Letter of 2016 World Conference against A & H Bombs to Open Ended Working Group & International Declaration
The 2016 World Conference against A and H Bombs, which was held on August 2-9, 2016, in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, sent a below letter on August 4 to the Chair of the Open Ended Working Group – Taking Forward Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament Negotiations, which started its 3rd session on August 5 in Geneva. The 2016 International Declaration, which was adopted in the International Meeting of the World Conference on August 4, was attached to the letter. The letter and the declaration was handed over to the Chair.
H.E. Ambassador Thani Thongphakdi
Chair of the Open Ended Working Group – Taking Forward Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament Negotiations
August 4, 2016
Dear Ambassador Thani Thongphakdi,
At present, 71st year of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we are meeting at the 2016 World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs from August 2 to 9 in Hiroshima and Nagasaki to discuss the theme of “A Nuclear Weapon-free, Peaceful and Just World”.
Since the first World Conference against A and H Bombs in 1955, we have held the conference every year to achieve the three basic objectives of 1) prevention of nuclear war, 2) total ban and the elimination of nuclear weapons, and 3) relief and solidarity with the Hibakusha, the A-bomb survivors. With representatives from UN and a number of national governments as guests, thousands of representatives of civil society movements from within Japan and overseas, as well as many Hibakusha and nuclear test victims from overseas are being assembled in this conference.
In the light of the ideal of the UN Charter to save the humanity from “the scourge of war” and the objective set out by the first resolution of the UN General Assembly: “the elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction”, we are fully aware of the urgency and vital importance of the historic duty taken upon by your Open Ended Working Group – Taking forward Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament Negotiations. We therefore express our deep respect to you all for your sincere deliberations.
At our International Meeting, the initial event of the 2016 World Conference, held on August 2-4, we unanimously adopted the “Declaration of the International Meeting”. Expressing our high appreciation on the work of your Open-Ended Working Group, it sets out our message to you, saying, “We cordially request that the OEWG include the commencement of negotiations for a treaty to ban and eliminate nuclear weapons in the recommendations submitted to the coming session of the UN General Assembly.” With this letter, we present the declaration of the Conference to you and through you to the Open-Ended Working Group, in a hope that our proposal on “the commencement of negotiations for a treaty to ban and eliminate nuclear weapons” will find expression in the recommendations of your final report.
As the representatives of the Hibakusha, the A-bomb sufferers, repeatedly warned at your OEWG meetings as well as at the three international conferences on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons, the humans and nuclear weapons cannot coexist, and that the only guarantee against the recurrence of nuclear catastrophe is to ban and eliminate nuclear weapons.
We hope that the OEWG will achieve big successes in fulfilling the mandate of the resolution of the UN General Assembly 77/33 to identify concrete and effective legal measures, legal provisions and norms that will need to be concluded to attain and maintain a world without nuclear weapons. We assure you that in solidarity with you we will continue our every effort to build worldwide movements and public opinion in support of a total prohibition and the elimination of nuclear weapons.
On behalf of the Organizing Committee of the World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs
Co-Chair, Steering Committee
Enclosure: Declaration of the International Meeting, 2016 World Conference against A and H Bombs
World Conference against A and H Bombs
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