“Humanity and Nuclear Weapons Cannot Coexist”
The SGI has released a statement to the second session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), held in Geneva from April 23 to May 4.
The NPT is regarded as the cornerstone of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime and an essential foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament.
The SGI’s statement, in part, urges States parties to: 1) re-examine the meaning and role of nuclear weapons, the product of a Cold War past; 2) engage in constructive dialogue to produce concrete results toward nuclear disarmament; and 3) continue to heed the voices of civil society, especially hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors), so that the NPT process will have a consistently human focus.
The following are the statement’s opening lines:
In her acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize, Setsuko Thurlow concisely expressed the essence of the nuclear issue: Humanity and nuclear weapons cannot coexist. This means, in the simplest terms, that we must choose: nuclear weapons or humanity, where humanity points to more than just the continued physical existence of our species, but also to our ability to live in ways that can be identified as humane and toward which all societies have continued to strive.
Nuclear weapons have not only threatened humanity’s physical survival, they have profoundly impeded our individual and shared quest for humanity in this most essential sense.
The imperative to protect the freedom and dignity of all people is rooted in the recognition that each of us is inherently precious and irreplaceable. The continued existence of nuclear weapons and the growing threat of their use embody a diametrically opposed view of humanity: that we lack inherent value and are ultimately expendable. As such they are incompatible with the quest for human freedom and dignity and the international human rights system to which that quest has given rise.
See the full statement at