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World Conference against A & H Bombs

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Messages from the United Nations and National Governments to the
2013 World Conference against A & H Bombs

(As of August 6, 2012)

 

 

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations

 

MESSAGE TO THE WORLD CONFERENCE AGAINST ATOMIC AND HYDROGEN BOMBS

Nagasaki, 7 August 2013

 

I am pleased to send greetings to all participants at the 2013 World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs, which is an important part of the global disarmament movement.

By bringing together grass-roots activists, government officials and a growing network of groups throughout the world, you are helping to strengthen our common commitment to eliminate nuclear weapons.  I applaud you for supporting this cause through large public rallies and petitions that have garnered the support of millions of citizens.

We are now witnessing a surge of new interest in nuclear disarmament, based largely on an increasing awareness of the horrific humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons.  This was a key theme at the 2010 Review Conference of the States Parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and at subsequent international meetings.

The General Assembly will also focus on the issue at its High-Level Meeting on nuclear disarmament on 26 September.

I thank all of you for contributing to this worldwide momentum.  I especially pay warm tribute to the hibakusha who for over six decades have spoken out about their experiences of having survived a nuclear attack.  These brave activists inspire me to intensify my efforts to work for a world free of nuclear weapons.  I am determined to pursue this goal until it is achieved. 

This is not only a conference against nuclear weapons; it is a conference for a more peaceful, secure, prosperous and just world.  Disarmament frees up resources to address major global threats, including poverty, hunger and disease.  As such, it can contribute to our efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 and support the realization of a sustainable future for all humankind.

I wish you great success in advancing our shared struggle to rid the world of nuclear weapons.

 

Brazil

Message from Her Excellency Dilma Rousseff, President of the Federal Republic of Brazil, to the "2013 World Conference Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs"

Brasília, August 2013.

 

It gives me great honor to address the "2013 World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs" and pay homage to the thousands of Japanese women, men and children who were victims of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

 

Almost seven decades after the end of the Second World War, the images of those bombings still haunt the conscience of humanity. The unspeakable suffering of thousands of civilians and the physical and psychological wounds that many still bear continue to remind us of the horrific consequences of a nuclear detonation. Today, as we remember the victims, we call on the international community to urgently recommit itself to achieving a world free from nuclear weapons.

 

The Brazilian Government remains deeply concerned about the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any possible use of nuclear weapons. The Oslo Conference on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons (March 2013) underscored that no country or international organization is prepared to respond to a nuclear detonation or to provide adequate humanitarian assistance to the victims. The Conference also highlighted the multiple and long-lasting impacts of a nuclear detonation on the global economy, environment, human health and food security. Its devastating effects would not be constrained by national borders and would affect the lives of millions of people far beyond the target area.

 

The destructive capacity and uncontrollable effects of a nuclear detonation also raise legal issues. In its 1996 Advisory Opinion, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) expressed the view that the use of nuclear weapons contravenes the provisions of International Humanitarian Law, in particular the core principles of distinction, precaution and proportionality, as well as the prohibition of causing unnecessary suffering and widespread, severe and long-term damage to the environment.

 

Nuclear disarmament is not only an international legal obligation. It is also a moral imperative.

 

In spite of the growing international consensus regarding the illegitimacy of the use of nuclear weapons, an estimated 20,000 nuclear devices still exist. This is mainly due to the notorious resistance of nuclear-weapons States (NWS) to agree to multilaterally negotiated commitments, in line with their obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (TNP), with a view to a gradual reduction and a complete elimination of their nuclear arsenals, according to clear and binding timelines and under an effective and transparent verification regime.

 

The only guarantee that nuclear weapons will never be used, under any circumstances, is their complete elimination. As long as they continue to exist, the world will never be completely free from the risk of a nuclear detonation, be it intentional or accidental. It is the responsibility of the international community to prevent, at all costs, the risk of civilization being wiped off the face of the Earth. This is a commitment that must be urgently defended.

 

The mere existence of nuclear arsenals constitutes a destabilizing element of international peace and security. As long as a limited group of countries consider themselves entitled to possess nuclear weapons, there will be a risk that non-nuclear weapon States or non-State actors may also want them. Moreover, the preservation and further development of nuclear arsenals undermine disarmament and non-proliferation efforts, and can also encourage an arms race of potentially devastating effects.

 

In times of global financial and economic challenges, the allocation of vast resources to the retention and modernization of nuclear weapons seems to be at odds with the international aspirations to economic and social development. In 2010, global military spending exceeded US$ 1.6 trillion. That comes to nearly US$ 4.6 billion a day, which is itself almost double the United Nations' annual regular budget. In contrast, Official Development Assistance (ODA) amounted to only US$ 128 billion in that same year. It is estimated that half of the amount annually invested in nuclear arsenals would be enough to achieve all internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), by 2015.

 

In this context, we commend the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, for his apt remarks on the fact that "the world is over-armed and peace is under-funded".

