PUGWASH BRAZILIAN – ARGENTINIAN CONSULTATION
Rio de Janeiro, October 8th and 9th 2001
The meeting is the result of a proposal of Prof. Luiz Pinguelli Rosa, Council Member of Pugwash Conferences. It was hosted in the International Virtual Institute for Global Changes, IVIG, of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, UFRJ (operated by the Coordination of the Engineering Graduate Programs, COPPE). Financial support was provided by the Rio de Janeiro State Agency “Fundação para o Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro”, FAPERJ. The coordinators of the Consultation were Dr. Fernando de Souza Barros, Professor Emeritus, member of the Steering Committee of the Middle Powers Initiative, MPI, member of the International Network of Engineers and Scientists Against Nuclear Weapons, INESAP, and Board Member of the Institute for Sciences International Security, ISIS, and Professor Luiz Pinguelli Rosa, chair of IVIG and vice-chair of COPPE. We would like to express our thanks to Ms. Sonia Maria S. G. Carvalho, Daniela C. A. Vilela, and José Luiz Cardoso for their diligent logistic efforts to secure the success of this meeting, and to Ms. Carolin Joy Brisset for her prompt and competent response to our demands of oral and written translations throughout the event.
The main topics of this two day Consultation were:
- New Doctrines for the use of nuclear weapons;
- The exclusion of nuclear weapons from the Southern Hemisphere;
- Perspectives after the terrorist attacks of last September 11th. The Consultation took place as three main work-group sessions on the topics, and highlighted by the seminar “Teaching Peace and Disarmament”, presented by Dr. Kate Dewes, who kindly accepted our requested for this talk besides contributing for the Consultation.
Two special features that characterize the relevance of this Consultation should be highlighted:
- During her short visit, Dr. Dewes has established strong collaboration links with science educators and teachers for peace education projects. A summary of these initiatives is given in ANNEX II.
- The crisis caused by the September 11th terrorist attacks in the US, and the current American and British attacks to Afghanistan, provoked a very special coverage of the Consultation by the Brazilian media and the State press. The number of TV networks that came to cover the event was surprising: Four of the most important Brazilian networks and two of the most prestigious newspapers of the city of Rio de Janeiro were present!
The main contributors for the Consultation were: Prof. Luiz Pinguelli Rosa, Council Member of Pugwash and Vice Director of COPPE, Prof. Fernando de Sousa Barros, Member of Middle Powers Institute and Professor of the Institute of Physics UFRJ, Prof. Luis Masperi, Council Member of Pugwash Conferences and professor of the Balseiro Institute of Bariloche, Argentina, and director of the Latin American Centre for Physics; Dr. Walter Scheuer, member of the Argentine Pugwash Group (Bariloche Group for Science and World Affairs) and former senior researcher of the Atomic Energy Commission of Argentina; Dr. Kate Dewes, International Steering Committee of the Middle Powers Initiative and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom Aotearoa/New Zealand, vice-president of the International Peace Bureau and coordinator of the New Zealand Peace Foundation’s Disarmament and Security Centre; and Commander Robert Green, British Royal Navy (retired), chair of the Strategic Planning Committee of the Middle Powers Initiative. Brazilian main contributors were: Mr. Fernando Peregrino, president of FAPERJ, Dr.José Leite Lopes, Emeritus Professor and Pugwash Conferences member; Mr.Joaquim Carvalho, specialist in nuclear energy, Dr. Anselmo Paschoa, Physics Department of the Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, and former director of Brazilian Nuclear Energy Commission; Dr. Jack Woodall, Institute of Biomedical Sciences/UFRJ and Pugwash Conferences member; Dr. Moacyr Duarte, COPPE/UFRJ; and Preacher Mozart Noronha, of the Moviment for Peace, Brazil, that presented the MANIFESTO annexed to this preliminary report .
The records of the work-group sessions have been taken and shall be used to prepare the FINAL REPORT. The main contributors to the Consultation have decided to elaborate a declaration in order to support international initiatives that are being considered at present to secure the exclusion of weapons of mass destruction — in particular, nuclear weapons – from the Southern Hemisphere and adjacent areas.
