Statement of the Organizers of the “Online World Conference: No Nukes, Climate Justice, Peace“, April 25, 2020
On January 23, 2020 The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists set the hands of its iconic “Doomsday Clock” to 100 seconds to midnight, a dramatic warning from 13 Nobel Prize winners about the existential dangers of nuclear weapons and climate crisis.
75 years after the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the worldwide cry of “never again”, the warnings of the Hibakusha must never be forgotten.
75 years after the end of the Second World War and the oath “never again to fascism – never again to war”; we must remain steadfast in our commitments.
75 years after the founding of the United Nations with the objective of ending war; its charter and commitments must be honored.
50 years after entry-into-force of the NPT, with the goal of ending the nuclear arms race and achieving nuclear disarmament; its commitments must be fulfilled.
We are far from the humanistic objectives and the ideals formulated as a consequence of civilization’s most murderous war and the development of weapons of mass destruction that can destroy humanity.
With the world now suffering from millions of COVID-19 cases and hundreds of thousands of related deaths, the pandemic has illuminated national and international systemic weaknesses, policy failures and a profound lack of international cooperation. Yet, in crisis there is opportunity. The pandemic has also illustrated ways in which we can prepare for the inevitable future pandemics, as well as to reverse the threats posed by nuclear weapons and the climate crisis.
We call for fundamental changes.
The vision for the 20th century elaborated in the Charter of the United Nations must become reality in the 21st century.
- We are confronted with existential challenges: nuclear weapons and wars that can destroy the planet in short order and the creeping destruction caused by climate change, ecological devastation, and pandemic threats. Militarization is increasing dramatically in Europe and other parts of the world.
- We are confronted by a world of enormous social injustices, massive impoverishment and a dramatically widening gap between the 1% and the 99%. One billion children go hungry every day, and the increased vulnerability of workers and the poor to the COVID-19 pandemic illustrates the abysmal inadequacies and injustices of the international system.
- We are confronted with an increasing number of authoritarian governments and the growth of far-right radicalism and fascist threats. Undemocratic, dictatorial politics increasingly influence and dominate the political climate in more and more countries around the world, endangering the lives of minorities and migrants. Even the most fundamental democratic rights are in danger. Democracy is in a deep crisis.
- We are confronted with the fact that governments and corporations – as well as individuals – are exploiting our earth with ever increasing intensity, as if we could easily rectify the environmental degradation or move to another planet. Man-made climate change is becoming a daily threat to life and survival, while other ecological disasters threaten our coexistence and the shaping of the future for humans, other animals, and plants.
The beneficiaries of these developments are few, while the vast majority of people on planet Earth are affected and suffer. Millions of refugees have been generated by wars, injustice, and ecological disasters on a global scale.
But where there are challenges, dangers, and oppression, there is also resistance and struggle for change!
Neoliberalism, which encompasses wars, environmental destruction, and increased vulnerability to pandemics, is being met worldwide with increasing rejection and protest every day.
We are part of the global trend for change along with diverse worldwide, grassroots, and “mosaic” movements for peace, justice, sustainability, and real security. Through collaborative actions and resistance, often international, a new culture of peace is being created; historical borders and barriers are being overcome in favor of collective action.
We are not yet strong enough to turn the tide in favor of peace, democracy, and justice, but centers of change are emerging worldwide. We need more movements and campaigns to reach our goals.
We will therefore continue to work tirelessly for:
- Immediate fulfillment of Article 6 of the NPT, which requires cessation of the arms race and the elimination of nuclear weapons.
- Early entry-into-force of the TPNW as an important and reinforcing step towards a nuclear weapons-free world.
- Early establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Weapons as agreed by the States parties to the NPT.
- Regional détente processes to end conflicts and arms racing in all regions of the world including South Asia, North East Asia, and Europe.
- Global disarmament with just transition for workers in the weapons industry and a policy of détente that reduces conflicts and favors peaceful conflict resolution is essential. Military budgets should be slashed worldwide, with those funds redirected to meet human needs and protect the environment. The Sustainable Development Goals, at the center of efforts to redistribute resources from militarism to peace, can only be realized through disarmament.
As peace and social movements, as well as trade unions, in the tradition of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela, we stand in solidarity with the weak and oppressed of this world, including those suffering in poverty, migrants, refugees, and victims of authoritarian, undemocratic regimes. We need participatory democracy, respect for truth and science, and racial, gender, and economic justice, as much as we need the air we breathe.
We face the challenges of the globalized world of the 21st century. We know that peace is not sufficient in and of itself, but without peace, everything is at risk. Peace and justice will only be achieved through engagement of the people, working with peace and other social movements and their networks of cooperation all over the world.
We are committed to continuing our collaborations and organizing together for a better world with solidarity
We will resist and prevail!