2004 World Conference against A & H Bombs

Opening Plenary
2004 World Conference against A and H Bombs

Pierre Villard
Co-president
French Peace Movement


Dear friends,

Permit me first to extend to you all the friendships of the French Peace Movement and to thank our friends in Gensuikyo who organize this event. Allow me also to greet our friends Hihakusha and express a special homage to their struggle.

The cooperation with Japanese pacifists is essential to us for building another world set free of wars and nuclear weapons. This is why I am very proud of being here and I hope that our meetings will allow us to strengthen the ties between our movements for the elimination of nuclear weapons from the whole world and to develop actions so that the NPT Review Conference to be held next May will see concrete advances for nuclear disarmament.

For the French Peace Movement, beyond the proliferation, it is the question of disarmament that is essential today. We will have to make strenuous efforts so that this question is considered at its just value in the process of changing the world. How to change the world loaded with nuclear weapons? How to meet the social needs with world military spending that has exceeded thousand billions of dollars a year, which is more than in the worst period of the Cold War? It is inconceivable. This is why we attach great importance to on-going convergence of anti-globalization movements, antiwar movements and all social movements. We are working to make them alive at the heart of the European Social Forums.

In France, we have a huge information gap to fill by educating the public on nuclear disarmament because many of French citizens donft know exactly the situation. And the fact is that for many years French government is doing as the other nuclear powers are doing : they are modernizing their nuclear weapons.

For this education, we have organized on two occasions nuclear disarmament days with our French partners of the Abolition 2000 network to inform and train our activists. Last January, the French Peace Movement proposed to its partners a nationwide opinion campaign. The campaign uses a communication material explaining nuclear weapons and the NPT by relying on the idea that the NPT has served as international law for 30 years and that it is time to apply it. This campaign invites the citizens to lobby their local assembly members and members of European Parliament as well as the President of the Republic so that France honors its commitments, in particular Article 6 of the NPT and that she takes initiative in view of 2005. For the moment, there are 41 French national organizations participating in the campaign: pacifist movements, trade unions, political parties, feminist or anti-globalization assoctiations. During the year 2004-2005, we will organize manifestations and citizensf inspections on the armament sites. Manifestations are already scheduled in the Ile Longue in Brittany and Taverny near Paris on October 10 as well as in Istres near Marseille on November 13. These initiatives are organized in the framework of the Decade for the promotion of peace culture and non-violence because nuclear weapons are incompatible with the culture of peace.

In this campaign, the committees of the French Peace Movement will organize numerous debates, especially in universities, high schools and cafes.

2005 will mark the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We have proposed to many of our partners, Japanese, British, Italian, Spanish, Ukrainian, and others to organize in Hiroshima next year an international event of young people for the culture of peace and the elimination of nuclear weapons. Our ambition is to make a hundred of young French take part in that meeting. Another hundred of animators of local committees of the French Peace Movement should also be present next year. There will therefore be 200 French in Japan next year in August to say gNo more Hiroshimas, no more Nagasakish. Abolish Now Nuclear Weapons.

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Japan Council
against A & H Bombs
(GENSUIKYO)
2-4-4 Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8464
tel:+81-3-5842-6034
fax:+81-3-5842-6033
antiatom@topaz.plala.or.jp