The main points that were discussed in this Consultation and that shall be considered for a declaration by participants are the following:
“We are investigating the possibility of holding a meeting for interested NGO’s and government representatives in New York during the April 2002 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Preparatory Committee meeting for the 2005 NPT Review Conference, in order to pursue ideas to support governments’ efforts to implement the “Nuclear-weapon-free southern hemisphere and adjacent areas” UN resolution.” “In particular, identifying and focusing the main and intermediate steps which would lead to a significant improvement of the present situation in these regions, as well as the means of reaching them.”
“The world as we know it is running out of time for attaining peaceful solutions for their multiple conflicts. We no longer have the luxury of prolonging our deliberations. Let us seize the moment to consolidate existing free zones of the Southern Hemisphere and adjacent areas into a broader agreement additional to the existing Chemical and Biological Weapons Conventions. The South and adjacent areas should stand free of all weapons of mass destruction.”
“We support the initiative of the United Nations, proposed by New Zealand and Brazil and approved by 159 nations, for a Southern Hemisphere and adjacent areas free from nuclear weapons. An agreement should be contemplated by the existing Nuclear Weapon Free Zones to solve their differences. The establishment of a region free from nuclear weapons should include the colonial possessions in the region, in particular those of nuclear weapon states, with the corresponding verification mechanism. The prohibition of nuclear weapons should cover both their deployment and introduction by any means, or their transit by land, sea or air.”
“A revision of existing national and regional nuclear free zones should be conducted on matters related to: a) port calls and transit of ships and aircraft carrying nuclear weapons; and (b) the definition and implications of the deployment concept, in both cases aiming at the optimization of the means for strengthening existing restrictions. Means should be discussed to press the nuclear weapon states to adhere to and respect the terms of the declaration referring to the NWF South. One means to be discussed could be to link the mentioned adherence and respect to the ongoing validity of existing treaties considered not beneficial for the region (for instance: TIAR; Argentina as an extra-NATO ally, etc). The improvement of means of verifying the fulfillment by the nuclear weapon states of their commitments should be considered in the declaration.”
“The declaration should also stress the need of measures to ensure that none of the states belonging to the agreement allows the installation of means aimed at supporting, facilitating and allowing the interception of incoming weapons of mass destruction nor of defense systems based on weapons of mass destruction. The declaration should make it explicit that this agreement should be submitted for signature and ratification to all states included in the Bangkok, Pelindaba, Raratonga and Tlatelolco treaties, but it should be kept open for signature and ratification to every other state willing to adhere to it.”
The main points of the work-group sessions were:
- New Doctrines for the Use of Nuclear Weapons –
- Discussion on the report by the Federation of American Scientists “Low-Yield Earth-Penetrating Nuclear Weapons” (www.fas.org), which concludes that such nuclear weapons would be ineffective against deeply buried targets, and that use of such weapons would be extremely irresponsible and counter productive.
- The Exclusion of Nuclear Weapons from the Southern Hemisphere
- Review on the current security crisis in the Northern Hemisphere. Recognition of the need for Southern Hemisphere and Adjacent Areas governments to take the initiative in nuclear disarmament, in order to counter the danger of terrorism being used as a pretext to use nuclear weapons, and to discard treaties.
- The consultation was reminded that, in the 1982 Falklands War, the UK probably brought nuclear weapons into the South Atlantic, and that there were strong rumors that a contingency plan existed for a Polaris submarine to be prepared to launch nuclear strikes against Cordoba and then Buenos Aires if British forces faced defeat.
- Observation that Diego Garcia remains a US base in the Southern Hemisphere from which nuclear weapons could be deployed. However, a recent British court case ruled that the eviction of indigenous islanders in 1971 was illegal, and they are currently suing the US for compensation and pressing the UK government to allow them to return. This situation needs to be highlighted in pursuing a declaration by governments.
