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2014 World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs--
Declaration of the International Meeting

2014 World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs

 

Declaration of the International Meeting

 

 

Sixty-nine years have passed since the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

     In view of the 70th year of the tragedies, we call from here, Hiroshima, to the governments of the nuclear powers and all the other countries to immediately set about committed actions to achieve a “world without nuclear weapons.”  We further appeal to the peoples of the world to build their movements and public voices, powerful enough to press their respective governments to work to reach this goal.

 

     At present, the world still sees more than 16,000 nuclear warheads.

     In August 1945, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were turned to a “hell” by only two bombs.  By the end of the year, as many as 210,000 people died.  Those who barely survived have later suffered from diseases, wounds in both mind and body, anxiety on their health and many other unmeasurable agonies.  Testimonies of the Hibakusha are telling us that nuclear weapons, if used, would cause catastrophic humanitarian consequences.  There must never be another “hell” anywhere on earth.

Nuclear weapons are posing a threat to the very survival of the humanity.  A recent study shows that even if less than one percent of the existing nuclear arsenal was used, it would cause a climate change on a global scale, which may lead to a famine worldwide.  While financial resources are badly needed to address the problems of poverty, social welfare, health and education, tremendous amount of resources are invested unreasonably in maintaining and modernizing nuclear arsenals.  The world military expenditures have reached 1.7 trillion U.S. dollars.

That a handful of states exclusively keep hold on nuclear arsenals constitutes a serious obstacle in the way to a world order based on equality, reciprocity and peace.  Using nuclear weapons as means for gaining military or political supremacy goes counter to the principle of the U.N. Charter to resolve conflicts by peaceful means, as well as to the agreements and pledges to achieve a “world without nuclear weapons” which nuclear powers themselves have accepted.  The Republic of the Marshall Islands filed lawsuits in the International Court of Justice against the nuclear armed states for violations of their nuclear disarmament obligations.   

Nuclear weapons must be totally banned and eliminated without any further delay.  We call on the governments, particularly of the nuclear powers, to set about the abolition of nuclear weapons as their top priority, starting negotiations on a nuclear weapons convention.  The next NPT Review Conference, which will coincide with the 70th year of the A-bombings, should be the best opportunity to do it.

 

The voices calling for a treaty to ban and eliminate nuclear weapons now represent the major trend in the world development.  Every resolution that urges the start of negotiations on such a treaty adopted at the UN General Assembly commands the support from two thirds or more of the member states.  Note that the resolution titled “Follow-up to the 2013 high-level meeting of the General Assembly on nuclear disarmament” proposing the immediate start of negotiations was adopted with the support from 137 countries.

     The 2010 NPT Review Conference agreed by consensus, including the five nuclear weapon states, on achieving a “world without nuclear weapons,” and further agreed on making “special efforts to establish the necessary framework” to achieve it.  This agreement needs to be seriously addressed and implemented.

The treaty to ban nuclear weapons is the focus of international politics.  Yet nuclear powers are still clinging to the “nuclear deterrence” doctrine, and are even opposing any serious discussions on achieving the elimination of nuclear weapons.

The “nuclear deterrence” doctrine presupposes the actual use of nuclear weapons, including first strike.  This outrage in pursuit of “national interests” by threatening catastrophic consequences should never be condoned.  Further, this doctrine induces the development of nuclear weapons by other countries, and thus results in the increase of the security threat to all countries.  The “nuclear deterrence” policy increases a danger of the outbreak of nuclear war, whether by accident or intention.  We demand that the “nuclear deterrence” doctrine should be abandoned once and for all.

     Facing mounting criticisms, the policy of the nuclear powers is becoming getting to be less and less consistent.  The call of the Hibakusha that the humans and nuclear weapons cannot coexist has affected the world deeply.  The 2010 NPT Review Conference expressed “its deep concern at the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons”.

     The joint statement on the “humanitarian dimension of nuclear disarmament,” which started in 2012, signed by 16 governments and focusing on the atrocity of nuclear weapons and pressing for a ban on the use and the elimination of nuclear weapons, came to a point of having as many as 125 governments as signers at the UNGA session last year.  The Second Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons” (Nayarit, Mexico) in which 146 governments participated announced that “time has come to initiate a diplomatic process conducive to this goal.”

     The position to cling to “nuclear deterrence” and to maintain these inhumane weapons has no moral legitimacy, nor is it supported by any reason.  We must make this known thoroughly and widely, thus build a groundswell of opinion demanding the start of negotiations for a treaty to ban nuclear weapons.  By so doing, we will open a prospect for a “world without nuclear weapons”, overcoming resistance by nuclear powers.

