At a time when the future of Trident is an election issue in Britain, it is difficult to get news of this event. The writer was alerted by the mother of one of the delegates to the conference taking place now in New York. She had described the march through the city and only technical reasons have prevented the transmission of a picture taken on the spot.
Around 7,500 people carrying banners and signs chanted “No nukes!”, “No more Hiroshima!” and other slogans as they walked about 3 km toward the United Nations,
An account and picture of the march was published in Japan which has experienced the horror of nuclear attacks by America.
At a rally held ahead of the parade, Yuko Nakamura, who survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in August 1945, recalled that more than 200 students at her school died when the United States dropped the bomb. She was 13 years old at the time.
Toward the end of the event, more than 7 million signatures on petitions from Japan and other countries seeking negotiations to eliminate the world’s nuclear arsenals were submitted to Taous Feroukhi, the Algerian ambassador who will chair the NPT review conference, and Angela Kane, top U.N. official for disarmament affairs. The conference will continue through May 22.
It was good to find a statement on GOV.UK, a public sector information website, created by the government’s Digital Service. Baroness Anelay, the Minister of State at the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, is attending the UN 2015 Review Conference of the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. It opens:
“The United Kingdom remains committed to the Non Proliferation Treaty. It has played an unparalleled role, keeping the world safe and curtailing the nuclear arms race. It is at the centre of international efforts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, to create a nuclear weapon free world, and to enable access to the peaceful use of nuclear energy”.
And closes: “The United Kingdom will therefore play its part to reach an outcome that best benefits our collective rights to undiminished security, whilst taking us closer to our goal of a world free from nuclear weapons”.
The only national media report found on the first page of a Google search was by the UEA’s The National: the Emirates’ Minister of State, Dr Sultan Al Jaber, said that the UAE was committed to ensuring global peace and security:
“The UAE attaches high importance to the NPT. It supports the right of countries’ peaceful use of nuclear energy with transparency and abiding by the highest standards of security and safety.”
He cited the UAE’s peaceful nuclear programme as a role model on how non-nuclear countries can utilise the international framework of cooperation, as provided for by the treaty.
Dr Al Jaber made a welcome call for the elimination of nuclear weapons worldwide, urging nuclear states to abide by their commitments: “[We] need to adopt practical steps to declare the Middle East as a nuclear weapons free zone”.