On the eve of the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will address the “For a Nuclear Free, Peaceful, Just and Sustainable World” International Conference at the Riverside Church.
The UN Secretary-General’s participation in the international conference reflects the urgency and importance of the engagement of grassroots peace and disarmament movements in the drive to eliminate nuclear weapons. Ban is urging the nuclear powers to take immediate steps to fulfill their NPT disarmament obligation, and has put forward a “Five Point Plan” calling on them to begin their promised ‘good faith negotiations’ for nuclear weapons abolition. (download full press release in PDF).
The following day (May 2) PEACE ACTION are organising a peace march from 7th Ave & 41st St to the UN building followed by a peace and music festival in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza – 47th St. between 1st and 2nd Aves.
The PEACE ACTION manifesto:
- We want a Nuclear Free Future!
- Fund Human Needs, Not War!
- End the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan!
- Protect the planet instead of destroying it with war and nuclear proliferation!
Side events, official meetings, and more: May 3–28, 2010, New York City: link
More info: http://peaceandjusticenow.org
UN TOP OFFICIAL COMING TO NUCLEAR ABOLITION CONFERENCE
Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon Speaks May 1 to Hundreds of Activists in NYC
NEW YORK CITY – United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon will address hundreds of peace, justice and environmental activists on May 1 at 7 p.m. during a historic peace conference, organizers announced this week. The conference “For A Nuclear-Free, Peaceful, Just and Sustainable World” begins April 30, in advance of May’s Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference at the UN. The Secretary General will speak at New York’s Riverside Church, 490 Riverside Drive.
The conference has been organized by the 2010 NPT Review International Planning Committee, a network of 25 leading organizations for peace and nuclear weapons abolition in the U.S., Europe, Japan and Israel. About 1,000 activists from the U.S. and more than 20 nations are attending. Thousands more will be joining a march and rally during a Day of Action on May 2 in Manhattan. Millions of petition signatures will be presented urging that talks to eliminate the world’s nuclear arsenals begin immediately.
Speaking for the network Judith LeBlanc, Field Organizer for Peace Action, said, “We need more than limited arms control agreements that do not adequately address the dangers of catastrophes posed by the nuclear powers. We are urging that the NPT Review Conference conclude with a commitment to begin negotiations on a treaty to completely eliminate all nuclear weapons, as provided for by the NPT.”
Joseph Gerson, Disarmament Director for the American Friends Service Committee and a conference organizer, said, “Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon’s decision to join us is signaling the critical importance of popular action to move governments to do what they must do to abolish nuclear weapons.
“Even when and if the recently negotiated New START treaty is ratified and implemented, the U.S. and Russia will have more than 3,000 thermonuclear warheads with the destructive capability of roughly 60,000 Hiroshima A-Bombs on hair trigger alert,” Gerson said.
Article VI of the NPT, which went into effect in 1970, requires the five original nuclear powers to begin “good faith negotiations” for the complete elimination of their nuclear arsenals. Such negotiations have never been initiated. Nuclear armed states India, Israel and Pakistan remain outside the NPT.
Jackie Cabasso, Executive Director of the Western States Legal Foundation, said, “In addition to the immediate dangers posed by nuclear weapons, the hypocritical refusal by the U.S. and other nuclear powers to fulfill their part of the NPT bargain jeopardizes the treaty as a whole. It encourages the nuclear weapons proliferation President Obama says he is working to prevent. Ban Ki-Moon understands that the world is at a turning point. His ‘Five Point Plan’, like our network’s call to action, urges the nuclear powers to finally begin their promised ‘good faith negotiations’ for nuclear weapons abolition.”
The conference’s call to action places the abolition of nuclear weapons in a broader context. It states that “the eradication of these weapons will not only end the threat of global annihilation and [the] hierarchy of terror, but it will unlock enormous resources to address climate change and mass poverty; serve as the leading edge of the global trend towards demilitarisation, and make advances in other areas of human aspiration possible.” The Call has been endorsed by nearly 300 local, national and international organizations in 32 countries from every continent.
Included among the 25 members of the planning committee are Peace Action, the American Friends Service Committee, and Western States Legal Foundation (U.S.), the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (Britain,) Le Mouvement de la Paix (France,) International Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (Germany,) the Japan Council against A- and H-Bomb, Gensuikyo (Japan), and the Emil Touma Institute for Palestinian and Israeli Studies (Israel).
Other conference speakers include Terumi Tanaka, a Hiroshima A-Bomb survivor; Tadatoshi Akiba, Mayor of Hiroshima and president of Mayors for Peace; Natalia Mironova of the Institute for Public Policy and Law in Russia, Socorro Gomes of Cebrapaz in Brazil, and many others. Two dozen work- shops will address interrelated issues of nuclear abolition, peace, environment/health and economic justice. For more information, visit:
On 1 January 2007, Ban Ki-moon of the Republic of Korea became the eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations, bringing to his post 37 years of service both in Government and on the global stage.
At the time of his election as Secretary-General, Mr. Ban was his country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade. His long tenure with the Ministry included postings in New Delhi, Washington D.C. and Vienna, and responsibility for a variety of portfolios, including Foreign Policy Adviser to the President, Chief National Security Adviser to the President, Deputy Minister for Policy Planning and Director-General of American Affairs. Throughout this service, his guiding vision was that of a peaceful Korean peninsula, playing an expanding role for peace and prosperity in the region and the wider world.
Mr. Ban has long-standing ties with the United Nations, dating back to 1975, when he worked for the Foreign Ministry’s United Nations Division. That work expanded over the years, with assignments as First Secretary at the Republic of Korea’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York, Director of the United Nations Division at the Ministry’s headquarters in Seoul and Ambassador to Vienna, during which time, in 1999, he served as Chairman of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization. In 2001-2002, as Chef de Cabinet during the Republic of Korea’s presidency of the General Assembly, he facilitated the prompt adoption of the first resolution of the session, condemning the terrorist attacks of 11 September, and undertook a number of initiatives aimed at strengthening the Assembly’s functioning, thereby helping to turn a session that started out in crisis and confusion into one in which a number of important reforms were adopted.
Mr. Ban has also been actively involved in issues relating to inter-Korean relations. In 1992, as Special Adviser to the Foreign Minister, he served as Vice-Chair of the South-North Joint Nuclear Control Commission following the adoption of the historic Joint Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. In September 2005, as Foreign Minister, he played a leading role in bringing about another landmark agreement aimed at promoting peace and stability on the Korean peninsula with the adoption at the six-party talks of the Joint Statement on resolving the North Korean nuclear issue.
Mr. Ban received a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Seoul National University in 1970. In 1985, he earned a master’s degree in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In July 2008, Mr. Ban received an honorary Doctoral Degree from Seoul National University.
Prizes and awards
Mr. Ban has received numerous national and international prizes, medals and honours. In 1975, 1986 and again in 2006, he was awarded the Republic of Korea’s Highest Order of Service Merit for service to his country. In April 2008, he was awarded the dignity of the “Grand-Croix de L’Ordre National” (Grand Cross of the National Order) in Burkina Faso, and in the same month received the “Grand Officier de L’Ordre National” (Grand Officer of the National Order) from the Government of Côte d’Ivoire.
Mr. Ban was born on 13 June 1944. He and his wife, Madam Yoo (Ban) Soon-taek, whom he met in high school in 1962, have one son and two daughters. In addition to Korean, Mr. Ban speaks English and French.