Abolition 2000 Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons Background and Statements
Abolition 2000 Statement
In May 1995, during the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review and Extension Conference at the United Nations in New York, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) from around the world recognized that the declared nuclear weapons states were unwilling to discuss complete nuclear disarmament as stipulated in the treaty. A large number of these NGOs came together and drafted the 11-point Abolition 2000 Statement, which calls for “the definite and unconditional abolition of nuclear weapons.”
The Abolition 2000 Statement, as its number one demand, calls for the immediate initiation of negotiations on a verifiable Nuclear Weapons Convention (treaty), requiring the elimination of nuclear weapons within a timebound framework. The Abolition 2000 Statement recognizes “the inextricable link between the ‘peaceful’ and warlike uses of nuclear technologies,” and calls for the establishment of an international energy agency to promote and support the development of sustainable and environmentally safe energy sources.
The Abolition 2000 Statement became the basis for the Abolition 2000 Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons, which was launched in November 1995 in The Hague, Netherlands, during the historic hearings before the International Court of Justice on the illegality of nuclear weapons. At its January 1997 annual general meeting in Moorea, Te Ao Maohi (French Occupied Polynesia), which was hosted the Hiti Tau, an umbrella organization of indigenous peoples’ groups, the Moorea Declaration was adopted as a supplement to the Abolition 2000 Statement. The Moorea Declaration recognizes the particular suffering of indigenous and colonized people as a result of the nuclear cycle.
As an outgrowth of the Abolition 2000 Network, a working group of lawyers, scientists and activists experts drafted a Model Nuclear Weapons Convention which was introduced in the United Nations General Assembly as an official document by Costa Rica in 1998. The draft treaty provides for the control and phased elimination of nuclear weapons. It is analogous to the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological Weapons Convention that have already been adopted into international law.
Abolition 2000 also has circulated an International Petition that has been signed by more than 13.4 million individuals worldwide. During the NPT Review Conference held at the United Nations in New York in April-May 2000, the signed petitions were symbolically presented o Ambassador Baali of Algeria, Chairman of the Conference.
In addition to its annual general meetings, many regional Abolition 2000 have been held around the world. As the war in Kosovo was winding down in June 1999, Russian, European and American NGOs met in St. Petersburg Russia for an Abolition 2000-sponsored Conference on Nuclear Policy and Security on the Eve of the 21st Century. The St. Petersburg Declaration was adopted there. In November 2000, an Abolition 2000 Review and Strategy Conference was held in Nagasaki, Japan, in conjunction with the Nagasaki Global Citizens’ Assembly for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, sponsored by the City and citizens of Nagasaki. The Nagasaki Appeal was adopted there.
Abolition 2000 functions as a decentralized network of organizations working independently and collectively for a common vision and purpose. It is managed by an International Coordinating Committee, chosen each year at the annual general meeting of the Network. Its current members are from the UK, USA, Germany, Japan, New Zealand (Aotearoa), and Canada. The Coordinating Committee meets monthly by telephone conference call, and uses e-mail to communicate between calls. Last year an Abolition 2000 Global Council was created in an attempt to involve people from every part of the world. Abolition 2000 regional networks have been established in many places, including Europe, UK, New Zealand, and the US. In addition, informal Abolition 2000 working groups have established themselves to focus on a variety of specific issues.
Abolition 2000 uses e-mail as its main form of communication, and maintains the Abolition Global Caucus listserv, providing an electronic forum for international communication. A monthly electronic newsletter, the “Abolition 2000 Grassroots Newsletter,” has been established for the Network’s website, listserv and concerned individuals to highlight nuclear news items and share Network information. Regional international contacts are encouraged to download these documents for translation and distribution within their respective regions.
To date, more than 2050 organizations and municipalities in over 90 countries have joined the Abolition 2000 Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons.
For more information contact Abolition 2000 in care of: Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, 1187 Coast Village Road, Suite 121, Santa Barbara, California, USA 93108; Tel: +1(805)965-3443; Fax: +1(805)568-0466.
