30 January 2019, during a ceremony at the Kulturhuset in Stockholm, the Olof Palme Prize was awarded to Daniel
In an interview Dr Hans Blix -- after many years of experiences as a Swedish diplomat working in various positions in and for the UN -- shares his views on current international relations and challenges and opportunities in the international rules-based order. We are happy to share this interview, provided by the European Leaders Network ELN. A German edition for our German part of our homepage is in preparation.
In this long interview, Dr Blix elaborates on his 2017 ELN commentary ‘From an Isolated Iran to an Isolated US’ in which he states arguments made against the Iran Deal are tenuous; adding he felt it: “important to say that the US is getting away with claiming they are withdrawing from an agreement – it was not an 'agreement'. The Joint Plan of Action was not signed, nor termed a treaty or agreement because that could never be submitted to the US Senate. It was very deliberate. A deal was agreed between countries and given its legal binding force by the Security Council..."
As well as the Iran Deal, Dr Blix shares his views on supporting the integrity of international organisations, Russia-West relations, NATO, and attitudes toward global non-proliferation and arms control:
81 European political, diplomatic and military leadership figures are appealing to both Russia and the US not to take unilateral action that would jeopardise the future of the INF Treaty without further efforts, such a move would likely trigger an arms race and damage the global nuclear non-proliferation regime.
Early October 2018 President Trump announced his intention to terminate the INF agreement on banning land-based nuclear medium-range missiles which Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987 had agreed upon. Trump's announcement has led to a quick reaction in Germany: On 26 October 2018 nine former SPD leaders and four former ministers issued a call to stop a new nuclear arms race in Europe. "New intermediate range missiles will have even less warning time than the systems of the 1980s, the very weapons against which millions of people took to the streets in peaceful manifestations. This increases the risk of an unintended nuclear confrontation due to errors and miscalculations." Within a week more than 5,000 German citizens had declared their support via the Internet: No nuclear arms race in Europe!
My daughter Nika was born just a few years after Gorbachev and President Ronald Reagan signed the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, one of the world’s most important nuclear arms accords. With the stroke of two pens, the agreement banned an entire class of nuclear weapons, led to the destruction of nearly 2,700 warheads and diminished the threat of nuclear war in Europe. At the time, Gorbachev said, “We can be proud to plant this sapling, which someday may grow to be a full tree of peace.” Thirty-one years later, President Trump is taking an ax to that tree. This month, he announced that the United States will withdraw from the INF, all but inviting a new arms race: “We have more money than anybody else by far,” Trump said. “We’ll build it up until [China and Russia] come to their senses.”