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About Rebecca Johnson

Dr Rebecca Johnson is a founding Co-Chair of ICAN, the 2017 Nobel Laureate, and long-time feminist peace campaigner.

Articles by Rebecca Johnson

This week’s editors

“Francesc”

Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

A new hope for a nuclear free world - but where is the UK?

A new UN treaty could make nuclear sabre-rattling and boasts of a willingness to incinerate cities, as unacceptable as threats to use chemical and biological weapons.

A giant step towards a nuclear free world is in reach – but will it be sabotaged at the last minute?

A ground-breaking new UN Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty could be agreed tomorrow – or it could be consigned to the special purgatory of lost opportunities that could have saved the world.

UN talks to ban nuclear weapons: what can they achieve?

What should the nuclear ban treaty include – and what difference does it make, if nuclear-armed governments refuse to join the talks?

Why the UK was wrong to back Trump's envoy against UN nuclear disarmament talks

Ignoring protests from the US, UK and some NATO countries, two-thirds of UN member states appear determined to conclude a nuclear ban treaty this year.

Negotiating a global nuclear ban treaty: nuclear-armed states vs the UN

UN negotiations start today in New York on a global treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons. Ignoring cross-party commitments to multilateral nuclear disarmament, the British government will be absent.

Historic UN vote to negotiate a Nuclear Ban Treaty in 2017

On 27 October, the UN General Assembly's Disarmament and Security Committee voted for negotiations in 2017 on a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, with momentous consequences for Trident renewal.

Will Nagasaki be the last use of nuclear weapons?

Will the pincer movement of international humanitarian initiatives to bring into force a universally applicable Nuclear Ban Treaty, and Scotland's desire to become nuclear free, render Trident’s successor impossible? Part 3. Part 1, 2.

Hiroshima: do the British Members of Parliament remember ?

When Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May said she'd press the nuclear button during the July 18 vote on Trident, what does that mean on the 71st anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing? Trident Part 2. Trident Part 1.

From Hiroshima to Trident: listening to the Hibakusha

“Humanity and nuclear weapons cannot coexist indefinitely. How much longer can we allow the Nuclear Weapon States to continue threatening all life on earth?”  - Setsuko Thurlow, a survivor of Hiroshima.

Trident in a time warp: party politics vs defence needs

As Britain and Europe reeled from Brexit Theresa May rushed through the vote on Trident replacement. Was this strong leadership or our human security being sacrificed to expediency? Part 1.

From Fukushima to Hinkley Point

The stories of people trying to revive abandoned villages left contaminated by the Fukushima nuclear disaster raise concerns about plans for a new generation of nuclear power reactors in Britain, starting with Hinkley C.

What if? Security consequences of Brexit and Trident renewal

If David Cameron survives the result of the EU referendum, he may try to rush Parliament into a vote on Trident renewal in July. What is at stake for Britain's security?

Trident or the EU: which is better for peace and security?

Mutual security and deterrence with fewer risks has been a conscious, crucial, and underestimated role of the EU.  A Brexit vote would put this at risk and make Britain less secure.

Millions rising to stop male violence

Annual Million Women Rise marches, started in 2007 by Sabrina Qureshi, give a platform and visibility to women worldwide at the forefront of experiencing, and combatting, violence against women and children.

Britain's boycott of the UN multilateral nuclear disarmament talks

With opposition to Trident growing, the British government has refused to join this week's UN multilateral nuclear disarmament talks on practical measures to build global security without nuclear weapons.

World Courts of Women: against war, for peace

At the World Court of Women meeting held in Bangalore witnesses to violence and injustice highlighted political lessons and resistance, asking that we all take responsibility to oppose the unending wars against women.

The UN: are development and peace empty words?

As governments adopt the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, their roles in producing and selling weapons that undermine development, peace and security are coming under scrutiny.

NPT: cornerstone of nuclear non-proliferation or stumbling block?

After the NPT Review Conference collapsed in disarray last week with disagreement over new proposals for a Middle East disarmament conference in 2016, humanitarian initiatives for a nuclear weapons prohibition treaty look like the only way forward.

NPT: nuclear colonialism versus democratic disarmament

A host of nuclear free states are claiming back their power to create the conditions for a much-needed legally binding agreement to prohibit nuclear weapons, moving beyond the NPT Review Conference.

