The fact that the NPT Review coincides with the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is both disturbing and inspiring. Disturbing because it reminds us how little progress has been made over these decades in bringing to an end the era of terror weapons. Inspiring since both events will see large mobilizations of citizens determined to achieve the definitive elimination of weapons that ‘cannot co-exist with human beings’ as the hibakusha put it.
This year’s Review takes place against the backdrop of seriously aggravated tensions between the major powers. It requires only a relatively short memory to recall times when humanity was facing an imminent risk of total destruction because of the brinkmanship of the superpowers’ leaders.
Today all the states possessing nuclear weapons are engaged – despite the commitments made under Art.6 of the Treaty – in programmes of modernisation, throwing billions of taxpayers’ money into a military system that is unproven, illegal, and a threat to the very survival of life on planet earth.
There is no time to lose.
IPB calls on the States parties to have the courage to open negotiations – as soon as possible following the conclusion of the RevConf – on a legally-binding instrument to set a timetable and agree a framework for the complete elimination of all nuclear weapons.
The three recent conferences on the humanitarian impacts have demonstrated beyond all doubt the risks that the nuclear planners are taking, which are totally unacceptable to the world’s populations. The political momentum that is building towards a treaty must be accelerated. We do not underestimate the obstacles ahead nor the opposition that the anti-nuclear movement will engender as it grows.
These efforts have been bolstered by the introduction of another element in the struggle: the legal case launched at the International Court of Justice by the Republic of the Marshall Islands against the 9 nuclear-possessing states. IPB affirms its solidarity with the RMI and calls on civil society to support their initiative in every possible way.