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Asian affiliates affirm commitment to peace and nuclear disarmament “as an urgent imperative to safeguard health”

September 22, 2018

Ulanbaatar Statement

 14 September 2018

 10th IPPNW North Asia Regional Conference

and 3rd North and South Asian IPPNW Meeting

The 10th North Asian IPPNW Regional Conference and 3rd North South Asian Meeting, held on 13-14 September 2018 at Ulaanbaatar, brought together delegates from Australia, Bangladesh, DPRK, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Nepal, Netherlands, and Mongolia. We representatives from North and South Asian affiliates of IPPNW hereby affirm our commitment to peace and nuclear disarmament as an urgent imperative to safeguard health. We are deeply concerned at the ongoing conflicts in different parts of the world. These conflicts can at any time escalate into larger wars and result in use of nuclear weapons. Any use of nuclear weapons would have catastrophic effect on all life, which could not be effectively addressed. Therefore these weapons must be eliminated completely.

Our continent Asia has great diversity and is rich in natural resources. But there are glaring disparities in terms of socio-economic development among the population including in health, education, access to drinking water, sanitation and other basic needs. We need huge resources to fulfill these gaps. Tragically parts of the region spend large amounts on arms proliferation, including nuclear weapons. China presently has the 2nd largest military budget and is the 3rd largest arms exporter. India too is aspiring to become an arms exporting country. Pakistan also spends a very high proportion of its GDP on arms.

Asia has the largest number of nuclear weapons possessing countries, five out of nine globally – India, China, Pakistan, North Korea, and Israel; with another Eurasian nuclear-armed state, Russia. We have suffered the effects of nuclear weapons in Japan in 1945, as well as from nuclear testing in many locations. Parts of our continent, including Iraq and Syria, have suffered the effects of depleted uranium. There is evidence of serious health effects on the population living around uranium mines. The ongoing conflicts particularly in the Middle East, the wars in Syria and Yemen, and perpetual tension between India and Pakistan are serious threats to peace in the region.

We welcome the Panmunjom Declaration as a milestone for achieving comprehensive and epochal improvement and development in North-South Korean ties and for bringing a future of peace, common prosperity and independent reunification on the Korean peninsula.

We urge rapid implementation of the Singapore DPRK-US joint statement, recognizing it as a historic document in overcoming decades of tension and hostilities between the two countries, building a lasting and robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula, and achieving the goal of turning the Korean peninsula into a nuclear-free zone through complete denuclearization. We support the Korean people in their struggle to bring about peace, prosperity and reunification on the Korean peninsula. This would be a major contribution to achieving a nuclear-free Asian region and world.

It is a global health imperative as well as legal obligation that all nuclear-armed nations eliminate their nuclear arsenals as a matter of great urgency. The UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) provides a pathway for all nations to abolish nuclear weapons. All nations should take that path. Hence we appeal that:

  • All nuclear armed countries join the TPNW and abolish their nuclear weapons;
  • The proliferation of small arms be checked;
  • All nations engage in mutual dialogue to resolve disputes threatening peace;
  • Divert funds from arms to health, education, poverty alleviation, renewable energy and development

We commit to build regional exchange and collaboration between our affiliates in pursuit of our shared goals.

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