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Speech by France Delegation

First of all, we wish to warmly thank our Japanese partners for inviting us to this commemoration in Shizuoka. Referring to the event's history, we understand its importance and its range. We are very honoured to be here. We have been working together for a long time now. This common work is all the more encouraging and promising that we speak the same language. And this is important when we build a denuclearised world.

In November 2005, we hold our National Congress. Half-way of the 2001/2010 decade in favour of Peace Culture and non violence to the profit of children of the world, we want to trigger a true cultural revolution, able to solve collectively basic problems of society and of the world-society-to come. This is how we intend to realise a true Peace Culture. A step in its achievement is in our opinion nuclear weapons abolition, which requires to commit oneself as citizen and to show solidarity beyond national borders.

We are worried by the NPT current situation.
We hear comments such as this one by the UN High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change (early December 2004):

"The nuclear non proliferation regime is now at risk because of lack of compliance with existing commitments, withdrawal or threat of withdrawal from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to escape those commitments, a changing international security environment and the diffusion of technology. We are approaching a point at which the erosion of the non-proliferation regime could become irreversible and result in a cascade of proliferation."

In face of such a warning, questions arise:
Should the NPT be abandoned? Amended? Replaced by a new treaty or new convention on nuclear disarmament?

The treaty is experiencing its worst crisis in its 34 years of existence. There is a confidence crisis, itself caused by the continuing nuclear vertical proliferation of nuclear States (modernisation of nuclear weapons) and by the horizontal proliferation (new states getting nuclear weapons).
The USA is obviously mainly responsible for this crisis. However, the four other official nuclear states (France, the UK, China, Russia) are its accomplice for considering the NPT as a non-proliferation treaty only and forgetting their own share of the bargain i.e. disarmament.

Let us not forget, as the independent analyst Rebecca Johnson points out, the inability to pressure the NPT implementation and the accountability under the treaty; and the absence of efficient mechanisms in case of violation or disrespect of the treaty.

In such a framework, how can we as NGOs push things forward?

I. Our actions in favour of Peace Culture
Before starting our main discussion about the NPT Revision Conference in May, we wish to introduce briefly our organisation by giving examples of our recent actions.
Let us start by the World March of Women.

I.1. World march of Women
Next March 8 is the international Women Day, and the World March of Women will take in place in Marseilles, France. Over the past years we have been more and more developing our action in favour of women's rights, and the participation of the French Peace Movement in this event's organization illustrates this trend.

I.2. Israel-Palestine Conflict
We are also concerned by regional conflicts such as the Israeli-Palestinian. Both people are living unsafely and in great fear.
Peace, from our point of view and according to International Law, is to be gained through the recognition of two States, within the 1967 borders, with a joint capital city in Jerusalem and the acknowledgement, for the refugees, of the right to come back, the enforcement of which could be negotiated, according to the decisions made by the parties concerned.
In this framework, we with many other NGOs among the French public opinion and national authorities expand the Campaign for the Demolition of the "Annexation Wall", the Withdrawal from the Occupied Territories and a new start for fresh negotiations, respectful of the Rights of Both Peoples.

Last week, a delegation of the French Peace Movement was in Israel and Palestine to discuss with peace forces from both sides and to inform them of our actions and position. Although TV news tells us that Yasser Arafat's death opens a new era for peace, there is still a lot of work to do to achieve a definite peace agreement.

I.3. Iraq
As for Iraq, the French Peace Movement coordinates the national appeal "No to the war in Iraq, yes to a world of justice, peace and democracy". This coordination was created in 2002 to prevent war in Iraq.
It is made of more than one hundred organizations (associations, trade-unions, political parties,c). Despite the war, it continues to build common actions in order to put an end to this war.
On March 19th will take place in Brussels (Belgium) the first European demonstration in favour of "a social and pacifist Europe". This great demonstration is an opportunity say no to the war in Iraq and no to project of a militarised Europe.

