Japan Council against A and H Bombs (Gensuikyo) Takes 3 Million SIgnitures to UN
Exciting news from Peace Action’s sister organization Gensuikyo!
The delegation of Japan Council against A and H Bombs (Gensuikyo) in New York met Ms. Angela Kane, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs and Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi of Lybia, the Chair of the First Committee, on October 9 respectively and submitted them 3,286,166 signatures in support of the “Appeal for a Total Ban on Nuclear Weapons”.
The chair encouraged the delegation’s activity, saying that he would report to the First Committee that he received the signatures representing the voice of civil society in favor of a world without nuclear weapons.
The following is the “Letter to the United Nations and Member Governments”. Based on the letter, the delegation is actively meeting with the delegations of nuclear weapons states, governments of Non-Aligned Movement and New Agenda Coalition, etc.
Letter to the United Nations and Member Governments October 7, 2013
Japan Council against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs (Gensuikyo)
We cordially extend our heartfelt greetings to the officials of the United Nations and the representatives of national government delegations. We express our high respect to you for your tireless effort to realize the ideals of the U.N. Charter.
First of all, we are pleased to report to you that the number of signatures we have been collecting in support of the “Appeal for a Total Ban on Nuclear Weapons” have reached 3,286,166 as of today. These signatures include those of 1,167 mayors and deputy mayors as well as 859 speakers and vice-speakers of local assemblies.
This signature campaign started on February 15, 2011, in response to the agreement reached at the NPT Review Conference of May 2010 to “achieve the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.” The petition calls on “all governments to enter negotiations without delay on a convention banning nuclear weapons.” Through the signature campaign, we are trying to further develop public support for a total ban on nuclear weapons, and to demonstrate their desire, we will submit the collected signatures to the 9th NPT Review Conference in 2015.
We also would like to inform you that the 2013 World Conference against A and H Bombs held from August 3 to 9 in Hiroshima and Nagasaki achieved a great success, with the participation of about 10,000 people, including 89 overseas delegates from 20 countries. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Angela Kane kindly sent messages of support, and many heads of states and senior government officials sent their messages or representatives to the Conference. Taking this opportunity, we again express our sincere gratitude to the U.N. and these governments for their warm support and solidarity extended to the World Conference against A and H Bombs.
The International Meeting of the 2013 World Conference unanimously adopted the Declaration of the International Meeting. Having been held in the A-bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki since 1955, the World Conference once again focused on the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons. The “Declaration” pointed out that “the use of nuclear weapons is a serious crime against humanity” and stated, “they have to be banned without any further delay.”
The “Declaration” called on all governments, and those of the nuclear weapon states in particular, to implement the agreement for “achieving the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons” by starting negotiations on the Nuclear Weapons Convention as the framework of it.
Now that 68 years have passed since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in the world there are only 9 countries possessing nuclear weapons. Out of 189 States parties to the NPT, 184 countries have placed themselves an obligation not to develop or acquire nuclear weapons as the “non-nuclear weapon states.” The four countries of them, including those not parties to the NPT, too, express their support to the start of negotiations on a nuclear weapons convention.
Now is the time that the United Nations, with the founding objective “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war,” should play its role and the nuclear superpowers in particular must fulfill their due responsibility.
In light of the above, we hereby request all government delegations to make special efforts in the current session of the United Nations, to confirm that the use of nuclear weapons is a crime against humanity, build a consensus on a total ban on nuclear weapons and agree to start negotiations on a Nuclear Weapons Convention as the legally-binding “framework” to achieve a “world without nuclear weapons”.
Last but not least, what would guarantee international peace and security of peoples of the world is not nuclear weapons, but their abolition and the rule of peace under the U.N. Charter. Attempts to legitimate nuclear weapons as the “guarantee of security” or “deterrence” would only encourage nuclear possession and proliferation, which may lead to a second or third Hiroshima or Nagasaki. The catastrophic humanitarian consequences of their use must be known to the world, especially to the future generations. To this end, we ask all the governments to cooperate in our efforts to inform and educate people of the world about the damage caused by nuclear weapons, through the testimonies of the A-bomb survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the victims of nuclear tests as well as photo exhibitions on the A-bomb damage.
Japan Council against A & H Bombs (GENSUIKYO)
2-4-4 Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8464 JAPAN
U RL: http://www.antiatom.org/