In PARIS, on June 25 and 26 2011, the French NGOs belonging to the international « Abolition 2000 » network and the « ICAN-France » campaign have organised an international rally to demand the elimination of all nuclear arms by the 5 official nuclear-weapon states in the Non-Proliferation Treaty (USA, UK, Russia, France, Chihna) and the 4 unofficial nuclear states (Israel, India and Pakistan - non-signatories of the NPT - and North Korea, which withdrew).
We call on all fellow-citizens to demonstrate their support for this demand by particupating in the public demonstration this Saturday 25 June from 2pm at the Trocadéro square or in any other way they can. We invite journalists to attend and report on this event.
In PARIS, on June 29 and 30 juin, the heads of the 5 official nuclear states have to meet to advance the cause of nuclear disarmament. If they do make progress we will be delighted. But what will France do, apart for paper-thin declarations of intent? We have reason to worry, since the President has continued to claim (as recently as 10 June 2010 on the aricraft-carrier « Charles-de-Gaulle »), that « nuclear deterrence is the Nation’s life-insurance».
The only sensible « life-insurance », for the UN’s 193 member states, including France, the only way to prevent a nuclear catastrophe of military origin, is a world without weapons of mass destruction, and naturally without nuclear arms. France must therefore inform the world clearly that she is ready to renounce her nuclear strike force in the context of nuclear, biological and chemical disarmament implemented in a comprehensive, total and verified manner.
At the Paris summit, the 5 official nuclear states must define the framework and date of the start of good-faith negotiations with, in comformity with Article VI of the NPT that they signed, must lead to a treaty to abolish all nuclear arsenals. The de facto states must also be involved in the process, notably Israel at the Conference on a nuclear-free Middle East scheduled by the UN for 2012.
Further, the links between nuclear weapons and nuclear power generation are too close, and the threat of nuclear disaster of non-military origin is too important to be omitted from discussions.
Historically, without the nuclear bomb, the power-plants would not exist. Politically, the acquisition of nuclear know-how and fissile materials can conceal military ambitions, as is allegedly happening in Iran. Technically, the same installations that produce fuel for power-plants make possible the making of bomb-explosives (enriched uranium, plutonium), and also depleted uranium, now used in battlefield munitions. The radioactive fallout of these DU weapons, as well as the fallout of nuclear weapons themselves in Hiroshima, Nagasaki and hundreds of nuclear tests, have cause considerable deaths, birth deformities, cancers, etc.
Nuclear power has not only close links with the military, it has also its own defects: incompatible with democrary, based on fossil resources that are running out, this industry produces permanent pollution and unmanageable radioactive waste, and risks causing at every moment a catastrophe like Chernobyl or Fukushima. For these reasons we must quickly get rid of it, which is possible since nuclear power represents less that 3% of world energy final consumption.
France, with 300 atomic bombs and 58 reactors, must resolutely phase out nuclear power and nuclear weapons. That is the task in front of us. That would bring hope for a world of reconciliaton between humans and with nature.