Five million say scrap nuclear weapons
the final day of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference a
petition will be presented to Tony Blair at 10 Downing Street by Bruce Kent,
Vice President of CND, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Vice Chair of CND, Claire Poyner of
Abolition 2000 and Caroline Gilbert of Christian CND. This year is the 60th
anniversary of the atomic bomb being dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. To
remind the government of the true horror of nuclear weapons, paper cranes made
by Japanese children in Hiroshima, will also be handed in with the petition.
The 14,700 signatures
which will be handed in represent over 5 million signatures collected in the UK
and across the world calling for the governments of the nuclear weapons states
to neither use, threaten to use nor to develop nuclear weapons, and to take
immediate steps for their abolition; and the governments of all countries to
take action for the conclusion of an international treaty for the abolition of
nuclear weapons. Millions of signatures on the same petition were also handed in
during the first week of the NPT Conference in New York by Hiroshi Taka of the
Japan Council against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs, on behalf of Abolition 2000 the
global abolition network.
The petition was
originally launched by the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the global
network Abolition 2000. Tadatoshi Akiba, the Mayor of Hiroshima, addressed
delegates at the conference and spoke for over 5 million when he said: "We no
longer accept the nuclear status quo. The time has come for the will of the
majority to be respected."
Kate Hudson, Chair of
the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament said, "The outcome of this year's NPT
conference is crucial to the future security of the planet. There have been
brave and persistent attempts by the majority of the non-nuclear weapon states
to ensure that disarmament remains at the heart of the NPT. Of particular note
has been the work of the New Agenda Coalition led by New Zealand and the
Non-Aligned movement led by Malaysia. It has been clear over the past month
however, as it was before the conference began, that the nuclear weapon states
are making every effort to move away from the disarmament steps set out in the
final document of the 2000 Conference. It will be a grave set back if a final
document is agreed on Friday which undermines the 2000's 'unequivocal
undertaking to work towards the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals' and
the agreed 13 step to disarmament. It will send a clear message that the nuclear
weapon states do not wish to comply with their crucial side of the NPT bargain."
Vice-President of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, will be handing the
petition in to Downing Street. He toured the UK in the months leading up to the
NPT to draw attention to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference
and collect signatures for the petition.
He said: "This global
petition makes it clear that the people of the world want abolition. I toured
the country this year, meeting people from all across the UK who want to see
their government make real steps towards getting rid of nuclear weapons world
wide. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty is constantly being misrepresented as
if it was only concerned with stopping other countries from obtaining nuclear
weapons. In fact it lays down a clear obligation on the nuclear weapon powers to
negotiate the abolition of their own. This obligation was clearly spelt out by
the International Court of Justice in 1996. A detailed draft treaty, prepared by
experts, which covers all the difficult issues of verification and inspection,
was lodged with the UN by Costa Rica in 1997. Without total nuclear disarmament
we will never have true peace and security."
Jeremy Corbyn MP said,
"This petition represents the global desire to rid the world of nuclear weapons.
The UK must heed this message. To comply with its NPT commitments the government
must stop any research and design work on a new generation of nuclear weapons at
the Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment and make an unequivocal statement
that it will not replace the Trident nuclear weapons system."