Abolition of Nuclear Weapons, Now -- Call for Worldwide Action and Solidarity
The International Meeting of the 2004 World Conference against A & H Bombs on August 4 adopted the following is declaration entitled Abolition of Nuclear Weapons, Now -- Call for Worldwide Action and Solidarity.
Assembled in Hiroshima, the first victim city in history to experience the tragedy of nuclear attack, we call on the people of the world to rise in action together to eliminate all nuclear weapons from the earth.
The Atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 instantly destroyed the two cities, killed over 200,000 people by the end of the year and are now consuming lives, minds and livelihoods of the surviving victims even now, 59 years later, leaving them in anxiety about the delayed effects that may appear over generations. The movement for the elimination of nuclear weapons has spread worldwide in response to the call of the Hibakusha that the humans cannot coexist with nuclear weapons. It has prevented the use of nuclear weapons many times over. Nevertheless, about 30,000 nuclear arms are still deployed and stockpiled around the world. Getting rid of this threat is an urgent duty.
With the deepening concern about the war on Iraq and its implications, the dangers of actual use of nuclear arms and about nuclear proliferation, the demand for the implementation of the "unequivocal undertaking" to accomplish the elimination of nuclear weapons, agreed upon by the nuclear weapons states at the 2000 NPT Review Conference, is gathering momentum. Many nuclear powers, however, are resisting this call.
The US Bush administration, in particular, is going against this undertaking. It promotes the so-called "preemptive attack" strategy, which includes the use of nuclear weapons as an option. The aim is to impose an "order of force", even by using force to overthrow governments that refuse to comply with the US dominance under the cover of "countering terrorism", or removing "the danger of the proliferation of WMD". On the other hand, it is not only maintaining its own massive nuclear arsenals, but it is also engaging in the research and development of "mini-nukes" and other "usable" nuclear weapons, the possibility of resuming underground nuclear tests, in the missile defense program and the weaponization of outer space. As evidenced by the war on Iraq, the policy of "rule of force" is posing an actual new threat to our world in the 21st century.
If a nuclear superpower attempts to dictate to the world by force with its nuclear arsenals, the principles of the UN Charter on the peaceful solution of international conflicts and equality between nations will be completely destroyed. However, the unlawful war on Iraq and the subsequent occupation have met the concerted voice of "NO!" from the overwhelming majority of people around the world and of many governments. Diverse movements for a new world order based on peace and justice are in progress. As proved by this development, our time is no longer one where the outrages like the ones above can prevail.
Now is the time to take action to create a peaceful world without nuclear weapons. Let us prevent the use or threat of nuclear weapons and demand that the abolition of nuclear weapons be fulfilled. This will open a way to the fundamental resolution of the danger of the new development or proliferation of nuclear weapons. The six-party talks on North KoreaŐs nuclear weapons program is an example that shows that the peaceful resolution of the problem of nuclear weapons development is possible.
Among the US allies and the nuclear weapons states, some actions have been taken recently in favor of the effort for peace and the abolition of nuclear weapons. Further progress is possible if the grassroots movements, NGOs, and national and local governments develop their cooperation to reach this goal, while fulfilling their own roles. We call on all peace-loving people of the world to join actions to accomplish the abolition of nuclear weapons, on which the survival of the human race depends. Such developments will help to accelerate the process of establishing world peace and security based on the UN Charter.
Learning from the past war of aggression and from the experience of the A-bomb tragedies, Japan has upheld pacifism and the non-nuclear weapons principle. The current move towards the revision of the Constitution and the review of the "Three Non-nuclear principles" is causing deep concern among the peoples of Asia and the rest of the world. At a time when the resolution of international disputes by peaceful means is most needed, the revision of the peace Constitution, which laid the renunciation of war as JapanŐs basic principle and gave Japan an internationally pioneering role, will run counter to the major direction of the development in Asia and the world.
The background of this move is a campaign to make Japan, under the Japan-US military alliance, take an active part in US initiated wars. This would lead to further consolidation of Japan as a base for nuclear blackmail and nuclear attack. It is vital for peace in Asia and the rest of the world that Japan retain its peace Constitution and that the "Three Non-Nuclear Principles" continue to play an active role so that the only A-bombed country can lead in achieving the elimination of nuclear weapons.
Towards the NPT Review Conference in May 2005 and further to the 60th year of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki tragedies in August of the same year, let us build up momentum in both the peace movement and public opinion with the common slogan: "Abolition of Nuclear Weapons, Now!" The initiative of the Mayors for Peace, which proposes a major action in New York on May 1 and a variety of other actions are already in place. We support these initiatives aimed at abolition, and call for global action in solidarity to reach our common goal.
We demand that the nuclear weapons states, both declared and undeclared, make plans for the abolition of their nuclear arsenals and set about implementing them without any further delay, doing away with the use or threat or development of nuclear weapons. We call on all governments to put forth every effort to start and complete negotiations for an international agreement for the abolition of nuclear weapons. We further urge that they vote in support of the resolutions that call for the elimination of nuclear weapons in the coming session of the UN General Assembly, thus renewing the determination for abolition and taking concrete steps toward it. The "nuclear umbrella" should be renounced and nuclear weapons deployed in foreign territories must be removed.
Let us develop the signature campaign in support of the call: "Abolition of Nuclear Weapons, Now - Let there be no more Hiroshimas and no more Nagasakis", initiated by the 2003 World Conference and widely supported by many people, organizations and government leaders. Towards the 2005 NPT Review Conference, let us build many creative actions all around the world, including joint presentation of signatures and peace marches.
The course of the 21st century will be determined by the actions of people supported by the world public opinion. Grassroots actions in each country are the key. Let us strengthen our solidarity with the Hibakusha of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the victims of the Bikini test and other nuclear victims in the world. Let us create a global movement to make 2005, the 60th year of the atomic bombing, a year of international action to achieve a decisive turn toward liberating humanity from the horror of nuclear weapons. (end)
Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved.