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Pugwash Conference ends with anti-nuclear declaration
The 55th Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs was held in Hiroshima July 23-27, and issued the "Hiroshima Declaration" calling on "the nuclear weapons states to recognize that the security of each nation is best served by concluding a Nuclear Weapons Convention prohibiting such weapons."
Referring to nuclear weapon states hampering progress in nuclear disarmament, the declaration states, "new nuclear weapons are being proposed, and military doctrines are being revised that place a greater reliance on the potential use of such weapons" and calls on all states to respect the obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) as immediate steps to reduce the nuclear threat.
Pointing out that "as long as nuclear weapons exist, they will one day be used," the declaration demands that a treaty prohibiting all nuclear weapons be concluded and that the numbers of strategic and tactical nuclear weapons be reduced, prior to their prohibition and elimination.
Pugwash President M.S. Swaminathan closed the conference by emphasizing that "to prevent the potential nonstate uses of nuclear weapon, nuclear weapon states should not lose even one day in working toward the goal of zero in the existence of nuclear arsenals."
The Pugwash Conference is an international organization consisting of world scientists working for the abolition of nuclear weapons. It was the second time for Japan to hold the conference after the one in 1995. In this year's conference, 170 scientists from 40 countries participated. Cairo, Egypt will be the host city for the conference next year.
The full text of the Hiroshima Declaration is as follows:
The 55th Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs
60 Years After Hiroshima and Nagasaki
27 July 2005, Hiroshima, Japan
Hiroshima Declaration of the Pugwash Council
On the 60th anniversary of the nuclear devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we call upon political leaders, scientists, and citizens of the world to overcome the dangerous complacency regarding the ever present threat posed by nuclear weapons to the entire international community.
The decade since 1995, when Pugwash last met in Hiroshima, has been one of missed opportunities and a marked deterioration in global security, not least regarding the nuclear threat. In that time, additional states have acquired nuclear weapons, there has been little tangible progress in nuclear disarmament, new nuclear weapons are being proposed, and military doctrines are being revised that place a greater reliance on the potential use of such weapons.
We call upon all states to respect their commitments to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and to conclude a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty, as important near-term steps to reduce the nuclear threat. Beyond that, we urge the nuclear weapons states to recognize that the security of each is best served by concluding a Nuclear Weapons Convention prohibiting such weapons.
Nuclear weapons must be declared illegal and immoral. Steps must be taken to devalue the dangerous importance of nuclear weapons in military doctrines and greatly reduce the numbers of strategic and tactical nuclear weapons, prior to their prohibition and elimination.
The dangers are clear. A nuclear confrontation could spin out of control in the event of a major regional conflict. To protect against the threat of a terrorist use of a nuclear device, far more needs to be done to control and eliminate excess nuclear fissile material to prevent a catastrophic attack. Pugwash has proposed concrete steps for the elimination of highly enriched uranium to prevent it falling into the hands of terrorists. We call upon governments to act on these recommendations, and quickly.
Members of the Pugwash Council, meeting just steps away from Hiroshima's ground zero, urge our fellow scientists and citizens to confront the threat of nuclear weapon use that could materialize at any time, without warning, in any part of the world. To political and government leaders, our message is simple, but stark: as long as nuclear weapons exist, they will one day be used.
Only by acting in the spirit of the 1955 Russell-Einstein Manifesto - "we appeal, as human beings, to human beings: Remember your humanity, and forget the rest" - can a nuclear catastrophe be averted. What happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki must never happen again.
Contact Information: Dr. Jeffrey Boutwell, Executive Director, Pugwash Conferences
11 Dupont Circle, NW, Washington, DC, USA; 202-478-3440
-- Akahata, July 28, 2005
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