International Campaigning

France: Peace March and Scientific Fonrm on the megajoule laser

Local committees of the Mouvement de la Paix have decided to organize a national initiative, after the decision of the French govemment to build a megajoule laser near Bordeaux for a 10-15 billion franc cost (2-3 billion US dollars). This would evade the CTBT-to-be, develop new nuclear weapons for the next century, against commitments taken by France at the NPT Conference.

The slogans are:

- NO to either real or simulated tests
- FOR science and funds to be spent on life and progress
- FOR a nuclear-weapon free world

To do so, they organize

1) A scientific forum named "Science and Disamament" in Bordeaux on March 29, with international participation from Russia, the UK and the USA on nuclear disarmament and the peaceful use of science. The agenda proposed reads as follows:
a) Scholars conference at the University of Bordeaux
- Won't simulated tests start up again a new arms race ? Is this not tantamount to a rationale of developing new fatal nuclear weapons, which are very costly and have nothing to do with the current deterrent policy?

- Can a spending of 16 billion francs ($ 3.2 billion) on a megajoule laser and fast computers for simulation be useful to civilian research and if so, under which conditions?
b) A public Round-Table in a public theatre of Bordeaux, entitled "For a Safer World : With or Without Nuclear Weapons?

2) A peace march "Stop the Megajoule Laser" on March 31. For more, contact:

Mouvement de la Paix,
139 Boulevard Victor Hugo, F-93400 St. Ouen, France;
Tel.: (33-1) 4012 2121, Fax: (33-1) 4011 5787

First meeting of the Canberra Commission

After the first meeting of the Canberra Commission, Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Gareth Evans stated: If we are going to get somewhere in dealing with this proliferation problem then the present nuclear weapon states simply have to get serious and be seen to be getting serious about actual elimination. Many countries aspiring to possess nuclear weapons saw the states with nuclear weapons as hypocrites for holding such weapons while telling others they could not have them, Evans added. Member of Commission Robert McNamara, a former US Secretary of Defense, analyzed the US and Russia to be the major problems with regard to the elimination of nuclear arsenals. Both countries do not have shown any signs so far that they would be ready to renounce their arsenals. The former French Prime Minister, Michel Rocard, also a Member of Commission, was quoted as saying that French nuclear testing was no obstacle on the way to disarmament. Another Member of Commission, the former Chinese ambassador for disarmament, Qian Jiadong, reportedly stressed that China needs its nuclear weapons for its defence.

The Australian opposition leader characterized the creation of the Commission as a manouevre related to the upcoming general elections, but he also said he would not interrupt the Commissions work in case he would win the elections. David Lange, a former Prime Minister of New Zealand, who is not on the Commission, accused Australia of hypocrasy because it still allows uranium to be exported to France, and because it still has US military bases on its territory. In 1986, David Lange had stopped any portcalls by nuclear-powered or nuclear-armed US vessels.

A Final Communique released after the meeting underlined, among other things, that the Commission will also carry out a critical analysis and rebuttal of the arguments employed for the retention or acquisition of nuclear arsenals. The Australian UN ambassador Richard Butler who is the chairman of the Commission stated that there were differing opinions among the Commission members as to how to achieving a zero yield option. Also after the meeting, Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating told the press that nuclear disarmament ·is the only real option for world peace. Meanwhile, the Australian govemment has called upon the nuclear weapons states to eliminate their nuclear weapons.

The Commission will meet again in New York in April to prepare a report for submission to the United Nations in September.

Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons
c/o lnternational Security Division
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Canberra ACT 2600, Australia;
Tel.: (61-6) 261 1264, Fax: (61-6) 261 2640

Walk for a Nuclear-Free Future, Ukraine, 12-26 April, 1996

FOR MOTHER EARTH invites people to join in a commemorative anti-nuclear walk starting April 12th in Kiev to end at the 30km zone near the, Chemobyl NPP next April 26th 1996. The walk is organised in cooperation with the Union of Salvation of Chemobyls, a Ukrainian NGO which is very active in radiation-monitoring.

The walk is designed to ask attention for the victims of the disaster and denounce the ongoing false promises and lies of the nuclear industry. FOR MOTHER EARTH demands a complete phase-out of all NPP's and promotion of energy-saving programs and renewable energies. FOR MOTHER EARTH states that we have to stop the nuclear contamination at its source: the mining of uranium.

The walk will start in Kiev, after work-shops and an official visit to the infamous nuclear power plant where two reactors are still operational. The walk will cover 25km/day in the north-western region of Kiev. A ceremony and a non-violent action is planned on April 26th.

