We Call for the “Peace Wave 2021” for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons
Dear friends all over the world,
On January 22 this year, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) entered into force and was established as international law.
In the new international situation, we are going to hold the 2021 World Conference against A and H Bombs on August 2 to 9, with the theme: “With the Hibakusha, Let Us Achieve a Nuclear Weapon-free, Peaceful and Just World – for the Future of the Humankind and Our Planet.” Despite difficulties posed by the ongoing pandemic, we will make the most of online conditions and invite global civil society movements as well as the representatives of the U.N. and national governments which are leading the abolition of nuclear weapons in the international politics so that we can make the World Conference a venue for rich discussion of their wisdom and experiences to bring into reality a world without nuclear weapons.
Also, during the same period of the World Conference, we propose to carry out the “Peace Wave 2021”, which is the wave of grass-roots actions for the abolition of nuclear weapons starting on August 2 from Japan, moving westward and spreading across the world like a chain reaction, along with the rotation of the globe. These grass-roots activities around the world will be connected online with the World Conference.
The first “Peace Wave” action was proposed in August 1987 in the midst of the Cold War, by the representatives of the U.S. and Soviet peace movements during the 1987 World Conference against A and H Bombs. With the common goal of abolishing nuclear weapons and the “Appeal from Hiroshima and Nagasaki” signature campaign as the common form of action. The Peace Wave was launched at noon on October 24, timed for the start of the 10th U.N. Disarmament Week. The Peace Wave turned out epochal and magnificent joint actions calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons, carried out by the citizens of the world in the Soviet Union, Eastern and Western Europe, North America and Pacific Island countries, overcoming the divisions created by military-blocs.
The leaders of the nuclear-armed states continue to compete for global military hegemony, developing new type of nuclear weapons or modernizing their arsenals. Despite such grave crisis the world is facing with, as COVID-19 pandemic, climate crisis, poverty and disparity in wealth and gender-related problems, they do not stop pouring vast resources into military confrontations and buildup.
However, the 21st century is no longer an era when leaders of nuclear superpowers/dependent states can rule the world, ignoring the U.N. Charter, international law, dignity of lives and hopes for peace of the peoples of the world. The “elimination of nuclear weapons” and achieving of “a world without nuclear weapons” are the agreements of the world on which these nuclear superpowers themselves have agreed in the past NPT Review Conferences. The TPNW has been supported by 130 countries, and already signed by 86 states and ratified by 54 states. The treaty commands support all over the world, and the polls in Japan, U.S., Canada and European countries show that it is supported by more than 70% of their populations.
The “Peace Wave Action 2021” will be global chain-reaction actions, upholding the elimination of nuclear weapons as a common goal to be implemented by all nuclear-armed countries. And activities to urge respective governments to support, sign and ratify the TPNW will be common forms of actions. We are aware that some leaders continue to refuse the TPNW. They believe that in spite of being incompatible with human survival, the cruel and destructive power of nuclear weapons is the “guarantee of security”. But our actions do not only target the ruling circles of each state. We will create and express in actions an overwhelming will of the people, the sovereign power of the nations and international politics, to achieve the elimination of nuclear weapons.
To this end, in Japan, the launching point of the Peace Wave Actions, we have been working on the signature campaign to urge the government to sign and ratify the TPNW. The petition was started jointly by the leaders of broad range of social strata, including former ministers of foreign affairs and defense, a Nobel Laureate, scientists, people of culture, sports, art and religion. On the 4th anniversary of the adoption of the TPNW on July 7, a full-page ad will be carried on a national newspaper, calling on Japan to join the treaty. Already over 30% of local municipalities have adopted resolutions for Japan’s accession to the TPNW. And from May 6 to August 4, Nationwide Peace Marches will be carried out on 11 courses across the country in person or online. All of these activities will add up to achieve a success of the 2021 World Conference against A and H Bombs and the Peace Wave Action.
We sincerely call on all of you to support this call, plan your actions in respective local communities and take action in solidarity with the Hibakusha in your country and across the world this coming August of the 76th anniversary of the atomic bombing. Let us urge the nuclear-armed states to eliminate their nuclear arsenals, press your own governments to support and join the TPNW, and invite people to join our actions for a total ban and elimination of nuclear weapons.
At 8:15 on August 6 in Hiroshima and at 11:02 on August 9 in Nagasaki, hundreds of thousands of citizens and bereaved families of the Hibakusha will dedicate a minute of silence to remember the victims of the atomic bombing. As a symbol of the Peace Wave 2021, we propose to show/display the photos depicting the tragedy of the A-bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in our actions. We are ready to send you a set of A-bomb photos from Japan by post. Please send us your request for the photos, as well as your plans of the Peace Wave Actions.
Please fill in your plan of Peace Wave Actions in the attached answer sheet (Word file) and
send it back to firstname.lastname@example.org