Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in "Headwinds" First Conference of the Parties in the Threat of Russian Nuclear Weapons June 30, 19:39

Vienna, the capital of Austria.

Representatives from all over the world and NGOs participating in the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons gathered to hold the first Conference of the Parties from June 21st.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which came into effect in January last year, has been signed and ratified by 65 countries and regions as of June 28, while security that relies on nuclear deterrence such as Japan in addition to nuclear-weapon states such as the United States and Russia. Countries that take policies do not participate.

"As long as a country with nuclear weapons does not participate, it will not lead to nuclear disarmament."

The ban treaty, which has been criticized so far, is being actively discussed about the use of nuclear weapons and the theory of nuclear deterrence due to Russia's military invasion of Ukraine. It is even more exposed to "headwinds".

What kind of discussion took place through the three-day meeting?

We interviewed the key men in the field.

(Vienna coverage group)

"Wrong judgment leads to nuclear arms race" Chairman's sense of crisis

The morning of June 17, four days before the opening of the first Conference of the Parties.

In the back office of the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the center of Vienna, Mr. Kument, Director General of Disarmament and Arms Control, welcomed us.

He has been working on the issue of disarmament for almost 20 years and played a central role in the establishment of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

He is a veteran diplomat who was also chaired at this conference.

Unexpectedly, the Conference of the Parties was to be held amid a heated debate over the use of nuclear weapons and nuclear deterrence due to the military invasion by Russia.

I had a strong sense of crisis in the current situation.

"If you understand the humanitarian

consequences of nuclear weapons and the risks of possessing them, you will realize that nuclear deterrence may be just an illusion. To ensure the safety of nuclear weapons." It's not a sustainable way to do it. If you make the wrong decision now, you'll have more nuclear weapons around the world. "

On the first day of the meeting, Mr. Kument, from the chairman's seat, called on the participating countries as follows.

Chairman Kument

"Now all the debates over the world's nuclear weapons are heading in the wrong direction. Now we can only rely on our treaty."

At the conference, representatives from each country expressed harsh criticism of Russia's nuclear threat and concerns that the world would move toward a nuclear arms race again.

Both were urgent appeals that now is the time to keep the spirit of the ban treaty and not to extinguish the lights of nuclear disarmament.

Shaking observer countries

Beside the Parties, it was the "observer" countries that had not signed or ratified the Convention.

More than 30 countries, more than initially expected, have announced their attendance as observers.

Of particular note were the NATO-North Atlantic Treaty Organization member states under the US nuclear umbrella.

Representatives from Germany and the Netherlands said at the venue that they would not be able to participate in the treaty under NATO's nuclear deterrence policy, but would like to share the treaty's goals for a "world without nuclear weapons."

At the observer's seat, there was also a representative of Finland, a neighboring country of Russia.

Finland, which suffered many sacrifices in the Soviet invasion of the time in World War II, has consistently adopted a military-neutral policy after the war.

However, following a military invasion by Russia, he applied for membership in NATO.

By joining the American nuclear umbrella, he decided to face the threat of Russia.

But why did you dare to attend the Conference of the Parties?

Ambassador Jarmo Venanen, who is in charge of arms control and disarmament at the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, responded to our interview.

He said he wanted to show his stance toward the ultimate goal of abolishing nuclear weapons, even though he had to rely on nuclear deterrence in the face of the threat of Russia.

Ambassador Jarmo Venanen

"I have no intention of ratifying the treaty in the future as nuclear-weapon states such as the United States and Russia do not participate and the path to the abolition of nuclear weapons is not shown.

" The goal of abolishing nuclear weapons is the same with the national government. "

" By listening to each other's opinions at the conference, we were able to find something in common. "

Many of the Parties also seemed to have a certain understanding of the observer countries, which sway between the "ideal" of nuclear abolition and the "reality" of security.

Appeal to international public opinion ・ ICAN Secretary General

There is another key man who has worked on international public opinion to prevent the world from expanding its nuclear arms race again.

Beatrice Finn, the secretary general of the ICAN = International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, an international NGO that has contributed to the establishment of the ban treaty and won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Is it okay to justify a world that continues to rely on nuclear weapons in the name of "deterrence"?

Even now, 77 years after the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, isn't it unusual that there are 13,000 nuclear warheads in the world that can destroy the earth many times?

I have complained that each person should reconsider now.

ICAN Secretary-General Beatrice Finn

"We should not take for granted the fact that there are nuclear-weapon states and some countries have security policies that rely on nuclear deterrence. According to the logic of countries that believe that nuclear deterrence works, All nations will have nuclear weapons. The question is how to turn people's fierce anger and anxiety about nuclear threats into political power. We must never forgive the attitude of each country's government to "solve the problem."

