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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 March 22 - 28  > Shii petitions UN to conclude NWC as early as possible
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2017 March 22 - 28 [PEACE]

Shii petitions UN to conclude NWC as early as possible

March 26, 2017
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on March 24 at the UN Headquarters in NYC met with Kim Won-soo, head of UN Disarmament Affairs, and handed him a petition entitled, “We Call for Consensus to Be Reached towards an Early Conclusion of a Convention to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons (see below)”.

Shii is visiting the U.S. as a member of the Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament to take part in the UN conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons.

In the meeting with Kim, Shii said that in the only A-bombed nation of Japan, the JCP has been working since the end of the war for the abolition of nuclear weapons. He expressed his hearty welcome to the start of the UN conference which will begin on March 27.

Shii requested that the UN conference will take a step toward the conclusion of a Nuclear Weapons Convention, even if nuclear weapons states refuse to participate in the convention, while pursuing their participation. He also called for reaching an international consensus on an early conclusion of such a treaty in this conference.

Shii said, “A conclusion of a NWC with participation of a majority of UN member states will mean the first-ever illegalization of nuclear weapons, branding them as weapons against humanity. Such a convention will definitely make a breakthrough for a total elimination of nuclear weapons.”

Shii stressed that to achieve the abolition of nuclear weapons, in addition to a nuclear weapons ban treaty, the strengthening of grass-roots movements in each nation is also important. Citing the Hibakusha-led signature collection campaign, he reported that the number of signatures collected in Japan has reached 1.7 million.

Kim said that the establishment of an anti-nuclear accord with legally binding power is a necessary step in the process to impose a total ban of nuclear weapons. He also said that in order to push nuclear weapons states to engage in this process, it is vital to increase public support internationally through various efforts such as signature-collection drives.

* * *

Full text of the JCP petition to the UN conference is as follows:

We Call for Consensus to Be Reached towards an Early Conclusion of a Convention to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons
SHII Kazuo
Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, Japan
Member of the House of Representatives of Japan
Chair, Japanese Communist Party
March 27, 2017

We, as a political party which represents the nation which suffered from the catastrophe caused by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, have been committed to realizing the total abolition of nuclear weapons ever since, and warmly welcome the United Nations Conference to Negotiate a Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, Leading towards their Total Elimination.

Since the very first resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly in January 1946 affirmed the need to prohibit nuclear weapons, tenacious efforts worldwide towards creating a world without nuclear weapons began. Nevertheless, nuclear arsenals with a total of more than 15,000 warheads still remain and exist as the only weapon of mass destruction which has yet to be totally banned despite its absolute destructive nature.

The international community in the 2000 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) reaffirmed “an unequivocal undertaking by the nuclear-weapon states to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals leading to nuclear disarmament.” The 2010 Review Conference agreed upon the need to “make special efforts to establish the necessary framework to achieve and maintain a world without nuclear weapons.”

The nuclear-weapon states are, contrary to their commitment, modernizing and strengthening their nuclear arsenals while postponing the total abolition of nuclear weapons into the indefinite future under the guise of a “step-by-step approach.” The latest developments outside the NPT framework are also alarming.

The testimonies by Hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) and a series of international conferences on the inhumane nature of nuclear weapons have made it undeniably clear that nuclear weapons cannot coexist with humanity.

We call for concluding a convention to prohibit nuclear weapons as early as possible even if the nuclear weapon states do not join it to begin with, while continuing to seek their participation.
We call for reaching a consensus towards such an early conclusion of a prohibition convention in this Conference.

A conclusion of such a convention with participation of the majority of U.N. member states will mean the first-ever worldwide illegalization of nuclear weapons which stigmatizes this weapon of absolute destruction. As the result, the nuclear-weapon states will be bound politically and morally, if not legally, by such a convention. It could also be a breakthrough in efforts for finally opening the door to the total elimination of them.

We cannot continue the current state of inaction any longer. It is high time for the international community to take a decisive step forward.

Past related articles:
> Shii will join UN conference on NWC [March 17, 2017]
> JCP Ohira criticizes Abe gov’t for opposing NWC [February 9, 2017]
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