Japan submits U.N. resolution to abolish nukes

Kyodo

Japan submitted a draft resolution Thursday calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons to a disarmament committee of the ongoing U.N. General Assembly, Japanese diplomats said.

While it is the 17th straight year that Japan has submitted such a resolution to the United Nations, this year’s draft is “much more comprehensive with calls for united action,” said Akio Suda, Japanese ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament, at a news conference after the document’s submission.

Including the United States, more than 50 countries, a new record, joined in the initiative as cosponsors of the resolution, compared with 42 last year, according to Suda.

The resolution is expected to be put to a vote before the committee between Oct. 26 and Nov. 1. Japan is aiming to garner more support than last year’s record 170 countries, U.N. diplomatic sources said.

Following the successful conclusion of a U.N. conference reviewing the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in May, Japan has rewritten the content of the resolution this year, using new and stronger wording, Suda said.

Specifically, the draft “reaffirms the unequivocal undertaking by the nuclear-weapon states to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals leading to nuclear disarmament.”

It also “calls upon nuclear-weapon states to undertake further efforts to reduce and ultimately eliminate all types of nuclear weapons, deployed and nondeployed, including through unilateral, bilateral, regional and multilateral measures.”

Referring to the “successful outcome” of the NPT review conference, the draft stresses the need to fully implement the action plan adopted at the conference.

It also mentions U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon’s historic visits to Hiroshima and Nagasaki to mark the 65th anniversary of the atomic bombings, as well as the April 8 signing of a new nuclear disarmament treaty between Russia and the United States and a high-level conference on disarmament convened by Ban in September.

The draft recognizes the “importance of the objective of nuclear security along with our shared goals of nuclear disarmament, nuclear nonproliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy.” It also welcomes the Nuclear Security Summit that U.S. President Barack Obama called in April to strengthen nuclear security and reduce nuclear terrorism.

The draft also calls upon nuclear-weapon states to “promptly engage with a view to further diminishing the role and significance of nuclear weapons in all military and security concepts, doctrines and policies.”

It says North Korea “cannot have the status of a nuclear-weapon state” under the NPT “under any circumstances.”

In 2009, a Japan-proposed nuclear disarmament resolution was adopted at the assembly’s Disarmament and International Security Committee, with the United States supporting it for the first time in nine years.