Final Entry Deadline Extended in the 2022 Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service

FAIRFAX, Va., Jan. 13, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — By popular demand, the Stevie Awards have extended the final entry deadline in the 16th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service to Wednesday, February 2. The original entry deadline was January 12. These are the world's premier awards for sales and customer service professionals, teams, and organizations.

Entry kits and complete details on the competition are available at http://www.StevieAwards.com/Sales.

Eligible nominees include departments, teams, and professionals from around the world who work in customer service, contact center, business development, and sales. New products and services and solution providers used by those professionals are also eligible. The 2022 awards will recognize achievements since July 1, 2019.

Winners will be announced on February 28, 2022. Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie Award winners will be celebrated at a virtual awards ceremony on May 11.

The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service feature more than 150 sales awards, customer service awards, business development awards, new product awards, and solution provider awards categories. Entrants may submit any number of nominations to any number of categories.

New this year, for all categories the submission requirements have been extended to allow nominations to include accomplishments for the past two years instead of one.

There are many new categories for 2022 including Sales Engineer of the Year, Sales Support Professional of the Year, Virtual and Pre–Sales Professional of the Year, Remote Sales Innovation of the Year, Sales Employer of the Year, and an entirely new section of categories to recognize Thought Leadership achievements in business development, customer service, and sales. Explore all of the categories here.

The Stevie Awards is also pleased to present the Ethics in Sales Award, sponsored by Sales Partnerships. This category has no entry fee. This award recognizes organizations for best practices and achievements in demonstrating the highest ethical standards in the sales industry. Entrants can submit specific examples, case studies, practices, etc. that illustrates why the organization being nominated should be considered an excellent example of best practices in sales. This award is based on activities in 2021.

Stevie Awards President Maggie Miller states, "Every year our judges grow more and more impressed with the submissions in the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. We encourage any organization who wants to be recognized for their achievements since July 2019 to request an entry kit to see which categories would best highlight those successes."

Winners of the 2021 edition of the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service included American Red Cross, Blackbaud, Inc., Carbonite, Cisco Systems Inc., ClassicCars.com, DHL Express, ElectronicArts, GoDaddy, IBM, John Hancock Financial Solutions, Land O'Lakes, Mailchimp, Modern Campus, Nasdaq Governance Solutions, Nutrisystem, Paylocity, SoftPro, Travelzoo, ValueSelling Associates, VIZIO, Inc., Vodafone Turkey, and more.

The 2022 competition will be judged by more than 150 professionals around the world.

About the Stevie Awards
Stevie Awards are conferred in eight programs: the Asia–Pacific Stevie Awards, the German Stevie Awards, The American Business Awards , The International Business Awards , the Stevie Awards for Great Employers, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, and the Middle East & North Africa Stevie Awards. Stevie Awards competitions receive more than 12,000 entries each year from organizations in more than 70 nations. Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. Learn more about the Stevie Awards at http://www.StevieAwards.com.

Marketing Contact:
Nina Moore
Nina@StevieAwards.com
+1 (703) 547–8389

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/ad785517–4799–4518–88e5–b3b0127ed355


Madison Realty Capital Originates $345 Million Loan for St. Regis Residences on Boston Waterfront

NEW YORK, Jan. 13, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Madison Realty Capital, a vertically integrated real estate private equity firm focused on debt and equity investment strategies, today announced that it has originated a $345 million loan to Cronin Development for the completion of a 22–story, 114–unit residential and retail condominium development at 150 Seaport Boulevard in Boston, Massachusetts.

The property will contain a mix of one–bedroom to six–bedroom penthouse residences with waterfront views, a majority of which will feature outdoor space, and 10,211 square feet of retail. The Residences will feature a full range of amenities, including a fitness and wellness center with a spa and jacuzzi, bistro–style restaurant with waterfront dining, a grand lounge and pool overlooking the harbor, boardroom, business center, catering kitchen, wine vault, and two guest suites, all managed by St. Regis residential staff.

Josh Zegen, Managing Principal and Co–Founder of Madison Realty Capital, said "Boston's Seaport District is expanding rapidly, but high barriers to entry and long entitlement processes have constrained the supply of luxury condominium offerings. We are pleased to expand our presence in Boston to deliver an attractive and complex financing solution mid–construction for a significantly presold property to Cronin Development, a developer with over twenty years of experience developing and managing real estate projects in the Boston area. This transaction reflects Madison Realty Capital's ability to deliver unique financing and certainty of execution for residential projects in every phase of development."

