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Abolition 2000 Global Network Enrols 2000th Org.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Carah Ong, Coordinator, Abolition 2000 Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons

Cell: 646-337-7279
In New York: c/o Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy
Tel: 212-818-1861 Fax: 212-818-1857

Abolition 2000 Global Network Enrols 2000th Organization

In May 1995, during the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review and Extension Conference at the United Nations in New York, citizen action groups from around the world recognized that the declared nuclear weapons states were unwilling to discuss complete nuclear disarmament as stipulated in the treaty. These organizations drafted an Abolition Statement that would become the founding document of the Abolition 2000 Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons. The Statement called for the implementation of NPT disarmament obligations through the immediate commencement of negotiations leading to a nuclear weapons convention by the year 2000. An Abolition 2000 Working Group produced a Model Nuclear Weapons Convention (MNWC), which is now an official UN document. The MNWC was drafted by lawyers, scientists and policy makers under the leadership of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA) and the International Network of Engineers and Scientists Against Proliferation (INESAP).

Although the Global Network produced its treaty, Abolition 2000 recognized that disarmament efforts have reached an impasse and that the nuclear weapons states are likely to fail once again in concluding negotiations on the elimination of nuclear weapons in the year 2000, the year by which the Abolition 2000 Statement called for a nuclear weapons abolition treaty. In response, the Abolition 2000 Global Network initiated a "2000 by 2000 Campaign" early this year. The goal of the campaign was to obtain 2000 endorsers by the end of NPT Review Conference. This week, Abolition 2000 reached its goal with now more than 2025 organizations and municipalities in over 95 countries endorsing the Abolition 2000 Statement. Abolition 2000 is now the third largest network of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the world. According to Alice Slater of the Global Resource Action Center for the Environment (GRACE), a founding member Abolition 2000: "The continued and increased support for the Abolition 2000 Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons demonstrates that the resolve of the nuclear weapons states to maintain their arsenals is unacceptable to civil society. We will continue to grow and press our demands, until we prevail."

The goal of the Network's efforts is to influence a grassroots movement and to push the issue of nuclear abolition onto the public agenda in order to increase political will and support for a nuclear weapons convention. Members of the Global Network include lawyers, physicians, peace activists, religious organizations, environmental groups, human rights groups, women's groups, youth and many others, proving that a secure and livable world is a common aspiration and requires the elimination of nuclear weapons and the redress of environmental degradation and human suffering caused by more than fifty-five years of nuclear weapons testing and production.

Abolition 2000 regional networks have also been established in places including Aotearoa/New Zealand, Eastern Europe, France, Japan, Latin America, the Pacific, the United Kingdom and the United States. Additionally, the Global Network has produced an International Petition that has been signed by more than 13.5 million individuals worldwide. The Abolition 2000 International Petitions were symbolically presented to the Chairman of the NPT Review Conference, Ambassador Baali of Algeria, at the UN in a ceremony on April 27th.

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