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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 July 30 - August 19  > World Conference pledges to build a stronger global movement toward nuclear weapons abolition
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2008 July 30 - August 19 [ANTI-N-ARMS]

World Conference pledges to build a stronger global movement toward nuclear weapons abolition

August 5, 2008
About 8,600 people from around the country along with overseas delegates participated in the opening plenary of the 2008 World Conference against A & H Bombs-Hiroshima on August 5 at Green Arena in Hiroshima City. Participants pledged to step up pressure for the abolition of nuclear weapons as the 2010 NPT Review Conference approaches.

Hiroshima Mayor
In his speech, Mayor of Hiroshima Akiba Tadatoshi, who is also the president of the Mayors for Peace that calls for U.N. efforts to abolish nuclear weapons, said, “The truth is that the abolition of nuclear weapons is the only way to protect citizens.”

Pointing out that citizens’ efforts to get nuclear weapons abolished are influencing the world, he said, “It is our mission to mobilize citizens to influence the state and change the world. I ask you all to join us in the effort to abolish nuclear weapons and achieve a lasting peace.”

Tsuboi Sunao, a co-chair of the Confederation of Atomic and Hydrogen Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo), on behalf of the entire Hibakusha (A-bomb survivors) expressed determination to continue to struggle for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

He called on the participants to “do all you can do for the cause of peace. Never give up on making the effort.”

Foreign speakers
Speakers included three foreign government representatives as well as five delegates from Australia, France, China, Afghanistan, and the United States.

The UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Sergio Duarte said that the U.N. General Assembly and the Non-Proliferation Treaty countries have made clear the goal of trying to achieve nuclear disarmament. Stressing that reduction of nuclear weapons must be transparent, subject to international verification, and irreversible, he said this process must be enforced under law.

The U.N. official said that he would not have worked for more than 40 years as a U.N. staff on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation issues if there is no possibility of success and that this is one of the loftiest work of humanity. “I am proud of being able to contribute to this collective effort,” he added.

The Malaysian Ambassador to Japan, Dato’ Mohd Radzi Abdul Rahman, said his country is reiterating its call for a full implementation of all the 13 specific steps agreed at the 2000 NPT Review Conference, including the unequivocal promise to eliminate all nuclear arsenals.

He said that Malaysia would hold an exhibition this year to make known to young people the calamities caused by the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Egyptian Embassy First Secretary Walid Ahmed Haggag said, “We are approaching a critical juncture in our efforts to press forward with our nuclear disarmament agenda, a juncture that will culminate in the 2010 Review Conference. The significance of this review cycle cannot be overstated, especially given that the 2005 Review Conference failed to reach any substantive agreement. In the run up to the 2010 Review Conference, we must never tire, here and elsewhere, from holding the nuclear-weapon States to account until they fulfill their legal commitments and abide by the provisions of the NPT.”
- Akahata, August 5, 2008
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