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4 MAY 2010
NPT PRESIDENT CITES ROLE OF CIVIL SOCIETY
NEW YORK—The Philippines today cited the role of civil society in advancing the cause of nuclear disarmament as non-government organizations presented petitions signed by more than 8 million people calling for a world free from nuclear weapons.
Ambassador Libran N. Cabactulan, President of the 2010 Review Conference of States-Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), underscored the important role of civil society after formally receiving the petitions gathered by non-government organizations worldwide.
The petitions were presented to Ambassador Cabactulan in ceremonies at the United Nations on Tuesday, the second day of the month-long conference that seeks to review the implementation by States-Parties of the provisions of the treaty.
“We are all aware of the NPT’s three historic pillars—its primary objectives concerning disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Today, upon receiving this petition with its millions of signature, I think it is clearer than ever that these three pillars themselves rest upon a common foundation—a foundation of strong support in civil society,” Ambassador Cabactulan said in his remarks.
The Filipino envoy, who is also the Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations, also cited the importance of political will in moving the nuclear disarmament process forward. “I think there could be nothing more conducive to the exercise of political will than the understanding and support of the people,” he said.
“In many ways, political will is a reflection of the will of the people and when this is expressed in the form of petitions with millions of signatures gathered from all around
“I very much welcome this petition and I wish to thank Gensuikyo and the hundreds of other groups and countless individuals who worked so hard to gathering these signatures in so many countries,” he said. “While there is much work to do in this field in the years ahead, your collective efforts are appreciated by all who seek a more peaceful and secure world without nuclear weapons.”
On the eve of the review conference on Sunday, more than 10,000 anti-nuclear activists from all over the world gathered outside the United Nations Headquarters in Manhattan to drum up their call for States-Parties to undertake more serious efforts to ensure the success of this year’s meeting. ###
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