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From New York, dozens of international NGO representatives call on President Sarkozy to consult the French people
Published 13 May 2010
Uninhibited and unprecedented is the challenge issued by dozens of NGO leaders to the head of the only nuclear nation party at the NPT that has yet to state a clear willingness to abolish all nuclear arms including her own: France’s President Sarkozy. This challenge is the one you can read below, followed by the list of signatories, a determined covering letter addressed to Nicolas Sarkozy by the president of ACDN, and an invitation to join this international action.
In New York the 8th Review Conference for the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) has entered its second week. The first week was marked by pugnacity, by the unprecedented recognition of the 121 NGOs whose presence was registered by the UN and who represent the "civil society" of numerous countries, but also by a willingness on the part of diplomats to produce tangible results, as was expressed by many of the official delegations.
This role of applying pressure had fallen to civil society, and this was recognised by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, who came and encouraged it at the International Conference of NGOs, held on Saturday 1 May. On Sunday the 2nd it was visible in the streets of New York in the form of a demonstration of 15,000 people - whose march was solely aimed, for the first time, at demanding the abolition of nuclear weapons. As from the evening of Monday 3rd the five nuclear-armed states that are co-signatories of the NPT felt obliged to adopt and make public a joint declaration of intent.
The NGO delegates want decisive and immediate results. They are challenging without inhibition all the political decision-makers (on whom the success or failure of the conference depends) to choose a path that must lead, in their view, to the abolition of all nuclear weapons in the shortest time possible - by the year 2020, according to the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and most of the NGO supporters of the "2020 Vision" of the Mayors for Peace network.
With the same lack of inhibition, most of the NGO delegates are not hesitant about critiquing the "big bargain" that is part of the NPT, the trade-off that makes the renunciation of nuclear weapons conditional on a so-called "imprescriptible right to nuclear energy".
To President Sarkozy
NEW YORK, 8 May 2010
Monsieur le Président,
As a human being, citizen, voter and tax-payer:
I oppose the preparing, threatening and possible committing of a crime against humanity by means of weapons of mass destruction, be they nuclear or other kinds.
I reject any plan that could some day make me and my loved ones the accomplices or the victims of such a crime.
I object to the situation where we or other individuals and populations could be condemned to death, without trial or appeal, by one man: yourself or the leader of another nuclear state.
I do not accept that the security of us all should depend on such insecurity, such denial of justice, such defiance of democracy, such inhumanity, and that the committing of such a crime should be determined by you.
Therefore I say no to all nuclear weapons, those of France and those of other countries.
For these reasons, Monsieur le Président, let me humbly request:
1) that you commit France, resolutely and without delay to join the other nuclear nations - whether or not they are signatories of the Non-Proliferation Treaty - in a process leading to the elimination of all nuclear weapons, with strict and effective verification and in the context of a genuine system of international security ; and
2) that you consult the French people by referendum on the following question:
Do you wish France to propose to all nations that she renounce her nuclear strike-force and dismantle its component parts, in the context of nuclear, biological and chemical disarmament - comprehensive, universal and verified - and with a genuine system of international security?
