Peace and Disarmament
SGI Representatives Attend Vienna PrepCom for 2015 NPT Review Conference
From April 30 to May 11, the First Session of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) for the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) was held at the Vienna International Centre. The PrepCom aims to assess the implementation of each article of the NPT and facilitates discussion among States with a view to making recommendations to the Review Conference. Two more sessions will be held prior to the 2015 Review Conference.
A total of 111 States parties, five international organizations and 60 NGOs participated in the PrepCom. SGI sent several representatives to the meeting including Kimiaki Kawai, Soka Gakkai Peace Committee Director.
At a plenary meeting for NGO presentations held on May 2, Tomihisa Taue, Mayor of Nagasaki and vice president of the association Mayors for Peace, gave a talk in which he commented as follows: “The Mayor of Hiroshima has been exploring the possibility of holding the NPT Review Conference in Hiroshima City. This would bring the leaders of the nuclear powers to the first city where an atomic bomb was dropped, to discuss the abolition of nuclear weapons. I ask you, is there any location more appropriate than Hiroshima to discuss completely eliminating the threat of nuclear weapons and creating a world without them? Nagasaki will be coordinating with Hiroshima to make this a reality.”
Mr. Taue then asked governments to support and cooperate toward the realization of this vision, which is resonant with a proposal by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda. Since 2010, Mr. Ikeda has been calling for a nuclear abolition summit to mark the effective end of the nuclear era to be convened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 2015, the 70th anniversary of the bombings of those cities, with the participation of national leaders and representatives of global civil society.
Prior to the PrepCom, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) held a meeting for those engaged in its global campaign at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna from April 28-29. The meeting was supported by the governments of Austria and Norway and the SGI.
On April 29, Hayley Ramsay-Jones from the SGI UN Liaison Office in Geneva spoke about communicating about the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons in order to inspire new partnerships. SGI-Italy Vice Youth Leader Daniele Santi also reported on the lessons learned from the successful campaigns to ban landmines and cluster munitions.
[Adapted from an article in the May 9, 2012, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photos courtesy of SGI-OPI]