For Immediate Release
Mobilization Brings Eight Million Demands for Nuclear Abolition to U.N.
Civil Society Speaks Out Before Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review
NEW YORK, NY - Today, the Peace and Planet Mobilization delivered more than eight million petition signatures during a march to the United Nations calling for negotiations for the complete elimination of the world’s nuclear arsenals, as required by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The action comes one day before the start of the 2015 NPT Review Conference.
Mayor Kazumi Matsui, of Hiroshima, Jackie Cabasso, Joseph Gerson and Kevin Martin, co-conveners of the Peace and Planet Mobilization, and Hiroshi Taka, a Director of the Japan Council against A-& H Bombs, made the presentations to U.N. High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Angela Kane and Ambassador Taous Feroukhi, the President of the NPT Review Conference.
The presentations capped a weekend of activities that began with an international conference at the Cooper Union attend by nearly 700, an International Interfaith Religious convocation attended by Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, and Shinto religious leaders; and a rally with over 7,500 peace, justice and environmental activists – including peace walkers from California, Tennessee and New England at Union Square North.
“Recognizing the deep flaws in the NPT, we see the importance of a strong civil society presence at the 2015 Review Conference, with a clarion call for negotiations to begin immediately on the elimination of nuclear weapons,” said Jackie Cabasso of the Western States Legal Foundation. “We also recognized that a multitude of planetary problems stem from the same causes. So, we brought together a broad coalition of peace, environmental, and economic justice advocates to build political will towards our common goals.”
Peace and Planet was endorsed by more than 300 organizations in 20 countries. The rally included speeches by Yuko Nakamura, a Hiroshima A-bomb survivor; Tony De Brum the Foreign Minister of the Marshall Islands, which is suing the nuclear-armed nations in the International Court of Justice; Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers whistleblower and former senior nuclear war planner; and Rev. Osagyefo Sekou one of the leading clergy for racial justice in Ferguson, Missouri. It was attended by 80 A-bomb survivors from Japan and Korea, members of the German, Japanese and European parliaments, and peace, justice and environmental leaders from across the U.S. and around the world.
Joseph Gerson of the American Friends Service Committee was exuberant about the energy and deepened commitments coming out of the rally. “People from New York to Okinawa, Mexico to Bethlehem, picked up on our ‘Global Peace Wave,’ with actions in 24 countries to build pressure on their governments to press for the beginning of ‘good faith’ negotiations for the elimination of the world’s nuclear weapons,” said Gerson. He was “especially moved” by the opening testimony from Ms. Nakamura and by Karipbek Kuyokov, an armless second-generation nuclear test victim from Kazahkistan, who launched the Global Peace Wave by symbolically waving good-bye to nuclear weapons. “We all should have such courage.”
Kevin Martin, Executive Director of Peace Action and co-convener of Peace and Planet, remarked that "Peace and Planet showed the commitment of international civil society to peace and disarmament, as thousands of people from around the world gathered in New York on the eve of the NPT RevCon," He continued, "Now we'll be watching to see if the U.S. and other nuclear states take their treaty obligation to pursue global nuclear weapons abolition as seriously."
The American Friends Service Committee is a practical expression of the faith of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). Committed to the principles of nonviolence and justice, it seeks in its work and witness to draw on the transforming power of love, human and divine.