2004 World Conference against A & H Bombs

Report of Workshop 1:
Prospects and Targets of Abolishing Nuclear Weapons - Toward the 2005 NPT Review Conference and the 60th Anniversary of the Atomic Bombing

The workshop began at 2:30 on 3rd, Aug. 2004. About 65 participants attended - Mr. Sato Mitsuo, Ms. Tamada Megumi, Mr. Gerald OfBrien 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 daysf 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 Husseinfs assertions that foreign policy is an extension to the domestic policy brings home the fact that in every nation peoplefs 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 willf 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 NATOfs 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 international document.

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 yearfs activities connected with the 60th anniversary in 2005, it was proposed to organize an international committee of actions in corporation with NGOs and peoplesf 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.



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