Disarm Now! Mobilizing Call for the 2010 NPT Review Conference
Today our world is facing crises on an unprecedented scale - global warming, poverty, war, hunger, and disease. They threaten the very future of life as we know it, and on a daily basis bring death, sorrow and suffering to the majority of people on our planet. Yet these problems are almost entirely the results of human action and they can be equally be resolved by human action. We have an unprecedented opportunity to create the political will to manage the riches and natural bounty of our world in such a way as to meet the needs of all peoples, and to enable us to live together in peace and justice
Such is the desire of the overwhelming majority of peoples, yet we face a situation today where global military spending - money for killing - has now reached a total of $1.46 trillion in 2008. Furthermore, nine countries maintain arsenals of nuclear weapons - all together, over 23,000 warheads. These uniquely destructive weapons can not only destroy life on our planet many times over, but they are also used as political weapons of terror, reinforcing an unjustifiable global inequality. The eradication of these weapons will not only end the threat of global annihilation and this hierarchy of terror, but it will unlock enormous resources to address climate change and mass poverty, serve as the leading edge of the global trend towards demilitarisation, and make advances in other areas of human aspiration possible.
In spite of treaty obligations and international resolutions and rulings over the decades since the criminal atomic bombings of Japan by the United States in 1945, the nuclear weapons states have failed to eliminate their nuclear arms. Their continued possession of these weapons, together with modernisation of systems and increasingly aggressive nuclear use policies in recent years, have contributed to an increasing tendency towards their proliferation - and a greater likelihood of nuclear war.
The nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) requires both non-proliferation and disarmament, and must be supported and strengthened - yet it lacks a concrete process for achieving these essential goals. Furthermore, there are grave problems with its Article IV. This guarantees the right to peaceful nuclear energy but overlooks the inextricable link between nuclear power and weapons technologies and their health and environmental costs.
The newly-launched International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) provides an opportunity to phase out nuclear power, superseding the Article IV guarantee. This said, the NPT continues to provide the framework for advancing towards an essential new initiative - a timetable for the elimination of nuclear weapons so urgently sought by the global majority.
The NPT Review Conference in May 2010 presents a precious opportunity to take that initiative. It is an opportunity that must on no account be missed. After the spiralling aggression of the Bush era, the Obama presidency provides a new context for our campaigning. President Obama's commitment - alongside that of President Medvedev of Russia - to global abolition of nuclear weapons is greatly welcomed, and their first steps towards bilateral reductions and support for treaties restricting nuclear developments are positive. However, the goal of global abolition cannot be postponed into the indefinite future, for only a defined, achievable and timetabled process can halt the proliferation that threatens us all.
To this end, to secure a future for humanity and our planet, to help create the conditions for a world of peace, justice and genuine human security, we urge the 2010 NPT Review Conference to make an unambiguous commitment to begin negotiations on a convention for the time-bound elimination of all nuclear weapons - a Nuclear Weapons Convention.
Such a step will not happen without the active encouragement of civil society, giving voice to the yearning of the global majority for a world free from the fear of nuclear annihilation. We urge all those who share this vision to join us in mobilising for the international peace conference in New York on May 1st and the International Day of Action for a Nuclear Free World, in New York and globally, on May 2nd, as well as for the presentation of petition signatures to the NPT Review Conference.
Abolition 2000 Global Council
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Europe
International Association of Peace Messenger Cities
International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility
International Peace Bureau
Pax Christi International
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
American Friends Service Committee, USA
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, UK
CODEPINK Women for Peace, USA
Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft - Vereinigte KriegsdienstgegnerInnen, Germany
Emil Touma Institute for Palestinian and Israeli Studies, Israel
International Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms, German Section
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, German Section
Mouvement de la Paix, France
Naturwissenschaftlerinitiative Verantwortung für Frieden und Zukunftsfähigkeit, Germany
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, USA
Peace Action, USA
Peace Women Partners Asia-Pacific, Philippines
STOP the War Coalition, Philippine Section
Swedish Peace Committee, Sweden
Swedish Peace Council, Sweden
The Coalition for a ME Free of Nuclear Weapons, Israel
United for Peace and Justice, USA
U.S. Peace Council, USA
Vredesactie - Bomspotting, Belgium
Western States Legal Foundation, USA
Cambridge / Berlin, 29th of September 2009
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