First of all - thank you for inviting me to this conference. I am deeply moved and honored and grateful to Hiroshi Taka and The Organizing Committee for inviting me and for their heavy work in arranging this conference.
In these dark times it is important to recall the pretext for the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
I have came to understand that the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were victims for geopolitical ambitions by the US. Innocent people had to endure terrible pain and death for US ambitions to frighten the Soviet Union into ending the war on favourable terms for the U.S.
Since than, the whole world has lived under the threat of nuclear annihilation. We must not forget that the US government has threatened to use nuclear weapons as many as 20 times since the bombing of Hiroshima. Third World countries were and are the main targets for these threats. In January 2002, when the Cold War since many years was over, the US administration presented us a Nuclear Posture Review where seven countries were named as targets for nuclear weapons attack.
I am happy to come from a country that doesn't possess nuclear weapons. But there were far reaching plans in Sweden during the fifties to develop nuclear weapons. Thanks to a strong and committed resistance mostly lead by women we didnLt join the nuclear club.
But times are changing - Sweden is now a member of the European Union. At the NPT PrepCom in Geneva this year Greece spoke on behalf of Sweden in the European Union . I am glad though that Sweden is an active member in New Agenda Coalition a formation of seven countries that works for pressing the nuclear weapons states to follow the commitments in NPT. But I regret that Sweden's own voice in world affairs has become weak. One example is that our Prime Minister Goran Persson didnLt condemn US preparations for war on Iraq.
As a member of the European Union - Sweden is in a way involved in the nuclear club, even if weapons of mass destruction are not deployed on Swedish soil. UK and France two European countries have a huge nuclear arsenal which -if launched- could eradicate the whole northern hemisphere. And the U.S. has deployed nuclear bombs in 6 European countries and in Turkey. As a Swede I am responsible for seeing to that these mass murder tools are abolished.
I represent the Swedish Peace Council, which is an umbrella body of about 20 Swedish Organisations. I want to end up with part of a document presented by us:
The world can no longer allow itself to be dominated by the arrogance and the despotism of one superpower but must instead ensure that the interests of all peoples and nations are safeguarded by international cooperation.
We demand that the commitments made in the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) be fulfilled, that nuclear weapons must be withdrawn from foreign countries territories, all nuclear weapons be taken out of alert status, that all nuclear weapons laboratories be closed, that the development of all new nuclear weapons be terminated and that an international conference be convened in accordance with the proposal of the UN Secretary General to urgently remove the nuclear danger.
Thank you for listening.