The U.S. Section of Abolition 2000 is the US Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. The interim clearinghouse for the US Campaign is Western States Legal Foundation, 1504 Franklin Street, Suite 202, Oakland, CA 94612; Tel: (510)839-5877; Fax: (510)839-5397.
A secure and livable world for our children and grandchildren and all future generations requires that we achieve a world free of nuclear weapons and redress the environmental degradation and human suffering that is the legacy of fifty years of nuclear weapons testing and production.
Further, the inextricable link between the "peaceful" and warlike uses of nuclear technologies and the threat to future generations inherent in creation and use of long-lived radioactive materials must be recognized. We must move toward reliance on clean, safe, renewable forms of energy production that do not provide the materials for weapons of mass destruction and do not poison the environment for thousands of centuries. The true "inalienable" right is not to nuclear energy, but to life, liberty and security of person in a world free of nuclear weapons.
We recognize that a nuclear weapons free world must be achieved carefully and in a step by step manner. We are convinced of its technological feasibility. Lack of political will, especially on the part of the nuclear weapons states, is the only true barrier. As chemical and biological weapons are prohibited, so must nuclear weapons be prohibited.
We call upon all states particularly the nuclear weapons states, declared and de facto to take the following steps to achieve nuclear weapons abolition. We further urge the states parties to the NPT to demand binding commitments by the declared nuclear weapons states to implement these measures:
1. Initiate immediately negotiations on a nuclear weapons abolition convention that requires the phased elimination of all nuclear weapons within a time bound framework, with provisions for effective verification and enforcement.* **
2. Immediately make an unconditional pledge not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons.
3. Rapidly complete a truly comprehensive test ban treaty with a zero threshold and with the stated purpose of precluding nuclear weapons development by all states.
4. Cease to produce and deploy new and additional nuclear weapons systems, and commence to withdraw and disable deployed nuclear weapons systems.
5. Prohibit the military and commercial production and reprocessing of all weapons-usable radioactive materials.
6. Subject all weapons-usable radioactive materials and nuclear facilities in all states to international accounting, monitoring, and safeguards, and establish a public international registry of all weapons-usable radioactive materials.
7. Prohibit nuclear weapons research, design, development, and testing through laboratory experiments including but not limited to non-nuclear hydrodynamic explosions and computer simulations, subject all nuclear weapons laboratories to international monitoring, and close all nuclear test sites.
8. Create additional nuclear weapons free zones such as those established by the treaties of Tlatelolco and Raratonga.
9. Recognize and declare the illegality of threat or use of nuclear weapons, publicly and before the World Court.
10. Establish an international energy agency to promote and support the development of sustainable and environmentally safe energy sources.
11. Create mechanisms to ensure the participation of citizens and NGOs in planning and monitoring the process of nuclear weapons abolition.
A world free of nuclear weapons is a shared aspiration of humanity. This goal cannot be achieved in a non-proliferation regime that authorizes the possession of nuclear weapons by a small group of states. Our common security requires the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. Our objective is definite and unconditional abolition of nuclear weapons.
* The convention should mandate irreversible disarmament measures, including but not limited to the following: withdraw and disable all deployed nuclear weapons systems; disable and dismantle warheads; place warheads and weapon-usable radioactive materials under international safeguards; destroy ballistic missiles and other delivery systems. The convention could also incorporate the measures listed above which should be implemented independently without delay. When fully implemented, the convention would replace the NPT.
**The 1995 Abolition 2000 Statement called for the conclusion of negotiations on a Nuclear Weapons Convention “by the year 2000.” Recognizing that the nuclear weapons states would likely fail in their obligations to conclude such negotiations in a timely manner, this phrase was removed at the end of the year 2000 after participating organizations agreed upon its removal.
MOOREA DECLARATION Supplement to the Abolition 2000 Statement
This conference reaffirms the commitments and the vision of the Abolition 2000 Founding
Statement initiated in 1995 - the 50th anniversary of the atomic bombing of the people of Hiroshima and
Nagasaki - to work for the definite and unconditional abolition of nuclear weapons, and redress the
environmental degradation and human suffering that is the legacy of fifty two years of nuclear weapons
usage, testing, and production.
