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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 August 9 - 15  > World Con pledges to take step forward toward abolition of nuclear weapons by utilizing historic UN treaty
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2017 August 9 - 15 [PEACE]

World Con pledges to take step forward toward abolition of nuclear weapons by utilizing historic UN treaty

August 10, 2017
With renewed enthusiasm, 7,000 people taking part in the main and concluding part of this year’s World Conference against A and H Bombs in Nagasaki on August 9 determined to take a step forward toward the abolition of nuclear weapons by utilizing the antinuke UN treaty.

Stating, “I have a big surprise for all of you gathered here today,” Japan Council against A and H Bombs (Japan Gensuikyo) Vice Secretary General Tsuchida Yayoi reported that the World Conference received a message (see below) from the President of the UN Conference on the treaty banning nuclear weapons, Elayne Whyte. Cheers and applause filled the venue.

Tsuchida read out the message in which Whyte wrote that she counts on the leadership of those who work for the abolition of nuclear weapons to keep up the pressure and that she remain firm in her conviction. Again, a big round of applause echoed around the venue.

A 75-year-old Hibakusha, Matsutani Eiko, appeared on the stage and said, “Nuclear weapons are inhumane. Such weapons must be eliminated. Nagasaki must be the last place to suffer from an atomic bomb attack.”

Regarding the international simultaneous “Peace Wave” action proposed by the World Conference International Meeting in its Declaration, Lisa Clark, co-president of the International Peace Bureau, expressed her support for the proposal and said that her organization will increase its efforts to strengthen the wave of resistance working for peace.

Japan Gensuikyo Secretary General Yasui Masakazu called on the participants to put the nuclear weapons ban treaty to best use to advance antinuke movements toward the total elimination. Talking about the antinuke movement in Japan, Yasui stressed that it is highly likely that a majority of Japanese will support the N-ban treaty. He went on to say, “Let us take a step toward creating a national consensus through discussions and joint efforts with all organizations and individuals supporting the treaty.”

The World Conference adopted the “Appeal from Nagasaki”. The paper criticizes the Abe administration for turning its back on the UN N-ban treaty and attempting to revise the pacifist Article 9 of the Constitution. It calls to push Prime Minister Abe to disolve the Lower House and hold a snap general election by strengthening the joint struggles of opposition parties with concerned citizens.

Past related article:
> Antinuke world conference in Nagasaki calls for proceeding to next stage after the adoption of UN treaty [ August 8, 2017]

*****

Message by Ambassador Elayne Whyte Gomez
President of the United Nations Conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards its total elimination

Dear participants and workers for disarmament and peace,

This year 2017 is an extraordinary year in the long road towards nuclear disarmament, which began in August 1945. With great optimism, the United Nations adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons last July 7th at its headquarters in New York.

Although this historic milestone represents a magnificent achievement for the international community and for all workers for peace and disarmament - especially for civil society -, the adoption of the Treaty is not the end of the road.

This milestone should fill us with optimism and hope in the ability of the international community to reach agreements to respond to the most pressing dangers facing humanity. Today we have a prohibition norm for nuclear weapons that also provides ways in which nuclear disarmament experiences can be accomplished, complementing and reinforcing the global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation architecture.

The work that follows is no less demanding than the long road traveled to achieve the Prohibition Treaty. This new phase demands from all of us renewed commitment so that the recently adopted treaty enters into force and starts generating its impact in delegitimizing nuclear weapons. I invite you to make every effort to advocate for the signing of the treaty on 20 September at United Nations Headquarters in New York and to promote its early ratification by states so that we can reach as soon as possible the 50 ratifications that are necessary for its entry into force.

Let us bear in mind that our work in providing the international community with an inclusive prohibition regime that provides pathways for the future of nuclear disarmament also faces a challenging context. New inter-state tensions remind us of the risk of use nuclear weapons. Modernization programs of nuclear arsenals are consuming billions of dollars required to address many of humanity's challenges in development, peace and climate change, peaceful coexistence and the construction of a new paradigm of security for all.

With the Ban Treaty, our action is strengthened but not finished. We must make every effort to bring the Treaty into force as soon as possible and focus our efforts on promoting its principles, norms and provisions.

I am greatly motivated by the strength of your convictions. The same that made you build extraordinary achievements in support of the negotiating process of the treaty. I am sure that we will continue to count on your leadership without dismay, so that soon we will see the conference of States Parties begin its tasks in support of the implementation of the treaty.

I encourage you to continue with renewed strategic activism towards building a world free of nuclear weapons. You will always count on my personal conviction and the univocal commitment of my country: Costa Rica.

I thank you and wish you success in your endeavors.
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