At the same time as the conference, ICAN plans a rally to invite members from all over the world to discuss the ideal form of nuclear disarmament.

I thought that it was indispensable to have international public opinion exchanged not only with the governments of each country but also with the members of the Diet who represent the citizens.

At the rally, there were members of more than 10 countries, including Japan, Germany, and Belgium, who did not participate in the treaty.

German ruling party member

"It is very important to be able to discuss and share information with members of other countries."

Belgian ruling party member

"I am under strong pressure not to participate in the treaty as a NATO member. I hope that one day I will be able to sign and ratify the treaty."

Beatrice Fihn, Secretary-General

"It is important to discuss and share information on the issue of nuclear weapons in a democratic setting. Inviting lawmakers involved in the national affairs of each country, what is happening over the ban treaty? Check out the big picture of what the government thinks. I think building cross-border cooperation will help solve the nuclear problem. "

A-bomb survivors' thoughts on the treaty

At the meeting venue, there were also A-bomb survivors from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, along with diplomats and NGOs from each country.

"We have never had a calm time free from anxiety about long-lasting cancer and other illnesses. We hope our offspring are free from the effects of radiation."

Manzao Tomonaga (79), a survivor of the atomic bombing in Nagasaki and a doctor.

He was exposed at his home at the age of two, 2.5 kilometers away from the hypocenter.

Fortunately, Mr. Tomonaga was unharmed, although his home was half destroyed.

Since he was young, he has no memory of that time, but he says that he still can't forget the memory of the devastated Nagasaki that he saw when he was four or five years old.

I witnessed an increase in leukemia patients among the A-bomb survivors of my generation, and decided to pursue a medical career.

It is said that many A-bomb survivors first developed leukemia and then cancers of various organs.

In addition to his treatment and research, Tomonaga continued to speak on the international stage to convey the lifelong suffering of the A-bomb survivors, and has also supported the establishment of a ban treaty.

At the conference, the audience gave a particularly big applause, expressing concerns about the thoughts of the A-bomb survivors toward the treaty and the current situation in which many countries still rely on nuclear deterrence.

Manzao Tomonaga

"A-bomb survivors are very pleased that the treaty came into effect as they age. However, the fact that nine nuclear-weapon states and more than 30 countries rely on nuclear umbrellas is the only one. It is a pity that Japan, a war-bombed country, is under the umbrella of the US nuclear weapons. Nuclear-weapon states must also exert maximum pressure to join the ban treaty. "

Mr. Tomonaga, who finished his remarks at the conference, seemed to be uplifted like never before, and he was hopeful that the international understanding of the treaty would spread.

Mr. Manzao Tomonaga

"Nuclear weapon countries and Japan did not participate in the Conference of the Parties, but since the observer countries participated to some extent, I think that it was a good start. I think the Conference of the Parties is a success. "

Young people who inherit the feelings of the A-bomb survivors

At the forum held by ICAN prior to the Conference of the Parties, some young people from all over the world were Japanese university students.

Yuta Takahashi.

In a two-and-a-half-minute speech, he mentioned that the atomic bomb survivors in Hiroshima had died last year, and complained.

Yuta Takahashi

"This is the last chance to hear directly from the A-bomb survivors. Unless we try to inherit the experiences of the A-bomb survivors now, we cannot connect their thoughts to the future."

Mr. Takahashi, who grew up in Fukuyama City, Hiroshima Prefecture, has been listening to testimonies from A-bomb survivors through club activities since he was a junior high school student and has collected signatures calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

Yuta Takahashi

"I have met many A-bomb survivors, so I would like to convey my thoughts. At the same time, we are living in an era with 13,000 nuclear weapons. I myself am a nuclear weapon. I'm the party to the problem. "

What made Mr. Takahashi most uncomfortable was that while many A-bomb survivors and NGOs from Japan participated in the Conference of the Parties, the Government of Japan did not attend as an observer.

Mr. Takahashi approached the representative of the Japanese government who was attending the meeting held at the same venue the day before to discuss the humanitarian effects of nuclear weapons.

Yuta Takahashi "We have collected 21,065 signatures asking Japan to participate in the Conference of the Parties as an observer, and in the last three days, we have


21,065. How do you perceive this?

" Can not be reduced without the cooperation of the possessing countries, and must strive to involve the possessing countries in nuclear disarmament. We will make such efforts at the NPT Review Conference starting August 1. "

Mr. Takahashi listened to the meeting for three days after the representative of the Japanese government left.

He was determined to continue his activities.

