Statement welcoming the G8 Foreign Ministers’ Reference to Nuclear Disarmament, and Calling for Further Progress at the G8 Summit

  1. The Chairman’s Statement issued at the G8 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held in Kyoto on 26-27 June 2008 raised the issue of “non-proliferation and disarmament.” This has not been seen at any G8 Foreign Ministers’ Meetings in the recent past. We have been calling for the G8 to work towards not only non-proliferation, but also disarmament. Thus, we view the clear inclusion of disarmament in this year’s Foreign Ministers’ Meeting as a step forward, and welcome this progress.

  2. The indicated “efforts… to achieve a successful outcome of the 2010 NPT Review Conference” are particularly significant. We would like to reiterate that efforts towards nuclear disarmament by the nuclear weapon states are an essential element of the NPT regime.

  3. However, the statement’s proactive stance towards disarmament is at the same time extremely limited. The reduction efforts of the nuclear weapon states are both very slow and insufficient, and more essential undertakings such as further deep cuts, de-alerting, irreversibility in disarmament, and the effectuation of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty are necessary. The Foreign Ministers’ Statement makes no reference whatsoever to such approaches. The Statement should at the least have included equal items as incorporated in the Draft Resolution on Nuclear Disarmament submitted annually by Japan to the United Nations General Assembly.

  4. We hope that at the coming Toyako Summit, a strong statement will be issued, based on the above points and towards not only non-proliferation but also disarmament.

  5. Recently, figures including former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger announced a statement calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons, and several former UK Foreign Secretaries have also voiced their support. Australia is now preparing a new nuclear disarmament commission. The G8 must seize this new momentum for nuclear disarmament, and develop it yet further.

  6. In regards to regional issues, the promotion of diplomatic efforts towards the resolution of nuclear issues of Iran and North Korea mentioned in the Foreign Ministers’ Statement must be noted. Here, the goals of the “creation of a Middle East WMD-free zone” as confirmed in the NPT Review Process, and the Six -Party Talks becoming a mechanism for a “lasting peace and stability in Northeast Asia” must be recalled.

  7. The Foreign Ministers’ Statement refers also to the peaceful use of nuclear energy and “efforts to ensure 3S (safeguards, safety and security).” We view the expansion of usage of nuclear power as posing a great risk to these very 3S. The advisable path is to continue to strengthen the non-proliferation regime and the search for renewable energies that do not rely on nuclear power.


3 July 2008

Kawasaki Akira
Executive Committee, Peace Boat
Leader, 2008 G8 NGO Forum Peace and Human Rights Unit

(Read the original Chairman’s Statement here)

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