2002 World Conference against A & H Bombs


Gerald O'Brien

Peace Council of Aotearoa-New Zealand

Minasan Konichiwa

Greetings to all our brothers and sisters united in the cause of abolition of all nuclear weapons and of justice for those afflicted by them.

Thank you for asking nuclear free New Zealand—nuclear free now for 18 years—to once again share in, and gain strength from, this great conference for humanityfs future.

Thank you also for the great moral role played by the Hibakusha of Japan in making us understand our obligation to make our world nuclear fee.

Every citizen of every free country has a duty, an obligation, to help rid our world of nuclear weapons.  No country, no state, no political system is entitled to employ mass murder in order to maintain itself.

This yearfs is a vital conference.  Let us look at the state to which the world has been reduced by disavowal of—no, betrayal of, the legal commitment to the high principles of the United Nations Charter, and the practise now of the only Super Power to believe it can settle all problems by military means.

It has already killed indiscriminately and without the retribution of justice and, in doing so, there is to bring the United Nations to ruins.  It has made international law a casualty and has announced that it feels free to make war on the world, designating in its official documents, its order of battle and its victims—which yesterday started to include its friends, Saudi Arabia.

Not since the 1930fs has the world seen such blatant plans and conspiracy to wage aggressive war.  Beside them, the United Nations seems impotent.  It too, like its predecessor, is in great danger of failure in the face of the unbridled U.S. nuclear posture of the Bush Doctrine, which call on the world to surrender to U.S. domination.

This moment of time, which may not recur again, demands that we shed all our apathy, that we find the response that we witnessed earlier in this conference amongst the young of Japan—that we find their energy and their enthusiasm and their vitality to combing with the wisdom, judgement and experience the older generation owns, to say on behalf of humanity, that the Bush Doctrine is in tolerable.  Let us stretch out our hands to the people of the United States who feel profound disquiet at the direction of their government.  Let us embrace those friends of peace, of justice and of law in the U.S.A., just as we embrace those here in Japan who pay honour to the noble concepts of Article 9 and the Preamble to Japanfs Constitution.

I urge you all, dear friends, to study closely the Declaration of the International Meeting of this Conference.  It sounds the red alert for the future of civilisation.  It demands an end to the nuclearistfs, the globaliserfs usurpation of humanityfs needs, resources and rights.  It calls for an end to the rampant unrestrained greed whose squalid service now drives the Bush Doctrine.

Our world faces a crisis of morality.  We must act on this confrontation between power and the law.  The menacing rule of barbarism can be checked only if people of good will unite. 

So then, let us in this sacred city, listen intently to the silent cries from Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Let us listen, and hear, for from those silent cries will come that final comprehension of our duty to secure the peace, justice, human dignity and social progress.  That our calls for no more Hiroshimas, no more Nagasakis, have illuminated over the years: and our calls for that peace in honour that only total abolition of nuclear weapons and justice for our loved Hibakusha will secure.

Domo Arigato Gozaimashita.  Gambarimasho.