 

Brazil has a staunch and longstanding commitment to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. It was one of the original proponents of the Tlatelolco Treaty, the first legal instrument to establish a zone free from nuclear weapons in a densely populated area. Brazil also incorporated in its 1988 Federal Constitution a clause that prohibits the development of nuclear energy for non-peaceful purposes. Brazil implements an innovative safeguards agreement with Argentina, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and the Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials (ABACC), apart from having signed and ratified the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Brazil was also one of the first countries to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), which is another core element of the international disarmament and non-proliferation regime. We stand ready to contribute to further efforts at the international level in order to achieve universal, transparent and irreversible disarmament.

 

Today, as the Government and people of Brazil pay homage to the victims of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, we call upon the international community, in particular the nuclear-weapon States (NWS), to show political resolve and intensify their efforts towards the complete elimination of nuclear weapons.

 

DILMA ROUSSEFF

President of the Federative Republic of Brazil"

 

 

Egypt

Message of Mr. Nabil Fahmy

Minister for Foreign Affairs

The Arab Republic of Egypt

July 28, 2013

 

Dear Chairpersons of the World Conference against A & H Bombs,

 

              The 68th anniversary of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki is a stark reminder of the need to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons.  On this occasion, I wish to reiterate Egypt’s support for the people of Japan, the only country to have suffered from the use of nuclear weapons.

              The threat posed to international peace and security, and to humanity, by the continued existence of nuclear weapons is well-known. Their total elimination is the only guarantee against their use or threat of use. In this vein, Egypt and Japan agree that Nuclear-weapons States must promptly and fully implement their obligations under Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

              Achieving the universality of the NPT is also key.  As long as some states possess nuclear weapons, others may also feel tempted to acquire them.

              Central to our objectives is the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East.  The 2010 NPT Review Conference adopted an action plan on the Middle East that stipulated, inter alia, the importance of a process leading to the full implementation of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East.  Japan’s efforts in realizing this goal are paramount.

              In the days ahead, I intend to cooperate with my Japanese counterpart, as well as other colleagues around the world, to generate much needed momentum for regional and global nuclear disarmament.  Your support is vital in preventing the recurrence of the human suffering experienced by the great people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on the 6th and 9th of August 1945.

 

 

Kazakhstan

Nursultan NAZARBAYEV

PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF KAZAKHSTAN

01/08/2013  Astana, Akorda

 

To participants of the 2013 World Conference against A and H Bombs

 

I send warm greetings to participants of the World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs and sincerely support your efforts aimed at a total ban of nuclear weapons.

Kazakhstan, as well as Japan, suffered the most from nuclear weapons. August 29, 2013, will mark the 64th anniversary of the first Soviet nuclear test at the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site. During the four decades, almost 500 nuclear tests were carried out at Kazakh land. As a result, the nuclear tests in Kazakhstan affected more than a million and a half people. They contaminated vast regions of the country that exceeded in size the territory of several European countries.

More than 20 years ago, the people of Kazakhstan made a fundamental choice in favor of a nuclear weapon-free world. On August 29, 1991, I signed a decree to permanently shut down the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site.

For the people of Kazakhstan the closing of nuclear test site became a historic act of strong will and wisdom, as well as confidence in the future. We have demonstrated by our own example the path to a safer world.

From the beginning of independence our position was very clear: Kazakhstan should become a nuclear weapon-free country.

Therefore, we have voluntarily renounced the world’s fourth largest nuclear and missile arsenal, which included more than 1,000 warheads. In cooperation with the U.S. and Russia, we carried out titanic work on elimination of nuclear weapons infrastructure, adopted a package of special-purpose programs for the rehabilitation of the Semipalatinsk region. Today, the former nuclear test site becomes a “territory of peace.”

In 2006, historic treaty establishing the Central Asian nuclear weapons-free zone was signed exactly in Semipalatinsk.

Thus, since 2009, August 29, the anniversary of the closure of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site, has been declared by the United Nations General Assembly as the International Day against Nuclear Tests.

Kazakhstan’s example becomes especially timely and needed today when the world is facing further proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, while the threat of their use by international terrorist organizations is also growing.

I believe the time has come for decisive actions to reverse the deadly weapons race and free the world from the nuclear “sword of Damocles” hanging over all of us.

That is why I proposed to adopt in the framework of the UN a Universal Declaration of a Nuclear-Weapon-Free world that would enshrine the commitment of all states towards a stepwise nuclear weapon-free world.

In August 2012, I announced the launch of the international project – The Project ATOM, designed to strengthen global support to definitive and irrevocable ban of nuclear weapons tests and its total elimination.

Only by joining efforts, will we be able to make our world safer and better.

I wish you all productive work and further successes in your noble activities!