Jon Cronin, Founder of Cronin Development, said "We are thrilled to engage Madison Realty Capital as a single source of financing to complete this luxury residential product, which will be the last waterfront residential development in the Seaport District. Madison Realty Capital was able to leverage its knowledge of the Boston condominium market to quickly and efficiently provide us a tailored financing solution during the construction process that will enable us to complete the project in the near term."

Madison Realty Capital has significant experience investing in Boston. Notable transactions include a $165 million loan to Scape North America for the development of a 451–unit multifamily project in Boston's Fenway neighborhood and a $314 million construction loan to Raffles Boston Back Bay Hotel & Residences.

About Madison Realty Capital

Madison Realty Capital is a vertically integrated real estate private equity firm that, as of December 31, 2021, manages approximately $8 billion in total assets on behalf of a global institutional investor base. Since 2004, Madison Realty Capital has completed approximately $20 billion in transactions providing borrowers with flexible and highly customized financing solutions, strong underwriting capabilities, and certainty of execution. Headquartered in New York City, with an office in Los Angeles, the firm has approximately 70 employees across all real estate investment, development, and property management disciplines. Madison Realty Capital has been frequently named to the Commercial Observer's prestigious "Power 100" list of New York City real estate players and is consistently cited as a top construction lender, among other industry recognitions. To learn more, follow us on LinkedIn and visit www.madisonrealtycapital.com.


Covid-19 Disrupts UN & Threatens Potential Cash Crisis in World Body

The UN’s empty corridors. Credit: United Nations

By Thalif Deen
UNITED NATIONS, Jan 13 2022 – The 22-month-old coronavirus pandemic – which has claimed over 5.4 million lives worldwide, devastated economies and reduced an additional 100 million people to poverty—has also disrupted the work of a partially locked-down United Nations triggering a potential cash crisis in the world body.

Addressing the UN’s Administrative and Budgetary Committee late last year, a spokesperson for the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) said for “any organisation to succeed, it must be given adequate financial resources to implement its mandates. However, COVID-19 has disrupted not just the UN’s work, but many of our economies”.

“It is understandable that countries whose economies have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 may face difficulties in paying their assessments (namely UN’s membership dues). It is therefore all the more important for Member States that have the capacity to pay their assessed contributions to do so in full, on time, and without conditions”.

“Otherwise, the UN faces a real risk of not having the resources it needs to carry out its mandates,” said the spokesman for ASEAN, a group which comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Last year, 11 countries were in arrears under the terms of the UN charter, including Antigua and Barbuda, Comoros, the Republic of Congo, Guinea, Iran, Papua New Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe, Somalia, Sudan, Vanuatu and Venezuela.

Article 19 of the UN charter says “A Member of the United Nations which is in arrears in the payment of its financial contributions to the Organization shall have no vote in the General Assembly, if the amount of its arrears equals or exceeds the amount of the contributions due from it for the preceding two full years. The General Assembly may, nevertheless, permit such a member to vote if it is satisfied that the failure to pay is due to conditions beyond the control of the Member.”

Asked about the defaulting member states, Paulina Kubiak, Spokesperson for the President of the UN General Assembly, told reporters January 12 there were 11 Member States on the list, which is similar to the numbers in previous years.

She said these Member States are unable to vote in the General Assembly until they make the minimum payment. But there are a few exceptions.

In A/Res/76/2, the General Assembly decided that Comoros, Sao Tome and Principe, and Somalia shall be permitted to vote in the GA until the end of the current 76th session, leaving 8 countries still in default.

The exceptions are made by the General Assembly at the start of the session on the recommendation of the Committee on Contributions. These exceptions are based largely on the state of a country’s faltering economy.

On December 24, the 193-member UN General Assembly adopted a regular budget of $3.12 billion for 2022 while the annual peacekeeping budget is around $6.5 billion.

The off-and-on lock down of the United Nations since March 2020– with the overwhelming majority of its 9,900 staffers working from home—is beginning to have an impact on the operational services of the world body.

