Looking Back at the 4th Nagasaki Global Citizens
Assembly for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons
Hideo Tsuchiyama

Chairman, Organizing Committee, Nagasaki Global Citizens Assembly for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons
An optimistic and heightened atmosphere permeated the 4th Nagasaki Global Citizens' Assembly for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, held for three days from February 6, 2010. This is because global trends concerning nuclear weapons have changed substantially from the time of previous assemblies (held in 2003 and 2006) due mainly to changes in the U.S. nuclear policy resulting from the election of President Obama.

"We must not miss this opportunity" was the common recognition held by the representatives of NGO's who assembled in Nagasaki from around the world as well as the residents of Nagasaki. All participants believed that through the combined efforts of NGO's and citizens they must develop the emerging trends toward nuclear abolition into solid and concrete practices. Participants also shared a firm resolve to deliver a powerful message from Nagasaki, a city that suffered A-bombing, to the Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), to be held in May 2010. This determination was repeatedly expressed in the speeches delivered at the Opening Session by five representatives of overseas NGO's. While expressing expectations for the Obama administration, the speakers also mentioned that we should refrain from expecting too much of the administration.

At this 4th Assembly, while the number of workshops was reduced to three, a plenary session was organized with an eye toward reflecting discussions held there at the Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. I believe that this was effective in making discussions extremely substantial and rewarding. It was particularly meaningful that we were able to identify problems involved in nuclear dependence of non-nuclear weapon states, that is, the problems with the nuclear umbrella that citizens of non-nuclear weapon states must address, as well as challenges involved in the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Testing, Production, Stockpiling, Transfer, Use and Threat of Use of Nuclear Weapons and on Their Elimination (NWC). Based on awareness of these problems, we were also able to suggest policies toward solutions. During the Assembly we also clarified the limitations of the NPT system that nuclear weapon states intend to maintain and reinforce. We concluded that even though it is important to sustain the NPT system, this alone cannot prevent nuclear proliferation.

Concerning the succession of present nuclear abolition movements and creation of new movements, participants in the Assembly have confirmed that thorough promotion of peace education should be the foundation of such movements, even though we should introduce multi-faceted approaches to involve diverse generations in the movements.

Finally, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude for the coordinators and panelists for holding lively and heated discussions, audience members for eagerly asking many questions (some asking even after the end of scheduled Q&A sessions), and all other parties for supporting this Assembly.

Thank you very much.