- NGOs should investigate ways to use the SH initiative to introduce an “Ottawa Process” on nuclear weapons (learning from the successful campaign to ban landmines in 1997), whereby the political will could be generated among a group of SH governments to start negotiations on a Nuclear Weapons Convention.
- Attention was drawn to a New York Times article on 24 September “America’s Sovereignty in a New World” by Robert Wright, in which he argued that the 11 September attacks by terrorists would force the US to consider leading an initiative to control nuclear weapons through an enforceable global treaty like the Chemical Weapons Convention.
- In planning a meeting during the NPT PrepCom in New York in April 2002, NGOs should review the achievements of the global conference on nuclear free zones in Uppsala, Sweden in September 2000.
- Strategies need to be devised to encourage states within regional Nuclear Weapon Free Zones, NWFZs, to renew dialogue with contacts in countries that have not yet ratified the treaties, such as Cuba, Tonga, and St Kitts-Nevis. (Cuba signed Tlatelolco Treaty on 25 March 1995, Tonga signed the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty on 2 August 1996, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau are yet to sign this treaty.)
- States within regional NWFZs should be encouraged to adopt national legislation (similar to New Zealand, Mongolia and Austria) which in turn will help strengthen existing NWFZs.
- In light of the 1996 World Court Advisory Opinion, NWS should be challenged about describing transit of nuclear weapons and other hazardous nuclear materials as being ‘innocent passage’ even in peacetime.
- Nuclear deterrence doctrines should similarly be challenged as immoral, illegal and undermining security.
- Perspectives after the September-11th Attacks
- Appraisal of a never-ending “chain reaction” process triggered by the current “War against Terrorists”. Observation on the analogies of this process with current drawbacks of the “War against Traffic” taking place in the City of Rio de Janeiro, showing the need of concurrent global scale actions addressing pending grave social and political questions in many regions of the planet.
- The vast number of alternative approaches open to terrorist attacks was discussed to show that there are physical limits (financial and others) for deterrence strategies against these attacks.
- The danger of alternative revisions of current nuclear-weapon strategies due to these terrorist attacks was also pointed up.
- An appeal for a different approach based on “a massive transformation in the state of awareness of humankind” was presented as a MANIFESTO.
MANIFESTO (This manifesto was signed by: Reverend Umberto Kirchheim, Reverend Walter Altmann (Lutheran Church ecclesiasts); Bishop Luiz Gonzaga Fernandes, Bishop Tomaz Balduino, (Catholic Church ecclesiasts); Rabbi Newton Bonder (Jewish community); Mr. Abdellbagi Sidahmed Osman (Muslim community); Frei Betto, Leonardo Boff, Preacher Mozart Noronha (theologians); hundreds of ecclesiasts, members of the Brazilian Jewish and Muslim communities, and Brazilian actors, artists, and intellectuals.)
