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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 July 31 - August 6  > Antinuke International Meeting calls for making year 2020 turning point toward abolition of nuclear weapons
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2019 July 31 - August 6 TOP3 [PEACE]

Antinuke International Meeting calls for making year 2020 turning point toward abolition of nuclear weapons

August 4-6, 2019

The International Meeting of the 2019 World Conference against A and H Bombs ended on August 5 in Hiroshima City after adopting its Declaration which calls for making the year 2020 a “historic turning point to achieve a nuclear weapon-free, peaceful and just world”.

The three-day meeting began on August 3 in Hiroshima as the opening event of the World Conference.

On the first day, Noguchi Kunikazu gave the opening speech on behalf of the annual world conference organizing committee. Noguchi noted that 2020 will be the 75th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the 50th anniversary of the entry into force of the NPT. He appealed to the participants for the need to have all countries in the world sign and ratify the UN treaty banning nuclear weapons in order to put the treaty into practice as soon as possible.

Representing Austria, which already ratified the nuclear weapons ban treaty, George-Wilhelm Gallhofer, Minister, Head of Unit for Nuclear Weapons, IAEA, CTBTO and NPT Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, delivered a special report.

Gallhofer stressed that the current situation is difficult to achieve nuclear disarmament, but it is highly significant that nuclear weapons are declared to be illegal under the UN treaty. He called on the participants to work to abolish atomic weapons by winning an early entry into force of the antinuke treaty.

Japanese Communist Party Vice Chair Ogata Yasuo spoke in the morning session which focused on tasks in the run-up to the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing. Ogata said that this year’s World Conference is tasked to be ready to fight back against major nuclear weapons states at the next NPT Review Conference by “incorporating the public demand for total abolition from across the world and forging coalitions between NGOs and governments which support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.”

On the final day, presenting the draft Declaration, Tomita Koji, who heads the draft committee, called on the participants to make the year 2020 a turning point toward achieving a world without nuclear weapons through various global actions and joint efforts by governments and civil societies.

The adopted Declaration of the International Meeting (see below) states, “The confrontation between the forces that cling to nuclear weapons and those that stand for the elimination of nuclear weapons forms a basic structural fault line regarding nuclear disarmament in today’s world.” It goes on to state that the adoption of the TPNW is “creating a huge political and moral pressure on the nuclear powers.” The Declaration calls on the global anti-nuclear movements and civil society to bring their role into full play in efforts to exert pressure on nuclear weapons states to fulfil the obligation of conducting negotiations on measures for nuclear disarmament (Article 6 of the NPT). The Declaration also demands that the Japanese government get out from under the US “nuclear umbrella”, and support and participate in the TPNW.

The Declaration stresses the need to overcome the nuclear deterrence doctrine by making known the inhumane consequences of the use of nuclear weapons, with the A-bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as evidence. It also emphasizes the importance of building “the majority opinion to press for signing and ratification of the TPNW in the nuclear armed or dependent countries.” The Declaration calls for various actions to achieve this goal which include the enhancement of the International Signature Campaign in Support of the “Appeal of the Hibakusha of Hiroshima & Nagasaki for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons”, the success in the world conference against A and H bombs in New York and related international joint actions timed for the 2020 NPT Review Conference, and solidarity with social movements worldwide.

***

Declaration of the International Meeting

To make the year 2020, the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing, a historic turning point, we call for action with the Hibakusha to achieve a nuclear weapon-free, peaceful and just world.
There are still some 14,000 nuclear weapons on the planet. Rooting out this threat is an urgent task bearing on the security of the world and the future of the human race. Deeply understanding the experience of the Hibakusha, many people are standing up for action for the abolition of nuclear weapons. And broad range of citizens, especially young people, are joining actions for the solution of the climate change and other critical problems for the survival of the human race. Let us bring all these efforts together to build a worldwide movement.

