When choosing a location for the 2023 G7 Summit, Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida decided that Hiroshima was the best place to discuss international peace and nuclear disarmament. Given the heightened nuclear risk, concrete steps towards nuclear disarmament must be a priority on this year’s agenda. As all seven states – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States – have nuclear weapons in their security policies (either as nuclear-armed states or as host or umbrella states), ICAN is presenting four clear demands to the G7 leaders meeting in Hiroshima on May 19-21:
1. The G7 leaders must unequivocally condemn any and all threats to use nuclear weapons. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been shielded by repeated explicit and implicit threats to use nuclear weapons by the president of the Russian Federation as well as other members of the regime. As part of the global response to strengthen the taboo against the use of nuclear weapons, the state parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons condemned threats as unacceptable.
This language was later also used by several leaders of the G7 and others, including German Chancellor Scholz, NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg and the members of the G20 at last year’s summit in Indonesia. In its outcome, the G7 must issue an unequivocal condemnation of all threats to use nuclear weapons in the same, unequivocal terms.
2. In Hiroshima, the G7 leaders are expected to meet atomic bomb survivors (Hibakusha), pay their respects by visiting the Hiroshima Peace Museum and lay a wreath of flowers at the cenotaph. When they do, they must also formally recognise the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of using nuclear weapons. It is not acceptable for the G7 leaders to merely pay lip-service to a world without nuclear weapons without this acknowledgement and a commitment to ensure such horrors can never be repeated. Anything less would be to dishonour the survivors and victims of the atomic bombing.
3. Following Russia announcing plans to place nuclear weapons in Belarus, the G7 leaders must agree an end to all nuclear-armed states stationing their weapons in other countries and engage Russia to cancel its plans to do so. Several G7 members are currently involved in nuclear sharing arrangements of their own, and can demonstrate their opposition to Russia’s recent deployment announcement by commencing negotiations of new Standing of Forces Agreements between the US and Germany and the US and Italy, to remove the weapons currently stationed in those countries.
4. The G7 leaders must respond to Russia’s nuclear threats and the increased risk of nuclear confrontation by providing a plan for negotiating nuclear disarmament with all nuclear weapons states and joining the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.