International Agreement Totally Banning
Urgent Need for World Peace
Statement on the 3rd Preparatory Committee Meeting
for the 2005 NPT Review Conference
April 26, 2004
Japan Council against A and H Bombs (GENSUIKYO)
War on Iraq and Weapons of Mass Destruction
The world situation is rapidly changing, forcing a focus on the problem
of the proliferation of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction
(WMD). The dangers of WMD, in particular nuclear weapons or nuclear technology,
falling into hands of "terrorists" or "states supporting
terrorism" have been much emphasized, and a "preventive"
war against Iraq has been launched. The use of force prevailed, and multilateral
efforts, including those of the United Nations, as well as inspections
and other means to overcome the crisis, were disregarded.
The developments of the past 13 months, however, have demonstrated that
unilateral armed attack will not resolve the non-proliferation issue.
Rather, they have amplified damages and distrust in the world. The unilateral
use of force has endangered the international order of peace and the framework
in which international problems can be resolved. Despite large-scale investigations,
WMD have not been found in Iraq. Instead, the "suspicion" of
Iraq's WMD, it was revealed, was fabricated as justification for going
to war. Peace has not come to Iraq. Every day many lives of Iraqi people,
especially of children are being claimed or seriously placed in jeopardy.
All military operations in Iraq, including indiscriminate attacks on
Iraqi people and their mosques and housing, and the use of cluster and
other atrocious bombs, should be immediately ended. Essential to a solution
is the restoration of the sovereignty of the Iraqi people, UN-centered
rehabilitation and the withdrawal of foreign troops, first and foremost
the Japanese Self-Defense Forces, which were sent there in violation of
the Japanese Constitution.
War is not a solution. Respect and strict observance of the international
rules of peace, based on the UN Charter, are the prerequisites to the
resolution of WMD and other questions relating to world peace.
Removing Obstacles to the Resolution of the Non-proliferation Issue
During this same period, the U.S.A. as the nuclear super-power made moves
contradictory to the abolition of nuclear weapons. In response to the
menace of "terrorism" and the "proliferation of WMD",
its leaders repeatedly stated, "every option is on the table",
a suggestion of the possible use of nuclear weapons. In a bid to remove
the threshold between nuclear and conventional weapons, the nuclear super-power
also lifted restrictions on the research and development of low-yield
nuclear weapons, and even began planning to resume underground nuclear
At the same time, new efforts to acquire nuclear weapons were brought
to light. In addition to the five nuclear weapons states, Israel, India
and Pakistan, it was also revealed that North Korea and Libya were taking
steps to acquire nuclear weapons, and a shady network for nuclear development
was disclosed. But it is wrong for a big power with many nuclear weapons,
or a group of nuclear weapons states, to try to prevent these moves by
threatening military attacks including the use of nuclear weapons.
The nuclear arms race, continuous since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima
and Nagasaki, has demonstrated that a nuclear threat by one side gives
rise to the development and deployment of nuclear weapons by the other.
As confrontations between two military blocs intensified, both the number
of nuclear weapons and the list of nuclear countries increased. This in
turn, raised concern about the likely possibility of "excessive massacre".
India and Pakistan followed a similar process and have become nuclear
This vicious cycle is continuing in another way, causing more countries
to adopt a nuclear preemptive attack doctrine. The US once agreed with
North Korea that it would not threaten North Korea with nuclear weapons,
while North Korea would abandon a nuclear weapons development program.
But the Nuclear Posture Review that named North Korea as a nuclear attack
target strained the relations between the two countries, and very quickly
led to North Korea's notification of its withdrawal from the NPT.
The world trends stand against the emergence of new nuclear weapons states
under any circumstances. Nevertheless, as long as a universal and binding
agreement totally banning nuclear weapons is not achieved, measures for
"prevention of proliferation" cannot avoid being inherently
discriminatory, running counter to the basic rules of international relations
with regard to the principle of the equality of countries.
Most countries across the world are NPT signatories as non-nuclear weapons
parties. Yet one particular nuclear weapons state is trying to force on
them the division of the nuclear "haves" and the "have-nots"
into an "unforeseeable future", by means of threat or use of
force, including nuclear blackmail. The nuclear weapons state has even
declared the right to resort to "preventive attacks" and "preemptive
attacks". This direction further destabilizes the world.
The Challenge of the 2005 NPT Review Conference: Swift Actions for International
Agreement Totally Banning Nuclear Weapons
The 2000 NPT Review Conference achieved a breakthrough, overcoming the
contradictions of the NPT. The "unequivocal undertaking" to
accomplish the total elimination of nuclear arsenals was unanimously agreed
upon. This was also the result of sustained efforts by the New Agenda
Coalition, Non-Aligned Movement countries and others that share the goal
of abolition of nuclear weapons. This demonstrates that the political
will of human society will be able to make the abolition of nuclear weapons
Now, four years after that agreement, the desire of the majority of the
world for the abolition of nuclear weapons has become stronger, and more
people are working for the elimination of nuclear weapons. In his speech
to the previous PrepCom, a US representative said that the vast majority
of the NPT parties honored their obligations of non-proliferation; that
only a few countries failed to meet them. A majority of 190 plus countries
of the world have honestly fulfilled their non-proliferation responsibilities.
In these circumstances, now is the time to authentically take up, discuss,
and implement the universal and binding agreement totally banning nuclear
The developments in the four years since the previous Review Conference,
in particular events relating to Iraq, make clear that the key to resolving
issues of peace and security in the world is not the force of "empire"
but the power of "reason and law" supported by cooperation among
peoples of the world. This was demonstrated by anti-Iraq war actions in
which more than 10 million people worldwide took to the streets and a
majority of governments of the world opposed the war.
With this conviction, we call on all NPT parties to make the 2005 NPT
Review Conference a place to forthrightly take up in its agenda the international
agreement totally banning nuclear weapons, and to discuss and reach an
agreement as to its process and time frame. To ensure that these efforts
in international negotiations will be fruitful and that 2005 will be made
a turning point to the abolition of nuclear weapons, NGOs have an important
role to play. We call on all NGOs to extend solidarity with the governments
working to set the world free of nuclear weapons, and at the same time
to redouble our action, such as signature campaigns, to build up the strong
public support in each country to ensure that the goal of abolishing nuclear
weapons will be reached without fail.