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Urge Your Govt to Support Nuke Disarmament

Urge Your Govt to Support Nuke Disarmament at Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review May 2-27

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Please Write to Your Foreign Minister now urging nuclear disarmament at the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference, New York, May 2 - May 27.

(URLs for further information at the end of this email.)

Here's why we would like you to write to your foreign minister concerning the NPT Review Conference in New York May 2-27.

The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty 2005 Review Conference will take place at the UN in New York May 2-27, 2005.

The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty(NPT), for all its many faults, is the worlds best bulwark against the unlimited proliferation of nuclear weapons.

As IAEA head Mohammed El Baradei has pointed out, the dangers posed by nuclear proliferation today are greater than ever.

The unlimited proliferation of nuclear weapons would make it inevitable that at some point, by either accident or by miscalculation, or by malice or madness, somewhere, somebody would actually use a nuclear weapon.

Already, there is deep concern over the acquisition or the possible future acquisition of nuclear weapons by North Korea (who may have as many as a dozen) and by Iran (who most probably have none).

India and Pakistan, who officially 'went nuclear' in 1998, having actually achieved that capability years previously, stood poised terrifyingly on the brink of a nuclear exchange for almost a year in 2002-3.

Rumours have circulated of plans to acquire nuclear weapons by both Saudi Arabia and Nigeria.

The NPT is seen by most nations as a bargain, whereby the nuclear weapons states agree under Article VI, of the treaty, to eliminate their nuclear arsenals, while everyone else agrees not to acquire nuclear weapons if they do not already posess them.

The NPT is often wrongly portrayed as a treaty that allows the NWS to KEEP their nuclear weapons while preventing others from having them.
This is not how the treaty says, nor is it what has been agreed on at NPT review conference after review conference. In 1996, the International Court of Justice agreed unanimously that Article VI imposed an obligation on the NWS to eliminate their nuclear arsenals. Cconference after conference has reaffirmed the 'total and unequivocal' committment to eliminate nuclear arsenals.

However, most recently, it has become clear that the Bush administration IS seeking to change the NPT so that it will no longer obligate the NWS to eliminate their nuclear arsenals. The Bush administration is saying that it 'no longer supports' the 13 steps agreed to at the last NPT Review conference in 2000. It says that agreement of the year 2000 review conference is 'merely historical' and should be set aside.

This will open the floodgates for the disintegration of the NPT. IAEA director Mohammed El Baradei has already said repeatedly that it is unsustainable for the nuclear weapons states to claim a right to hold nuclear weapons in perpetuity, while asking others not to develop them.

Don't let the NPT be trashed.

In the last few weeks, the European Parliament, the Australian Senate, and the Belgian Senate have passed motions strongly urging support for the nuclear nonproliferation treaty and real progress toward fulfilling the disarmament obligations in Article VI of that treaty.

Write to your government/your foreign minister, urging the preservation of the NPT, and in particular of Article VI, and above all, progress on nuclear disarmament

SAMPLE LETTER TO FOREIGN MINISTERS

Please write in your own words as much as possible - it is prefereble to handwrite the letter.


Dear Foreign Minister,

I am writing to you to urge you to support the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty(NPT), and in particular article VI of that treaty, obliging the nuclear weapons states to achieve the total and unequivocal elimination of their nuclear arsenals, at the upcoming NPT Review conference starting on May 1 2005 in New York.

The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) is the best and only legal bulwark against the unlimited proliferation of nuclear weapons that the world has. Under article VI of the NPT, it also clearly obliges the nuclear weapons states to eliminate their nuclear arsenals.

Without a clear committment to eliminate the nuclear arsenals of the established nuclear weapons states, a nonproliferation policy that relies only on measures to prevent more countries obtaining nuclear weapons, and that does not make real progress toward the elimination of arsenals that still have the capability to destroy civilisation and most life, cannot succeed.

A successful nonproliferation policy must go hand in hand with clear progress toward nuclear disarmament to which the nuclear weapons states are obligated, and which is desired by the overwhelming majority of the peoples and governments of the world.

A first step toward the elimination of nuclear arsenals as required under article VI of the NPT, that was reccommended strongly by Australias own Canberra Commission back in 1996, is the lowering of the operational status of nuclear weapons systems. This could be the single step that would do most to make the world a safer place. We note and support the mention of that measure in the joint Australia - Japan resolution at the most recent UNGA.

We urge your government to support measures in the coming NPT Review Conference that will promote the balanced and mutually reinforcing implementation of both nuclear disarmament and nuclear nonproliferation goals, so essential to the safety of civilisation, and of living things generally.

We strongly urge you to work closely with the New Agenda, and NAM Groups to achieve that goal.

Signed....

URLs for further information at the very end.
Letter below is from Abolition - 2000 to UN ambassadors. You may like to use the ideas in it to help write your own.

January 25, 2005

Dear Ambassador,

The seventh Review Conference of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to be held in New York, 2-27 May, offers a decisive opportunity to advance international peace and security. Now more than ever, real progress on the swift elimination of nuclear weapons is needed to ensure the efficacy of the nonproliferation regime.

It’s been nearly five years since the adoption of the historical, consensus-based Final Document of the 2000 Review Conference in which all States Parties to the NPT agreed on 13 Practical Steps to nuclear disarmament. Now, five years later, Nuclear Weapon States are backsliding on their promises; in fact, some Nuclear Weapon States have abrogated some of the 2000 commitments and are even attempting to invalidate the 2000 Final Document by refusing to allow its inclusion as a background document at the upcoming Review Conference.