I.4. Europe
By the way, we assume many people among you are eager to know what our position is regarding the European Constitution.
We asked our members their opinion and we debated internally. The outcome is that our organisation will criticise the text in so far as peace is at stake. We criticise the defence policy and the European Union militarisation because they go against the international public opinion, in favour of less weapons, and against the NPT since the constitution requires to "progressively improves military arsenals".
We cannot but disapprove too the general orientation in favour of a liberal Europe, worsening inequalities and leaving aside the have-nots. This goes against our conception of Peace Culture which praises social justice.
On March 5, we co-organise with the CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) a conference entitled "A Europe for Peace" where will be discussed the orientations we want to give to Europe : security based on terror with more and more weapons or a Europe that promotes a peaceful solution to conflict?

II. One specific action: nuclear disarmament

But if we are here today, it is mainly to discuss one specific action: nuclear disarmament.

II.1. National Campaign
Last September, we re-launched our national campaign for nuclear disarmament. Today we can affirm that about 50 NGOs have joined us and support our actions.

This campaign is made of several elements:
First of all, we have a leaflet explaining our campaign with figures, NPT article 6, Mr. AKIBA's letter. We add inside petition-postcards to send to our President, deputies and mayors. Many deputies mentioned them when we met.
We also wrote directly to our deputies when the military budget was about to be voted. We asked them not to vote it and quoted article 6, underlining the budget was strikingly violating the NPT.
We even asked them to receive us. And for the first time, le Mouvement de la Paix was received by all the parliamentarian groups. They listened to us and some promised not to vote the military budget.
We want to make an appointment again with them regarding the NPT RevConf : we will ask them what role they intend to play to make France comply with its international commitments.

Alternatively, we have taken various initiatives to raise public awareness and get a strong public support for May.
In October we demonstrated in front of a nuclear base and set up an alert committee to denounce the base's violations of international law. A similar action took place on another base a month later and another action is foreseen for April there. A third base in France will experience the same on April 10th. We have also started to prepare a nuclear weapons' citizen inspection with our Belgian partners. We hope to be able to realise the first one in France before May.
One important thing to is that during our second demonstration, we were received by the colonel commanding the base. This is historical. He invited us to visit the base during an 'open door' day and to join an existing commission the role of which is watching potential environmental consequences due to nuclear weapons storage or handling. Advice we followed, of course.

Another axis is creating an exhibition with several boards to explain with colourful drawings what the NPT is, the links between civilian and military energy, the steps in a bomb explosion, the sanitary consequences, the current international situation regarding nuclear weapons, etc.

Moreover, we have just renovated our magazine to make it more accessible to an unfamiliar public. It is encouraging to know that more than 6,000 magazines were ordered out of 16,000 participating schools for the Press week - a week to sensitise pupils to newspapers.

Another tool is theatre. We have partnered with two theatre companies. One performs a play about children-soldiers in Africa. The other deals with the first World War and shows the profit people make on others' death. Through a different medium, we send messages, inform people, reach a different audience, initiate contacts and work with schools (a class sang on stage with the actors).

II.2. "Mayors for Peace" campaign
Our campaign is also directed towards Mayors who received a letter too to raise their consciousness about nuclear armament and the NPT. We asked them to officially take position in favour of nuclear disarmament and join the Mayors for Peace network.

II.3. Delegation to New York
All these actions aim at preparing the ground for the RevConf in New York. About this conference, we are organising a big delegation to New York. Last year we were around 20, the biggest national delegation. Again, we will meet government representatives to put them in front of their responsibilities, make them accountable of their commitments, and exert a political pressure. Last year, we asked the French representative to accept us as part of their delegation, like Canada for instance. The Ambassador did not say no; however we have still been waiting for a yesc

For this conference, we support the idea of proposing a strategy of phased arms reduction. We have been asking nuclear disarmament for decades now, in vain. Without this strategy we have little chance of success.
Why not taking again Kennedy's programme exposed on September 25 1961? It was unanimously endorsed by the General Assembly on December 20 1961. Its article 6 foresees the creation of an International Organisation of Disarmament (IDO) to achieve a "international control, strict and efficient" as required by the NPT article 6. A conference should create this IDO.

