Messages from heads of state or government

The 2004 World Conference against A & H Bombs (Aug.2-9) received the following messages from heads of state or government:

New Zealand
Helen Clark, Prime Minister

I am again pleased and honoured to express the New Zealand Government’s support for the World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs.

The issues that the 2004 conference will discuss are important to me and my government. We share your concerns about today’s international tensions, particularly in the Middle East, and the need to make real advances towards the goal of a nuclear weapon-free world.

New Zealand works hard with like-minded countries on nuclear and other forms of disarmament of weapons of mass destruction. The problem of nuclear weapons did not disappear with the end of the Cold War, but rather has reemerged in new forms. No nation can stand aloof from the current threats to international peace and security, especially from terrorists.

The stark reality is that the prospects for the realization of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty’s aim seem no further advanced than when the Treaty was concluded in 1970. International concern with proliferation today is entirely proper and understandable. But the cause of non-proliferation will be given its greatest multilateral boost through real commitment to nuclear disarmament.

Your theme, Abolish Nuclear Weapons Now!, is a clear and compelling statement of your objective. It is an important objective, and one the New Zealand Government strongly supports.

I wish you all the best during your deliberations in August, and congratulate all participants for working tirelessly for a more peaceful world.

Tran Duc Luong, President

On the occasion of the 2004 World Conference Against A&H Bombs held in the two cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan from August 2nd to 9th 2004, on behalf of the Vietnamese people and in my own name, I extend to all international and Japanese delegates to the Conference my warmest greetings of solidarity.

As you know, in the struggle for national independence and freedom, the Vietnamese people had to overcome countless sacrifices and losses. It has been almost 3 decades since the war ended, yet, a significant part of the population of Vietnam are now confronting with the horrible consequences left by the war, especially, by Agent Orange/dioxin sprayed by the U.S. Army during the war in such a vast and densely populated area in South Vietnam, affecting over 3 million people at different levels. It is a reality that many veterans are among victims suffering from various fatal diseases such as cancer, and birth defects found in their offspring of different generations, and thousands of people died.

More than anyone else, the Vietnamese people understand the immediate disaster and long lasting legacies on human beings, society and environment caused by weapons of mass destruction, including the Atomic and Hydrogen bombs. Therefore, we express our strong solidarity with and wholehearted support for the just struggle of the Hibakushas, of all people, and peace and progressive forces in Japan and the world over for the prevention of atomic and nuclear wars, and total elimination of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction on Earth.

On behalf of the State and the entire people of Vietnam, I take the opportunity provided by the 2004 World Conference, to express sincere thanks to you, the friends of the Vietnamese people, the peace forces in Japan and in the world over for valuable support for the Vietnamese people in their struggle for national independence and reunification of our country in the past, and in the Renewal for national construction at present.

It is our confidence that with the noble goal and the untiring concerted efforts made by peace forces in Japan and all over the world there will be no more Hiroshima and Nagasaki holocausts happening anywhere on our planet. The success of the Conference will be a great source of encouragement to the movement of the peace and anti-war forces in Japan, in the region and throughout the world for peace, stability, cooperation and development.

May the Conference be crowned with a great success! May the solidarity and friendship for peace, cooperation and development between the peoples of Vietnam and Japan be further consolidated and strengthened.

Khamtay Siphandone, President

On behalf of the Government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and the Lao People, I would like to express my sincere congratulation to the Organizing Committee of the 2004 World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen bombs for creating all necessary conditions permitting this World Conference to take place.

During the war period, the Lao people throughout the country have experienced the situation akin to that of the Japanese people and Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 59 years before. The indescribable suffering and the great losses in materials and human lives still remain today in our memory.

Through this event, our Lao people reject the war and aspire faithfully to world peace and development cooperation without any weapons of mass destruction.

In this pleasant atmosphere, and fully animated by the solidarity of the participants from the worldwide, the Lao PDR reaffirms once again that the each yearly World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs has increased the tendency of world peace and limited all attempt to the production and possession of weapons of mass destruction.

Wish this 2004 World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs a great success.

Iajuddin Ahmed, President

The Conference holds out special significance for all peace loving citizens of the world. By calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons, the Conference sends out a clear signal that the progress of nuclear disarmament must be further consolidated and strengthened for achieving global peace and stability.

Bangladesh is constitutionally committed to the cause of complete and general disarmament including nuclear disarmament. We have been actively contributing to the cause of world peace. As a state party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, we will continue to renounce all weapons of mass destruction – Biological, Chemical and Nuclear.

On the eve of the World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs, let us make a renewed pledge to engage all out efforts toward preserving the human race with its diversity. This Conference reminds us once again that priorities for the new millennium should be based on an agenda for peace and development.

Goran Persson, Prime Minister

Thank you for giving me the opportunity also this year to address the World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs. As time passes there is a risk that the horrific experiences of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will fade into oblivion. We must never accept that.

At present, there are worrying signs of a growing interest in nuclear weapons – something that should have been a phenomenon of the past. It shows that there is no time for complacency – and that we must never tire in our fight for disarmament and non-proliferation. We must continue to build a system of international treaties and other measures for this purpose. We must strengthen our commitment to the international treaties already in existence, in particular the Non-Proliferation Treaty. No treaty is more important for continued progress towards the containment and reversal of nuclear proliferation than the NPT. We must bring all the world’s countries into the Treaty, we must make it clear that the development of nuclear weapon is contrary to the Treaty and we must ensure compliance with the Treaty.

Next year’s Review Conference is of particular importance. The 3rd Preparatory Committee of that Conference earlier this year was a disappointment as it did not produce the necessary recommendations. It is all the more vital that the Review Conference itself will be able to safeguard and further develop the agreements reached in the 2000 Review Conference, in particular the measures to implement Article VI of the Treaty.

I am encouraged by your resolve to make the 2004 World Conference Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs focus on the next year’s NPT Review Conference and to join hands with governments and NGO’s to press for real disarmament of nuclear weapons.

Allow me to express my deepest respect for your dedicated work and to assure the World Conference of the continuing support of the Swedish Government.

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