Greetings to 2015 World Conference Against A & H Bombs
Statement delivered to the 2015 World Conference Against A & H Bombs in Hiroshima, Japan by Kisten McCandless, Executive Committee Member, Campaign for International Cooperation and Disarmament (CICD).
The Campaign for International Co-operation and Disarmament sends its support and best wishes to the 2015 World Conference Against A & H Bombs. We hope it will inspire, strengthen and galvanise all participants to work towards eliminating the world of nuclear weapons as a matter of urgency.
The CICD believes that gatherings such as yours are important for developing solidarity with peace movements worldwide and for bringing the inhumanity and horror of these weapons of mass destruction to the attention of the public.
The majority of the world’s people support a total ban on nuclear weapons. In Australia well over 80 per cent of people support a ban. We have a healthy and active peace movement in Australia of which the CICD is a part.
Gatherings such as this 70th Anniversary Commemorative Conference go a long way in putting pressure on governments – especially governments of nuclear-armed countries – by building up public opinion to defeat the nuclear deterrence theory that they rely on to justify having these weapons.
The Australian government does not have an independent foreign policy. We blindly follow the USA into their wars. We host and participate in joint military exercises in the top of Australia as part of America’s Pacific Pivot strategy. We allow US spy bases to operate and expand here and we rely on the nuclear weapons of the United States and its nuclear deterrence policy for our “security”.
The Australian government therefore puts at risk the security and well-being of the people it is supposed to serve by making Australia a target in the event of a nuclear war. Despite this, more than 100 Australian parliamentarians have signed ICAN’s global appeal for a treaty banning nuclear weapons. (ICAN is the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.)
Many people feel powerless and as a consequence defeated by what is happening in the world on the big issues of weapons of mass destruction, climate change, and the dangerous conflicts raging around the planet at the moment. There is a heightened and relentless level of misinformation being peddled by the world’s mainstream media outlets that often results in people feeling fearful and apathetic about these issues.
This World Conference and 70th Anniversary is important for informing and educating the public about what is really going on and for motivating them to join together in demanding their governments negotiate for peaceful solutions to end these wars. This conference has a role to play in mobilising people to demand that these inhumane and uncivilised ways of conducting ourselves on this fragile planet has to stop – that we are better than this and won’t stand for it anymore.
Once the public is informed and motivated they can demand that the trillions of dollars spent on the military industrial complex be used for ending world poverty, raising the standard of living for all and preventing and reversing man-made climate change. Pressure will be put on their governments to end the threat of the ever-present danger of nuclear conflict in this unstable world by demanding the complete prohibition and elimination of the nuclear arsenals. Gatherings such as this conference can enlighten the public to realise their power in uniting together to demand their governments implement these goals.
Nuclear weapons bring insecurity and instability, not safety and protection. There are over 15,000 nuclear weapons on alert and ready to use in the hands of nine states. This is morally unjustifiable on every level and these states should be regarded as international outlaws; that eliminating those arsenals is an obligation that can no longer be deferred. The flimsy policy of nuclear deterrence is unjustifiable. Nuclear weapons are the antithesis of civilisation and humanity. They are pure madness. For some of those states that possess them they are the ultimate expression of imperialist aggression and dominance over others – that possessing them is a threat psychologically over the population of another country. Biological and chemical weapons are banned – so too should nuclear weapons.
One of the most powerful moral deterrents against the use of nuclear weapons are the personal testimonies of survivors. The survivors of nuclear tests from Australia, the USA and Marshall Islands to name a few should be heard and be made known to as many people as possible. But the most powerful testimonies in inspiring people to demand a ban on nuclear weapons are those of the Hibakusha.
On this 70th Anniversary Commemoration of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki the brave Hibakusha and their stories of what it was actually like to experience an atomic bombing in all its horror on them, their loved ones, friends and cities as they innocently went about their morning should be listened to, really understood and relayed to the world.
The CICD stands in solidarity with the Hibakusha on this important anniversary and world conference. We stand with these survivors in their steadfast call for the total elimination and ban of nuclear weapons; for no more Hibakusha.
Only through international co-operation and disarmament can all of humanity experience true well-being and our precious planet flourish.
Yours for a nuclear weapon-free, peaceful and just world.
Campaign for International Co-Operation and Disarmament