Two atomic bombs dropped by the US on Hiroshima and Nagasaki 74 years ago instantly destroyed the two cities. They claimed the lives of about 210,000 people by the end of that year. The atomic bombs did not allow people to die humanly deaths nor live humanly lives. Those who barely survived the moment later suffered from A-bomb diseases and social discrimination. Nuclear weapons are unparalleled, devilish weapons that thoroughly trample on human dignity.

The nuclear powers, clinging to the policy of “nuclear deterrence”, are increasing the danger of nuclear weapons being used.
Reinforcing the readiness to use nuclear weapons, the US is continuing to develop new types of nuclear-armed missiles. Unilaterally withdrawing from the INF Treaty and leading to its expiration, the US is also seeking to consolidate its nuclear supremacy. In response, Russia openly suggests a possible preemptive use of tactical nuclear weapons in regional conflicts, as well as a development of new nuclear weapons. We are witnessing a dangerous situation leading to a new nuclear arms race.
The five nuclear weapon states strongly oppose the TPNW together, showing hostility against the international current for the abolition. They are ignoring the past pledges and agreements to achieve a “world without nuclear weapons”, and even Article 6 of the NPT which stipulates the obligation to negotiate for nuclear disarmament. “Creating an Environment for Nuclear Disarmament (CEND)” proposed by the Trump Administration is nothing but an attempt to indefinitely postpone nuclear disarmament by placing pre-conditions for it.
Nuclear power and nuclear-dependent states leaders insist that nuclear weapons are necessary for the security of their countries. Yet the “nuclear deterrence” policy is based on the premise of actually using nuclear weapons. Use of nuclear weapons for any reason whatsoever or against people of any country would result in catastrophic consequences that can never be justified in terms of their inhumanity. A “world without nuclear weapons” is the only way to ensure security for all without the threat of nuclear weapons.

A call for “a world without nuclear weapons” represents the overwhelming majority in both international politics and among global citizens. In isolation from them, nuclear powers are united in maintaining and consolidating their nuclear arsenals despite contradictions and conflicts. The confrontation between the forces that cling to nuclear weapons and those that stand for the elimination of nuclear weapons forms a basic structural fault line regarding nuclear disarmament in today’s world.
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) has established new norms that render nuclear weapons completely illegal, and making an important first step for their total abolition. It is creating a huge political and moral pressure on the nuclear powers. Their resistance and counteractions are an expression of their weakness. The TPNW has already been signed by 70 countries and ratified by 24. Its entry into force is a matter of time. When it comes into force it will certainly have significant impact.
The NPT will mark the 50th anniversary next year since its entry into force. Despite its inequality acknowledging the five powers possess nuclear arsenals, it is supported by many countries as it stipulates the obligation of conducting negotiations on measures for nuclear disarmament (Article 6). The Nuclear Five must not keep turning their back on this obligation. They are severely questioned by many across the world about whether they ever plan to fulfill their treaty obligation.
As seen in the number of agreements reached in the NPT Review Conferences since 2000 and the adoption of the TPNW, the global movement and public support have played the key role in achieving the breakthrough. Now is the time for the global anti-nuclear movements and civil society to bring their role into full play.

The US unilaterally pulled out from the JCPOA and is making the danger of armed confrontation imminent. The use of force, including nuclear weapons, should be prevented by all means. The heightening tension between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan is also causing grave concern. We strongly demand that the UN Charter rules for peaceful settlement of conflicts should be honored and that the problems be resolved through dialog and diplomacy. We urge the USA and DPRK to move negotiations forward and implement in good faith their Joint Statement in Singapore (2018) for the denuclearization of, and building a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula and normalization of the US-DPRK relations. We call on all parties concerned to step up their efforts for the peaceful settlement of this problem, strictly refraining from the threat of force or provocations.
In pursuit of the “My country First” principle, great powers are increasingly belittling or simply disregarding multilateral agreements. Yet, this is no longer a time when superpowers can prevail in the world whenever they please to serve their own interests. All urgent global problems, such as climate change, depletion of natural resources, poverty and inequality, can be solved only through multilateral cooperation, including the participation of civil society. Nuclear and other arms build-ups are massive wastes of resources, and render solutions of other global issues more difficult. We demand the establishment of a world order based on the peace principle of the UN Charter and multilateralism.

