Steve Leeper at the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation

Steve Leeper speaks about nuclear proliferation and what is at stake in 2010.

The Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation has this message from Mr. Leeper:

Right now, we have a chance to shoot. Let’s not miss this opportunity.

Happy New Year. Four more months. Mayor Akiba is leading a strong lobbying effort at the highest levels, both at home and abroad. The NPT Honbu he created within the Hiroshima municipal government is strengthening and coordinating the campaign activities of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, this Foundation, the 2020 Vision Campaign Association in Ypres, Belgium, and our friends and allies around the world. As a result, Mayors for Peace is growing fast and is working closely with other leading NGOs generating momentum demanding that the nuclear-weapon states begin now negotiating a nuclear-weapon-free world.

The NPT Review Conference will begin on May 3. Luckily, President Obama will be doing his best to guide us in the right direction, but the final document can be adopted only by consensus. Will the 189 States Parties be willing to cooperate enough to take meaningful steps toward disarmament?

This year, more than ever before, Japan is expected to play a significant, leading role. Prime Minister Hatoyama and Foreign Minister Okada have both made strong statements expressing their determination to seek a nuclear-weapon-free world, but what will Japan actually contribute? Will it support the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol or another comprehensive process that will lead quickly to disarmament negotiations? Will Japan display sufficient leadership to help the non-nuclear world put enough pressure on the nuclear-weapon states to help President Obama?

Please stay involved in the campaign. Keep the pressure on your elected officials. Recruit more mayors for Mayors for Peace. Collect more signatures for the CANT petition. Jonathan Granoff, one of the world’s leading anti-nuclear activists, spoke in Hiroshima on December 5 and used an excellent analogy. During a soccer game, the players run around the field for 90 minutes, but they have only a few seconds in which to shoot for the goal. Right now, we have a chance to shoot. Let’s not miss this opportunity.

The Mayors for Peace now has 3,680 member cities from 135 countries and regions around the world as of March 1, 2010. Check if your hometown is part of this amazing and fast-growing movement at the 2020 Vision website.

Update: As kindly pointed out in the comments, there are some terms in the text above that need explanations. In particular I agree that the following should be made clear:

* NPT Review Conference: Non Proliferation Treaty Review Conference.

The NPT process was launched by Frank Aiken, Irish Minister for External Affairs, in 1958. It was opened for signature in 1968, with Finland the first State to sign.

The official NPT website is very slow, so may I suggest the Ploughshares Fund website with background information and analysis from the NGO perspective - Did you know that there are 23,000 nuclear weapons around the world today?

* CANT: Cities Are Not Targets, Membership Drive – Five Thousand Cities, One Billion People, by May 2010. Get a flyer to give to your mayor!


Pandabonium said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Martin J Frid said…
Thanks P, you make excellent points about how to reach ordinary people. Jargon is never helpful. I agree that we need broad support - for this tidal wave of change to happen. Stay tuned.

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