2004 World Conference against A & H Bombs

International Meetings
2004 World Conference against A&H Bombs

Niu Qiang
Secretary General, Chinese People's Association for Peace and Disarmament(CPAPD)

Dear President,

It is a great pleasure to come back to Hiroshima with my colleague after a span of three years, to attend this well-known, important International Conference, to meet old friends and make new ones, to share thoughts and ideas for the same cause.
First of all, I would like to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt thanks to our Japanese host for the kind invitation and hospitality. gAbolish Nuclear Weapons now, No more Hiroshimas No more Nagasakis h is the main theme of this years conference. More importantly, it is the reflection of a common aspiration of the people not only in Japan but also across the whole world. In order to achieve the ultimate goal of abandoning nuclear weapons, I wish to share with you some of my personal views on the current international security situation in general and some recent developments of multilateral arms control in particular.
First, the present international security situation.
Since we entered the new century, the international security situation has been basically stable. Countries pay more and more attention to exchanges and cooperation in security issues, and various regional security mechanisms are playing more and more active role with unprecedented vitality.
However we must also note that uncertain and unpredictable factors are increasing in the field of international security, quite a number of potential dangers and challenges are emerging and calling for attention and solution.
Firstly, non-traditional security issues have become increasingly acute. Terrorism, proliferation of WMDs, transnational crimes, epidemics and other threats have taken on an upward spiral, posing grave challenges to international peace and security.
Secondly, regional conflicts and other traditional security problems remain a threat to peace, stability and development of many countries. Due to historical legacy and obvious mis-governance, disputes and conflicts in some regions over ethnic, religious, territorial and other issues often flare up one after another. From the Arab-Israeli conflicts to Kosovo war, from Afghanistan to the Great Lake region in Africa, From Haiti to Darfur in Sudan-countless innocent civilians were or are being thrown into the dire straits of wars and turmoil.

Thirdly, hunger, poverty and social injustice are major elements affecting regional security and stability. As globalization speeds up it pace, the gap between North and South is growing and many developing countries are being marginalized alarmingly. These problems, if not urgently and properly handled and resolved, will become permanent threat to security of the world.
Presently, it is very important to embrace a new security concept with mutual trust , mutual benefit, equality and cooperation at the core. Before abandoning nuclear weapons countries should abandon right now the outdated mindset of seeking security advantages with military might. In a more and more globalized world, when interests of all countries become intertwined, it is difficult for any country to attain its security goals alone selfishly. We need the rule of law in global affairs and more democracy in international relations. We need greater multilateral cooperation and greater role of the UN in safeguarding peace and security in the world. We also need to adopt effective measures to help poor developing counties to lift themselves out of poverty so as to eradicate the root causes of conflicts and wars, and of the proliferation of WMDs in general.
Second, the current multilateral arms control situation.
In recent years, mainly due to the US's adoption of unilateralism in its foreign policy the multilateral arms control process virtually come to a halt or even has been reversed in fields. The current situation is really disturbing and worrisome. The US cast heavy doubts and even on multilateral treaties, changing its role of being a protector of multilateral arms control treaties in the past, to virtually a destroyer of the existing treaties. As is known to, the multilateral treaties based on NPT, ABM and others constituted a foundation for multilateral arms control. They have played an active role in limiting the numbers of nuclear states and reducing on a large-scale the nuclear weapons between the US and the USSR. After the second world war, the successive US governments made much efforts to initiate and facilitate the conclusion of a number of multilateral treaties.
However in recent years the US government has gone to great length to overstress its national security interests, adopting unilateralist attitude towards multilateral treaties. As a result the system of multilateral arms control treaties has suffered heavy blows. Just list a few:
-the US refuses to ratify CTBT.
-unilaterally withdrew from the ABM.
-delayed to implement the obligation of destroying chemical weapons stipulated in the CWC.
In the field of nuclear disarmament the US opposes concluding any bilateral arms control treaty that allows mutual verification.
At present, in nuclear disarmament, there are some developments calling for our great attention and resolute action, such as the policy of preemption, lowering of the nuclear threshold, the development of new types of nuclear weapons. All these are going against the general tide of the world community, against the common aspiration of the people, against the concerted efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation.
Dear friends,
In the 20th century the two world wars brought unprecedented mass destruction to mankind. The history of the cold war tells us that a nuclear war can not be won and should not be fought. In the 20th century, because of the invention of the nuclear weapons people suffered from it. People long lived under the massive nuclear shadow with great fear. In 21st century, it is high time totally eradicate all nuclear weapons so as to realize a nuclear weapons free century. This is not only in the interest of non- nuclear weapons states but also in the interests of nuclear weapons states.
At present, in order to push forward the process of nuclear disarmament, for the nuclear weapons states , it is necessary and important to take the following major steps:
-to continue to unequivocally undertake the commitment of thorough comprehensive destruction of nuclear weapons.
- to earnestly implement the already concluded treaties for the reduction of nuclear weapons, following the principle of effective verification.
-to undertake not to develop new types of nuclear weapons
- to ratify CTBT
- to clearly undertake non first use of nuclear weapons, not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non nuclear weapons states or nuclear free zones.
Dear friends,
Abandoning nuclear weapons is a pressing task but it is also long term struggle, a long journey demanding great devotion and energy. As a Chinese saying goes, a journey of one thousands kilometers must start with the first single step. I think over the years we have made more than a single step now. But there is still a long way to go. Therefore today we assemble here again at this conference to reaffirm our determination and devotion to continue our steps forward until the goal of abandoning nuclear weapons and other WMDs is realized.



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against A & H Bombs
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