by Mike Tolochko
The 62rd Annual DPI/NGO Conference ¨For Peace and Development: Disarm Now¨´ brought thousands of activists from around the world to Mexico City. The Opening Session was a stirring event with the full audience being brought to its feet by Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and founder of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, when she called on all those attendees to get their own governments to demand that the United Nations write and pass a New Nuclear Weapons Convention by 2010. She said that bi-lateral agreements and regional agreements are all good, but the United Nations is the one organization that must be seen as the center post of this activity.
Her words were prviously supported by the 63rd President of General Assembly Miguel d´Escoto, that is, that the United Nations is the place where we all must come and set the convention and laws.
Williams was particularly strong in stating that is was ¨my country¨ that is the only country to use nuclear weapons....not just once but twice, one after the other. And, this was all on civilians. Her taking personal responsiblities for her government was very well received.
She gave a program of actions to those assembled.
Everyone should write President Barack Obama to urge him to establish a new U.S. policy that would reject first use of nuclear weapons and sign treaties that ban nuclear weapons. She said that this is important for not just U.S. people, but for people around the world. SHE SAID THAT EVERYONE MUST WRITE PRESIDENT OBAMA, NO EMAILS....HAND WRITTEN LETTERS.
The same is true for Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Everyone must write him to stop the development of the Trident missiles.
Signing of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty by 2010.
Demand that all countries sign a NO FIRST USE ON NUCLEAR WEAPONS..
And, that all NGOs must work together, stop the bickering and egoisms.
Williams made a special emphasis that leaders who are now saying the right things, must put good deeds to action. Good words are not enough. We have to end, ¨¨Nuclear Hypocrisy¨¨
She is particularly hopeful with the new U.S. president. As she said the Bush years were a terrible period. And, she is hopeful that President Obama will put good deeds to his words. But, she said that he needs to hear from all of us.
She said that with so many other things on his plate the Nuclear issues might get lost. We have to make sure it doesn't.
Williams said she was born in early 1950s, during the Duck and Cover period with children were doing practice tests in school to prepare for a nuclear bomb. It was good to hear this recounted. She did an amazing description of that period.
Her speech in ON Line with the Conference.
Miguel Marin Bosch a Mexican Diplomat and collaborator with Nobel Laureate Ambassador Alfonso Garcia Robels in drafting the Treaty of Tiatelolco. This treaty was signed in 1967 by 33 Latin American nations and by the treat the FIRST NUCLEAR FREE ZONE WAS ESTABLISHED.. He showed paricular displeasure at the U.S. government role in proliferating nuclear weapons.He is also hopeul with the new U.S.President, but is worried about its ability to fulfill its promises.
Miguel d Éscoto
The General Assembly president´s remarks focused on the need to shift arms and nuclear arms development into the use of money for social good. He also said that the key player inall of this must be the U.N.
HE SAID THERE IS NO DEVELOPMENT WITH PEACE AND NO PEACE WITHOUT DEVELOPMENT.
The Secretary General of the United Nations addressed the meeting. He did not attend last years session in Paris.
Ban Ki-Moon, on more than on occasion praised the work of NGOs in keeping the issue of Disarmament and Peace a live. He said that in the early part of this century, the issues were lost. Now THIS IS THE MOMENT OF ACTION. He urged all NGOs to increase their activity.
He praised President Obama for his statements opposing nuclear war and supporting treaties. He praised his meetings with the head of Russia concerning nuclear stock piles.
HE POINTED TO THE UPCOMING SEPTEMBER 24 U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL ON NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT AND ARMS CONTROL. HE SAID THE U.S. PRESIDENT BARAK OBAMA WOULD CHAIR THAT SESSION.
By the U.S. moving in a new direction he said, as did everyone else, we are at a new moment. This new moment must be utilized.
NGOs from the U.S. that focus on these issues, i.,e., Woman International League for Peace and Freedom, Peace Action International, Peace Boat, Physician for Social Responsibility and others are in attendance.
Holding this meeting in Mexico City also sends a message to the world. Come to Mexico, It is safe place to visit. Fears are flu and other things are no warranted.