The lockdown, which was partially lifted last month, has been reinstated twice. In a message to New York-based UN staff sent out on January 10, Gilles Michaud, chair of the UN’s Occupational Safety and Health Committee, says after consultation with UN’s senior leadership, it has been decided staffers will continue to work from home (WFH) and not return to office (RTO)— through 28 January “at which point the situation will be reviewed once again.”

The decision to extend WFH has been prompted largely by the fast-spreading Omicron variant which last week averaged about 37,000 cases daily and overwhelmed New York city hospitals. But there is no official breakdown of the number of virus cases among UN staffers.

Ambassador Boubacar Diallo of Guinea, the outgoing chairman of the Group of 77 plus China, the largest single coalition of developing countries at the UN, warned late last year that the Group continues to be disappointed that due to security concerns, the Administrative and Budgetary Committee is being deprived of interpretation services (in the UN’s six official languages) during informal consultations.

This is primarily due to the absence of staff from the UN premises.

“We look forward to the day that multilingualism is fully restored, and we can enjoy interpretation services as we are doing here today. We are committed to a thorough consideration of the agenda items allocated to the Committee, and in this regard, note with disappointment that several reports are still outstanding,” he added.

This endemic situation, he pointed out, significantly compromises the Committee’s work.

“The global challenges that we face today are becoming far more complex and interconnected, and the solutions require a collective global response. As we have heard from many of our leaders (during the UN General Assembly sessions in September), this is the time for us to double down on multilateralism and reaffirm our commitment to a rules-based multilateral system,” said Ambassador Diallo.

With a resolution being adopted by consensus, including the 134 members of the G77, he said, “It is not possible to turn a blind eye to a General Assembly resolution and a deaf ear to the two-thirds majority of the General Membership.”

Speaking on behalf of the 27-member European Union (EU), Thibault Camelli, Counsellor to the delegation of the EU to the United Nations, said: “We call upon all Member States to pay their contributions in full and on time. We remain deeply concerned that the liquidity situation of the United Nations continues to undermine delivery of mandates.”

The temporary solutions introduced so far, he warned, have only alleviated the consequences of this crisis, and they corner the Organization into systemic underperformance. The Member States of the European Union call upon the Committee to rise up to this challenge. We will continue to advocate for sustainable solutions to this crisis”, he declared.

Joseph Chamie, an international demographer and a former director of the United Nations Population Division, told IPS the current crisis should not come as a surprise to Member States as the coronavirus pandemic has greatly impacted the work of the United Nations.

In addition to the large majority of UN staff members working from home, the normal day-to-day operations of the Organization have been greatly reduced and restricted, he said.

“It’s understandable that many Member States are disappointed with the lack of interpretation services. However, with the available technology, interpretation services for the UN languages should be able to be provided without difficulties”.

It is also not surprising, said Chamie, that many Member States, especially the poor less developed countries, are calling on wealthy, more developed nations to increase their financial contributions to the United Nations.

“However, it strikes me as somewhat ironic that many Member States, including less developed countries, say that have difficulties paying their UN assessments, but they have few difficulties in paying for their military expenditures.”

The UN budget for 2021 was only U.S. $3 billion, a relatively small cost for the international body. In comparison, he pointed out, the UN annual budget amounts to:

— a small percentage of the military expenditures of many countries, including China, India, Russia, the United States and the European Union; 4 percent of the worldwide pet food market; 3 percent of U.S. annual spending on soft drinks; and 1 percent of the wealth of the two richest Americans.

Regarding possible reductions in the numbers, salaries and benefits of UN staff members, it makes little sense and appears to be largely for domestic political consumption. Hopefully, Member States, and the General Assembly, will focus on those critical global issues facing the world’s nearly 8 billion inhabitants.

The relatively small budget of the United Nations is a real bargain for Member States and the world.
In terms of cost, deaths and injuries, the price of peace is far less than the price of war, Chamie declared.

Meanwhile, US Ambassador Patrick Kennedy, Senior Advisor for UN Management and Reform, told delegates the United States urges budget discipline across the UN system and will closely examine the increasing demands for assessed contributions.

This includes ensuring that only necessary construction is undertaken and that major projects avoid cost over-runs. The UN should also seek to contain increased spending in response to new and expanded mandates by eliminating outdated ones, consolidating duplicative areas of work, and repurposing existing resources.