The walkers will be confronted directly with the aftemath of the Chemobyl disaster as they will meet liquidators, medicals, people who were forced to relocate, or who received no support to move, ... Human-faces whose stories will illustrate the enormous consequences of the largest industrial accident. A recent United Nations report on Chemobyl states 9 million people were affected by the Chernobyl catastrophe, and this only in the Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. Flyers and registration forms available!

FOR MOTHER EARTH is an international anti-nuclear citizens network. There are now groups in Belarus, Belgium, Germany, Nelherlands, Slovakia and the USA.

For Mother Earth International
att: Pol D'Huyvetter & Krista van Velzen
Gewad 15, 9000 Gent, Belgium;
Tel.: (32-9) 233 4924, Fax: (32-9) 233 7302

USA: A Letter from the American Peace Community

On the occasion of the resumption of the CTBT talks in Januacy, a number of US organisations, under the name "American Peace Community" have sent out a Letter which reads as follows (slightly abridged):

Dear Colleague:

Fifty years after the first nuclear explosion, we have a chance to secure a permanent end to nuclear testing. The first half of 1996 is the critical point in the decades-old struggle to conclude a Comprehensive Test Ban (CTB) treaty. The work of NGOs outside the USA has been key to the successes to date. We ask you once again to make completion of a CTB a priority for the next six months.


This year Russia, India, and the USA hold elections. There is no guarantee that test-ban supporters will be leaders in these nations in 1997. It is up to the international peace movement to ensure that this best, and perhaps last, chance to end nuclear testing does not slip away.

In the US we are mobilizing a major grassroots push to ensure President Clinton does everything possible to secure a CTB in the first halb of 1996. We hope that you are engaged in similar efforts in your country. We ask that you organize a delegation to meet with the persons responsible for nuclear testing policy in your foreign ministry. Convince them that the time to complete the CTB treaty is now. If you can, please organize an even to highlight publicly the importance of completing the CTB treaty. You also might urge your members to contact your foreign minister by letter or telephone.

Please keep us informed ... via Bruce Hall at:
CTB Clearinghouse, 1819 H St NW, Suite 660
Washington, D.C. 20006, USA;
Tel.: (1-202) 898 0150, Fax: (1-202) 898 0172

(the letter has been signed by the Council for a Livable World, Union of Concerned Scientists, Military Production Network, Natural Resources, Defense Council, Physicians for Social Responsibility, 20/20 Vision, CTB Clearinghouse, British American Security lnformation Council, lnstitute for Science and lntemational Security, Greenpeace USA, Peace Action, Women's Action for new Directions, Women Strike for Peace, Plutonium Challenge, Friends Committee on National Legislation)

Britain: Atomic Mirror Pilgrimage 1998

During the summer of 1995 a group of people concemed with nuclear issues followed the route taken by the first atomic bombs from Los Alamos to Japan in 1945. This journey of reflection, action and reconciliation was one of the most Powerful events that took plase around the 50th Anniversary Commemoration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This has inspired the idea of holding an Atomic Mirror Pilgrimage around Britain in the spring of 1996 to coincide with the 10th Anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident at Chernobyl.

The pilgrimage will start on Good Friday April 5th in Canterbury and finish at Sellafield on Friday April 26th. The Atomic Mirror 1996 will witness to the effect that nuclear weapons have had on the land and people of Britain since the nuclear age began. It will link several significant nuclear sites with a number of sacred places which bear witness to a radically different set of values than those which are embodied in the British Nuclear State.

It is envisaged that a core group of approximately twelve people will take part in the full three week event. They will be joined at various places on the route by people for a day or several days. It is open to all who share the concerns of the pilgrimage.

This independent initiative is being promoted by CND Chair Janet Bloomfield in a personal capacity. Atomic Mirror is a programme of the
Earth Trust Foundation
25, Farmadine, Saffron Walden
Essex, CB11 3HR, UK;
Tel./Fax: (44-1799) 516189,

Germany: lPPNW postcard-writing campaign

With regard to the CTBT talks at Geneva, the German lPPNW section has started a postcard-writing campaign addressing the German Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The text of the proposed postcard says, among other things, that the CTB Treaty can be considered comprehensive only if it is to ban "all kinds of tests". Furthemtore, the Minister for Foreign Affairs is urged to advise the German representative at the Geneva talks to take a stand that the original purpose of the Treaty is implemented: "No new nuclear weapons and no further development of nuclear weapons." A corresponding wording should make this intention binding and should be placed in the preamble of the Treaty. A letter on this issue was sent directly to the Foreign Minister by lPPNW Germany Headquarters on 6 February.

For more, contact:
lPPNW Germany
att: Xanthe Hall, Kortestr. 10
D-10967 Berlin, Germany;
Tel.: (49-30) 693 0244, Fax: (49-30) 693 8166
Telex: 305097 ippnw d

Nuclear testing update