However, this meeting, held in Te Ao Maohi a year after the end of French nuclear testing, has
highlighted the particular suffering of indigenous and colonised peoples as a result of the production and
testing of nuclear weapons. The anger and tears of colonised peoples arise from the fact that there was
no consultation, no consent, no involvement in the decision when their lands, air and waters were taken
for the nuclear build-up, form the very start of the nuclear era.\par
Colonised and indigenous peoples have, in the large part, borne the brunt of this nuclear
devastation - from the mining of uranium and the testing of nuclear weapons on indigenous peoples
land, to the dumping, storage and transport of plutonium and nuclear wastes, and the theft of land for
The founding statement of Abolition 2000 states that "the participation of citizens and NGO's in
planning and monitoring the abolition of nuclear weapons is vital." We reaffirm this, in spirit and action,
but also state that indigenous and colonised peoples must be central to this process. This can only
happen if and when they are able to participate in decisions relating to the nuclear weapons cycle - and
especially in the abolition of nuclear weapons in all aspects. The inalienable right to self-determination,
sovereignty and independence is crucial in allowing all peoples of the world to join in the common
struggle to rid the planet forever of nuclear weapons.
Therefore this conference agrees that this Moorea Declaration becomes a supplement to the
Abolition 2000 Founding Statement.
Adopted at the Abolition 2000 Conference -- Moorea, Te Ao Maohi
(French Occupied Polynesia), 25 January 1997
This conference reaffirms the commitments and the vision of the Abolition 2000 Founding Statement initiated in 1995 - the 50th anniversary of the atomic bombing of the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki - to work for the definite and unconditional abolition of nuclear weapons, and redress the environmental degradation and human suffering that is the legacy of fifty two years of nuclear weapons usage, testing, and production.
However, this meeting, held in Te Ao Maohi a year after the end of French nuclear testing, has highlighted the particular suffering of indigenous and colonised peoples as a result of the production and testing of nuclear weapons. The anger and tears of colonised peoples arise from the fact that there was no consultation, no consent, no involvement in the decision when their lands, air and waters were taken for the nuclear build-up, form the very start of the nuclear era.\par Colonised and indigenous peoples have, in the large part, borne the brunt of this nuclear devastation - from the mining of uranium and the testing of nuclear weapons on indigenous peoples land, to the dumping, storage and transport of plutonium and nuclear wastes, and the theft of land for nuclear infrastructure.
The founding statement of Abolition 2000 states that "the participation of citizens and NGO's in planning and monitoring the abolition of nuclear weapons is vital." We reaffirm this, in spirit and action, but also state that indigenous and colonised peoples must be central to this process. This can only happen if and when they are able to participate in decisions relating to the nuclear weapons cycle - and especially in the abolition of nuclear weapons in all aspects. The inalienable right to self-determination, sovereignty and independence is crucial in allowing all peoples of the world to join in the common struggle to rid the planet forever of nuclear weapons.
Therefore this conference agrees that this Moorea Declaration becomes a supplement to the Abolition 2000 Founding Statement.
Adopted at the Abolition 2000 Conference -- Moorea, Te Ao Maohi (French Occupied Polynesia), 25 January 1997
St. Petersburg, Russia - 19 June 1999
Conference on Nuclear Policy and Security on the Eve of the 21st Century
There can be no peace and security with nuclear weapons. The dogma of “nuclear deterrence” led to the building of ever larger arsenals by the nuclear weapon states. It is illegal, immoral and irresponsible; it must be rejected. For worldwide security, nuclear weapons must be eliminated.
We must move to common security based on human and ecological values and respect for international institutions and law. NATO’s recent assertion of the right to engage in “out-of-area” operations conducted without United Nations authority is contrary to this imperative. Future European security arrangements must comply with international law, encompass all European countries including Russia, and exclude nuclear weapons. Genuine and lasting peace cannot be achieved by building and expanding military alliances.
