The foreign ministers of the world’s most advanced economies visited a war memorial for the 140,000 victims of the 1945 atomic bombing of the Japanese city.
HIROSHIMA (Japan) – Foreign ministers of the Group of Seven, or G7, countries on Monday called for a “world without nuclear weapons” in what was called the “Hiroshima Declaration”.
“We reaffirm our commitment to seeking a safer world for all and to creating the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons in a way that promotes international stability,” G7 ministers said in a written declaration on nuclear disarmament.
Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) industrialized countries, concluded a historic two-day meeting in Hiroshima with adoption of a joint communique, a Hiroshima Declaration and two other statements on maritime security and nonproliferation.
The joint communique condemned the usual suspects: recent extremist attacks from Turkey and Belgium to Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Pakistan; North Korea’s nuclear test and missile launches; and Russia’s “illegal annexation” of the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine.
The international community used to share common values that maintained stability and prosperity, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said at a news conference.
“Today, the world is now facing challenges to change such common values and principles unilaterally, such as terrorism and violent extremism,” he said.
Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and the High Representative of the European Union, gathered in Japan on April 10-11 to address a number of major international issues that impact global peace, security and prosperity.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry became the highest-ranking American official to visit Hiroshima since World War II when the foreign ministers visited the Hiroshima peace memorial cenotaph to lay flowers for the victims of the American atomic bombing in 1945.
They issued two statements on Monday on non-proliferation, including one dubbed the “Hiroshima Declaration” that calls on other leaders to follow their path to Hiroshima.
“In this historic meeting, we reaffirm our commitment to seeking a safer world for all and to creating the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons,” the statement said. It also said the task is made more complex by the deteriorating security environment in countries such as Syria and Ukraine, as well as by North Korea’s “repeated provocations.”
The Hiroshima declaration aims to revitalise the momentum for the effort toward making a world without nuclear weapons, said Yasuhisa Kawamura, the Japanese Foreign Ministry press secretary.
The much-expected Hiroshima Declaration, which said the G-7 countries “share the deep desire of the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that nuclear weapons never be used again,” reflects Kishida’s so-called five principles, the five pillars of the speech he made at the NPT Review Conference last April at the United Nations.
The statement emphasizes the importance of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), called for a ban on nuclear test explosions, and demands that all states “sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty without delay and conditions,” although the U.S. itself has not yet done so.
The two-day Hiroshima meeting is a run-up to the annual G7 summit, which will be held on May 26-27 in Japan’s Ise-Shima region near Tokyo.
US President Barack Obama is expected to visit Hiroshima during the May conference.