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HOME  > Past issues  > 2010 April 28 - May 4  > International NGOs jointly call for convention to ban nuclear weapons
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2010 April 28 - May 4 [ANTI-N-ARMS]

International NGOs jointly call for convention to ban nuclear weapons

May 2 and 3, 2010
The International Conference for a Nuclear-free, Peaceful, Just and Sustainable World, held by anti-nuclear NGOs in New York, adopted a resolution on May 1 calling on all governments in the world to start negotiations for a convention to ban all nuclear weapons by 2020.

About 1,000 activists from around the world took part in this two-day conference, which was organized as part of international joint actions on the eve of the NPT Review Conference.

Tanaka Masami, secretary general of the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo), expressed in his speech that he hopes for all nations to educate their citizens about the horrors associated with nuclear weapons use through relaying the tragic experiences of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon spoke at the second day of the conference. He said, “From my day in office as Secretary-General of the United Nations, I have made nuclear disarmament a top priority.”

The Secretary-General pointed out that “the people of Hiroshima and the people of Nagasaki - and especially the hibakusha - know too well the horror of nuclear war. It must never be repeated.”

He went on to say, “Yet 65 years later, the world still lives under a nuclear shadow. How long must we wait to rid ourselves of these nuclear weapons? How long will we keep passing the problem to our succeeding generations? We here tonight know that it is time to end this senseless cycle. “

He said that he “will call on all countries – and most particularly the nuclear-weapons states – to fulfill” Article 6 of the NPT which “requires the Parties to pursue negotiations on general and complete disarmament under international control.”

General-Secretary Ban called on the participants: “Please keep up your good work. Sound the alarm, keep up the pressure. Ask your leaders what they are doing – personally – to eliminate nuclear menace. Above all, continue to be the voice of conscience. We will rid the world of nuclear weapons. And when we do, it will be because of people like you.”

Taka Hiroshi, secretary general of the Japan Council against A & H Bombs (Japan Gensuikyo) leading 1,500 delegates to New York from Japan, emphasized that for a world without nuclear weapons “the most important of all is to build up public opinion for a ban on nuclear weapons. We are not too sure about an outcome of the NPT Review Conference. NGOs are not parties. However, it is definitely our responsibility to raise the pubic awareness on the urgent need and possibility to render the world nuclear weapon-free.”

Introducing signature collection campaigns in Japan, he called on participants to take part in an international signature campaign for the “Appeal for a Nuclear Weapon-Free World” in order to develop public voices demanding a ban of nuclear weapons.

Hiroshima City Mayor Akiba Tadatoshi also delivered a speech. Nagasaki City Mayor Taue Tomihisa also attended the conference.
- Akahata, May 2 and 3, 2010
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