Global Call to Action to End Nuclear Weapons
Global Call to Action to End Nuclear Weapons
Nuclear weapons are an imminent threat to all humanity. The abolition of nuclear weapons is a challenge that must be resolved, to ensure a sustainable Earth and the survival of the human race. The recent exacerbation of tensions in international relations has contributed to an escalating nuclear threat, while advancements in science and technology have further increased uncertainty. With climate change and the resultant natural disasters causing tremendous damage in every corner of the world, it is urgent for us to take concerted action to ensure the continued existence of all humankind. Furthermore, the global spread of COVID-19 has necessitated the international community’s enhanced cooperation in order to ensure its common security. The COVID-19 pandemic has proven that a catastrophe which many thought to be merely a hypothetical threat, “theoretically possible but not yet a reality,” can and did occur. This demonstrates how the only effective way to prevent a potential threat from coming to pass, is by eliminating it before it becomes a reality. Therefore presently, as we pass the 75th year since the A-bombing, Hiroshima Prefecture is determined to call on all countries, international organizations and civil society to take global action to eliminate nuclear weapons.
1. Achieving a U.N. consensus on the goal of ending nuclear weapons
Today, governments, international organizations and civil society (including the private sector) all over the world have been strengthening cooperation in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Nuclear weapons are a threat to every endeavor to achieve the SDGs. The use of nuclear weapons would destroy the foundations of the global environment, society and economy, causing irrevocable effects across the world. All the resources committed to the development, possession and modernization of nuclear arms should instead be used to accomplish the SDGs. The international community needs to carry out more in-depth discussions on the relationship between the SDGs and arms control, while steadily proceeding with the “Agenda for Disarmament” announced by the UN Secretary-General. The UN member states should build a consensus on including the abolition of nuclear weapons in the goals set for the UN’s 100th anniversary. To this end, an international agreement on the abolition of nuclear weapons must be reached among the UN member states by 2030 at the latest. More active calls for cooperation and collaboration in international processes are necessary, so that an international consensus on nuclear weapons abolition can be formed as soon as possible—ideally during the lifetime of atomic bomb survivors, hibakusha.
2. Strengthening global norms to reject nuclear weapons
Hibakusha have been raising their voices in support of nuclear abolition, hoping that it will be achieved within their lifetimes. Their calls bore fruit, in the form of adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in 2017, which went into effect in 2021. We in Hiroshima Prefecture will call on all the states around the world, including the Japanese government to sign and ratify this treaty. At the same time, we will enhance our efforts to nurture the younger generations, who play a vital role in conveying to the world the message that nuclear weapons are inhumane. We believe that these efforts will serve as an impetus for a consensus on the unjustifiability of nuclear weapons, reinforcing global norms to reject nuclear weapons, and moving governments to act.
3. Promoting nuclear disarmament and seeking a security system that does not depend on nuclear weapons
Many bilateral or multilateral treaties concerning nuclear disarmament now stand at a critical juncture. The international community should work together to facilitate negotiations on nuclear disarmament and arms control, while maintaining existing nuclear arms control agreements and ensuring the full implementation of those agreements. To realize a peaceful world free of nuclear weapons, it is necessary to create a new security system to support it. Many experts and research institutes have already suggested security policies without nuclear weapons that serve as alternatives to nuclear deterrence, and proposed concrete measures for nuclear disarmament. Hiroshima Prefecture will back up those research activities and raise public awareness of such efforts.
4. Creating a platform for collaboration
Hiroshima Prefecture will promote partnerships between the governments, international organizations and civil society (including the private sector, NGOs, educational organizations, faith-based organizations, and the media) which respond to its call to action, and will create a platform that enables them to work in collaboration. We will also provide various opportunities to promote organic coordination among different initiatives. Internationally, we will provide venues for dialogue among governments, international organizations and NGOs, and domestically, we will strengthen systems to encourage administrative organs and civil society to share their wisdom, abilities and resources. At the same time, we will enhance opportunities for people across the globe to voluntarily educate themselves on the importance of nuclear weapons abolition, and to send their messages to the world. In addition, throughout these processes, it is essential to magnify the voices of hibakusha, place younger generations as the driving force of the movement, and to promote female leadership.