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Thursday, November 05, 2009

Resolution of the Civil Society Symposium Coinciding With the ICNND Hiroshima Meeting

(The civil society's call for action, shared by Yuki Tanaka, Professor of Hiroshima Peace Institute)

Towards a World Without Nuclear Weapons—Now is the Time to Act!

Civil Society Symposium Coinciding with the ICNND Hiroshima Meeting


Hiroshima, 18 October 2009

Now is the time to decide once and for all to rid the world of nuclear weapons and to urgently begin to put that decision into practice.

International momentum towards the creation of a world without nuclear weapons is growing. We must grasp the opportunity before it is lost. It is vitally important that concrete steps for the abolition of nuclear weapons be taken at the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, which will be held in New York in May 2010.

It is in this historic context that we have gathered, while the 4th meeting of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (ICNND) is being held here in Hiroshima. As the shared will of the Hibakusha and other people gathered here, we make the following fervent appeal to the international community, to the ICNND, to the Japanese government and to Japanese civil society.

To the International Community

 The reality of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki shows clearly that there is no future for the human race unless nuclear weapons are abolished, but the nuclear weapons states have failed to honor their past promises and legal obligations to work to implement this objective. They have not negotiated in good faith for nuclear disarmament. Nuclear weapons states and non nuclear weapons
states must fulfill the undertakings they made at the 1995 and 2000 NPT Review Conferences and all countries, NPT members and non-NPT members, should begin negotiations forthwith on a Nuclear Weapons Convention to comprehensively outlaw and eliminate nuclear weapons.

 The international community must work to create a peaceful, just and environmentally sustainable world in which human, national and international security do not depend on military force, especially not on nuclear weapons or any other weapons of mass destruction.

 The nuclear proliferation dangers posed by the civil use of nuclear energy must be acknowledged frankly and addressed in ways which do not exacerbate existing problems or create new problems.

To the ICNND

 Strengthening the momentum for a world without nuclear weapons that has emerged since the advent of the Obama Administration, the Commission should make recommendations which give further impetus to this trend. The Commission’s recommendations must be ahead of the game, not lagging behind moves that are already in train.

 Mindful of the catastrophic use of nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the wishes of the Hibakusha, the Commission should point the way toward entry into force of a Nuclear Weapons Convention by 2020.

 The Commission should strongly urge the commencement of negotiations on a Nuclear Weapons Convention as a short-term goal for the next four years.

 It should also recommend that the UN Security Council confirm that the use of nuclear weapons is a crime against humanity, and that nuclear free zones backed by negative security assurances should be expanded.

 In particular, the Commission should state clearly its support for the principle of “no first use” of nuclear weapons. It should recommend that all nuclear weapon states and their allies adopt such a policy immediately, at least by the 2010 NPT Review Conference.

 Since its inception the Commission has received several submissions from NGOs, including two from the ICNND Japan NGO Network. The recommendations in these submissions remain valid. The Commission should seriously study the submissions it has received from civil society and incorporate their comments and recommendations into its report.

To the Japanese Government (summary of points covered in the civil society petition handed to the government on October 15, 2009)

 The Japanese Government should make an official declaration of support for a nuclear “no first use” policy and demand that the United States adopt a nuclear “no first use” policy too.

 At the UN General Assembly and the NPT Review Conference the Japanese Government should express its support for Ban Ki Moon’s nuclear disarmament proposal and the commencement of negotiations on a Nuclear Weapons Convention.

 The Japanese government should issue a political statement saying that it aims for a North-East Asia Nuclear Free Zone and use fora such as the six party talks to further this aim. It should commence concrete negotiations to this end and, in the spirit of its Peace Constitution, Japan should move to a security policy that is not dependent on nuclear weapons.

 The Japanese government should promptly reconsider its missile defense plan, which is an obstacle to the reduction of tensions in East Asia and North-East Asia.

 The use of plutonium and highly enriched uranium entail the risk of nuclear proliferation. So that Japan can truly contribute to nuclear non-proliferation, the Japanese government should reconsider its nuclear fuel cycle policy.

To Japanese Civil Society

 Listen to the witness of the Hibakusha and spread the message in our schools and local communities. When we do so, always draw connections with current nuclear weapons problems and the elimination of nuclear weapons.

 Let us ensure that people in our local communities are aware of the historic times in which we live and the unprecedented opportunity to move forward on nuclear disarmament.

 Call for local authorities which are not yet members of Mayors for Peace and the National Council of Japan Nuclear Free Local Authorities to join, and for Mayors who have not yet signed the Hiroshima/Nagasaki Protocol to sign up.

 Make sure that this year and next year local authorities which have made “nuclear free” declarations hold events involving citizens.

 Lobby our locally elected Diet members to work for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

 Continue to promote civil society cooperation for nuclear abolition throughout the world, so that together we can shift the international community.

 Together let us build a powerful movement for nuclear abolition in the lead up to the NPT Review Conference in May 2010.

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