Despite reductions, the nuclear weapon states still hold enough explosive power to annihilate the planet. Nuclear weapons have not prevented war. Across the world and within Europe, at the end of the millennium, brutal conflicts rage. The spirit and the letter of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty have been broken. By maintaining and modernizing their nuclear arsenals, the United States, Russia, France, the United Kingdom and China have encouraged other states including India, Israel and Pakistan to follow their example.
In the development of nuclear weapons, these governments have brought death and suffering to succeeding generations of innocent people and irreversible environmental destruction. Vast resources have been devoted to nuclear warfare preparations. In the last 50 years, the gap between rich and poor has grown, not least within the nuclear weapon states. Funds have been denied to international bodies concerned with conflict prevention, especially the United Nations and its constituent regional organizations including the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OSCE). The OSCE is a pan-European security organization, representing 54 countries including Russia, the United States, and Canada, which promotes non-military solutions to conflict.
We call for recognition and implementation of the following principles:
1) Redefine security in terms of peoples rather than states, where protection of human health and preservation of the natural environment have overriding priority;
2) Support and strengthen the role of the United Nations, which was created after World War II to resolve international disputes peacefully;
3) Place new emphasis on regional security organizations, such as OSCE, acting under Chapter VIII of the UN Charter and using political rather than military tools for conflict resolution;
4) Uphold and apply international law in a consistent and non-discriminatory manner;
5) Recognize the link between nuclear energy and proliferation, and give high priority to energy conservation and development of alternative energy sources.
The following urgent measures are needed to implement these principles, which should be taken simultaneously and in parallel:
1) Massively increased funding and resources for OSCE; transparency and democracy in the creation of its forthcoming “Charter for European Security in the 21st Century” with the full involvement of civil society;
2) Taking all nuclear forces off alert status through coordinated measures lowering their readiness for use, including separation of warheads from delivery systems and withdrawal of nuclear-armed submarines from patrol;
3) Removal of US nuclear weapons from Europe back to the United States;
4) Initiation of parallel, reciprocal actions between the United States and Russia to de-alert, reduce, and account for warheads and fissile materials, bypassing the blocked START process;
5) Commencement of multilateral negotiations on the elimination of nuclear weapons to culminate in a comprehensive treaty. These negotiations could incorporate or be conducted in parallel with negotiations on interim steps including no first-use and no modernization pledges and a fissile materials ban;
6) Reduction and elimination of nuclear weapons research and development infrastructures and capabilities. This process should accompany the reduction and elimination of warheads and delivery systems. It will require a new emphasis on development of societal verification methods;
7) Reduction and elimination of other weapons of mass destruction and/or indiscriminate effect, including depleted uranium, cluster bombs, and land mines.
In conclusion, we strongly endorse the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as echoed in the words of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan: “Today security is increasingly understood not just in military terms, and as far more than the absence of conflict. It is in fact a phenomenon that encompasses economic development, social justice, environmental protection, democratization, disarmament and respect for human rights. These goals -- these pillars of peace -- are interrelated. Progress in one area begets progress in another. But no country can get there on its own. And none is exempt from the risks and costs of doing without... The world today spends billions preparing for war; should n’t we spend a billion or two preparing for peace?”
Standing on the threshold of a new century, we concerned global citizens have gathered from throughout the world in Nagasaki, the last city of the departing century to suffer the devastation of a nuclear attack.
Some half-century ago, humanity embarked on the development of nuclear weapons. These indescribably destructive instruments are capable not only of robbing millions of people of their lives at a single stroke, but also of inflicting lifelong physical and mental anguish on any survivors. The damage resulting from the use of nuclear weapons would extend far beyond the boundaries of the belligerents, having extremely serious consequences for the environment and all living things. Nevertheless, these criminal weapons are still being used by some states for political purposes.
It is our duty to provide a worthy response to the voices of the hibakusha -- the atomic bomb survivors; voices tinged with anxiety stemming from the knowledge that death from not yet fully explained causes may come at any time; voices that say, “Such a tragedy cannot be allowed to be repeated... Before the last of us leaves this world, nuclear weapons must be abolished forever.” It is the sincere desire of the citizens of Nagasaki, that Nagasaki should remain the last city to suffer the calamity of the dropping of an atomic bomb.
