2001 World Conference against A & H Bombs shows a great current for anti-nuclear peace from Hiroshima and Nagasaki -- Akahata editorial, August 10, 2001

The 2001 World Conference against A & H Bombs, the first in the 21st
century, took place for nine days, starting with the International Meeting
in Hiroshima (Aug. 3-5).

The World Conference participants discussed how to advance the world
towards eliminating nuclear weapons against the backdrop of the new
situation. Last year's Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty (NPT), which was initially designed to maintain the system of nuclear
weapons monopoly by nuclear weapons states, made the nuclear weapons states
agree to an "unequivocal undertaking" to eliminate their nuclear arsenals;
but counter currents also exist as it is evident in the U.S. Bush
administration's "missile defense" plan.

Encouragement to all people in the world

The World Conference received messages from the prime ministers or
presidents of New Zealand, Sweden, South Africa, and Thailand.
Representatives of four governments attended the World Conference and
expressed determination to advance the movement further, based on the
"unequivocal undertaking" of eliminating nuclear weapons.

In their diplomatic efforts to get nuclear weapons to be eliminated,
those government representatives expressed high expectations of the
Japanese Movement against A & H Bombs and its World Conference, thus
encouraging participants.

The World Conference was attended by many delegates from abroad who
promised to strengthen the movement for the elimination of nuclear weapons.
They had exchanges with 2,000 Japanese participants in Hiroshima and 6,500
participants in Nagasaki.

An important hallmark of this year's World Conference was that
representatives of various governments and national peace movements
expressed their mutual solidarity.

The "Declaration" of the International Meeting pointed out that public
opinion and movements of the world's people, in combination with the
non-aligned governments' efforts, have influenced international politics by
pushing the nuclear weapons states into accepting their commitment to the
"unequivocal undertaking."

It is also important that the"Declaration" stressed the need to take a
step forward toward eliminating nuclear weapons and fighting against new
dangerous moves of the U.S. Bush Administration, which wants an absolute
superiority over other nuclear powers, evidenced by the "missile defense"
plan and the move to make the CTBT dead a letter.

The "Declaration" called for joint efforts to be expanded among the
peoples of different nations, thoughts, and beliefs, and cooperation to be
developed with various governments which have made reasonable diplomatic
efforts, in order to form a huge united movement toward the elimination of
nuclear weapons.

As a first concrete action based on the "Declaration," the World
Conference - Nagasaki on August 9 unanimously adopted a letter to the U.N.
and the governments of all countries, requesting them to immediately start
negotiations on a treaty for the elimination of nuclear weapons.

The current call for a treaty to eliminate nuclear weapons was also
discussed by various organizations such as the World Conference of Mayors
for Peace (in Hiroshima and Nagasaki), the International Association of
Lawyers against Nuclear Arms, the Japanese Scientists, the Japanese
Consumers' Cooperative Union, the Hiroshima International Meeting of
Dialogue, and the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo) Peace.

In his address to the Peace Memorial Ceremony in Hiroshima, U.N. Secretary
General Kofi Annan stressed how important it was for the nuclear weapons
states to have made the "unequivocal undertaking" statement, saying that it
is high time to implement it. Also, the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
expressed their willingness to work hard to get nuclear weapons abolished.

Major current toward ban on nuclear weapons

In this year's World Conference, the basic action policy and messages
from abroad were unanimous in urging the nuclear weapons states to implement
the "unequivocal undertaking" and resist any adverse currents, including the
"missile defense plan" that goes against the tide for the abolition of
nuclear weapons.

This indicates that a major movement for a ban of nuclear weapons has
been developing in Japan and throughout the world. However, Prime Minister
Koizumi Jun'ichiro of Japan, the only atom-bombed country, has given up
calling on the U.S. to carry out the "unequivocal undertaking." Holding on
to a diplomacy subservient to the U.S. is what his foreign policy is all
about. This throws into sharp relief Prime Minister Koizumi's isolation in
the world current for peace.

The 2001 World Conference set out a new action plan toward achieving the
goal of the total abolition of nuclear weapons. World Conference
participants renewed their high spirits and building on what they have
achieved were resolved to develop further grassroots movements to achieve a
world free of nuclear weapons. (end)