By: Trevor Loudon
Cross posted from KeyWiki Blog.
During the weekend of April 29-May 2, nearly 1000 participants from around the world attended a conference on the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons at the far left Riverside Church in New York.
Hoping to influence the UN Review Conference on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons held the following week, the workshop tracks were “abolition, peace, economic justice/human needs and environmental sustainability.” “Experts in all fields” participated, including locals from the Communist Party USA controlled Greater New Haven Peace Council — Henry Lowendorf and Al Marder. Lowendorf, along with leaders of the the old Soviet front World Peace Council and the communist led Canadian Peace Councils, spoke about “struggles against global imperialism.” Al Marder, with veteran of the ultra radical Institute for Policy Studies, Cora Weiss, president of the Hague Appeal for Peace, and former Ambassador Sylvester Rowe of Sierra Leone, discussed the Luarca Declaration that “peace is a human right.”
Three plenaries were held that included such speakers as Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General; Terumi Tanaka, head of the organization of bomb survivors; Mayor Akiba of Hiroshima; Princeton professor Zia Mian; “noted author on nukes” Joseph Gerson; and president of the World Peace Council, Brazilian communist and parliamentarian Maria do Socorro Gomes.
The conference hoped to greatly expand the momentum started by Obama’s Prague speech and the negotiations between him and Medvedev for the new START Treaty.
Highlights of the conference “were Ban Ki-moon’s affirmation that he has proposed a nuclear weapons convention toward nuclear abolition and supports the Japanese timetable of 2020 for total abolition – commitments that should have an energizing effect on abolition proponents.”