This is a guest posting by Ben Soffa, CND Press Officer, part of CND’s delegation to the NPT in New York:
Preparing for the CND delegation to the Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference, we’ve been reading all the briefings, filling in the forms and reviewing the timetables of all the events in and around the NPT. So having arrived on Friday afternoon we really benefited from coming almost straight into the huge opening rally of the pre-NPT conference organised by an international coalition of campaign groups, CND included. We were reminded there of the shocking personal testimony of Hibaksha – survivors of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
It’s all too easy to get caught up in the process – who’s saying what, what steps could take us towards a nuclear-free world and the like, but the terrible human and environmental impact of nuclear weapons use is the real reason we’re here. Hearing the simply told experiences of Hibaksha – how young children, now old men, had to cremate their relatives or leave their parents trapped as the fire-storm approached is the most powerful argument for why the possibility of nuclear war must be prevented.
This is not some diplomatic game, and whatever the statements we hear over the coming days it’s vital we remember that the threat from nuclear weapons is very real today, as it has been every day since long before the enactment of the NPT 40 years ago this year. Victims of nuclear weapons use, and of nuclear testing, are still suffering and dying to this day. As the Japanese survivors say, our message to the NPT must be “No more Hiroshimas, No more Nagasakis, No more Hibaksha!”