The Nagasaki Global Citizens' Assembly for the Elimination of
November 20, 2000
Standing on the threshold of a new century, we
concerned global citizens have gathered from throughout the world
in Nagasaki, the last city of the departing century to suffer
the devastation of a nuclear attack.
Some half-century ago, humanity embarked on the
development of nuclear weapons. These indescribably destructive
instruments are capable not only of robbing millions of people
of their lives at a single stroke, but also of inflicting lifelong
physical and mental anguish on any survivors. The damage resulting
from the use of nuclear weapons would extend far beyond the boundaries
of the belligerents, having extremely serious consequences for
the environment and all living things. Nevertheless, these criminal
weapons are still being used by some states for political purposes.
It is our duty to provide a worthy response to
the voices of the hibakusha -- the atomic bomb survivors; voices
tinged with anxiety stemming from the knowledge that death from
not yet fully explained causes may come at any time; voices that
say, "Such a tragedy cannot be allowed to be repeated...
Before the last of us leaves this world, nuclear weapons must
be abolished forever.” It is the sincere desire of the citizens
of Nagasaki, that Nagasaki should remain the last city to suffer
the calamity of the dropping of an atomic bomb.
Despite the fact that it has been over a decade
since the collapse of the Cold War standoff, there are still over
30,000 nuclear warheads in existence on our fragile planet. The
United States and the Russian Federation each continue to maintain
several thousand nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert.
The International Court of Justice, the world's
supreme legal authority, has ruled that the threat or use of nuclear
weapons is a violation of international law. These weapons, which
are even more inhumane than biological or chemical weapons, are
nonetheless claimed by the few governments which possess them,
and by the countries sheltered by the "nuclear umbrella,"
as necessary for their security.
Expectations were raised in May of this year at
the 2000 NPT Review Conference when the nuclear weapon states
agreed to an "an unequivocal undertaking... to accomplish
the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals..." However,
the phrase, "undertake to engage in an accelerated process
of negotiations," had to be eliminated from the draft document
in order to avoid the breakdown of the talks.
The continued existence of nuclear weapons poses
a threat to all of humanity, and their use would have catastrophic
consequences. The only defense against nuclear catastrophe is
the total elimination of nuclear weapons.
During our conference, we have learned from the
stories of many who have suffered from the nuclear age: the hibakusha
and downwinders from Hiroshima and Nagasaki; Semipalatinsk, Nevada,
and Moruroa; Chernobyl and Tokaimura. The world’s citizens
must now be mobilized to form a potent global movement, and it
is this force that will compel governments to fulfill their promises.
All sectors of the global community must be involved including
women, youth, workers, religious communities and indigenous peoples.
Having concluded four days of discussions in Nagasaki,
the concerned global citizens who attended this historic Assembly
call for the following actions:
1. Let the citizens of the world cooperate with
like-minded nations in calling for an international conference
to negotiate a verifiable treaty for the elimination of nuclear
2. The responsibility and the potential role of
the Japanese government in the context of the elimination of nuclear
weapons is extremely great. We strongly expect Japan to end its
dependence on nuclear weapons for national security, and to maximize
its contribution to nuclear abolition, for instance, by working
towards the establishment of a Northeast Asia nuclear weapon-free
zone. We ask the citizens of the world to provide support to the
activities of the Japanese people in pressuring their government.
3. The missile defense programs proposed by the
United States for North America and East Asia is preventing nuclear
disarmament, and threatening to ignite a new arms race. The current
situation must be urgently improved. Let us join hands with US
citizens who are calling for the cessation of all missile defense
programs, and work for stronger international public opinion on
4. All governments should inform their publics
about the damage caused by nuclear activities. We call for the
reallocation of the resources currently expended on nuclear arms
to mitigate and compensate for the human suffering and environmental
damage caused by the use of nuclear weapons and the entire process
of nuclear development, including uranium mining, reprocessing,
testing, and manufacture. Resources should also be provided for
the elimination of nuclear weapons and its verification.
5. We also call for efforts directed toward the
stepwise and parallel implementation of various measures, such
as the entry-into-force as soon as possible of the Comprehensive
Test Ban Treaty; a total ban on sub-critical and all other forms
of nuclear weapons testing; the cut-off and international control
of weapons-usable fissile materials; deep reductions of nuclear
arsenals; de-alerting; the adoption of no-first-use policies among
nuclear weapons states and non-use policies against non-nuclear
weapons states; withdrawal of all nuclear weapons from foreign
soil and international waters; the establishment of new nuclear
weapon-free zones and the strengthening of existing zones; and
official rejection of the doctrine of nuclear deterrence. Further,
we urgently call for the cessation of nuclear weapons programs
by India and Pakistan. Let us use every available opportunity
to express the expectations and demands of the world's citizens.
Activities aimed at the elimination of nuclear
weapons, led by the hibakusha, Abolition 2000 and others, have
progressed to the point where "nuclear weapons abolition"
has become part of the common vocabulary of international politics
and diplomacy. So long as the efforts of the world's citizens
continue, there is bright hope that our objectives will be achieved.
The myriad small steps taken by concerned citizens in every conceivable
setting will no doubt lead to new and giant strides forward. Let
us begin renewed and concerted action directed at the rapid realization
of a 21st century free of war, in which the scourge of nuclear
weapons is finally removed forever.