No man is an island … so do not ask for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for everyone, for each person, for all humankind. If the shades of darkness weighing down our spirits are heavy, our eagerness for the light is even greater. A few days ago, stunned and outraged, we watched an outbreak of human madness. We cannot let this madness have the last word. The last and greatest word that calls upon us and unites us with all humankind is that of solidarity and compassion for the victims, for peace and sensitivity in international affairs. Tragedies show us the dimension of the inhumanity of which we are capable. But they also spotlight the truly humane side that lives within us all, beyond differences of race, ideology and religion. And this humane aspect within us makes us weep and dry our tears together, pray together, seek justice and build up peace together, and renounce vengeance together. The wisdom of the peoples and the voice of our hearts bear witness: it is not terrorism that conquers terrorism, or hate that conquers hate. It is love that conquers hate. It is untiring dialogue, open negotiation and fair agreement that undermine any type of terrorism and establish the bases for peace. The tragedy that has struck at the depths of our hearts invites us to rethink the paths of world policies, the direction of dominant globalization, the definition of the future of humankind and the safeguards for our Common Home, the Earth. Time is short. This time, there will be no Noah’s Ark that saves some and leaves the rest to perish. We must save everyone, the entire community of human and non-human life. This is why we must do away with the word enemy. It is fear that creates the enemy. And we exorcise fear when we bring the remote up close, when we make a neighbour our brother and sister. We do away with fear and the enemy when we begin to build up a dialogue … and get to know ourselves … accept ourselves … respect ourselves … love ourselves … and in a word – to care for ourselves. Caring for the ways in which we live in peace, in solidarity, and in justice. Caring for our environment in order to ensure it is a whole environment in which different beings can live. Caring for our beloved and generous Mother Earth. If we care for our brothers and sisters, the causes of fear will vanish. No-one need threaten anyone else. We can fly in our aircraft without the fear that they will be turned into bombs to destroy buildings and decimate lives. May the date of September 11, 2001 be recalled less as the date of the day of tragedy in the USA and for the world, but rather as the date of a massive transformation in the state of the awareness of humankind, moving towards more inclusive relationships among us, moving towards more compassion and solidarity among living beings, human and non-human, progressing towards reverence for life, the commitment to justice, care and peace, through a joyful celebration of existence. Each person is called upon to add their brick to building up this sanctuary of peace, goodwill, and co-operation, worldwide and planetwide. May the Creator Spirit that lives within us, and that mysteriously leads along the paths of history, accompany us with its light and warmth so that we may achieve these collective and humanitarian purposes. Amen. May it come to pass.
BRAZILIAN GROUP FOR PEACE AND DISARMEMENT EDUCATION (tentative name of the group)
A group of Primary, Secondary and University educators, discussed with Dr. Dewes their interest in collaborating with educational actions for the enhancement of Peace in the World. It was recognized that the development of coordinated actions related to Education for Peace needs support and advice from established groups, such as those Dr Dewes represents. The materials received, such as the Peace Education Kit, prepared by the international group Hague Appeal for Peace, “The Human Rights Resource Kit for Schools”, produced by the United Nations Association of New Zealand, “Peace is Possible”, published by the International Peace Bureau and sponsored by Unesco, among others, describing actions in different parts of the world will serve as a starting point to set an Agenda of Education for Peace in schools and universities in Brazil. A tentative Agenda was discussed:
- Development of a ‘Course on Peace’ to be offered at the universities for interested students, that could be proposed to be included as mandatory for student teachers (Luiz Pinguelli Rosa (IVIG/Coppe, UFRJ); Susana S. Barros, Instituto of Physics, UFRJ and Brazilian Physical Society, BPS);
- A selection of Peace Education materials will be considered for translation and/or adaptation to our realities in Brazil (Suzana Gueiros Teixeira, IVIG/COPPE and Fine Arts, UFRJ); Ana Filipecki (Centro de Educação Tecnológica Química e Textil, (Cetiqt/Senai, RJ) and GIMK High School, RJ);
- The preparation of a home page at the IVIG/COPPE, UFRJ for communication with the general public;(Suzana Gueiros Teixeira)
- The integration of actions that will be developed by the group with those being now developed by the Research Foundation Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ), as described by its president, Mr. Fernando Peregrino, during the Consultation.
- An appeal to the Education Associations (ANPED, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics) for collaboration of actions, development of educational materials, inclusion of the subject of Peace Education in the future Agendas of Meetings and Conferences, publishing relevant information to form a common ground, etc., (S. S. Barros);
- A network of teachers from secondary and professional schools that train the Primary Teachers (pre-school and 1st to 4th grades) in order to form a network, starting with actions in Rio de Janeiro, using resources of Distance Education (Eliane Gouveia (Institute for Deaf, RJ), and Flavia Rezende (Nucleo de Tecnologias Educacionais para as Ciências da Saúde, NUTES/UFRJ).
- To involve the Secretaries of Education (City and State);
- Common efforts with VIVA RIO (NGO) is being established (Jessica Galeria, VIVA RIO) and A.FILIPECKI, CETIQT, SENAI)
- A first Meeting will be called for the last week of October 2001.