Thousands of representatives of civil society from around the world, meeting in Hiroshima this week for the World Conference on Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs, have appealed to the United Nations to commence multilateral negotiations for the complete prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons.
The Conference, organised by Gensuikyo and occurring in conjunction with the 71st anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, included representatives of governments, civil society and survivors/victims from nuclear weapons. Their International Declaration was presented today to the UN Open Ended Working Group (OEWG) in Geneva, a body open to all governments, that is considering proposals for nuclear disarmament negotiations.
The OEWG will finalise its report on August 19 and then submit to the UN General Assembly (UNGA). It is expected that the UNGA will take action in October on a proposal to commence nuclear prohibition negotiations in 2017. However, so far the proposal for such negotiations is supported only by non-nuclear countries. Nuclear-armed States and those under extended nuclear deterrence relationships are not supportive.
Sign the nuclear abolition petition
To help build political support for nuclear disarmament negotiations, Gensuikyo has launched a Global Appeal for a Total Ban on Nuclear Weapons.
The appeal has been supported by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who says:
‘I am pleased to greet all those gathered in Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Tokyo to launch a new campaign calling for the start of negotiations for a convention banning nuclear weapons. The history of multilateral disarmament shows the importance of citizens raising their voices to demand action by governments…. I hope people everywhere will sign your petition, thereby adding their voice to rising chorus calling for the start of negotiations. One day, we will rid the world of nuclear weapons. And when we do, it will be because of people like you.’