Report of Workshop 1:
Prospects and Targets of Abolishing Nuclear Weapons - Toward the
2005 NPT Review Conference and the 60th Anniversary of the Atomic
The workshop began at 2:30 on 3rd, Aug. 2004. About 65 participants
attended - Mr. Sato Mitsuo, Ms. Tamada Megumi, Mr. Gerald OfBrien
and Prof. K.V. Paulose were moderators. The latter was asked to
present the report at the Plenary. 38 participants spoke on various
occasions. Youth participants in this workshop require special mention.
Clarifications and explanations given by Malaysian Ambassador Mr.
Hussein Haniff gave better insight into the issues focused - There
were overall unity in views; and about plans of action throughout
the session, thanks to cooperation and insight of the participants.
The entire discussions reflected the strength and direction of
the opening daysf plenary session and guidance given from the best
experience of the Japanese Movement and the international guest
speakers on the opening days.
A Japanese participant expresses his deep concern over U.S. deploying
nuclear weapons, submarines and other warheads in various parts
of the world. NPT Review Conference of 2005 has to be looked forward
with great concern and vigilance, lest, the U.S. will torpedo the
entire peace initiative gained hitherto. Some members even fear
that a re-opening of NPT will be used by the U.S. to retreat from
the present position, instead of a march forward to the complete
elimination of nuclear weapons.
Ambassador Husseinfs assertions that foreign policy is an extension
to the domestic policy brings home the fact that in every nation
peoplefs role is important in shaping foreign policies. For the
same reason a combination NPT, the NAM the New Agenda Coalition
the IAEA etc will have to be treated as part of the same package
and peoples of every nation will have to be seriously concerned
about these issues. This is a pre-condition for the creation of
a nuclear-free world.
The workshop clearly states that NPT may seen only as one step
in the right direction. But it is not a substitute for the total
abolition of nuclear weapons which is the final goal. Obstacles
put forward by the U.S. in the NPT deliberations have to be strongly
countered by epopular willf in order to achieve victory for the
people all over.
Referring to the International Court of Justice, members expressed
strong wishes that judgements about abolition of nuclear weapons
be more clear, positive and just. But the consensus was opposed
to recommitting the question at all.
Discussions also centered around the New European Constitution
in respect of a proposal for a European army. However, this issue
could not be elaborated for want of time. Although the change in
NATOfs role that would follow, was noted.
Many members expressed strong reservations against the initiative
of the Japanese government to amend its constitution in order to
overcome technicalities while siding with the American military
in its destructive operations around the world. Japanese and overseas
participants unanimously resolved to seek international support
to strengthen the peace initiative of the Japanese people in this
regard in defense of the Constitution which has become an important
Appeals were made by many speakers to seek unity and cooperation
with all groups that subscribe to the total abolition of nuclear
weapons. The unanimous resolutions adopted at the meeting of 100
mayors belonging to various parties and beliefs regarding total
elimination of nuclear weapons has been sited as a unique instance.
The participants expressed their strong feelings about the sad
plight of Hibakushas. There had been general condemnation by members
about the indifference and ineffective policies followed by the
Japanese government towards alleviating the sufferings of the Hibakushas
and not providing them opportunities to live in dignity.
Regarding the new program of action on one yearfs activities connected
with the 60th anniversary in 2005, it was proposed to organize an
international committee of actions in corporation with NGOs and
peoplesf movements committed to a nuclear weapon-free world, states
and local governments who contribute to the above objectives should
also be invited to join. The workshop come to a close with concluding
remarks by Ms. Tamada Megumi at 6 p.m.