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"Austria will furthermore endeavour to obtain non-proliferation and lastly nuclear disarmament"

by Austrian Chancellor Gusenbauer, August 6th 2007

Published 3 September 2007

Here is an official translation of a statement by Austrian Chancellor Gusenbauer for the Hiroshima commemoration August 6th 2007. Good to see how the Chancellor of a EU member state speaks out.

The inferno of August 6th 1945 clarified the terrible consequences of nuclear weapons to mankind. But instead of learning a lesson from this incident and condemning nuclear weapons for good, nuclear armament arose
worldwide and has not stopped until nowadays.

We are still confronted with tens of thousands of nuclear weapons all over the world, and the number of countries owning nuclear weapons or developing this technology steadily grows bigger. Living in the shadow of the "multiple overkill", which nowadays still lairs in the
international arsenals of weapons, means living in the shadow of death. By now the nuclear menace not only origins from other nations, but also from terrorist organisations trying to misappropriate nuclear weapons.
The international community has to oppose further distribution of nuclear weapons vigorously. Contemporaneously those nations, possessing
nuclear weapons, have to take their disarmament obligation serious. In the last few years the international discussion about nuclear weapons took a perverted turn. Instead of discussing the complete elimination of this weapons, a debate about which nation may be in possession of nuclear weapons surged.

The central question in this debate must not be: "Who is allowed to possess the nuclear bomb?", "Who is able to handle it with responsibility?" The only protection from the nuclear disaster is the entirely waiver of nuclear weapons. The peace movement was committed to reach this aim over decades. Meanwhile we have got unexpected support in this struggle. In January people like Henry Kissinger and George Shultz published an article in the Wall Street Journal. There they demanded the waiver of nuclear weapons from the nuclear powers. According to the growing threat of the horror vision that terrorists might seize nuclear
weapons, these countries have to realise, that these weapons guarantee no security any more.

Together with the peace movement Austria will furthermore endeavour to obtain non-proliferation and lastly nuclear disarmament within the scope of the NPT in the Genevian disarmament conference within the United Nations. The IAEA is an important and irreplaceable part of the international efforts to minimise the nuclear threat.

In fact, nowadays we need international efforts to force nuclear disarmament more than ever. Therefore I appeal to all nations to ratify the treaty of a profound prohibition of nuclear tests (CTBT) and to negotiate a strict prohibition for the production of weapons-grade
nuclear material as soon as possible. Together we have to urge that the terrible incidents in Hiroshima and Nagasaki have been a lesson to us. Only a world devoid of nuclear weapons is a secure world.