Switzerland wants to reduce its army by one third within the next 12 years. Swiss Minister of Defence, Ueli Maurer said there are currently 120,000 professional Swiss soldiers and that that number must come down to 80,000. The number of reservists must also shrink from 80,000 to 40,000. Switzerland wants to place more emphasis on humanitarian missions to foreign countries.
Thirteen years after the opening for signature, the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty has finally come into force with the twenty-eighth ratification by Burundi on 15 July 2009.
This milestone follows efforts by the Institute for Security Studies and the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, with the support of several other organizations.
(IPS) – When U.S. President Obama presides over a meeting of world leaders in the Security Council on Sep. 24, he will provide a high profile political platform for two of the most sensitive
issues at the UN: nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament. Obama is expected to make his maiden appearance at the U.N. when he addresses the global summit on climate change.
In Argentina, more former army officers have been found guilty of crimes committed under the military dictatorship. Former general Santiago Omar Riveros, who commanded the infamous Campo de Mayo barracks, received the heaviest sentence.
The junta led by General Leopolde Galtieri ruled Argentina from 1976 to 1983, during which time at least 30,000 people disappeared.
New non violent lights looming on the horizon in Iraq.
It is a far cry from 2006, when a bomb set off at the sacred Shiite shrine in Samarra killed no one, but ignited a fury at the sacrilege that set off two years of sectarian warfare.
This year more than a hundred people were killed, but there was no retaliation.
After 14 years of political confinement the non-violent activist Aung San Suu Kyi, who was sentenced to another 18 months for an alleged violation of her house arrest, has chosen the freedom of coherence. She stated that she does not feel deprived of liberty since “in an authoritarian state, only the prisoner of conscience is truly free”.
(OneWorld.net) – Marking the 64th anniversary of the U.S. nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki that killed over 100,000 civilians, a disarmament group celebrated a day of peace last week. The annual Sadako Peace Day ceremony was inspired by a young girl who died from leukemia as a result of the atomic bomb that hit Hiroshima in 1945.
Madagascar’s feuding leaders said on Sunday they had agreed a power-sharing deal and would hold elections on the giant Indian Ocean island within 15 months. A communique issued after talks in Mozambique’s capital said a national unity government would be set up comprised of a prime minister, three deputy first ministers and 28 members.
The opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been sentenced to further 18 months home imprisonment which would prevent her from participating in Myanmar’s elections in May 2010. Ms Suu Ky won the Peace Nobel Price in 1991. In 1990 she had won the right to be Prime Minister when her coalition won 59% of the votes but a military junta prevented her from assuming office.
In the first poll in 20 years, though Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’s continues in office, an important overhaul of Fatah’s Central Committee changed 14 of the 18 members with younger representatives. Fatah’s position has rejected violence and proclaims “two states for two people”. Their main condition is the removal of all Israeli settlements in the West Bank.