He said staff entitlements and conditions of service comprise nearly two-thirds of the UN’s costs. Reestablishment of a unified salary scale remains a priority for the United States, including through addressing divergent decisions by different administrative tribunals across the UN common system, enhancing transparency on compensation costs including by use of commercially available data, and reaffirming the authority of the ICSC, while improving its methodology.

Speaking on behalf of the African Group, Ambassador Harold Adlai Agyeman of Ghana said: “We insist that, as much as possible, all in-person meetings be held with interpretation services as required by the relevant rules of procedure of the General Assembly and agreed resolutions on multilingualism that is at the core of this organization”.

He said Members of the African Group use, as working languages, four of the six official languages of the United Nations. The Group therefore considers it of utmost importance that Member States should be able to contribute to the deliberations of the Committee in the official language they are optimally effective in.

The UN’s six official languages are: Arabic; Chinese; English; French; Russian; and Spanish.

 


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“Let us now praise brave women and men”: The Nobel Peace Prize 2021

By Jan Lundius
STOCKHOLM, Jan 13 2022 – In several countries around the globe, telling the truth is according to its rulers and other influential, generally wealthy, persons a serious crime that might be punished by muzzling the truth-tellers, slandering and humiliating them, and threatening their families and friends. If that does not make them shut up and repent they might be tortured, imprisoned and even killed.

George Grosz: “A Writer, Is He?” (1936)

Novaya Gazeta was founded in 1993 with the self-imposed task of acting as “an honest, independent, and rich source of information benefiting Russian citizens.” However, to provide a critical and investigative coverage of Russian political and social affairs is a precarious venture and Novaya Gazeta’s 60 journalists, divided between ten major Russian cities, are all living dangerously.

In 2000, Igor Domnikov, who in Novaya Gazeta wrote witty essays about business corruption, had by the door to his apartment his skull crushed by a hammer blow. In 2001,Victor Popkov died after being wounded in a gunfight while on Novaya Gazeta’s behalf reporting about the Chechnyan war. In 2006, Anna Politkovskaya, human rights activist and Novaya Gazeta reporter, was in the elevator of her block of flats shot twice at point-blank range, in the chest and the head. In 2009, a human rights lawyer, Stanislav Markelov, was shot to death while leaving a news conference in Moscow, less than 800 metres from the Kremlin, while Anastasia Baburova, a journalist from Novaya Gazeta who tried to come to his assistance was shot and killed as well. The same year, the Novaya Gazeta reporter Natalia Estemitrova had been seen screaming while she was forced into a car just outside her house in the Chechnyan capital Grozny. Two hours later she was found dead from one shot to the head and one to the chest.

Shchekochikin, a member of the Parliament, was in Novaya Gazeta writing articles about criminal activities and corruption among officers of FSB RF, Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation, the main successor agency to KGB. Shchekochikin died suddenly on 3 July 2003 from a mysterious illness, a few days before his scheduled departure to the U.S., where he was going to meet with FBI agents investigating U.S. contacts with Russian oligarchs and FSB agents. Shchekochikin’s medical records were lost, though physicians who had treated him explained that their patient’s symptoms indicated poisoning from “radioactive materials”.

It was not the first time KGB/FSB used radioactive substances to poison defectors and detractors. The first recorded incident was in 1957 when Nikolai Khoklov was poisoned by radioactive Thallium-201, suffering symptoms similar to those of Roman Tsepov, a corrupt businessman who in 2004 after drinking a cup of tea at a local FSB office experienced a sudden drop of white blood cells and died after two weeks. In 2006, Alexander Litvinenkov, a defector and former FSB agent died in London after being poisoned with polonium-210. In 2018, another defector and former military intelligence officer, Sergei Skripal, was in Salisbury with his daughter poisoned by a Novichok Nerve Agent and in 2020, anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny was poisoned by a similar substance.

When Novaya Gazeta’s editor-in-chief, Dmitry Muratov, in Oslo was awarded the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize he lamented Russian limitations to free speech, adding that he was not the rightful receiver of the prestigious prize. Worthier men and women had lost their lives while defending the truth: “It’s just that the Nobel Peace Prize isn’t awarded posthumously, it’s awarded to living people.” Accordingly, in his Nobel speech Muratov stated that:

    “…this award is for all true journalism. This award is to my colleagues from Novaya Gazeta, who have lost their lives – Igor Domnikov, Yuri Shchekotschikhin, Anna Politkovskaya, Anastasija Baburova, Stas Markelov and Natasha Estemirova. This award is also to the colleagues who are alive, to the professional community who perform their professional duty.”