The Austrian pledge to ban nuclear weapons

Driven by “the imperative of human security for all", Austria pledged at the HINW conference to work to "stigmatise, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons in light of their unacceptable humanitarian consequences and associated risks”.

Nuclear survivors' testimony: from hell to hope

Participants at the HINW Conference were screened for nuclear contamination yesterday, before listening to testimony from survivors mobilising for the abolition of nuclear weapons in what Pope Francis called "our common home."

Gathering speed to ban nuclear weapons

The Third International Conference on the Humanitarian Impacts of Nuclear Weapons (HINW) opens in Vienna today, with arguments for humanitarian disarmament growing in strength. This time the UK and the US will attend. What will be the likely outcome?

A new generation: taking over the reins of nuclear abolition

The Third International Conference on the Humanitarian Impacts of Nuclear Weapons (HINW) opens in Vienna today, with arguments for humanitarian disarmament gathering speed. This time the UK and the US will attend. What will be the likely outcome?

After Scotland decides: build citizen-centred democracy throughout Britain

Regardless of the outcome of the Scots vote, we must seize this chance to reimagine the constitutional order of these isles.

Guerilla woolfare: against the madness of mutually assured destruction

Rolling out a seven mile knitted pink peace scarf between the Atomic Weapons Establishment complexes at Aldermaston and Burghfield on Nagasaki Day may sound crazy. It isn't as insane as letting the UK government spend another £100 billion on building a new nuclear weapons system to replace Trident.

An alternative history of peacemaking: a century of disarmament efforts

Wars may be started for trivial or mistaken reasons, as happened in 1914, but they are fuelled by arms industries. It’s time to look at the alternative history of efforts to prohibit the weapons that feed wars, causing widespread humanitarian suffering.

Nuclear non-proliferation in a time warp

The mood was cheerful as the international Non-Proliferation Treaty conference ended in New York last Friday, but the atmosphere was sustained at the expense of tackling the real world nuclear challenges. Rebecca Johnson reports from the conference, and examines what role the NPT really plays in today's world.

Feminist peacebuilding - a courageous intelligence

There are patriarchal reasons why women are disproportionately made to suffer in wars. It should not be surprising that women are disproportionately active in resisting and challenging violence, wars and armed oppression, says Rebecca Johnson.

Banning nuclear weapons: point of no return

The Nayarit conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons demonstrated beyond doubt that preventing nuclear catastrophe is the responsibility and right of all. As Austria picks up the baton, the challenge will be to move forward in a process that is open to all and blockable by none

The UK government's stand against humanitarian disarmament

Why is the UK government boycotting a key multilateral conference on the humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons? Rebecca Johnson analyses the implications for British nuclear policy as governments and civil society convene in Mexico to take forward a new humanitarian disarmament process

To eliminate WMD we need to disarm patriarchy

Civil society must stop the use of chemical weapons being used as a pretext for US-led bombing in Syria. A gendered understanding demonstrates that the only sustainable strategy is to pursue disarmament and strengthen international humanitarian law.

New nuclear weapons for the UK: a challenge Labour can’t dodge

Labour could turn opposition to the billion pound Trident replacement into an electoral asset, but instead appears to be sleepwalking to oblivion. Rebecca Johnson makes the case for challenging Trident replacement, and says it's time to mobilise civil society

Pro-nuclear propaganda in 1983: lessons for 2013

In the UK, Labour's nuclear disarmament policies of the 1980s were not to blame for electoral failure, argues Rebecca Johnson. A sensible, fact-based debate about Trident replacement requires Ed Miliband to overcome the Party’s ‘electoral defeat traumatic syndrome’.

Trident Alternatives Review: the elephant in the room

The recent Trident Alternatives Review excludes any consideration of alternative means that might provide effective deterrence and more reliable security for Britain in the 21st century.  It's time for an intelligent public and political debate.

From banning nuclear tests to banning nuclear weapons

Sixty years after Britain’s first atomic weapons test, we need to consider the parallels between how the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty was achieved in the 1990s and today’s nuclear challenges. The British government is, yet again, unable to read the writing on the wall, says Rebecca Johnson

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