29 April 2013
By Jaroslaw Walesa MEP
I would like to commend Mr. Ware and PNND for their tireless efforts to bring together policy makers from all countries as it is we who hold the keys to a safe and secure world without nuclear weapons. The future of a nuclear weapons free world lies in the hands of all of us. For Parliamentarians it is our duty to represent our constituents and make the difficult decisions that we were elected to make. As a Member of the European Parliament I have the extended duty to think about the other Member States citizens as well.
However, when discussing such issues as nuclear weapons I feel that it is everyone’s duty to protect mankind. As legislators, it could be argued, that we are in a better position to achieve our objectives than the everyday citizen and we must take full advantage of that fact and responsibility. Recently I authored a written declaration in partnership with Global Zero and some of my colleagues from the Parliament to support the Global Zero Action Plan for the elimination of nuclear weapons. The result of, and support for, the declaration made it very clear that this is of great concern to the European Parliament as well as our constituents.
As I stated in my speech in the Plenary in Strasbourg, the issue of nuclear weapons is one that needs to be handled with a great deal of trust. As a son of Poland the presence of nuclear weapons is one that has left a lasting impression on me, as many of us experienced during the cold war era, the threat of one side launching its weapons at the other left us all on edge.
I feel now that the greater threats to us today are the individuals and groups that are attempting to gain access to the weapons. Therefore, we must conclude that complete elimination of all nuclear weapons is the only feasible solution.
Therefore, working together to develop and then implement a frame work of secured zones is a vital step forward. By securing regions like the Middle East and Asia our chances greatly increase of reducing the need for the bomb which will in turn provide a platform for its elimination
Thus, I would like to call on all nuclear weapons countries to participate in multilateral negotiations on the phased and verified elimination of all nuclear weapons worldwide.
I hope that you can share my deep belief that if a danger exists in the world, it is a danger shared by all equally.
Some also argue that the spread of these weapons cannot be stopped, cannot be checked - that we are destined to live in a world where more nations and more people possess the ultimate tools of destruction.
That might all sound very challenging, but there is no reason to believe that we cannot rise to that challenge which will demand that we listen to one another and work together and that we reaffirm our shared values.
I hope that this conference will bring about fruitful discussion and results that keep the path to our goal of zero.
Thank You for your attention.