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Message to the 16th Summit of Heads of State or Government of the Non-Aligned Movement

By Japan Council against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs (Gensuikyo)

     On the occasion of the 16th Summit of Heads of State or Government of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), we extend the warmest greetings of solidarity to you, and through you to the people each of you represent, from the movement against atomic and hydrogen bombs working in Japan, the only A-bombed country in the world.

     During the period of the Cold War, which followed the end of the World War II, NAM played the key role in establishing a peaceful and just world order based on the UN Charter, by opposing the division of the world by military blocs and nuclear arms race and firmly promoting the non-alignment, national independence and sovereignty, the resolution of international conflicts by peaceful means and the establishing of a new international economic order.  Further, NAM kept warning of the danger of another Hiroshima or Nagasaki, and took the lead in the international politics to totally ban  nuclear weapons.  With the passing some 20 years since the end of the Cold War, we firmly believe that the role of NAM is now more important than ever before in achieving these objectives.

   Our movement developed in 1954, in protest against the massive damage and contamination caused by the hydrogen bomb test conducted by the USA at the Bikini Atoll, the Pacific on March 1 that year.  Since then, we have developed grassroots actions and international solidarity to achieve three basic objectives of 1) the prevention of nuclear war, 2) a total ban and the elimination of nuclear weapons, and 3) relief and solidarity with the Hibakusha, the A-bomb sufferers, including the World Conference against A and H Bombs held in Hiroshima and Nagasaki every summer, nationwide signature campaign in support of the start of negotiations for Nuclear Weapons Convention, annual peace marches walking through all Japanese municipalities to raise public awareness for the abolition of nuclear weapons.  Since the very start of our movement, we have always supported the principles and policies set out by the forerunners of the Non-Aligned Movement.

     The 16th NAM Summit is meeting at the extremely important juncture. The 8th NPT Review Conference in May 2010 agreed that it would “achieve the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons” as principle and objective, and confirmed that the “unequivocal undertaking” of the Nuclear Five agreed on in May 2000 to “accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals” .  It further affirmed that “all States need to make special efforts to establish the necessary framework to achieve and maintain a world without nuclear weapons”, and specifically noted “the Five-Point Proposal” of the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, which includes inter alia the “negotiations on a nuclear weapons convention”.

     The final document also made it obligation to convene an international conference for a Middle East Zone free of nuclear weapons as well as other weapons of mass destruction.

     These agreements are not something that can be done when Nuclear Five like to.  As Ambassador Libran Cabactulan, the chair of the 8th NPT Review Conference pointed out in his speech at the Preparatory Committee to the 2015 NPT Review Conference in May this year, that the world fortunately avoided a nuclear holocaust for some 60 years, and hopefully for many more years to come.  But “Let us not continue to tempt the fates, … The only way to ensure the prevention of a nuclear holocaust is to take away the nuclear option from the hands of men who are so fallible.”

      We refuse all kinds of arguments intended to try to justify the continued possession of nuclear weapons, or modernization and new development of such weapons, or nuclear proliferation, such as “nuclear deterrence” doctrine or “nuclear umbrella” argument.  The goals agreed upon at the 2010 NPT Review Conference have to be honestly and in good faith translated into action towards the next, 2015 NPT Review Conference, and above all the negotiations on the nuclear weapons convention must start without any further delay, to build a legally binding framework needed to create and maintain a nuclear weapon-free world.

   On August 2-9 this year, the 2012 World Conference against A and H Bombs was held in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  We listened to the enlightening and foreseeing views from Ms. Angela Kane, the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, government representatives of Egypt, Malaysia, Cuba, Mexico, Norway, and others that are committed to the abolishing of nuclear weapons without delay.  Nine thousand participants, including overseas delegates from 20 countries, as well as Japanese grassroots activists, renewed their determination to redouble their effort to strengthen the public support for nuclear disarmament.  The document adopted by the Conference placed focus on the need for the implementation of the agreements of the 2010 NPT Review Conference, and further paid a special attention to the Statement of the 16 Governments, including NAM members, NAC members, countries on neutrality, set forward at the last NPT PrepCom.

     Hiroshima and Nagasaki teach humanity that the use of nuclear weapon is a crime against humanity.  The action to eliminate nuclear weapons concerns everyone, governments and civil society alike, for which all citizens around the world are to be invited.  We, as the movement working in a country where people suffered the “hell on earth”, will do our best to make known to the people around the reality of the two cities and their citizens on those days and thereafter, thus organizing people in all different forms, including the petition campaign.  These campaigns will be firmly in solidarity with your action, carried out together with peace movements around the world, as well as the Hibakusha.

     The nuclear crisis caused by the severe accident of the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant continues.  Still more than 160,000 people are in refuge.  As the movement with the slogan, “No More Hibakusha”, we are also working hard for the relief of those suffering, end to the dependency on nuclear power plants, and development and switch to the sustainable energies.  In overcoming these problems facing humanity, achieving a total ban on nuclear weapons will open a new page.  This is no doubt.

     Before concluding, we wish you every success in the work of the 16th Summit of NAM. (end)

Japan Council against A & H Bombs (GENSUIKYO)
2-4-4 Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8464 JAPAN
phone: +81-3-5842-6034
fax: +81-3-5842-6033



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