Shii issues statement welcoming draft N-ban treaty
May 24, 2017
Elayne Whyte, the president of the UN Conference negotiating a nuclear weapons ban treaty, on May 22 held a press conference at the UN Office in Geneva and released a Draft Convention.
Welcoming this historic Draft Convention, Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo in Tokyo published the following statement:
On the UN Draft Convention on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
Chair, Japanese Communist Party
Member of the House of Representatives of Japan
May 23, 2017
The President of the United Nations Conference to Negotiate a Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, Leading towards Their Total Elimination, Elayne Whyte Gomez, unveiled the Draft Convention on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons on May 22 (local time) at the UN European Headquarters in Geneva.
I heartily welcome this historic Draft Convention.
The Draft Convention stresses in its preamble the catastrophic humanitarian consequences that would result from any use of nuclear weapons, and entreats us to be “mindful of the suffering of the victims of the use of nuclear weapons (Hibakusha) as well as of those affected by the testing of nuclear weapons”. It also stresses “the role of public conscience” to achieve the total elimination of nuclear weapons and recognizes “the efforts to that end undertaken by numerous non-governmental organizations and the Hibakusha.”
While it is a rare case for a treaty to refer to the importance of grass-roots movements, it is highly significant that the Draft Convention has been drawn up in sincere response to Hibakusha’s consistent appeal for the abolition of nuclear arms and the wishes of anti-nuke peace movements in Japan and across the world.
The Draft Convention prohibits state parties from developing, producing, manufacturing, acquiring, possessing, stockpiling, transferring, receiving, or using nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. Each state party is also to be under obligation to prohibit the stationing, installation or deployment of any nuclear weapons in its territory or any place under its jurisdiction or control. These prohibitions cover, in a comprehensive manner, major legal elements to be included in the codification of the ban on nuclear weapons, and thus, further stigmatize such weapons.
The Draft Convention urges all UN member states to join this convention and leaves the door open for Nuclear Weapons States to accede to it by including “measures for states that have eliminated their nuclear weapons.”
The Draft Convention also meets the expectations of Hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) who have for many years demanded compensation for the damages inflicted on them by stipulating that each state party shall with regard to “individuals affected by the use or testing of nuclear weapons” provide adequate assistance.
The Draft Convention successfully accomplishes the mission which the UN General Assembly assigned to the Conference by crafting a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their “total elimination.”
I strongly hope that the Draft Convention will lay the foundation for a constructive discussion at the Second Session of the Conference to be held June 15 – July 7 and will be adopted with the support of as many UN member states as possible.
The Japanese government should consider participating in the Conference process by fundamentally reviewing its current position of refusing to actively promote a nuclear weapons prohibition convention.
The Japanese Communist Party will do everything in its power to help achieve successful results from the Conference by further promoting and strengthening grass-roots activities, including the “International Signature Campaign in Support of the Appeal of the Hibakusha for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.”