 

 

Laos

(Unofficial translation)

Choummaly SAYASONE

President of the Lao People's Democratic Republic

 

Congratulatory Message addressing

The 2013 World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs

 

On behalf of the Government and the Lao people, I would like to convey my heartfelt congratulations to the organizing committee and to the delegations of the 2013 World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs, which will be held in Hiroshima and Nagasaki of Japan, on 3-9 August 2013, to commemorate the tragic history of heart-rending grief and suffering endured by the Japanese people, especially the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki cities, who have been victims of this tragedy.

              As we are aware that, now the world situation has undergone rapid and complex changes, especially the competition of arms modernization, production and stockpile of weapons of mass destruction of some countries in the world that poses a threat to peace, stability, and security of the world, which would only cause the disaster for life and property to the innocent people.

              In this connection, the Government of the Lao People's Democratic Republic has always condemned the use of weapons of mass destruction and consistently reaffirms its position to cooperate with the world community in preserving and protecting of lasting peace in the world.

              I do believe that the mobilization of solidarity and joint efforts of the peace and justice loving peoples against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs would contribute to the long-lasting peace in our world.

              Once again, on behalf of the Government and the Lao people, I wish the World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs with great success, and wishing the organizing committee and the delegations to this Conference good health, success in your noble task.

Vientiane, 29 June, 2013

Mexico

Enrique Peña Niet

President of the United Mexican States

Mexico, Federal District

July 22, 2013

 

Mr. Hiroshi Taka

Co-Chair, Organizing Committee

World Conference against Atomic & Hydrogen Bombs

 

I would like to confirm my government’s commitment to the elimination of nuclear weapons.

              My country will continue to promote total abolition of nuclear weapons under the principle of   verification, irreversibility and transparency.  In this regard, I am pleased to inform you that Mexico will host the Conference on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons on 13th and 14th of February, 2014.

              I recognize the outstanding effort of the organization you co-preside.  I wish the biggest success for the participants of the World Conference and I avail myself of this opportunity to give you the assurances of my highest consideration.

 

 

Switzerland

Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA

Directorate of Political Affairs

Division for Security Policy

Berne, 8 July 2013

 

2013 World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs

 

Dear Mr. Co-Chair,

              On behalf of H.E. Mr. Ueli Maurer, the President of the Swiss Confederation, I wish to thank you for your letter of 7 June 2013 regarding the 2013 World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs.

              In Hiroshima and Nagasaki, humanity has been witnessing the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons.  This historic evidence clearly demonstrates that effects of nuclear weapons are uncontrollable in space and time, and have both devastating immediate and long-term effects.

              This is why Switzerland is undertaking several efforts aimed at devaluing and stigmatizing nuclear weapons – the only WMD currently not banned -, and to advance the view that they are not desirable instruments in the 21st century but dangerous relicts of the past with highly questionable military utility.

              We have already achieved a significant milestone: In the past few months, it has been possible to shift the disarmament debate away from a stability- and security-centered discourse to one that highlights these catastrophic humanitarian consequences of anyh use of nuclear weapons.  I will now be crucial to channel the new energy in the nuclear disarmament debate and move forward in the decisive manner.

              The grassroots activities of organizations such as yours are extremely important in this endeavor.  We would also like to pay tribute to the important work by the Hibakusha to educate in particular the young generation about the horrors of the use of nuclear weapons.

              Thank you also for inviting us to attend your Conference.  Unfortunately, at the specific dates participation is possible neither from the capital nor from our Embassy in Tokyo.  Nevertheless, we wish you a successful event and interesting discussion.  Personally, I am also looking forward to the next opportunity to meet again, for instance at the NPT PrepCom in New York, so we can continue to exchange views.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Benno Laggner

Head of Division and Ambassador for Nuclear Disarmament and Non-proliferation

 

 

Vietnam

 

CONGRATULATORY MESSAGE TO THE 2013 WORLD CONFERENCE

AGAINST A & H BOMBS

 

On behalf of the Vietnam Peace Committee and Vietnamese people, allow me to extend my warmest greetings and best wishes to all Japanese and international participants in the World Conference Against A & H Bombs 2013.

 

I would like to express my heartfelt sympathy with the people of Japan, the only country in the world having been attacked by nuclear bombs, especially with the victims of the atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.  On this occasion, I would also like to extend feelings of solidarity to victims of the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 and the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, as well as victims of all nuclear tests, of nuclear weapons and other kinds of weapons of mass destruction in different parts of the world over the past decades.

 

I highly appreciate the support of peace movements from all over the world to millions of nuclear victims, Agent Orange victims, and victims of unjust wars; and I hope that the severe consequences of wars will be overcome with our concerted efforts.

 

I am strongly confident that this conference will provide an opportunity for peace movements in the world to strengthen international solidarity and join hands to work towards the abolition of nuclear weapons.

 

May this conference mark a great success and a new progress towards the goal of a “Nuclear-weapon free, Peaceful and Just World”.

 

Uong Chu Luu

Vice-Chairman, National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam

President, Vietnam Peace Committee