Jennifer SIMONS, President, The Simons Foundation, Founding Partner and Principal Sponsor of "Global Zero"
Alyn WARE, Consultant, International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA)
Joseph GERSON, Disarmament Coordinator, American Friends Service Committee
Ugoji A EZE, International Legal Consultant, International Association for Justice (USA)
Lisa CLARK, Vice President, Beati I Costruttori di Pace (Italy)
David KRIEGER, President, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
Alice SLATER, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, NY
Reiner BRAUN, Progamm Director, International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility (INES)
Martine DE HENAU, Porte-parole, Monde Sans Guerre et Sans Violence, Belgium
Tomas MAGNUSSON, President, International Peace Bureau
Colin ARCHER, Secretary-General, International Peace Bureau
Alfred MARDER, President, International Association of Peace Messenger Cities
Robert GREEN, Co-Director, Disarmament and Security Centre, Christchurch (New Zealand)
Gunnar WESTBERG, Past President, Board Member, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) and SLMK (Sweden)
Nancy COVINGTON, Physicians for Global Survival, IPPNW Canadian Affiliate
Ursula GELIS, Campaigner, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)
Judith EVERED, Peace Worker, Author, WILPF
Natalia MIRONOVA, Ph.D., President, Movement for Nuclear Safety (Russia)
Tim WRIGHT, Lawyer, NY
John LORETZ, Program Director, IPPNW
Robert DODGE, Board Member, Physicians for Social Responsibility - Los Angeles
Mariko KOMATSU, Program Manager, Yes! Campaign Hiroshima (Japan)
Claire WERY, Member, Armes nucléaires STOP (France)
Sophie MOREL, Board Member, Réseau Sortir du Nucléaire (France)
John BURROUGHS, Executive director, Lawyers’ Committee on Nuclear Policy
Steven STAPLES, President, Rideau Institute (Canada)
Lauren HUNTER, Operations’ Coordinator, Rideau Institute
Regina HAGEN, Disarmament Consultant, Abolition 2000 Germany
Nina EISENHARDT, Coordinator, Ban All Nukes generation (BANg), Germany
Roslyn COOK, Director, CND, World Court Project (United Kingdom)
Caroline GILBERT, Christian CND (UK)
Aaron TOVISH, Director 2020 Vision Campaign, Mayors for Peace
Jacqueline CABASSO, Executive Director, Western States Legal Foundation (USA)
Bruce GAGNON, Coordinator, Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space
J. Narayana RAO, President, All India Peace and Solidarity Organisation
Rafael DE LA RUBIA, President, Mundo Sin Guerras (Spain)
Judith LE BLANC, Field organizer, Peace Action USA
Douglas ALTON, Physicians for Global Security (Canada)
Claire GOSSELIN, Librarian, WILPF
Angelika WILMEN, Press Officer, IPPNW
Lars POHLMEIER, Executive Board Member, IPPNW Germany
Agneta NORBERG, Vice Chair, Swedish Peace Council (Sweden)
Diane PERLMAN, PhD, Psychologists for Social Responsibility
Dave ROBINSON, Executive Director, Pax Christi USA
Manuel PADILLA, Program Associate, Pax Christi USA
Yusuke HASUNUMA, Chairman, Peace Ring (Japan)
Marylia KELLEY, Executive Director, Tri Valley CAREs, USA
Owen GREENE, Director of Research, Department of Peace Studies, University of Bradford (UK)
Jonathan GRANOFF, President, Global Security Institute
Kristine KARCH, Scientist, Germany
Martha GOODINGS, President, Seriously Time To Stop (Canada)
Anna JAIRAKAN, Treasurer, Seriously Time To Stop
Ernesto RUGE, Student for Physics and Disarmament, Pressehütte Mutlangen, BANg (Germany)
Takao TAKAHARA, Professor, Board Member, Peace Depot (Japan)
Mamadou Falilon SARO, International Student, Peace Depot (Japan)
Sylvia IKERION, Student, WILPF
Leslie SALAS, Student, WILPF
Nicole SCOTT, Leasing Specialist/Student, WILPF
Ida TARCHOM, PHD Student, WILPF
Rosalie BERTELL, Ph.D., Grey Nunn
Judith BERLYN, Archivist, Canadian Peace Alliance, L’Alliance Canadienne pour la Paix
Pol D’HUYVETTER, Executive Advisor, Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation
Steve LEEPER, Chairman, Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation
Michael PULHAM, Co-chair, Christian Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, UK
Anabel DWYER, Board Member, Lawyers’ Committee on Nuclear Policy, USA
Bill SULZMAN, Director, Citizens for Peace in Space, Colorado Springs
Johananne WINCHESTER, Vice President, International Alliances - The Communications Coordinating Committee for the United Nations
Jean VERTHEIN, Academic Student Support, WILPF US
Wolfgang SCHLUPP-HAUCK, Social Worker, Friedenswerkstatt Mutlangen (Germany)
Mayra GOMEZ, Senior Program Officer, Aotearoa Lawyers for Peace (NZ)
Dominic MORAN, Disarmament Analyst, Greenpeace (Israel)
Jean-Marie MATAGNE, Action of Citizens for Nuclear Disarmament (ACDN), France
Saintes, 12 May 2010
M. Nicolas Sarkozy
Monsieur le Président,
I have the rare honour and the pleasure to be sending you with this letter the signatures of more than 70 leaders and activists of international NGOs. Their signatures appear at the foot of a letter in English whose content you already know, since I sent you the French original back on March 11, in my own name and on behalf of ACDN - Action des Citoyens pour le Désarmement Nucléaire.
