Talking about disarmament is all well and good…
But first disarm yourselves!
1.The G8 Summit statement issued on 8 July on “political issues” addressed the issue of nuclear disarmament – an outcome that has not been seen in any recent G8 Summits, and which we praise. Particularly important are the clear commitments to “strengthening… multilateral non-proliferation and disarmament instruments” and working to “achieve a successful outcome of the 2010 NPT Review Conference,” and we call for sincere action towards these outcomes.
2.While this statement “welcomes” efforts of the G8 nuclear-weapon States in their reductions, at the same time it also calls for all nuclear-weapon States to make “transparent reductions”. This is almost as if the G8 countries are fulfilling their responsibilities, yet the non-G8 countries are not transparent – a statement with serious political connotations and lacking balance.
3.Essentially, all nuclear-weapon States, with the USA and Russia heading the list, have the responsibility to implement further nuclear reduction, de-alerting, irreversible and transparent disarmament, and early entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), based upon the unanimous agreements at the 2000 NPT Review Conference.
The USA and Russia, and all nuclear-weapon States, must conscientiously move towards the implementation of these measures, and we call for the achievement of clear progress by the 2010 NPT Review Conference.
4.Agreement regarding negotiation of a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty and a moratorium by all states on production of fissile material for weapons purposes is also significant.
For example, this agreement will not permit nuclear energy cooperation with such a country as India as it continues production of fissile materials for weapons purposes.
5.The document also states the necessity of strengthening of the 3S – non-proliferation (safeguards), nuclear power safety and nuclear security – for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and addresses international controls on enrichment and reprocessing. Using global warming as an excuse to expand nuclear energy is not only misguided as an energy strategy, but also increases the risk of the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The highest priority should be a freeze on enrichment and reprocessing, and an international ban on the production of materials which can be used for nuclear weapons.
6.In regards to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), we welcome the G8 Leaders reconfirmation of the goal of “verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the eventual normalization of relations between the relevant Six-Party members”, based upon the six parties’ Joint Statement in September 2005. The goals of the Joint Statement include “lasting peace and stability in Northeast Asia,” and there is a need for both a Northeast Asia Nuclear-free-Zone and peace mechanisms for the region. Civil society also affirms its commitment to dialogue, including on historical issues and the abduction issue, and efforts towards confidence-building.
7.We welcome the G8 Leaders’ emphasis on “a peaceful and diplomatic resolution” of the Iran issue. We call for action towards the goal confirmed in the NPT Review process of creating a Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)-free zone in the Middle East.
9 July 2008
Executive Committee, Peace Boat