Mr. / Madam chair, ladies and gentleman: It is an honour to speak to you now. In August 1945, as a girl of 15, I felt horror and grief, when I learned of the atomic bombing and the terrible suffering inflicted on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. My country is contradictory. And I am angry.
Through our Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, a parliamentary committee review Canadafs Nuclear policies and we got our government to acknowledge in 1999 that eliminating nuclear weapons is the only sustainable strategy. But Canada remains in NATO, a nuclear alliance. We got Canada to press for NATOfs review last year to cover the nuclear component. NATO reaffirmed its NPT undertaking to abolition. But it insisted that nuclear weapons remain essential to its security! We also worked to get Canada to support The New Agenda Coalition at the UN. Canada put a representative of our network on its delegation to the NPT conference. And it helped get all of NATO, except for France, to vote for the New Agenda resolution last fall.
Despite our repeated protests, Canada allows NATO to do low level fighter-bomber training in Labrador over unceded aboriginal lands. And though the NAC resolution says a negotiated binding instrument is needed for a nuclear-weapon-free world, Canada does not support UN resolutions to this end.
The network meets regularly with government officials. Science for Peace puts pressure on the government by developed advice. Veterans Against Nuclear Arms is holding a photo exhibit in several cities with the atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, pictures to stop people. Polls show 93% of Canadians want our government to join in negotiating an abolition convention, but nothing happens.
And we are still straggling to get our government to say NO to US missile defence, despite our public meetings, web sites and letter-writing campaign. We met with numerous numbers of parliament and with the Minister of National Defence. We provide evidence that missile defence is the first stage in the US plan to weaponize space and maintain global dominance. We caught newspaper and TV attention and support, and we have three peace magazines.
Canada knows the only defence against nuclear weapons is to abolish them. It must stop balancing its NATO and disarmament roles. It must work with the new agenda countries to implement its commitment to abolition. We are the country that used partnership between civil society and governments to produce the Land Mines Ban Treaty. We try to hold the government to its promises. Why not collaboration between citizens and governments to their abolitionist words into actions?
Like the Japanese people Canadian are under the shadow of the US. We who long for a world at peace must turn our anger into passion. As I watched the flickering lanterns moving down the river in Hiroshima on August 6th, I felt the undying love they represent and the courage that made Hiroshima and Nagasaki rise from the ashes. Nuclear weapons are the ultimate evil -- our moral passion can and must free the world of the terror of the apocalyptic end of humanity.