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from The Great Debate UK:

Breaking the disarmament deadlock: challenges for 2010

JohnDuncanJohn Duncan is the UK Ambassador for Multilateral Arms Control and Disarmament. He comments regularly via Twitter and on his own Blog. The opinions expressed are his own. -

Those involved in multilateral arms control and disarmament face a challenging year.

The international community will come together in May at the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in New York to agree the way forward, twelve months on from President Barack Obama’s landmark speech in Prague about his ambition of a World Free of Nuclear Weapons.

But a successful outcome at the NPT RevCon as it is known, is only part of the task ahead in achieving a breakout from the decade of deadlock that has frustrated progress in both the nuclear and conventional weapons multilateral agenda:

from From Reuters.com:

Graphic: Iran’s nuclear program

- Click here to view more stories on Iran.

from India Insight:

What does Nobel for Obama mean for India?

Obama has won the Nobel Peace prize.The citation commends him for calling for a nuclear-weapon free world, emphasising the role of international institutions and preferring dialogue.Less than a year into his presidency he has yet to implement much of his programme."For the time being Obama's just making proposals. But sometimes the Nobel committee awards the prize to encourage responsible action," said Poland’s Lech Walesa, a Nobel Peace Laureate.What does it mean for India to have the most powerful man in the world honoured for his policies?The policies of the Obama administration are different from those of the George W. Bush era when multilateralism was seen as a liability.Bush’s ambassador to the U.N. was John R. Bolton whose scepticism towards multilateralism was well known.Yet Bush helped India get a crucial waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers Group and was described as the friendliest U.S. President India has had.Obama on the other hand has called for strengthening nuclear non-proliferation, prompting India to seek clarifications.Pratap Bhanu Mehta, president of the Center for Policy Research in New Delhi, argues in a recent column that Indians find it more difficult to deal with those who they think of as American liberals than the conservatives.Will we now see a more forceful and active Obama on issues like non-proliferation that India is wary of ?

from FaithWorld:

Obama’s Nobel citation speaks of shared values – is hope on top?

obama-at-unThe statement announcing the Nobel Peace Prize for U.S. President Barack Obama says that "his diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population". (Photo: Obama at the United Nations, 23Sept 2009/Kevin Lamarque)

Is there actually a set of values and attitudes shared by most people around the world? It would be interesting to know exactly what the Norwegian Nobel Committee meant by this. Are they talking about some vague form of world political consensus or even global ethics? The citation text mentions Obama's "vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons" and his preference multilateral diplomacy, dialogue and negotiations. But none of these efforts has yet borne much fruit.

from Breakingviews:

Iran, the day-after problem

The drums of war are beating in the Middle East. Proponents of a military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities have intensified their campaign in recent weeks, arguing the military option is the only way to ensure the country does not build a nuclear weapon.

But the obstacles to conducting a successful strike remain immense, making it a last, improbable resort. It is such a bad option that it is no option at all. 

from Global News Journal:

Germany’s Greens celebrate victory in defeat

Sunday's federal election threw Germany's Greens into a state of disarray -- should they celebrate their best result ever or mourn the fact they failed to prevent a centre-right coalition and languished in fifth place?

"A Victory that is a Defeat", "Triumph and Bitterness", "Celebrations despite missing goal," read newspaper headlines on Monday.

from From Reuters.com:

Graphic: Iran’s ballastic missiles

from India Insight:

Do we need the big bomb?

It’s been more than a decade since the Buddha smiled again.

A debate has exploded in the Indian media about the circumstances of India’s hydrogen bomb test, with a group of scientists questioning the yield of the test.

The government claimed a yield of 45 kilotons; while the sceptics say the yield was much less at 25 kilotons.

from From Reuters.com:

Graphic: Iran’s nuclear program

View the full story here.

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