2004 World Conference against A & H Bombs


Dialogue between NGOs and government representatives
5 August 2004

Luis Alfonso de Alba
Permanent Representative of Mexico to the UN in Geneva

Promoting nuclear disarmament is not only a responsibility of states. We are all vulnerable to the nuclear threat. Therefore, the international community as a whole, including civil society, should act together to address this problem in a comprehensive manner. International peace and security is a global good, and as such it is in the interest of everybody to preserve it. This implies a shared responsibility. We must all participate in promoting it. We all have the right to build our future, we all have the obligation to preserve peace, we all have to assume our responsibility and work towards nuclear disarmament.

But how can we act to foster a concerted action within the largest part of humanity which agrees that the mere existence of nuclear-weapons represents a threat to international peace and security. In this regard it is necessary that governments favouring a comprehensive approach to the threats of nuclear weapons, parliamentarians, local authorities, and civil society organizations act together and express the point of those who want to live in peace and out of nuclear danger.

Unfortunately, public opinion is not as aware as it would be desirable of the threats derived from the mere existence of these weapons. It is necessary that all those who are committed to achieve a nuclear-weapon free world act together in raising awareness on these issues.

The impact that Hibakusha and nuclear victims in the world have is of utmost importance. Nobody better than them can explain the horrors that nuclear weapons represent.

Similarly, initiatives such as Mayors for Peace have a very important role in raising awareness at local level. It is important to continue to work towards the objective of having more Mayors involved, particularly of cities of nuclear weapon States.

Civil society organizations have to make particular efforts in raising awareness in nuclear-weapon countries.

Civil society plays a pivotal role in Education for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation. Education has been underutilized for this cause. The media should be more involved in Education for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation. There is a need to ensure continuation of institutional knowledge.

Most of the great achievements of humankind have not been achieved by governments but by the people. Achieving a nuclear weapon free world might be a success of civil society.

Mexico is convinced of the positive contributions that civil society is in a position to make to the disarmament process. This is the reason why we will continue to press for a greater involvement of civil society in this process.


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