In advance of next month’s Hiroshima G7 Summit, civil society organisations met with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida to encourage G7 leaders not to squander this once in a lifetime opportunity, and to use the summit to condemn all nuclear weapon threats and act for a nuclear weapons free world. This was the first time nuclear disarmament was included in the c7 recommendations.
For years, the G7 have met behind closed doors, but that has started to change through the establishment of official summit engagement groups. The C7 engagement group has brought together civil society organisations from around the world focused on key themes requiring G7 attention, for the first time ever, this year that includes nuclear disarmament.
Civil Society nuclear disarmament recommendations to the G7
The nuclear disarmament working group comprised hundreds of individuals from more than 60 countries representing 125 organisations. The group consulted over the last several months to develop and agree upon a series of recommendations.
The nuclear disarmament working group expects the leaders’ summit to “show ambition and responsibility to reduce threats posed by the continued existence of nuclear weapons. We urge G7 leaders to meet with atomic bomb survivors (Hibakusha) and to acknowledge the harm to people and the environment caused by using nuclear weapons;
Building on the G20 statement last November, the G7 should also unequivocally condemn any and all threats to use nuclear weapons and disavow all options to resort to nuclear weapons in conflict”.
The working group also discussed the various components of the global nuclear disarmament architecture. The group recognised that the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) provides a normative-legal-diplomatic infrastructure in which to turn rhetorical commitments into action to achieve a world without nuclear weapons. The humanitarian underpinnings of the TPNW and continued scientific research on the consequences of nuclear weapons use discussed during treaty related meetings are sufficient reasons for G7 states to proactively engage.
The group also called on the G7 leaders to work cooperatively with states parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons including by attending Meetings of States Parties to the treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), and to begin urgent negotiations to achieve the complete elimination of nuclear weapons before 2045, the 100th anniversary of their first use.
The working group highlighted that the nuclear armed states within the G7 – United States, United Kingdom and France, can choose to end nuclear weapon development and production, and they can all support negotiations on a follow-on to the New START treaty.
G7 leaders meeting in Hiroshima should also seize the opportunity to announce strategies of risk reduction, de-escalation, and disarmament. These include commitments not to introduce nuclear weapons into a conflict, not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons at any time, ending any activities construed as encouraging, inducing, or supporting the use of nuclear weapons, and adopting security strategies and practices which do not rely on nuclear weapons.
Read the full recommendation and find the list of representatives to the C7 Working Group here.
Why Hiroshima is a crucial opportunity for the G7 to take action on nuclear disarmament
In choosing to hold the summit in Hiroshima, Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida urged, “G7 leaders to reaffirm their recognition of the inhumanity of nuclear weapons and their commitment to their abolition.”
Though not all G7 members have their own nuclear weapons, three of them do, and the other four rely on nuclear weapons as part of their security policy through so-called umbrella arrangements. These 7 states have the power to reduce the risk of nuclear weapons use and take real action towards total elimination of these weapons of mass destruction, and Hiroshima is a critical opportunity for them to commit to do so.
As the Working group concluded: “We expect the leaders’ summit to show ambition and responsibility to reduce threats posed by the continued existence of nuclear weapons.