NPT TV - Diplomatic Sneak Preview
You are viewing the 2010 archives.  See the 2012 site.

Diplomatic Sneak Preview

A Night at the Movies, UN Style

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), May 6


For a change, we got to watch a movie today. On Ban’s invite, voilà a documentary on Global Zero due to be premiered only in June. Besides a couple of nice interviews to be seen as soon as cut, (by the way also with some of the prominence being featured in the multi-million documentary production as well as with the producers themselves) we enjoyed this thrilling documentary, a review of which I’d like to provide you in the following.

UN goes Hollywood

Remember “An Inconvenient Truth”? Rembember Al Gore, and how climate change became THE hot topic in 2007, with the Bali-summit preparing the way towards a follow-up treaty for the Kyoto-protocol? Everyone talked about it, they made millions, climate change was even acknowledged and its fight endorsed in the US. Momentum has really been building up lately, since the Prague speech by Obama, the Nuclear Posture Review on April 6th, the New START on April 8th, the Nuclear Security Summit on April 12th/13th (biggest gathering of heads of state since the founding of the UN 1945), the NPT RevCon in May and now, starting in June in Cannes, this global movie which is going to raise awareness on a massive scale.

The movie “Countdown to Zero”, by the producer Lawrence Bender, which you are gonna know from movies such as „An Inconvenient Truth“, or else almost all of Quentin Tarantino’s movies, for that matter, and which Ban warmly lauded for his mobilization of a global public for the cause of climate change is supposed to be doing the very same for disarmament. Go get ‘em, boys!


The producer stresses the film is actually part of a much larger movement, with students campaigning throughout the US, international partners in other countries, it’ll open in July 9th, and millions will watch it. Arguably, the timing could not be better. Marketing experts around the world are busy as we speak. The movie will start in Chinese theaters even before the US; also Iran, Egypt, Turkey, as well as Western Europe (the usual suspects) will be served soon, starting with the International Film Festival in Cannes.


Ban Ki-moon and Michael Douglas (UN-messenger for nuclear disarmament) also strongly endorse it. The movie itself carefully approaches the viewer to the topic of imminently possible nuclear annihilation, not scaring people of with details right away, but repeating the important facts to enhance the chances viewers will recall them. The movie loses itself in multiple enumerations of horrible anecdotes, but without getting boring in doing so, as every one of them seems noteworthy. Having gone through the issues of false alarms, easy access to launch-codes, hair-trigger alert, the staggering consequences of even few nuclear weapons detonating and causing a “nuclear winter”, an artificial ice age that would likely destroy almost the whole species due to plants not surviving three years of frost..


As to nuclear terrorism, insecure storage is covered, especially in countries such as Pakistan, as well as smuggling from the former Soviet Union, both of which could enable terrorists to blow up a major city changing all perspectives on security and personal freedoms forever. Pretty much detail is also given to just how swiftly a bomb could be made, once the fissile material has been acquired.


All of these dangers then converge into an enthusiastically, pathetically presented appeal to the world and audience to demand and pursue complete disarmament and reach Global Zero. Despite the fact that the connection between the dangers arising from terrorist proliferation and the imperative to disarm is poorly outlined, the movie does make a strong case for an end to the era of nuclear weapons. This will receive massive worldwide attention thanks to the scale on which the production will be advertised. It is only thanks to this hope of broad attention that I can get myself to write this very review in spite of the whoppingly depressive message conveyed buy this movie.

In case you aren’t yet in favor of a world without nukes:

Look, if […] you’ve never changed your mind about something, pinch yourself. You may be dead.

- closing sequence

 


In summary, the movie surely does not provide for an in-depths, differntiated look at the nuclear armament problem, but it does resume its dangers in a rather impressive way. Not touching on the controversial issues such as Israel, Iran, disarmament failures under article VI NPT, it can rather be described as the least common denominator, focusing on the indisputable dangers we face. But sure, why not? Leo Hoffmann-Axthelm

latest interviews

Final Doc: for Humanity & NGOs
Jonathan Granoff, President, Global Security Institute

Judging the Final Document
Rebecca Johnson, Director, Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy

Always the Next Generation
Natasha Barnes, Adviser, New Zealand Delegation

Is Consensus possible?
Anne Penketh, Program Director, British American Security Information Council

NAM on Discrimination
Pardohadiningrat Sudjadnan, Ambassador of Indonesia (Non-Aligned Movement)

Turkey explains deal with Brazil & Iran
Tacan Ildem, Ambassador of Turkey

National Positions vs. State Alliances
García Moritán, Ambassador of Argentina

Nuclear Energy as a solution for Africa
Boniface G. Chidyausiku, Ambassador of Zimbabwe (Chair of the 2009 PrepCom)

Ban Ki-moon’s 5-Point-Plan
Sergio Duarte, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs

USA on Nuclear Weapons Complex-Investments
Glyn T. Davies, Ambassador of the USA to the IAEA

New Draft, as of May 27th
Ray Acheson, Program Director, Reaching Critical Will

Swiss NPT
Jürg Lauber, Ambassador of Switzerland

Mexico sees NGOs as Allies
Pablo Macedo, Ambassador of Mexico

blog

about

TeamTeamFollow us!


This is NPT TV, a website designed to keep you up to date on what’s happening at Non-Proliferation Treaty conferences.

We’re a team of students from Germany. We’ve been working to bring you easily digestible video updates on the state of nuclear disarmament since 2007.

Since then, we’ve produced over 500 interviews with NGOs and diplomats reporting on the proceedings of NPT conferences and examining underlying issues.

This is the 2010 edition of NPT TV, and we’re working hard to keep you updated even through the frenetic run-up to the final document being negotiated, so stay tuned!

Intrigued? Offended? Want to know more?
We’d like to talk to you. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

NPT TV - the most trusted name in nukes




Imprint


Interviewees declarations do not neccessarily reflect NPT TV’s opinion.

All videos are published under the Creative Commons Licence. We cordially invite you to share our videos with your colleagues and friends and embed them on your website. Please do include a link to our website if you do so. Embedding our videos on your site is easy: when you watch a video you like, simply pause it and click on the “embed” button in the upper right-hand corner of the player, then click “copy embed code”. This provides you with the HTML-code you can then insert anywhere on your site in order to make the video appear. If you have problems doing so, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Special Thanks

Peter Kolbe
German United Nations Association

© NPT TV 2010
A project of the Student Peace Bureau

+1 (347) 225-1094
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)