We extend our solidarity with the Japanese movement in its demand that the Japanese government should play its role befitting the only A-bombed country. As more than 400 municipalities have adopted resolutions to urge the Japanese government to sign and ratify the TPNW, this opinion is gaining broad support. Having witnessed the inhuman nature of nuclear weapons, Japan should quit the US “nuclear umbrella”, and support and participate in the TPNW. We express our firm support to the people of Okinawa. The US and Japanese governments should stop building a new US base at the Henoko district of Nago in Okinawa, which Okinawans have repeatedly rejected by overwhelming votes, and return the Futenma US Base immediately. In order to improve the deteriorating Japan-ROK relations, a sensible response from Japan is necessary, separating politics from economics and self-critically facing straight into the history of its aggression and colonial rule. Diplomatic efforts based on the peace principle of Japan’s Constitution, beginning with Article 9, and not the military build-up and reinforcement of the Japan-US military alliance, is the only way to establish peace in Japan and East Asia.

As we approach the 75th year of the atomic bombing, let us build up a huge anti-nuclear opinion to overwhelm pro-nuclear forces.
It is of crucial importance to enhance our activity to make known the inhumane consequences of the use of nuclear weapons, of the A-bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the first place. The key to overcome the “nuclear deterrence” doctrine lies in revealing the catastrophic, anti-human nature of the use of nuclear weapons.
We must build the majority opinion to press for signing and ratification of the TPNW in the nuclear armed or dependent countries. Further strengthening of our cooperation with parliamentarians, political parties and local governments to this effect is necessary.
The 2020 will also mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of the UN. We must remind ourselves of its first resolution, which set the starting point for post WWII international politics by calling for “the elimination of atomic weapons”. Using such occasions as the forthcoming UNGA session and the NPT Review Conference, we need to build cooperation between civil society movements and governments.

To achieve these goals, we call for the following actions:
-- Speaking tours by Hibakusha, photo exhibitions on the damage from A-bombings and many other forms of action devoted to the abolition of nuclear weapons; the International Signature Campaign in Support of the “Appeal of the Hibakusha of Hiroshima & Nagasaki for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons”, which will soon reach 10 million. Let us make a leap in it towards next year’s NPT Review Conference and the session of the UNGA in 2020. We must work hand in hand with the Hiroshima/Nagasaki Hibakusha, victims of Bikini Test and all other nuclear victims around the world.
-- Success in the world conference against A and H bombs in New York and related international joint actions timed for the 2020 NPT Review Conference.
-- Development of cooperation with a variety of movements working on peace against war, including: Cut in military expenditure; Settlement of conflicts by peaceful means; Opposition to the reinforcement of foreign military bases and demand for their removal; Opposition to the consolidation of military alliances and demand for their dissolution; Support and compensation for the victims of Agent-Orange and other war damage; and Promotion of peace education.
-- Solidarity with social movements for Zero nuclear power plants; Protection of global environment; Overcoming poverty and economic gaps; Improvement of living standards, employment security, protection and improvement of social security; Gender equality; Protection and development of democracy and human rights; Achieving the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) and other tasks.

The average age of the Hibakusha has now exceeded 82. We must speed up our efforts to meet the desire of the Hibakusha for the “elimination of nuclear weapons in our lifetime”. The struggle of the people against nuclear weapons which inherently deny human dignity is winning support across generations and national boundaries. Together with all people who want to live in dignity as humans, let us make every effort to achieve a nuclear weapon-free, peaceful and just world.

Hiroshima, August 5, 2019
International Meeting, 2019 World Conference against A and H Bombs


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