Non Nuclear Weapon States and their non-governmental allies cannot allow “business as usual” at this next Review Conference. New, creative approaches to advancing the dual causes of disarmament and nonproliferation must be explored if we are to concretely move toward our nuclear disarmament objective: the complete elimination of these genocidal, suicidal and ecocidal weapons. To help bring a renewed sense of urgency to this essential goal, Mayors for Peace, an organization of more than 600 mayors representing cities in over 100 countries, will be bringing dozens of mayors to the Review Conference, in their Emergency Campaign to Ban Nuclear Weapons calling for negotiations to eliminate nuclear weapons to begin in 2005 and completed by 2010, with complete nuclear disarmament by 2020. On May 1, the day before the Conference meets, tens of thousands of people will demonstrate in New York City’s Central Park to collectively demand immediate negotiations for nuclear abolition.

The Abolition 2000 Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons, with over 2000 NGO participants in more than 90 countries, is calling upon all governments of Nuclear and Non-Nuclear States, as well as nuclear-capable States outside of the NPT, to immediately begin formulating national plans for nuclear disarmament. These national plans would demonstrate “good faith” efforts to fulfill Article VI and the “unequivocal undertaking" to accomplish the total elimination of nuclear arsenals. Experts such as Dr. Patricia Lewis, Director of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research has already put forth this proposal at the 59th session of the First Committee[i] , and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace also suggested submitting such national plans to the IAEA in their report, Universal Compliance.[ii]

Abolition 2000 has incorporated this call in a dynamic new, global campaign, Abolition Now! Dare To Plan.[iii] India, a non-NPT State Party, has already devised such a national plan for disarmament under the Rajiv Gandhi administration, which we urge the current Congress government to update and revise.

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We urge you to come to the NPT Review Conference with your nation’s plan for nuclear disarmament. Your national plan would provide a complete inventory of all fissile materials, civilian and military, and could also fulfill your reporting requirement under Step 12 of the 2000 NPT Final Document. For Nuclear Weapon States and nuclear-capable States, it would delineate the conditions that must be met in order for you to start irreversibly dismantling your nuclear arsenals. The plan would also outline the unilateral steps you would take after these conditions are met, with specified timeframes and milestones. How long would it take each government to de-alert all of its nuclear weapons? What steps would be needed prior to and during the dismantlement process? How will remaining fissile materials be catalogued and safeguarded? What kinds of assistance and assurances will be necessary in order for nations to complete their plans for nuclear disarmament?

We would like to offer you substantive food-for-thought as you prepare these national plans.

Enclosed is a copy of Security and Survival: The Case for a Nuclear Weapons Convention.[iv] This document, drafted by an international team of scientists, lawyers, and disarmament specialists, outlines the challenges to and possibilities of achieving a nuclear weapon free world. Security and Survival also includes a draft Model Nuclear Weapons Convention (NWC), which was submitted by Costa Rica to the United Nations as a discussion draft in November 1997 (A/C.1/52/7).[v] And please see, as well, our proposal for an International Sustainable Energy Fund, which our Network recommends as the most sensible policy to enable us to phase out nuclear power and its potential to contribute to nuclear proliferation, as we develop our ability to rely on the clean, safe energy of our sun, wind and tides.[vi]

We also include a copy of the NGO Shadow Report: Accountability is Democracy, Transparency is Security, a comprehensive database of all nuclear holdings, both military and civilian, around the world, which civil society has been able to ascertain.[vii] We urge you to review this report for your own country and help us update it so that the 2005 NPT Review Conference will open with a sound basis for solid accomplishment. We cannot reach our goal of the total elimination of nuclear weapons without a full accounting of existing fissile materials. Such a database has been proposed by many governments, including the U.S. and Germany, which submitted a working paper on the subject to the third Preparatory Committee meeting, in 2004 (PC.III/WP.16). The Shadow Report also includes an assessment of the Nuclear Weapon States’ compliance with the 13 Practical Steps.

Finally, enclosed is a compendium of recommendations derived from the NGO presentations delivered to the NPT States Parties at the 2000 Review Conference and the three Preparatory Committee meetings leading up to the 2005 Review Conference.[viii] These presentations offer you expert NGO views from the Middle East, South Asia, Northeast Asia, indigenous communities and NATO States. They examine in depth a variety of issues, challenges and solutions to strengthening the nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament regime, including fissile materials, verification, the principle of irreversibility, reporting, vertical proliferation, a ban on ballistic missiles, full-spectrum compliance, and alternative, sustainable energy options.

The world community must deliver a unified and unequivocal message that arduously negotiated treaties and international agreements cannot be simply dismissed, undermined or negated. Civil society therefore calls upon all governments to implement the promise embodied in the NPT: a world free from the threat of nuclear weapons. We urge you to meaningfully demonstrate your commitment to the NPT by coming prepared to the 2005 Review Conference with your government’s plans for nuclear disarmament and a full accounting of fissile materials in your country. We also urge your support for a successful outcome for the NPT by following the Mayors’ for Peace call to establish negotiations this year for a nuclear weapons free world by 2020.

Time is running out.

Sincerely,

The Abolition 2000 Global Council

Friends of the Earth Australiahttp://www.foe.org.au/


Reaching Critical Will Website in New York:
http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org


Medical Association for the Prevention of War:
http://www.mapw.org.au


From:John Hallam
Nuclear Weapons Campaigner Friends of the Earth Australia,
nonukes@foesyd.org.au 61-2-9567-7533
1 Henry Street Turella NSW Aust 2205


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