Panel Discussion
2001 World Conference against A & H Bombs-Nagasaki
August 8, 2001

A.H. Mtetwa
Ambassador of the Republic of Zimbabwe

Thank you Mr. Chairman,

I feel greatly honoured to be accorded the opportunity to participate in this panel discussion as part of the World Conference against Atomic & Hydrogen Bombs. The 2001 World Conference, currently in session, comes exactly 56 years since Hiroshima and Nagasaki suffered a nuclear bombing that wrought havoc, immense destruction and untold suffering on the defenseless people of Japan. This, therefore, must serve as a barometer for mankind to take stock of what progress has been made in the quest to rid the world of all weapons of mass destruction in general and nuclear weapons in particular. Unfortunately no one can honestly say the world has registered any notable progress.

Mr. Chairman,

For the people of Zimbabwe in general and the government in particular, the ghastly experience of Hiroshima and Nagasaki shall always be viewed as a sad chapter in the history of mankind and a constant reminder that weapons of mass destruction should never be produced and stockpiled, let alone used against humanity.

As I stated in my statement in plenary yesterday, the 2001 World Conference, like others before it, must serve as a forum to rededicate ourselves to the ideal of a nuclear free world and the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction.

Today, 56 years on, the fallout of the indiscriminate impact of nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki still lingers on. Although the gallant people of Japan, through their determination, hard work, and resilience, have triumphantly emerged from the abyss to which they had been condemned by this tragedy, they will never forget the horror they were forced to endure.

Mr. Chairman,

Zimbabwe has always voiced its displeasure against all weapons of mass destruction. As a member of the Conference on Disarmament, the sole multilateral body on Disarmament, Zimbabwe, together with other members of the Group of 77 (G77), with the full support of other countries such as Japan, has advocated for the elimination of weapons of mass destruction a priority for the entire international community.

Within the context of the Non-Aligned Movement, which Zimbabwe had the honour to chair in 1986, Zimbabwe remains of the view that all efforts toward the conclusion of a universal, unconditional, and legally binding instrument on security assurances to Non-Nuclear States should be pursued as a matter of priority. My government also supports the efforts aimed at the creation of Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zones in all regions of the world, which it views as a further concrete contribution to the international efforts to strengthen the non-proliferation regime.

Zimbabwe, therefore, remains deeply concerned that only non-nuclear states, which do not even possess the technology and resources to make them, seem to be taking steps to ensure non-use of weapons of mass destruction. Yet they are powerless as more such weapons are being introduced to the arsenals of nuclear states. This World Conference against Atomic & Hydrogen Bombs, therefore, must serve to remind all of us of our shared responsibility, not only to our own countries, but also to the whole world and mankind to seek to ban these diabolical weapons.

I thank you.

To the 2001 Wolrd Conference against A & H Bombs