A Mayors for Peace delegation attended the Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (10th NPT Review Conference) in New York. Headed by Vice President TAUE Tomihisa (mayor of Nagasaki) and Secretary General KOIZUMI Takashi, the delegation appealed to the representatives of national governments to adopt a final document for promoting nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation and respect what had been agreed on at the first Meeting of States Parties (1MSP) to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). The Mayors for Peace delegation also requested greater understanding of and continued support for the initiatives of Mayors for Peace from the national government representatives.
At the UN Headquarters, the venue of the 10th NPT Review Conference, Mayors for Peace also hosted an Atomic Bomb Poster Exhibition, aiming at building momentum for achieving a peaceful world free of nuclear weapons.
Travel Period for the delegation: August 3 (Wed.) – August 7 (Sun.), 2022
Wednesday, August 3
Meeting with Former UN Under-Secretary-General Chowdhury
The Mayors for Peace delegation handed to former UN Under-Secretary-General Anwarul Chowdhury a letter from President Matsui requesting a commemorative lecture at the 10th General Conference of Mayors for Peace, and had exchange of views on the culture of peace—championed by former Under-Secretary-General Chowdhury himself.
Thursday, August 4
Meeting with Executive Director of the Arms Control Association
Executive Director Daryl G. Kimball stated that the outcome of this NPT Review Conference, held in very challenging circumstances, would critically depend on whether the nuclear-weapon States would make any concrete commitments. He also expressed his respect and continued support for the initiatives of Mayors for Peace.
Executive Director Kimball and the Mayors for Peace delegation also had an exchange of views on ways of promoting a culture of peace in civil society and the importance of encouraging the youth to visit the atomic bombed cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki—by utilizing the “Youth Leader Fund for a world without nuclear weapons,” the launch of which Japanese Prime Minister Kishida announced in the General Debate on August 1.
Meeting with Special Representative of the U.S. President for Nuclear Nonproliferation
Ambassador Adam Scheinman stated that the U.S. viewed nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation as key issues, and that the nuclear-weapon States must make efforts to avoid a nuclear war. He further discussed the U.S. government’s commitment to creating an environment which facilitates discussions on nuclear risk reduction, and to continuing open and transparent dialogues.
Secretary General Koizumi urged the U.S. government, which would play the most significant role in this Conference, to demonstrate concrete commitments toward the total elimination of nuclear weapons and to make efforts to adopt a final document.
Meeting with Permanent Representative of Japan to the Conference on Disarmament
Ambassador OGASAWARA Ichiro welcomed the Mayors for Peace delegation’s attendance at the 10th NPT Review Conference, stating that making the voices of Hiroshima and Nagasaki heard by the Conference would be favorable to its success. He stated, however, that while the Japanese government recognizes the importance of the TPNW, the treaty lacks concrete procedures toward the goal of the total elimination of nuclear weapons. Pointing out that it is imperative to have nuclear-armed states engage in eliminating nuclear weapons, he further expressed a view that the TPNW regime takes an approach which differs from that of the Japanese government toward a world free of nuclear weapons.
Secretary General Koizumi urged the Japanese government to undertake efforts toward the adoption of a final document at the Conference that will lead to progress in nuclear disarmament and to understand the significance of promoting the TPNW.
Meeting with Director of Disarmament and Non-Proliferation, Department of Foreign Affairs, Ireland
Director Orlaith Fitzmaurice appreciated Mayors for Peace’s active promotion of initiatives at the municipal level as greatly contributing to the realization of a world free of nuclear weapons. She stated that States Parties have to set effective nuclear disarmament benchmarks at this Conference, and that the Irish government strives to consider how the TPNW can contribute to the implementation of the NPT and to clear up misunderstandings if any.
Secretary General Koizumi expressed respect for the initiatives that the Government of Ireland has undertaken for nuclear disarmament, and communicated expectations for expansion of Mayors for Peace membership in Ireland and further collaboration with the Irish government.
Meeting with Ms. Thurlow
Ms. Setsuko Thurlow displayed a sense of urgency about insufficient amount of media coverage of nuclear weapons in general in North America, and pointed to the importance of close collaboration between citizenry, academia, and administration in promotion of nuclear disarmament. In response to Vice President Taue, who stated that younger generations taking on the efforts toward a world free of nuclear weapons are their hope, Ms. Thurlow and the Mayors for Peace delegation exchanged opinions on the significance of the youth’s continuous undertakings toward peace, as well as of expansion of people’s understanding of the realities of the atomic bombings through visits to the atomic-bombed cities.