The Philippine journalist Maria Angelita Ressa shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Dmitry Muratov. The prize was awarded for “their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace.”

In her speech, Maria Ressa mentioned that “in the Philippines, more lawyers have been killed – at least 63 compared to the 22 journalists murdered after President Rodrigo Duterte took office in 2016.” Just the day before she was giving her Nobel speech, Maria Ressa’s colleague, Jesus “Jess” Malabanan, was killed in a street in Manila.

Rodrigo Duterte remains popular among the majority of the Philippine population. After his election victory in 2016 something called DuterteNomics was introduced, including tax reforms, infrastructure development, social protection programs, a shift to a federal system of Government and strengthened relations with China and Russia. The infrastructure initiative was promoted through the slogan: “Build! Build! Build!” In 2021, 214 airport projects, 451 commercial social and tourism port projects, 29,264 kilometres of roads, 5,950 bridges, 11,340 flood control projects, 11,340 evacuation centres, and 150,149 classrooms were completed under the infrastructure program.

In spite of this progress Duterte has from some quarters been severely criticized for his obvious authoritarianism, self-glorification, and rampant populism, expressed through callous and vulgar rethorics, for example his trivialization of rape and the murderous activities of vigilante groups. Duterte has repeatedly confirmed to personally having killed suspected criminals during his term as mayor of Davao and he is the only Philippine president who has refused to declare his assets and liabilities. Furthermore, he has by human rights groups, such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, been directly linked to extrajudicial killings of over 1,400 alleged criminals and street children, while the International Criminal Court in The Hague currently is investigating his administration’s crackdown on narcotics, said to have left as many as 30,000 dead, while the administration listed the toll at around 8,000.

Duterte’s image of being a strong-willed, controversial but highly efficient leader has been actively supported by a docile propaganda machinery which, among other means, allegedly is supported by a pro-Duterte online “troll army” that is pushing out fake news stories and manipulating the narrative around his presidency. Such misuse of the web was lamented by both Markelov and Ressa, who emphasized that one of the main tasks of journalism is to distinguish between facts and fiction, meaning that a reporter must patiently and objectively investigate as many angles as possible of an issue at large. Markelov quoted the famous war photographer Robert Capa: “If your picture isn’t good enough, you aren’t close enough.”

Both Markelov and Ressa declared that the immense power of a constantly and increasingly advanced communication technology is both beneficiary and harmful for upholding the truth. It connects people from all over the world, allows for sharing ideas and the spreading of awareness about human rights abuses. However, the web also spreads a virus of lies that incites us against each other, brings out our fears, anger and hate, and sets the stage for the rise of authoritarians and dictators all over the world. Journalists have to contradict that kind of hate and violence, which by Ressa is defined as:

    “the toxic sludge that’s coursing through our information ecosystem, prioritized by American internet companies that make more money by spreading that hate and triggering the worst in us. […] What happens on social media doesn’t stay on social media. Online violence is real world violence. Social media is a deadly game for power and money. […] Our personal experiences are sucked into a database, organized by Artificial Intelligence, then sold to the highest bidder. Highly profitable micro-targeting operations are engineered to structurally undermine human will – a behavior modification system in which we are Pavlov’s dogs, experimented on in real time with disastrous consequences in countries like mine,”

Markelov stated that much of the unfounded and manipulated information that spreads its poison through the web have dimmed our conscience and even worse, making people believe that:

    “… politicians who avoid bloodshed are weak. While threatening the world with violence and war is the duty of true patriots. Aggressive marketing of war affects people and they start thinking that war is acceptable.”

In such a poisoned environment truth-telling journalists are suffering. In may countries they live under a real threat of being slandered and tortured, of spending the rest of their lives in jail, or being brutally murdered. They have no idea what the future holds for them. Nevertheless, these heroes of the free word assume that their sacrifices are worth the risks they are taking. They believe in their mission to bring the truth to people and thus support empathy, peace and critical thinking. In the words of Markelov:

    “Yes, we growl and bite. Yes, we have sharp teeth and strong grip. But we are the prerequisite for progress. We are the antidote against tyranny. […] I want journalists to die old.”

