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Non-Aligned Movement meets in Iran

The Japan Council against A and H Bombs (Gensuikyo) has sent the following message to the 16th Summit of Heads of State or Government of the Non-Aligned Movement, meeting in Tehran, Iran from 26 to 31 August 2012. Hiroshi TAKA, representative director of Gensuikyo, presented the message in person.

On the occasion of the 16th summit of Heads of State or Government of the Non-Aligned Movement, we extend 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 World War Two, the Non-aligned Movement 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 the nuclear arms race, and firmly promoting non-alignment, national independence and sovereignty, the resolution of international conflicts be peaceful means and the establishing of a new international economic order. Further, the Non-aligned Movement kept warning of the danger of another Hiroshima or Nagasaki, and took the lead in international politics to totally ban nuclear weapons. With the passing of some 20 years since the ned of the Cold War, we firmly believe that the role of the Non-Aligned Movement 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 United States of America at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean on 1 March 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 campaigns in support of the start of negotiations for a Nuclear Weapons Convention, annual peace marches 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 Non-Aligned Movement Summit meets at an extremely important juncture. The 8th Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty 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 in May 2000 to “accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals”. It further affirmed that “all States need to ame special efforts to establish the necessary framework to achieve and maintain a world without nuclear weapons”, and specifically noted “the Five-Point Proposal” of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, which includes inter alia the “negotiation of a nuclear weaponos convention”.

The final document also made it an 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 the Nuclear Five like. As Ambassador Libran Cabactulan, the chair of the 8th NPT Review Conference pointed out in his speech to the Preparatory Committee to the 2015 NPT Review Conference, in May this year, fortunately, the world has avoided a nuclear holocaust for some 60 years and, hopefully, for many 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” arguments. 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 weapons-free world.

On 2 to 9 August this year, the 2012 World Conference against A and H Bombs was held in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We listened to the enlightening and prescient views of Ms Angela Kane, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, government representatives of Egypt, Malaysia, Cuba, Mexico, Norway, and others that are committed to abolishing 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 efforts to strengthen public support for nuclear disarmament. The document adopted by the Conference placed focus on the need for implementation of the agreements of the 2010 NPT Review Conference and, further, paid special attention to the Statements of the 16 Governments, including Non-aligned Movement members, New Agenda Coalition members, and neutral countries, set out at the last NPT Preparatory Committee.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki teach humanity that the use of nuclear weapons 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 people around the world the reality of the two cities and their citizens on those days and thereafter, thus organising 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 at the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant continues. More than 160,000 people are still living in refuges. As the movement with the slogan “No More Hibakusha”, we are also working hard for the relief of those suffering, for an end to dependency on nuclear power plants, and for development and a switch to sustainable energy. In overcoming these problems facing humanity, achieving a total ban on nuclear weapons will open a new page. Of this there is no doubt.

Before concluding, we wish you every success in the work of the 16th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement.


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