PSPD in English Peace/Disarmament 2014-04-28   1720

[2014 NPT PrepCom] Time for Action to Establish a NEA NWFZ

[2014 NPT Preparatory Committee NGO Forum] 

Time for Action to Establish

a Northeast Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone

 

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The United Nations Headquarters in NY, NGO Room C

Wednesday 30 April 2014, 3pm – 5:50pm

 

 

>>> Click here to read this information in Korean

Co-Sponsors

Peace Depot (Japan), Peace Network (ROK), Peace Boat (Japan), People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (ROK), Blue Banner (Mongolia)

Cooperation

International Peace Bureau, Nautilus Institute, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, Religions for Peace, World Council of Churches

 

In 2013, there were new attempts to move forward the denuclearization of Northeast Asia. On 26 July, the report of the UN Secretary General on the work of the Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters was submitted to the General Assembly. In the report, the Board recommended that the Secretary General consider appropriate action for the establishment of a nuclear weapon free zone in Northeast Asia (NEA-NWFZ). On 26 September at the High-level Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament, Mr. Elbegdorj Tsakhia, President of Mongolia, mindful of the country’s experience in ensuring security primarily by political and diplomatic means, expressed its readiness to work with the countries of the region to see if and how a NWFZ could be established in the region.

 

Meanwhile, globally the humanitarian initiative on nuclear weapons has been rapidly growing. Recognizing its importance, Japan and ROK have participated in both Oslo and Nayarit conferences. Moreover, when the 4th Joint Statement on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons reaffirmed that for the very survival of humanity nuclear weapons must never be used again under any circumstances, Japan, as a country that suffered atomic bombings, signed the statement for the first time.

 

Since 2003, like-minded NGOs in Japan and ROK, in the belief that a NEA-NWFZ can greatly contribute to achieving a nuclear-weapon-free world, have kept convening a joint workshop on the issue of NEA-NWFZ at the NPT meetings. Through the workshop, we have expanded the support by local authorities, religious community, parliamentarians and peace NGOs in a broad range. One of the fruits for example is that 542 mayors have signed on a statement of support for a NEA-NWFZ in Japan as of March this year.

 

Today, welcoming the aforementioned changes, this forum is held to report on the efforts which have done by civil society to the United Nations and the relevant governments in Northeast Asia and discuss a NEA-NWFZ in a constructive manner. This forum will provide a timely opportunity for all of us to seek for appropriate actions to establish a NEA-NWFZ.

 

Programme

 

Moderators:

Ms. Maria Kim, Researcher of Peace Depot,

Mr. Akira Kawasaki, Co-representative of Peace Boat

 

Opening 15:00-15:05

Opening Remarks

 

Introductory Speeches by Experts 15:05-16:05

NEA-NWFZ: a Regional Approach toward Nuclear-weapon-free World

Ms. Keiko Nakamura, Associate Professor of RECNA, Nagasaki University

How to solve the Nuclear Weapon Problem on the Korean Peninsula: Civil Society Perspectives

Ms. Mihyeon Lee, Coordinator of PSPD

Mongolia’s Position on the Issue of Establishment of a NEA-NWFZ

Mr. Jargalsaikhan Enkhsaikhan, Director of Blue Banner

Q and A

 

NGO Presentations 16:05-16:45

Report on the Activities of Japanese Civil Society

Mr. Ichiro Yuasa, President of Peace Depot

Efforts and Visions of Local Authorities in Japan

Mr. Tomihisa Taue, Mayor of Nagasaki, National Council of Japan Nuclear Free Local Authorities

Mr. Kazumi Matsui, Mayor of Hiroshima, Mayors for Peace

Support for a NEA-NWFZ by Religious Community

Mr. Jonathan Frerichs, Programme Executive for Peace-building and Disarmament, WCC

Mr. Kyoichi Sugino, Deputy Secretary General of Religions for Peace

Essential Role of Parliamentarians

Mr. Alyn Ware, Global Coordinator of PNND

 

Comments and Discussion 16:45-17:45

Comments

Mr. Randy Rydell 

Senior Political Affairs Officer in the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs

Ambassador István Gyarmati (via Skype)

Chair of the 61th session of the Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters

Delegates of the Six Party Talks Nations

 

Open Discussion with All Participants

 

Close 17:45-17:50

Publication of a Joint Statement on NEA-NWFZ

Closing Remarks

 


Joint Statement for the Promotion of a Nuclear-Weapons Free Zone in Northeast Asia

A new environment for moving forward the denuclearization of Northeast Asia is now emerging. In July 2013, the report of the UN Secretary General on the work of the Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters made a recommendation that “the Secretary-General consider appropriate action for the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in North-East Asia.” Also at the High-level Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament in September 2013, President Elbegdorj Tsakhia of Mongolia announced the country’s readiness to work, on an unofficial basis, with the countries of the region to see if and how a NWFZ could be established in Northeast Asia. 

Meanwhile, the possible consequences of detonation of nuclear weapons show their  inhumanity that can threaten the very survival of the human species. Hence the two thirds of UN member states have supported the General Assembly resolution to that effect that had been adopted in October 2013. Japan, a country which had experienced the horrors of the atomic bombings during wartime, also supported the resolution.

Since 2003, a group of like-minded NGOs from Japan, the ROK and Mongolia have convened various meetings on the issue of a NEA-NWFZ in the belief that a NEA-NWFZ could greatly contribute to achieving a nuclear-weapon-free world. The voice of the civil society, the local authorities, the religious community and members of parliaments that call for establishing a NEA-NWFZ are increasing around the region. Thus 543 mayors in Japan have signed on to a statement in support of establishing a NEA-NWFZ.

Bearing the above in mind, the NGOs from Japan, the ROK, Mongolia and their supporters have organized an NGO forum entitled “Time for Action to Establish a Northeast Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone” on the margins of the 3rd NPT Preparatory Committee meeting at the UN Headquarters in New York on 30 April 2014 so as to directly convey their strong conviction for the need to start to discussing the possibility of establishing a NEA-NWFZ. The forum heard reports and views of diverse representatives of Northeast Asia, including experts, local authorities, religious leaders, parliamentarians and citizens’ peace organizations, and agreed on a comprehensive approach to the issue that should include shifting from the current Korean War armistice agreement to a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.

In order to realize a world free of nuclear weapons, it is the responsibility of all countries of the world to pursue a shift away from security policies based on the threat of the use of nuclear weapons. Like in other regions of the world, establishing a NEA-NWFZ could form the basis for such a security policy. Political initiative to obtain such a policy could also complement the efforts of the governments of the region to address the issues within the framework of the Six-Party Talks. 

We, the participants of this NGO forum strongly support the efforts to start discussing on an informal basis the possibility of establishing a NEA-NWFZ and declare our commitment to continue to work together in this endeavor. We call on politicians involved in local and national politics around the world, civil society groups, and individuals to express their support for a Northeast Asia Nuclear-Weapons Free Zone, and work together for its realization.

 

April 30, 2014

New York, USA
Organizers of the NGO Forum “Time for Action to Establish a Northeast Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone”
Blue Banner 
Peace Boat
Peace Depot
Peace Network
People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy
International Peace Bureau
Nautilus Institute
Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament
Religions for Peace
World Council of Churches

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*Contact: Maria Kim, Peace Depot

Office: +81-45-563-5101 Fax: +81 45 563 9907 Mobile: 81-80-5505-4123 Email:kotssi@hotmail.com

 

 

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