed in this report, XXXXX did not participate in the OEWG. Ambassador Laura Kennedy, U.S. Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament, told that the United States “[did] not support non-consensus based efforts to develop nuclear disarmament proposals through the open-ended working group and do not see how this mechanism fits into the existing consensus framework of the action plan [agreed at the 2010 NPT Review Conference].”
At the meeting in May, speakers from research institutes and NGOs made various proposals on: nuclear weapons free area; other initiatives and proposals; transparency, confidence building and verification; perspectives on the necessary framework to achieve and maintain a nuclear weapons free world; international law relevant to the use of nuclear weapons; approaching nuclear disarmament from different angles (humanitarian approach, economic arguments, legal arguments and military utility); roles and responsibilities for nuclear disarmament; and the role of parliamentarians in advancing nuclear disarmament. Prior to that, NAC (including Brazil, Egypt, Mexico, New Zealand and South Africa), Austria, Belgium, Canada, Egypt, Germany, India, Iran, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Mexico, Turkey and so on expressed their views on how to develop and promote nuclear disarmament.
Regarding the June meeting, “[t]he main goal…[was] to collect proposals and ideas on taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations that would serve as a basis for the consultations in the Group during its meetings in 19-30 August 2013.” Austria, Iran, Mexico, Switzerland, the Western countries (including Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Sweden), the NAC and so on submitted working papers for that purposes.
In August, the OEWG concluded with adopting the final report, in which the proposals and discussions are summarized on the following issues.
Ø Approaches on how to take forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations for the achievement and maintenance of a world without nuclear weapons
Ø Elements to consider in taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations for the achievement and maintenance of a world without nuclear weapons
Ø Reviewing the role of nuclear weapons in the security context of the twenty first century in order to take forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations for the achievement and maintenance of a world without nuclear weapons
Ø The role of international law to take forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations for the achievement and the maintenance of a world without nuclear weapons
Ø The role of States and other actors in taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament for the achievement and maintenance of a world without nuclear weapons
Ø Other practical actions that could contribute to take forward multilateral nuclear disarmament for the achievement and maintenance of a world without nuclear weapons
Reaching Critical Will, a Geneva-based NGO, argued that the final report contains several new and interesting proposals, such as: a prohibition of the possession, stockpiling, development, or transfer of nuclear weapons; and the idea of undertaking a study of the evolution of international law relevant to nuclear weapons, including international humanitarian law, human rights law, environmental law, and in the legal realm of the International Criminal Court.
High-Level Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament
At the UN General Assembly in 2012, member states adopted a resolution, in which the General Assembly “[decided] to convene a high-level meeting of the General Assembly on nuclear disarmament, that will be held as a one-day plenary meeting on
26 September 2013, to contribute to achieving the goal of nuclear disarmament.” The High-Level Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament was convened on September 29, 2013. At the opening session, Austria’s President Heinz Fischer and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe were among the world leaders who made statements, following the opening remarks by the President of the 68th Session of the General Assembly and the UN Secretary-General. During the substantive session, the following countries and groups delivered statements, among others: Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, North Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey, the United States, the Arab Group (including Egypt), the NAC (including Sweden), the NPDI (including Netherlands and UAE) (Note: underline added to denote statements made by ministerial-level representatives). In addition, the three NWS, namely France, the United Kingdom and the United States, made a joint statement.
Each country stated its position, approach and priorities on nuclear disarmament. Among others, the arguments by Japan and the three NWS are summarized below.
Japan’s Prime Minister Abe stated that “[a]n essential element in the process of nuclear disarmament is for all states possessing nuclear weapons to reduce their nuclear arsenals and to enhance their transparency.” He “emphasize[d] that the responsibilities that the non-nuclear-weapon states shoulder are equally important as those of the nuclear-weapons states. Building realistic and practical blocks upon mutual trust between those two sides is the most definitive path to achieve ‘a world free of nuclear weapons.’” He also “invite[d] all political leaders to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki to witness first-hand the impact that could be inflicted by the use of such weapons.”
Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, argued that dealing with nuclear disarmament issues should be based on the “two fundamental beliefs,” which are: “a clear understanding of the humanitarian consequences caused by the use of nuclear weapons”; and “the reality of what today’s international community is facing with the increasingly diversifying nuclear risks, such as North Korea and Iran’s nuclear issues and the threat of nuclear terrorism.” Then, he stated:
"Based on these ideas and aiming for a world free of nuclear weapons, I would like to tackle nuclear disarmament by focusing on “three reduction” areas that serve as a realistic and concrete approach towards “a world free of nuclear weapons.” That is, (1) reduction of the number of nuclear weapons, (2) reduction of the role of nuclear weapons, and (3) reduction of the incentive for development and possession of the nuclear weapons."
He concluded his statement by informing that “preparation is on-going, with cooperation from the UN and the City of Hiroshima, to convene an annual UN Disarmament Conference in Hiroshima in 2015 when we will commemorate the 70th year since the atomic bombing.”
France, the United Kingdom and the United States, in their joint statement, reiterated their position that “a practical step-by-step process is the only way to make real progress in our disarmament efforts while upholding global security and stability—there is no shortcuts.” They did not disguise their negativity toward the High-Level Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament and other similar initiatives, with stating as following.
"We believe that there are already sufficient forums, specified by the UN Special Session on Disarmament in 1978, for discussion on these issues, including: the UNGA First Committee, the UN Disarmament Commission, and the Conference on Disarmament. And while we are encouraged by the increased energy and enthusiasm around the nuclear disarmament debate, we regret that this energy is being directed toward initiatives such as this High-Level Meeting, the humanitarian consequences campaign, the Open-Ended Working Group and the push for a Nuclear Weapons Convention."
"We strongly believe that this energy would have much better effect if channeled toward existing processes, helping to tackle blockages and making progress in the practical, step-by-step approach that includes all states that possess nuclear weapons."
(Drafted by Hirofumi Tosaki, CPDNP)
 “Remarks by President Obama at the Brandenburg Gate,” Berlin, June 19, 2013, http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/06/19/remarks-president-obama-brandenburg-gate-berlin-germany. In addition to the proposals on nuclear weapons reduction, President Obama touched upon in his address: forging a new international framework for peaceful nuclear power; rejecting the nuclear weaponization by North Korea and Iran; hosting a Nuclear Security Summit in 2016; ratifying the CTBT; and beginning negotiations on a FMCT.
 U.S. Department of Defense, “Report on Nuclear Employment Strategy of the United States: Specified in Section 491 of 10 U.S.C.,” June 19, 2013.
 A/RES/67/56, 4 January 2013. The resolution was proposed by Austria, Mexico and Norway. NWS except China were against. China, India, Israel, Kazakhstan, Pakistan South Korea, Syria, Turkey and so on abstained.
 Diane Barnes, “Nuclear Powers Reaffirm Opposition to Special Disarmament Talks,” Global Security Newswire, March 6, 2013, http://www.nti.org/gsn/article/nuclear-powers-reaffirm-opposition-special-disarmament-talks/.
 “Meetings in June,” United Nations Office at Geneva, http://www.unog.ch/80256EE600585943/(httpPages)/6A28A0D36D0B4AE1C1257B94004F4046?OpenDocument.
 “Report of the Open-ended Working Group to evelop proposals to take forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations for the achievement and maintenance of a world without nuclear weapons,” 30 August 2013.
 Beatrice Fihn, “The open-ended working group concludes,” Reaching Critical Will, 6 September 2013, http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/disarmament-fora/others/oewg/reports/8004-the-open-ended-working-group-concludes.
 A/RES/67/39, 4 January 2013. France, Israel, the United Kingdom and the United States abstained on the vote on this resolution proposed by the NAM countries.
 “Statement on behalf of France, the United Kingdom and the United States by Minister Alistair Burt, Parliamentary under Secretary of State, United Kingdom,” United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly on Nuclear Disarmament, September 26, 2013.