Other French citizens and prominent people in France’s civil society, politics and religion have done the same thing since then, responding to the call from ACDN, from MSGSV (Monde Sans Guerres et Sans Violence) and from the Friends of the Earth, in the context of the "Ultime Atome !" campaign which we launched on 13 February 2010 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the first atomic explosion claimed by France.
In that letter, you are requested to commit France, resolutely and without delay, to the process that will lead to the elimination of all nuclear weapons. You are requested also to organise in France a referendum aiming to gain the French people’s approval of this commitment, which implies the renunciation of the so-called "nuclear deterrence" strategy and of the nuclear "strike force" that is supposed to serve this strategy.
We are inviting all France’s citizens to join us in making this double request. But we are also asking citizens of other nations to support it. Why so? Simply because if a nuclear weapon were used, whoever the immediate victims might be, all of humanity would be involved. First because, by striking whole populations indiscriminately, it would be a textbook crime against humanity. Secondly because radioactive clouds know no frontiers, and therefore action to abolish nuclear weapons should not know any frontiers either. We are all human beings, citizens of the world, and it is in that shared capacity that each of us addresses you. No "national sovereignty" can contradict that obvious fact.
The signatures appended here were gathered in New York during the first week of the 8th Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which is taking place at the UN. The signatories were perfectly aware of the meaning of this initiative and fully conscious of what they were doing when signing.
This quinquennial NPT Review Conference continues until 28 May. It began in a better atmosphere than that of 2005, and one may hope that it will produce concrete and decisive results. We express the wish that it will open the way to the adoption of a Convention for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons comparable to those concerning biological weapons (the Convention of Geneva) and chemical weapons (the Convention of Paris), it being understood that the abolition of these criminal weapons must not in any circumstance be linked or submitted to any bargain-driving about the diffusion of so-called "civilian" nuclear technologies.
In the name of all the signatories, and with a concern for humanity, good sense and democracy, I ask you, Monsieur le Président, to accept our expression of very high consideration.
Jean-Marie Matagne, President of ACDN
WRITE TO THE FRENCH PRESIDENT!
* May be published. Please fill in the form and e-mail it (preferably scanned with your signature) to email@example.com. We will print it and mail it to the French President.
Odile HUGONOT HABER, Co-chair, International and US Middle East Committee of the
Miriam KURLAND, Speech- Therapist, USA
Dr Yehuda ATAI, Mr. Gideon SPIRO, Co-Founders and Executive Members, The Israeli Committee for a Middle East Free of WMD
Ellen THOMAS, WILPF, Co-Chair, Disarm Committee, U.S.
Thanasis ANAPOLITANOS, Chairman, Mediterranean Anti Nuclear Watch
George FAREBROTHER, Secretary, World Court Project, UK
Paolo SCAMPA, President, Association Internationale pour la Protection contre les Rayons Ionisants (AIPRI)
Wayne HALL, Co-ordinator, Enouranois network (Greece)
Mikaël BÖÖK, Member of the Board, Network Institute for Global Democratization (NIGD)
Thanasis ANAPOLITANOS, Yehuda ATAI, Melina MENALAOU, Executive Secretariat, Mediterranean No Nuclear Network (MN3)
Ann SUELLENTROP, M.S.R.N., Physicians for Social Responsibility - Kansas City Chapter
Mark A. GUBRUD, Experimental Physicist, University of Maryland
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