Aug 082014
 

As is customary in today’s world of controlled and manipulated information, the current focus of public attention is an unprecedented African outbreak of ebola, a virulent disease with a high mortality rate that can be accompanied by the almost complete breakdown of normal bodily functions, as well as by extreme incontinence and bleeding from all orifices.  A horrific way of dying.

Of the five types of ebola, the currently active Zaire ebolavirus is the most aggressive and lethal, with an extremely high mortality rate, up to about 88%.

But mass media are not asking possibly the most fundamental question about ebola – given that ebola has been known to the international health community since 1976 (featuring in about 34 outbreaks) why has a vaccine not been developed long ago? Continue reading »

Jul 312014
 

 The sanctioning of political interference is putting the independence of international organisations under threat. So, why is the New Zealand Government not up in arms?
The controversial decision came out of the blue. It was on April 22, 2002, that the Conference of the States Parties of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) voted to terminate the appointment of its director-general, Jose Bustani of Brazil. The political initiative came from the US, which earlier that year had suddenly alleged gross mismanagement. Bustani countered, claiming that the US wanted to eliminate him because he had encouraged Iraq to become an OPCW member state, and to open itself to OPCW inspections. This might, he contended, …

Jul 312014
 

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is once again in the eye of a political storm of nuclear proportions. More than a year ago the IAEA’s Board of Governors, under immense pressure from the United States, adopted a resolution “reporting” the case of Iran’s alleged but not proven non-compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to the United Nations Security Council.  The United States had tired of the IAEA’s meticulous inspection and verification process, according to which only states proven to have “diverted” fissile materials from a peaceful nuclear programme to non-peaceful purposes may be “referred” to the Security Council.  Although the IAEA had real concerns about the transparency of aspects of Iran’s nuclear program, it had found no convincing evidence of “diversion”.  Because this was frustrating US attempts to build a political case against Iran, the US decided to circumvent the IAEA by taking the Iran question to the Security Council.  An IAEA resolution was crafted violating the IAEA’s own statute by “reporting” Iran to the Security Council, although the IAEA’s position on the question of diversion was and is unchanged.  The US wanted to marginalise the IAEA, and to politicise its mandate.
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Jul 312014
 

A former official at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons describes how an effective international system to reduce the threat from weapons of mass destruction was sabotaged by the US government. Can the resulting ‘Darwinisation’ of international relations be halted?

I worked with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague for nine years, ultimately as senior editor, inspired by the feeling that I was participating in a historically unique disarmament and non-proliferation venture. The essence of the OPCW resides in its verification regime, which gives the OPCW Secretariat far-reaching powers to verify whether each and every member state is complying with its undertaking to abolish all existing stockpiles of chemical weapons and not to develop new ones. (All previous international disarmament treaties and agreements had foundered on the fact that member states declared their opposition to weapons of mass destruction, and then proceeded to secretly develop them anyway.)
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Jul 312014
 

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