Source: https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/2021/ceremony-speech/

 


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On Nuclear Weapons, Actions Belie Reassuring Words

Credit: Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament/Henry Kenyon

By Daryl G. Kimball
WASHINGTON DC, Jan 13 2022 – On Jan. 3, the leaders of the five nuclear-armed members of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) issued a rare joint statement on preventing nuclear war in which they affirmed, for the first time, the 1985 Reagan-Gorbachev maxim that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”

The U.S., Chinese, French, Russian, and UK effort was designed in part to create a positive atmosphere for the 10th NPT review conference, which has been delayed again by the pandemic. It also clearly aims to address global concerns about the rising danger of nuclear conflict among states and signals a potential for further cooperation to address this existential threat.

The question now is, do they have the will and the skill to translate their laudable intentions into action before it is too late?

U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price hailed the statement as “extraordinary.” A more sober reading shows that it falls woefully short of committing the five to the policies and actions necessary to prevent nuclear war.

In fact, the statement illustrates how their blind faith in deterrence theories, which hinge on a credible threat of using nuclear weapons, perpetuates conditions that could lead to nuclear catastrophe.

The statement asserts that “nuclear weapons—for as long as they continue to exist—should serve defensive purposes, deter aggression, and prevent war.” Yet, such broad language suggests they might use nuclear weapons to “defend” themselves against a wide range of threats, including non-nuclear threats.

Given the indiscriminate and horrific effects of nuclear weapons use, such policies are dangerous, immoral, and legally unjustifiable.

At the very least, if the leaders of these states are serious about averting nuclear war, they should formally adopt no-first-use policies or, as U.S. President Joe Biden promised in 2020, declare that the sole purpose of nuclear weapons is to deter or possibly respond to a nuclear attack.

Even this approach perpetuates circumstances that could lead to nuclear war by accident or miscalculation. The only way to ensure nuclear weapons are never used is “to do away with them entirely,” as President Ronald Reagan argued in 1984, and sooner rather than later.

But on disarmament, the statement only expressed a “desire to work with all states to create a security environment more conducive to progress on disarmament with the ultimate goal of a world without nuclear weapons with undiminished security for all.” This vague, caveated promise rings hollow after years of stalled disarmament progress and an accelerating global nuclear arms race.

A year ago, Russia and the United States extended the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, but they have not begun negotiations on a follow-on agreement. Meanwhile, both spend billions of dollars annually to maintain and upgrade their nuclear forces, which far exceed any rational concept of what it takes to deter a nuclear attack.

China is on pace to double or triple the size of its land-based strategic missile force in the coming years. Worse still, despite past promises “to engage in the process leading to the total elimination of nuclear weapons,” Chinese leaders are rebuffing calls to engage in arms control talks with the United States and others. The United Kingdom, meanwhile, announced last year it would increase its deployed strategic warhead ceiling.

Fresh statements by the five NPT nuclear-armed states reaffirming their “intention” to fulfill their NPT disarmament obligations are hardly credible in the absence of time-bound commitments to specific disarmament actions.

At the same time, the five, led by France, have criticized the good faith efforts by the majority of NPT non-nuclear-weapon states-parties to advance the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). Contrary to claims by the nuclear-armed states, the TPNW reinforces the NPT and the norm against possessing, testing, and using nuclear weapons.

Rather than engage TPNW leaders on their substantive concerns, U.S. officials are pressuring influential states, including Sweden, Germany, and Japan, not to attend the first meeting of TPNW states-parties as observers. Such bullying will only reinforce enthusiasm for the TPNW and undermine U.S. credibility on nuclear matters.

The leaders of the nuclear five, especially Biden, can and must do better. Before the NPT review conference later this year, Russia and the United States should commit to conclude by 2025 negotiations on further verifiable cuts in strategic and nonstrategic nuclear forces and on constraints on long-range missile defenses.

China, France, and the UK should agree to join nuclear arms control talks no later than 2025 and to freeze their stockpiles as Washington and Moscow negotiate deeper cuts in theirs.

Instead of belittling the TPNW, the five states need to get their own houses in order. Concrete action on disarmament is overdue. It will help create a more stable and peaceful international security environment and facilitate the transformative move from unsustainable and dangerous deterrence doctrines toward a world free of the fear of nuclear Armageddon.

Source: Arms Control Today

Daryl G. Kimball is Executive Director of the Arms Control Association, Washington DC.

 


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