Despite the fact that it has been over a decade since the collapse of the Cold War standoff, there are still over 30,000 nuclear warheads in existence on our fragile planet. The United States and the Russian Federation each continue to maintain several thousand nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert.
The International Court of Justice, the world’s supreme legal authority, has ruled that the threat or use of nuclear weapons is a violation of international law. These weapons, which are even more inhumane than biological or chemical weapons, are nonetheless claimed by the few governments which possess them, and by the countries sheltered by the “nuclear umbrella,” as necessary for their security.
Expectations were raised in May of this year at the 2000 NPT Review Conference when the nuclear weapon states agreed to an “an unequivocal undertaking... to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals...” However, the phrase, “undertake to engage in an accelerated process of negotiations,” had to be eliminated from the draft document in order to avoid the breakdown of the talks.
The continued existence of nuclear weapons poses a threat to all of humanity, and their use would have catastrophic consequences. The only defense against nuclear catastrophe is the total elimination of nuclear weapons.
During our conference, we have learned from the stories of many who have suffered from the nuclear age: the hibakusha and downwinders from Hiroshima and Nagasaki; Semipalatinsk, Nevada, and Moruroa; Chernobyl and Tokaimura. The world’s citizens must now be mobilized to form a potent global movement, and it is this force that will compel governments to fulfill their promises. All sectors of the global community must be involved including women, youth, workers, religious communities and indigenous peoples.
Having concluded four days of discussions in Nagasaki, the concerned global citizens who attended this historic Assembly call for the following actions:
1. Let the citizens of the world cooperate with like-minded nations in calling for an international conference to negotiate a verifiable treaty for the elimination of nuclear weapons.
2. The responsibility and the potential role of the Japanese government in the context of the elimination of nuclear weapons is extremely great. We strongly expect Japan to end its dependence on nuclear weapons for national security, and to maximize its contribution to nuclear abolition, for instance, by working towards the establishment of a Northeast Asia nuclear weapon-free zone. We ask the citizens of the world to provide support to the activities of the Japanese people in pressuring their government.
3. The missile defense programs proposed by the United States for North America and East Asia is preventing nuclear disarmament, and threatening to ignite a new arms race. The current situation must be urgently improved. Let us join hands with US citizens who are calling for the cessation of all missile defense programs, and work for stronger international public opinion on this subject.
4. All governments should inform their publics about the damage caused by nuclear activities. We call for the reallocation of the resources currently expended on nuclear arms to mitigate and compensate for the human suffering and environmental damage caused by the use of nuclear weapons and the entire process of nuclear development, including uranium mining, reprocessing, testing, and manufacture. Resources should also be provided for the elimination of nuclear weapons and its verification.
5. We also call for efforts directed toward the stepwise and parallel implementation of various measures, such as the entry-into-force as soon as possible of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty; a total ban on sub-critical and all other forms of nuclear weapons testing; the cut-off and international control of weapons-usable fissile materials; deep reductions of nuclear arsenals; de-alerting; the adoption of no-first-use policies among nuclear weapons states and non-use policies against non-nuclear weapons states; withdrawal of all nuclear weapons from foreign soil and international waters; the establishment of new nuclear weapon-free zones and the strengthening of existing zones; and official rejection of the doctrine of nuclear deterrence. Further, we urgently call for the cessation of nuclear weapons programs by India and Pakistan. Let us use every available opportunity to express the expectations and demands of the world's citizens.
Activities aimed at the elimination of nuclear weapons, led by the hibakusha, Abolition 2000 and others, have progressed to the point where “nuclear weapons abolition” has become part of the common vocabulary of international politics and diplomacy. So long as the efforts of the world's citizens continue, there is bright hope that our objectives will be achieved. The myriad small steps taken by concerned citizens in every conceivable setting will no doubt lead to new and giant strides forward. Let us begin renewed and concerted action directed at the rapid realization of a 21st century free of war, in which the scourge of nuclear weapons is finally removed forever.