A new concept of collective security
Another aspect to be taken into account is the continuous tensions that generate instability, which in turn are an incentive to nuclear armament. Examples can be found in the Middle-East or in the Korean peninsula.
Countries would not turn to nuclear armament if they had security guarantees.
As Dr ElBaradei said in 2004 (Preserving the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Mohamed ElBaradei, Disarmament Forum, UNIDIR four 2004),
"The earlier we focus on collective security reform, the earlier we can move forward towards agreement on strengthening the Non-Proliferation Treaty and towards a concrete programme for verified, irreversible nuclear disarmament, complete with a timetable. Such a course of action could be achieved in the context of a protocol to the present NPT. Once in force, this new framework should be regarded as a 'peremptory norm' of international law - in short, it should be enduring and permanent."

We recently took part in the European Social Forum in London (October 2004) and in the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre (January 2005). The theme of a human international security, based no longer on military capabilities but on respect of peoples rights and mutual understanding is strengthening. This is encouraging, but not enough : this theme should be more and more found among government representatives too.

II.4. Delegation to Geneva
Before this delegation, we are going to send a delegation to Geneva to meet governmental representatives at the Disarmament Conference.

We expect to meet:
N Nuclear States members of the NPT: we want to ask them what they plan to do for the RevConf ; do they have any strategy? Any proposals to make? Any concrete actions to move things forward? We also want to present them our claims regarding the NPT RevConf and the role they could play.
N Nuclear states non-members of the NPT: we will ask them to sign the treaty and hence make it universal. This universality would give the NPT a huge weight in international law and would make much easier a nuclear disarmament since every single state would be submitted to it.
N States actors of nuclear disarmament, such as the New Agenda Coalition and the non-aligned states. These States are our allies and we should discuss how we can help each other.

II.5. Delegation to Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Finally, we put great hopes on our delegation to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This project is made possible thanks to a strong partnership between our two organisations. Our committees are working hard to find new faces, especially young. Thanks to the delegation, such new people will see with their own eyes how dramatic the consequences of an atomic explosion are by visiting the Japanese ground zero, meeting Hibakushas and noticing 60 years afterwards that the war is not over here -since people are still dying from it or are still affected by it.
We are happy to announce that a televised documentary will be realised about our delegation and the commemorations. This TV report will be broadcasted on a national channel and maybe on several other channels.


As citizens it is our duty to show to our government representatives that we care about military nuclear energy and to tell them what we think. The five nuclear States pretend to be democracies, as well two out of the three non-official nuclear powers. As democracies, such States have to satisfy their citizens' needs and claims, otherwise there is no more representativity - nor democracy. And today our needs are sanitary, educative, social and not military.

Following the dramatic tsunami that hurt South-East Asia, the French Peace Movement published a declaration asking to give 1% of the world military spending to the victims of this planetary drama. Medicine and drinking water are basic needs. And we think the amounts dedicated to war have no raison d'etre, particularly in such a situation.

Peace is not just absence of war, it is a process of collective building founded on a whole of values, behaviours, attitudes that aim at preventing and rejecting any form of war, violence and coercion.

You, Japanese, live in a country in which the article 9 of your constitution bans war. You experienced twice the explosion of an atomic bomb and you know better than anyone else what it means. Through your experience and sacrifice, you can enlighten people's conscience and bring them to demand from their government to denuclearise.
You have to protect your article 9, now in a predicament. As you support us in the fight for a denuclearised world, we give you our support on this issue.

It is up to us, NGOs, to pursue our common effort to abolish nuclear weapons and beyond it to promote and build Peace.
Public opinion should commit itself in this society issue through political structures, trade-unions and associations.

Nuclear weapon does not make a country noble.
Japan, as the rest of the world, does not need it.

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