Yuta Takahashi

"I think the abolition of nuclear weapons is going up and down. I can't stop."

"I think the road to thorns will continue, but the sense of accomplishment that the world has cooperated in this way will help the future. I feel. "

The results of the meeting

On the final day of the three-day conference of the Parties, Mr. Kument of the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who chaired the meeting, presented two documents to each country.

The first is the "Vienna Declaration", which calls on the international community to realize a "world without nuclear weapons" and strives to increase the number of countries participating in the treaty.

The other is the "Vienna Action Plan," which summarizes concrete efforts such as promoting dialogue with nuclear-weapon states and encouraging each country to develop laws to help the survivors and victims of nuclear tests.

When the document was adopted, the venue gave a big applause, and the feelings of each country that the determination to abolish nuclear weapons was unwavering even in the face of the imminent threat of nuclear weapons were conveyed.

At a press conference after the closing, Mr. Kument said that the weight of the treaty was proved by the fact that more countries and stakeholders participated in the conference than expected even in the "headwind" and frank discussions took place. rice field.

Chair Kument

"It is important that countries work together to achieve results and that countries skeptical of the treaty also participate in the debate. It will be difficult to downplay the treaty in the future. He raised that risk is a crucial issue for the international community as a whole. Those who were previously skeptical should acknowledge it and be involved in solving the issue now. "

Whereabouts of nuclear disarmament planned by the United Nations

Following this conference, the NPT = Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, which will determine the direction of global nuclear disarmament, will begin on August 1st at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

It was postponed again and again due to the spread of the new corona infection, and this is the first time in seven years.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is a treaty that prohibits the possession and use of nuclear weapons, but the NPT = Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty imposes an obligation on the possessing countries to work on nuclear disarmament with the participation of the nuclear-weapon states.

Under-Secretary-General Izumi Nakamitsu, head of the United Nations Disarmament Division, believes that the two treaties should not conflict and complement each other toward a realistic nuclear disarmament.

UN Under-Secretary-General Izumi Nakamitsu

"Nuclear disarmament is not a simple composition that can be achieved by a ban treaty alone. It is very important to promote nuclear disarmament as soon as possible in a way that pushes nuclear-weapon states while arousing international public opinion at this Conference of the Parties. "

Actually, the last review meeting broke down because the agreement document could not be compiled.

For the next seven years, there was no unified policy on the reduction of nuclear weapons in the world.

Now that Russia is threatening with nuclear forces and North Korea is pushing for nuclear and missile development, if the conference breaks down again, the world may turn to the direction of nuclear arms race.

Under-Secretary-General Nakamitsu is trying his best to bring each country closer.

Deputy Secretary -General Izumi Nakamitsu

"NPT is still difficult if the conflicting relations between countries become apparent, as if this review meeting were to be disassembled in the air. There is a growing awareness that it is difficult to move forward. This must be avoided. "

" Looking at history, after some major crisis, new security and international agreements have been renewed. There will be one opportunity to create it. "

" The catchphrase for the entire United Nations is "Don't give up." Even in the extremely difficult situation in Ukraine, we all have to think about it. "

The NPT Review Conference will be held in August following the Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

During the session, the day of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 77 years after the bombing, will be celebrated.

It will be more questionable than ever what role Japan, the only war-affected country, can play for the reduction of nuclear weapons in the world.

Akiko Furuyama , Director of the

European Bureau , started to cover nuclear issues at the Hiroshima Bureau, where she first

joined in 2011,

and continued to cover ICAN and Mr. Kument


World News Department Reporter

Mayu Yoshida

Joined in 2015

After working at the Kanazawa Bureau and Nagasaki Bureau, in his current position in Nagasaki from November last year,

he conveyed the voices of aging survivors and covered international movements related to nuclear disarmament, such as the Pope's visit to Japan. Have done

Nagasaki Broadcasting Station Reporter

Moe Kojima

Joined in 2015

After working at the Okinawa Station,

was in charge of interviews related to the atomic bomb to Nagasaki.

Hiroshima Broadcasting Station Reporter

Kentaro Ishikawa Joined

in 2018 The

Hiroshima station will continue to cover the war, including the A-bomb survivors and the former Japanese army.


Heianyama, Director of Hiroshima Broadcasting Station

Joined in 2018 From

Okinawa Prefecture

After going through the metropolitan area station, Hiroshima Broadcasting Station's

new coronavirus covers poverty issues

U.S. General Bureau Reporter

Shohei Yano 

Joined in 1999

Okayama Bureau, Akita Bureau, International Department, Seoul Branch

Currently in charge of the United Nations at the U.S. General Bureau (New York)