Friday, August 5
Meeting with Permanent Representative of UK to the Conference on Disarmament
Secretary General Koizumi stressed that the only way to answer the hibakusha’s fervent plea that “no one else should suffer as we have” is to achieve the total elimination of nuclear weapons. To that end, he asked for the UK’s understanding of the complementarity of the TPNW with the NPT, as well as for the effort to be made to adopt a final document at this Conference.
In response, Ambassador Aidan Liddle mentioned the UK’s position, that while being mindful of the hibakusha’s plea and sharing the same goal of the abolition of nuclear weapons, the approach that the TPNW regime attempts to take differs from that of the UK government, thus it will not ratify the TPNW.
Attendance to the opening ceremony of the exhibition by Japan Confederation of A-and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations
Japan Confederation of A-and H-Bombs Sufferers Organizations (NIHON HIDANKYO) conducted an opening ceremony of its exhibition at the UN Headquarters, “Three Quarters of A Century after Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” Together with Secretary General Kido of NIHON HIDANKYO and President Zlauvinen of the 10th NPT Review Conference, Vice President Taue and Secretary General Koizumi delivered addresses and performed the ribbon cutting. The one-month-long exhibit displays A-bomb artifacts from the collections of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum with 48 panels.
Meeting with Permanent Representative of France to the Conference on Disarmament
Ambassador Yann Hwang stated that despite France’s efforts for nuclear disarmament, it is by no means easy for the States Parties to come to an agreement for a final document at this Conference, which is being held under the current convoluted security environment. All commitments made to the NPT regime by all States Parties, especially by Russia, need to be examined, he noted, and expressed his willingness to visit Hiroshima to deepen his understanding of the realities of the atomic bombing.
Secretary General Koizumi welcomed Ambassador Hwang’s intention to visit Hiroshima, and asked for France’s understanding of the complementarity of the TPNW with the NPT, as well as for the effort to be made to adopt a final document at this Conference.
Meeting with President of the 10th NPT Review Conference
Answering the question from Vice President Taue on the expectation for the role of civil society to fill in promoting nuclear disarmament, President Gustavo Zlauvinen first mentioned the challenge that nuclear disarmament is often negotiated inside the wall, thus, is a process that civil society cannot be involved in. Given that, he stated his hope for civil society to stand in solidarity to surround the wall, to permeate the wall to give non-negligible influence to what occurs inside, utilizing tools that could make changes in the society, like social media. He also expressed his willingness to visit the atomic-bombed cities.
Secretary General Koizumi conveyed the hibakusha’s fervent wish for the abolition of nuclear weapons, and asked for an understanding of the complementarity and compatibility between the NPT and the TPNW and the synergy by marrying the two approaches, as well as for the effort to be made to adopt a final document at this Conference.
Speech at the NGO presentations session of the 10th NPT Review Conference
Representing the Mayors for Peace network, Vice President Taue delivered a speech at the NGO presentations session. He stated that what prevented another Hiroshima and Nagasaki from happening for the past 77 years is the hibakusha’s long-standing call for the abolition of nuclear weapons—which has resonated throughout the world, raising awareness of their inhumanity. Nevertheless, decades of such effort can be undone if just one nuclear-weapon state decides to use all of its power to tyrannize other states, he continued. He then addressed the complementarity of the TPNW with the NPT, appealing that the two treaties reinforce each other and that they both are integral for international society to realize a world without nuclear weapons.
Furthermore, he urged the attendees to fulfill the nuclear disarmament obligations as stipulated in Article VI of the NPT, as well as to propose concrete strategies to ensure progress in nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation measures.
He also expressed the determination of Mayors for Peace, to continue striving for a world without nuclear weapons. He closed his statement by imparting a message: May Nagasaki be the last wartime atomic bombing site.
Attendance to “29th Annual Interfaith Peace Gathering: Commemoration of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atomic Bombings (77th Year)”
Vice President Taue and Secretary General Koizumi delivered addresses at the Interfaith Peace Gathering, hosted by the Heiwa Peace and Reconciliation Foundation of New York. Rev. Dr. T. Kenjitsu Nakagaki, Jodo Shinshu priest living in New York and Hiroshima Peace Ambassador, serves as President of the foundation.
August 1 – 26
Mayors for Peace Atomic Bomb Poster Exhibition
To have the attendees of the 10th NPT Review Conference deepen their understanding of the realities of the atomic bombings, Mayors for Peace hosted Atomic Bomb Poster Exhibition at the venue of the Conference.