Nagasaki Appeal 2006

  Nagasaki Appeal 2006 

The 2005 Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), held in New York in May 2005, the sixtieth anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ended without progress toward nuclear disarmament. There was much disappointment in the atomic-bombed cities, especially since expectations were running high in that milestone year. North Korea's nuclear test on October 9 was another blow to people around the world who have devoted themselves to the abolition of nuclear weapons. However, we global citizens will never give up on efforts to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons.

Specific developments since the NPT Review Conference hold hope for the future.
Sensible governments, the United Nations, and NGOs have joined together, learned lessons from the setback, and boldly risen up as demonstrated by the following: The 60 recommendations of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission (WMDC) chaired by Hans Blix, which include the reaffirmation that the goal should be to "outlaw nuclear weapons"; the realization of a new and innovative Central Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (NWFZ), the first NWFZ of the 21st Century; growing support for Mongolia's nuclear weapon-free zone status; the increasing engagement of mayors and parliamentarians in nuclear disarmament through Mayors for Peace and the Parliamentary Network for Nuclear Disarmament; the Article VI Forum of the Middle Powers Initiative (MPI) convening likeminded states and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to bring about compliance with the nuclear disarmament obligation; and powerful citizen campaigns to stop the renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons system in the U.K.

Meanwhile, the surviving victims of the atomic bombings, the Hibakusha, although even today suffering from the aftereffects of radiation, are in their old age standing in the vanguard of the campaign to abolish nuclear weapons. Last year, the Hibakusha were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Although they were not awarded the prize, the Selection Committee expressed the highest praise for their activities. In order to expose the realities of the atomic bombings, more and more atomic bomb exhibitions and Hibakushas' witness accounts are being presented around the world every year. Among them, it is significant that in 2006 one such presentation was made at a U.S. government-operated museum in Nevada, where the U. S. nuclear test site is located. Few words are needed to help those who think of the development of nuclear weapons as a victory for science gain an understanding of the hellish scenes that unfolded beneath the mushroom cloud.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the historic Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice. The Court found that "the threat or use of nuclear weapons would generally be contrary to the rules of international law" and that all countries have an obligation "to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations" on nuclear disarmament in all its aspects.

This year, the sixty-first anniversary of the atomic bombings, is a new starting point. In Nagasaki, we have come together for the 3rd Nagasaki Global Citizens' Assembly for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons and conducted enthusiastic discussions over three days. The opening day was marked by the dedication of a sculpture in Nagasaki Peace Park. "The Cloak of Peace-Te korowai Rangimarie" was presented as a gift of friendship from the people of New Zealand to the people of Nagasaki. We were greatly encouraged by the participation of young people in the Assembly, including high school and university students, who reported on their sustained and broad-based peace activities.

Bearing in mind the results of the activities and discussions we engaged in, and on behalf of global citizens everywhere, we make the following appeal to the peoples of the world.

1. We strongly proclaim that nuclear weapons are the most barbaric, inhumane and cowardly of weapons, and we call upon the governments of all countries, without exception, to renounce the practice of seeking security through nuclear weapons.

2. We strongly condemn the provocative nuclear test conducted by North Korea. We reject any use of force in response and call for a peaceful, diplomatic resolution based upon a return to the six-party talks as well as bilateral talks.

3. Japan, as an atomic-bombed country, has an extremely important role and responsibility to fulfill in the abolition of nuclear weapons. We call on the Japanese government to reaffirm its commitment to the three non-nuclear principles by giving them the force of law through enactment of legislation. We give our support to Japanese citizens calling on their government for a policy shift as soon as possible from that of dependence on the U.S. nuclear weapons umbrella and for its support of an international treaty to abolish nuclear weapons.

4. To address legitimate regional security concerns, underlined by the North Korean nuclear test, we call for establishment of a Northeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone. In Japan, we support local authorities that have made nuclear-free declarations, and encourage citizens and local authorities to cooperate and strive toward this goal.

5. The control of weapons useable fissile material is necessary to prevent nuclear proliferation. We call upon the government of Japan to reconsider its nuclear fuel cycle program, including the production of plutonium.

6. Agreements reached at the 2000 NPT Review Conference, including the "unequivocal undertaking by the nuclear weapon states to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals," remain valid today. These include a diminishing role for nuclear weapons in security policies; taking nuclear weapons off high-alert status; ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT); negotiation of a verifiable Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT); and the principle of irreversible nuclear disarmament. We call on all governments to assure implementation of these commitments. A return to these commitments should be the starting point of the 2010 NPT Review Conference.

7. We oppose the double standards that accept some nuclear programs, and reject others. None are acceptable. We oppose the proposed nuclear deal between the United States and India. We appeal not only to the governments of those two countries, but also to all the governments participating in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to reject it.

8. We oppose the development of missile defense programs, including those that will lead to the weaponization of space. The promotion of missile defenses is serving to escalate competition for armaments, including nuclear arms, on a regional basis and throughout the world.

9. We call for the implementation of the recommendations of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission (WMDC). Let us promote these recommendations to national governments, parliaments, local governments, and civil society. Though it is clear that the United States and Russia need to cut their arsenals more rapidly and deeply, each of the nuclear weapon states must undertake further substantial reduction in their reliance on nuclear weapons. All nuclear weapon states should commit not to develop new or replacement nuclear weapons.

10. We call for strengthened efforts to encourage parliaments and local governments to act for the cause of nuclear disarmament, and to organize wide-ranging mass movements around the world. Current positive examples, unfolding on a worldwide scale, include the Emergency Action Plan of the Mayors for Peace (2020 Vision), the ongoing efforts of the Abolition 2000 Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons, and the new IPPNW International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).

11. We endorse and support the campaigns and civil resistance by British citizens and others who are acting to stop the renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons system and to promote the denuclearization of Europe. Also we encourage and support the campaign of US citizens against the nuclear weapon policies of the US government aimed at the indefinite possession of nuclear weapons, such as the Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW) program, and the development of new delivery systems for "global strike" capability. We further encourage and support the campaign of French citizens who are working to stop the development of new nuclear warheads and missiles.

12. We encourage and support all member states of Nuclear Weapons Free Zone (NWFZ) treaties, which constitute almost two-thirds of the community of nations, and call upon them to play even more active roles in promoting nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. We encourage the establishment of single state NWFZs and other regional NWFZs, and especially call on the governments in the Middle East to commence negotiations for the early and unconditional establishment of a zone free of nuclear weapons as well as other weapons of mass destruction.

13. To promote peace education and learning, we call for the establishment of public education systems which incorporate the recommendations of the United Nations Study on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Education, using a variety of teaching methods and content, to suit each sector of society, including youth, university students, the general public, opinion leaders and decision makers.

14. We call upon the media and entertainment industries as well as artists everywhere to help dramatize, graphically depict and awaken citizens of earth to the dangers posed by nuclear weapons.

15. We call upon citizens everywhere to add their voices to those of the Hibakusha in calling for the total elimination of nuclear weapons before these weapons destroy our cities, our countries and civilization itself.

23 October, 2006
The 3rd Nagasaki Global Citizens' Assembly for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons


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