As we entered the 21st century, the demand for a nuclear-free world gathered momentum in international politics and also in international public opinion. We, the participants in the 2001 World Conference against A & H Bombs, call on people around the world to work together to abolish nuclear weapons, which continue to threaten the survival of humankind, and build a world where justice and hope will prevail.
In the closing year of the 20th century, the United States and the other nuclear weapons states, under pressure from the world public, agreed on an "unequivocal undertaking to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals" at the 2000 NPT Review Conference. The cry of the Hibakusha -- "Hiroshima and Nagasaki Never Again" -- has become a worldwide demand for the abolition of nuclear weapons. Along with the efforts of the governments of the New Agenda Group, Non-Aligned countries and other non-nuclear governments, this call is increasing its impact on international politics.
Nuclear weapons states, however, are showing no willingness to set about the elimination of their nuclear arsenals. While talking about reduction of a certain number of nuclear warheads, the U.S. and Russia still cling to a policy of nuclear deterrence on the excuse of "national security" or "new threats", and try to maintain their privileged nuclear monopoly.
Especially, the Bush Administration is working to establish nuclear supremacy by developing a new system that combines nuclear weapons with "Missile Defense" systems. This will, in turn, give the U.S. more freedom to initiate nuclear attacks and thus reinforce its infamous first strike strategy. Seen in this light, the danger of U.S. pursuit of global dominance becomes ever clearer. Furthermore, the U.S. aims to bury the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and to scrap a number of other agreements. The urgent task for us now, in order to achieve world peace, is to make headway on the abolition of nuclear weapons, and to stop these new and dangerous moves.
The arrogance of superpowers in seeking their own narrow "national interests" has drawn protest over the issues of environmental destruction, unemployment, poverty, hunger and debt. Their position becomes more and more incompatible with the interests of the peoples and governments of other countries. The establishment of a just and peaceful democratic international order based on the U.N. Charter is an ever more pressing task.
The Japanese Government has expressed understanding of and cooperation with "Missile Defense", and is moving to deeply involve Japan in U.S. nuclear policy. Japan hosts over 100 U.S. military bases under the Japan-U.S. military alliance. Asian countries are increasingly alerted by the clear moves of Japan to take a more and more substantial part in U.S. military activities. Military alliances are clearly incompatible with wishes for peace and opposition to nuclear weapons. Japanese peace forces are urging the Japanese Government to take positive action for nuclear weapons abolition, as befits the government of the A-bombed country, and to abide by the Three Non-Nuclear Principles. The Japanese peace forces reject attempts to justify the past war of aggression through the authorization of a school textbook which gives a distorted picture of history, and they are working for full implementation of Article 9 of the Constitution. These efforts are important in order to reinforce the ongoing developments in Asia in favor of peace.
As the tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki shows, the security of the world and the future of humankind will be assured only by sweeping away the threat of nuclear weapons. In order to swiftly achieve a world set free of nuclear weapons, this first World Conference against A and H Bombs of the 21st century calls on the people of the world to take the following actions:
August 5, 2001
International Meeting, the 2003 World Conference against A and H Bombs