Nagasaki Global Citizens’ Assembly closes with adoption of "Nagasaki Appeal"

by Yumi Kanazaki, Staff Writer

The 4th Nagasaki Global Citizens' Assembly for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, an international conference where public and private sectors come together to explore a path toward the abolition of nuclear weapons, held its closing session at the Peace Hall in Nagasaki on February 8. The participants adopted the Nagasaki Appeal, which calls on governments around the world to make concrete efforts in order to abolish nuclear weapons, and brought the three-day conference to a close.

The appeal warns nuclear weapon states that "they may become perpetrators of a crime against humanity by possessing nuclear weapons." It also urges, among other things, that all nations agree to start negotiations for a nuclear weapons convention at the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference slated for this May; that all nations stop their research and development of nuclear weapons; that Japan and South Korea announce a plan to create a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Northeast Asia; and that U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders visit the A-bombed cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The appeal will be sent to United Nations headquarters, the leaders of the nuclear weapon states, and the Japanese Foreign Ministry.

Prior to the closing session, the plenary session was held and the participants reported on the outcomes of the working sessions organized on February 7. Also, Hideo Suzuki, director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, pledged the Japanese government's dedication to the NPT Review Conference, commenting, "We will serve as a bridge to help form a consensus.”

A total of 3,800 people, including overseas guests, took part in the three-day conference. Hideo Tsuchiyama, chairman of the gathering's executive committee, summarized the event, remarking, "We were able to inspire lively discussions. We will now seek to make the fruits of this meeting impact the NPT Review Conference."

(Originally published on February 9, 2010)

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