29 March, 2012
The first PrepComm of the next NPT Review Conference in 2015 will open on this coming April 30 in Vienna. The last Review Conference in 2010 declared, before the mounting public opinion calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons, that it ‘resolves to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons…’. The IPB calls on all its member organizations to plan actions in support of our initiatives in Vienna to build the momentum among the civil society in favour of nuclear disarmament, and to urge their respective governments to press for the start of negotiations on a convention banning nuclear weapons for ever.
The first PrepCom of the next NPT Review Conference in 2015 will open on this coming April 30 in Vienna.
The last Review Conference in 2010 declared, before the mounting public opinion calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons, that it ‘resolves to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons…’. To fulfill this goal, it further agreed that:
- The nuclear weapons states must reduce and eliminate all types of their nuclear weapons;
- All states need to make special efforts to establish the necessary framework to achieve and maintain a world without nuclear weapons;
- It notes the five-point proposal of the UN Secretary-General, inter alia negotiations on a nuclear weapons convention.
The agreement on convening an international conference in 2012 on a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction was another important breakthrough.
The key to the success in the whole preparatory process will lie in the implementation of these agreements and the start of the negotiations on a nuclear weapon convention in particular.
The overwhelming majority of both NGOs and governments are now urging that this coming preparatory process should be made an opportunity for a decisive turn in reaching the goal, without ending up with another cycle of routine review.
To mention only a few: Mayors for Peace calls for the abolition of nuclear weapons by 2020; the Non-Aligned Movement presses for the convening an international conference to identify ways and means to eliminate nuclear weapons without any further delay; the umbrella grouping Abolition 2000 and International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) are demanding the start on negotiations of a Nuclear Weapons Convention.
On March 26, US President Obama reaffirmed in his speech in Seoul that as “the
only nation ever to use nuclear weapons” the US takes “concrete steps towards a world without nuclear weapons”. He further added that while maintaining a strong deterrent, “we can…still pursue further reductions in our nuclear arsenal.”
We of course call for further cuts in nuclear arsenals. Yet the elimination of nuclear weapons cannot be achieved through the mere accumulation of partial disarmament measures. The fact that there are still more than 20,000 nuclear weapons in the world even nearly 67 years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki is an eloquent testimony. It is a miracle that over this long period, no further nuclear weapons have been used in war. But there is no guarantee that this will be the case for another 67 years. Besides, the huge amount of money wasted on the nuclear build-up should be re-directed towards the development, welfare and lives of the human population which now numbers 7 billion.
On April 30 in Vienna, IPB will hold two workshops entitled “The costs of nuclear weapons: a Disarmament for Development perspective” and “The role of science in nuclear and military-related research and technology”. And around the same time, IPB will jointly open a photo-panel exhibition on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the University of Vienna, together with the two Japanese organizations, the Japan Council against A and H Bombs (Gensuikyo) and the Japan Confederation of A- and H-bombs Sufferers’ Organizations (Hidankyo). A-bombs sufferers will speak of their stories and collect signatures for the “Appeal for a total ban on nuclear weapons”.
The principal promoters of the elimination of nuclear weapons are, as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon emphasizes, the people around the world who work at grassroots level for disarmament, and the vast public opinion that supports the cause. The IPB calls on all its member organizations to plan actions in support of our initiatives in Vienna to build the momentum among the civil society in favour of nuclear disarmament, and to urge their respective governments to press for the start of negotiations on a convention banning nuclear weapons for ever.