 

Solving all conflicts and confrontations by peaceful and diplomatic means is increasingly important in realizing a world of peace without nuclear weapons.  Increasing reliance on “deterrence”, including the reinforcement of military bases and military alliance, will only aggravate confrontation and tensions.  We demand the withdrawal of foreign military bases and oppose the reinforcement of military alliances and Missile Defense programs.

Heightening tension in the East Asia, involving territorial land and water must be resolved by peaceful and diplomatic means.  ASEAN’s effort to prevent conflicts from escalating into war through dialogue and negotiations and to set the code of conducts demonstrates that a peaceful settlement is possible. 

     The problem of North Korea’s nuclear program must be settled peacefully by the resumption of the Six-Party Talks for the denuclearization of Korean Peninsula, and based on past agreements, including the joint declaration of 2005.  We support the diplomatic solution of Iranian nuclear issue.  We call for convening of an international conference on a Middle-East Zone free of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction as agreed by the NPT Review Conference, as well as sincere efforts to that end by all parties concerned.

     We call for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza War.  Israel must immediately end its attacks on the Gaza Strip.  We call for a just solution to the Palestinian question based on the U.N. resolutions concerned.  We also call for an immediate ceasefire and an end to all foreign military interventions in Ukraine.  Its crisis can only be resolved by negotiations, involving all the engaged parties, with respect for the sovereignty and dignity of all Ukrainians.

 

As an A-bombed country having Article 9 in its constitution, Japan should take the lead in achieving a peaceful world without nuclear weapons.  However, under the Japan-U.S. military alliance, it relies on the U.S. “nuclear umbrella” and is rapidly being transformed into a country to wage wars abroad by exercising the notion of collective self-defense in violation of its Constitution.  This would add to tension with its neighbors, undermine its international credibility, and would consequently threaten peace and stability in Northeast Asia, including Japan.  

     Against such moves of the government, a broad range of Japanese people, especially young generation, are rising in protest as seen in the rally of tens of thousands of people surrounding Prime Minister’s official residence.  This movement, which is making valuable contribution to local and global peace by defending and giving full play to the peace principle of the Constitution, is critically important.

     We extend solidarity to and support the people of Japan and Okinawa in their demand for reduction and dismantling of U.S. military bases in Japan and in opposing the construction of a new U.S. Marine base at Henoko.  We support and work in solidarity with the rehabilitation effort of the people affected by the East Japan Great Earthquake and TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident, and the nationwide movement opposing the restart of operations of nuclear power plants.

 

We must develop our movement in respective countries to press nuclear powers and all other governments to realize a “nuclear weapon-free world”.  Building on the grass-roots actions, let us develop cooperation with international agencies, like-minded national and local governments and other public organizations, and bring these activities together to the international joint actions in New York in April 2015, where the NPT Review Conference will take place, such as an international Abolition conference, march and rally. 

 

-- Let us expand people’s support for the commencement of negotiations for a treaty to ban nuclear weapons by promoting the international signature campaign for the “Appeal for a Total Ban on Nuclear Weapons” and making known the aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki through A-bomb exhibitions and Hibakusha testimonies.  Making best use of diverse cultural means and social media, we will develop a variety of actions from the grass-roots.      

 

-- We will increase cooperation with the U.N. and other international agencies, national and local governments sharing the same goal with us, including the Mayors for Peace.  Taking the opportunity of the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons (September 26), the 69th Session of the U.N. General Assembly, and the 3rd International Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons (December 8-9, Vienna) this year, let us develop international joint actions and rally public support and movements.

 

-- Let us strengthen efforts to provide relief and extend solidarity with the Hibakusha, and promote campaigns to support all nuclear victims, including those suffering from nuclear tests and developments.  We support the victims of the Agent Orange/dioxin and depleted uranium shells and other war victims.  Let us develop solidarity with the movement seeking zero nuclear power plants and a shift to renewable energy.    

 

Working hand in hand with all the people seeking reduced military spending, improved life and employment, better social welfare, freedom and democracy, defense of human rights, protection of global environment, elimination of gender-based discrimination and solution of social injustice, let us create a grand-scale cooperation and solidarity among people to achieve a “nuclear weapon-free, peaceful and just world.”

     Let us make the year 2015, 70th anniversary of the A-bombing, a decisive opportunity to attain the abolition of nuclear weapons.  

 

August 4, 2014

International Meeting, 2014 World Conference against A and H Bombs