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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 July 30 - August 19  > Declaration of the International Meeting
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2008 July 30 - August 19 [ANTI-N-ARMS]

Declaration of the International Meeting

August 5, 2008
The International Meeting of the 2008 World Conference against A & H Bombs adopted the following document at its closing plenary on August 4.

Sixty-three years since Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed with atomic weapons, the cry of the A-bomb survivors for the tragedy to not be repeated, has captured people’s hearts and minds; the demand for the elimination of nuclear weapons now prevails in world opinion. More and more people are determined to act to turn the 21st century into an age of peace, free from the threat of nuclear weapons. We call on the people around the world to work together in solidarity to achieve this goal.

Nuclear weapons continue to threaten world peace and the survival of the human race. Nuclear powers are still stockpiling or deploying approximately 26,000 nuclear weapons, and thousands of them are placed on high alert. Nuclear weapon states continue to hold onto their nuclear privilege. In particular, US leaders refuse to abolish nuclear weapons on the ground that “terrorism” and “proliferation” are the “new threat”, and they are engaging a strategy that combines preemptive military attack with the use of nuclear weapons. The development of new nuclear weapons and the development and deployment of a “Missile Defense” system, which complements the first use, are also elements of this strategy. They constitute a serious factor hindering the resolution of the problem of nuclear weapons proliferation.

The prevention of terrorism or proliferation cannot justify the possession of nuclear weapons, still less the practice of nuclear blackmail or military attacks. The tragic situations in Iraq and Afghanistan show that the peaceful resolution of proliferation issues, the elimination of nuclear weapons and the establishment of an international order of peace are the only road to choose.

With the irrationality of the nuclear deterrence doctrine becoming ever clearer, the call for “a world free of nuclear weapons” is gathering a new momentum. Even among nuclear powers and their allies, a number of government leaders are raising their voices to remove the nuclear danger completely, calling on the nuclear weapons states to take actions towards the elimination of nuclear weapons.

Reflecting the desire of people the world over, nuclear weapon-free zones are expanding in South East Asia, Central Asia, Mongolia, Africa, Central and South America and the South Pacific Region. The overwhelming majority of states have become parties to the NPT as “non-nuclear weapons states”, and are placing themselves under the treaty obligation to renounce the development or acquisition of nuclear weapons.

Now is the time to take steady steps forward towards a total ban and the elimination of nuclear weapons. To reach the goal, what is needed is a decision in world politics, particularly of the nuclear powers, as well as actions of the people of the world in solidarity.

We urge all national governments to move to pass a resolution at the UN General Assembly to agree to commence and conclude negotiations of a treaty, a nuclear weapons convention, to ban and eliminate nuclear weapons.

Having accepted the “complete elimination of their nuclear arsenals” as their “unequivocal undertaking” in May 2000, the Nuclear Five should fulfill their promise in good faith. Towards the next NPT Review Conference of spring 2010, we call for full compliance and implementation of all past agreements, including the commitment to “total elimination of nuclear arsenals”, the entering into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), the commencement of negotiations for a fissile material cut-off treaty (FMCT), and establishment of a Middle-East nuclear-free zone.

We further demand that all nuclear powers, declared and undeclared, and their allied governments renounce the threat or use of nuclear weapons, move to de-alerting, end the “Missile Defense” program, provide for security assurances to non-nuclear weapons states, make deep cuts in nuclear arsenals, and renounce strategies that rely on “nuclear deterrence” or “nuclear umbrellas”.

The NPT Review Conference of 2010 will present an important opportunity to open the prospects for the abolition of nuclear weapons. We propose to launch a worldwide action campaign at all levels of society to reach the common goal of a “world free of nuclear weapons” during the 20 months leading up to the NPT Review Conference. With a new signature drive for the abolition of nuclear weapons as a common form of action, let us develop international joint actions that will unite the world with many forms of creative action.

Also as an essential part of the actions, in solidarity with the Hibakusha of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and victims of nuclear development, we propose to hold A-bomb photo exhibitions, hearings from A-bomb survivors and nuclear test victims and many other types of events that will help to make known to the people of the world, and to young people in particular, the damage and cruel effects of the A-bombings.

We will work in solidarity with other campaigns, such as for peace and against war; for relief of Agent Orange and other war victims; for protection of the global environment; for overcoming reliance on fossil fuels and nuclear energy; for a resolution to the food crisis; overcoming poverty, destitution, hunger; for drastic cuts in military spending, and for the overcoming of all the negative aspects of economic globalization. Joining forces with one another, let us build a “peaceful and just world free of nuclear weapons”.

As the only country in history that has suffered a nuclear calamity and a country that stands on Article 9 of the Constitution that renounces war and war potentials, as well as on the “Three Non-Nuclear Principles”, Japan is urged to take leadership in swiftly abolishing nuclear weapons. In reality, however, it is deeply incorporated in the US nuclear strategy under its “nuclear umbrella” and serves as a sortie base for US warships operating around the Pacific, Indian Ocean and the Middle East. Further, a US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is about to be deployed in the Bay of Tokyo.

We express our warm solidarity with the people in Japan in their efforts to oppose these dangerous developments, to defend the Constitution and to establish a non-nuclear, peaceful Japan.

The future of humanity will be assured by resolute actions of peoples united around the world. Together with the Hibakusha, and together with younger generations who are our future, let us rise in action, now. – Akahata, August 5, 2008
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