In November 2004 the world’s NOBEL PEACE LAUREATES came together to issue a Statement. It began:
“Two decades ago, the world was swept with a wave of hope. Inspired by the popular movements for peace, freedom, democracy and solidarity, the nations of the world worked together to end the Cold War. Yet the opportunities opened up by that historic change are slipping away. We are gravely concerned with the resurgent nuclear and conventional arms race, disrespect for international law and the failure of the world’s governments to address adequately the challenges of poverty and environmental degradation.”
Today in the aftermath of the terrible devastation following the Indian Ocean tsunami we see that yet again, in times of desperate need, the world’s nations can act together.
I believe that the challenges that face the world today, of security, poverty and environmental crisis, as well as the new threat of terrorism, can only be met successfully through a united world working through the United Nations.
One of the greatest challenges that will face the world in the next decade is the proliferation of nuclear weapons. At the United Nations in New York next May we can act together again to work towards the systematic elimination of these terrible weapons of mass destruction by undertaking to implement fully the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and create a nuclear-weapon-free world for future generations.
In recognition of the importance of this event the Nobel Peace Laureates gave an undertaking:
“As an immediate specific task, we commit to work for preserving and strengthening the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. We reject double standards and emphasize the legal responsibility of nuclear weapons states to work to eliminate nuclear weapons. We are gravely alarmed by the creation of new, usable nuclear weapons and call for rejection of doctrines that view nuclear weapons as legitimate means of war-fighting and threat pre-emption.”
It is my belief, and that of the Nobel Peace Laureates, that the nations of the world must work together again and with a strong civil society. This is the way toward a globalization with a human face and a new international order that rejects brute force, respects ethnic, cultural and political diversity and affirms justice, compassion and human solidarity.