A call for 2003 World Conference against A & H Bombs

The Organizing Committee for the World Conference against A & H Bombs has published a call for support for and participation in the 2003 World conference. The appeal was adopted at the organizing committee's general meeting on February 13 in Tokyo. The meeting also adopted the general program of the "March 1st Bikini Day." Following is the text of the appeal entitled "Toward a World Without War and Nuclear Weapons - An Invitation to the 2003 World Conference against A & H Bombs":

Dear friends in Japan and the world, who are demanding "No war on Iraq and a peaceful resolution of the problem"and "No use of nuclear weapons and their elimination!" As tension increases over the choice between war and peace, we will hold the 2003 World Conference against A and H Bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki from August 3-9 for the cause of a 21st century free of nuclear weapons and war.

We call on anti-nuclear and peace movements, NGOs working in various fields, and national governments as well as local governments, irrespective of social position, ideology, creed and nationality, to participate in and support the World Conference.

The U.S. Bush administration, with its unilateral military attack strategy in defiance of the U.N. Charter, is now preparing a war on Iraq. The Bush administration is defying the international community's efforts to have U.N. weapons inspectors continue and even strengthen their activities in Iraq to achieve a peaceful resolution. It goes so far as to brazenly threaten to make a preemptive attack that may include the use of nuclear weapons on the pretext of the need to foil the alleged development of weapons of mass destruction.

These moves have given rise to increasing international criticism throughout the world. With strong opposition expressed even among U.S. allies, an international movement is developing extensively in many parts of the world to prevent a war. The urgent task now is to oppose the use of nuclear weapons, press for their elimination, and defend the rules established in the U.N. Charter for peace.

Inspired by the past two world wars and the tragic experiences of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the world established in the U.N. Charter rules for peace and made major strides toward the abolition of nuclear weapons. In 2000, an "irrevocable undertaking" was agreed upon to eliminate nuclear arsenals. In last year's U.N. General Assembly, resolutions calling for the implementation of this "undertaking" were adopted by an overwhelming majority, a clear manifestation of the solid world trend moving toward the abolition of nuclear weapons. Let us check every adverse current, including the attempt to use or develop nuclear weapons and to acquire nuclear weapons; let us demand that this task be put into practice without delay.

During the last half century, the Movement against A & H Bombs has joined together with Hibakusha (A-bomb survivors) and contributed to making the call "No More Hiroshimas, No More Nagasakis" heard in every corner of the world.

At a crossroads of war or peace and of more threats of nuclear weapons or their elimination, we are renewing our resolve to make a new advance. Criticizing the government of Japan, the only atomic bombed country, for condoning the U.S. preemptive nuclear attack policy as an "option"and embarking on the road leading to Japan's cooperation with U.S. wars, we will strive to change the government's position.

In the effort to assemble the voices to form the majority demanding a peaceful world without war and nuclear weapons, we call for diverse forms of activities and cooperation to be developed in both international politics and popular movements in various countries. In recent years, government representatives' presence has been increasing in the World Conferences. Let us continue to develop this form of cooperation. We call on you to organize various kinds of activities, including A-bomb photo exhibitions and signature-collection campaigns on Hiroshima Day (Aug. 6) and Nagasaki Day (Aug. 9). We also ask you to participate in or support the people's peace marches from many Japanese cities leading to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Again, we call on you to work to further increase our movement and cooperation from the grassroots level in Japan as well as throughout the world, and participate in and support the 2003 World Conference against A and H Bombs. (end)

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