G7 Foreign Ministers' meet concluded with adoption of Hiroshima Declaration
In the Hiroshima Declaration, the G7 foreign ministers reaffirmed their commitment to seeking a safer world for all and to creating the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons.
The two-day G7 Foreign Ministers' Meeting held from 10 April to 11 April 2016 ended in Hiroshima. Global security, the refugee crisis and political instability were focal points of the meet.
The meeting ended with adoption of Hiroshima Declaration, a joint communique, and two other statements on nonproliferation and maritime security.
The adoption of four statements reflected global concerns including terrorism; maritime security in the South China Sea, North Korea’s escalating provocations, and the G-7 members’ commitment to work toward a world without nuclear weapons.
• The Hiroshima Declaration reflects Japan’s foreign ministers Fumio Kishida’s so-called five principles or five pillars which he outlined during the NPT Review Conference in April 2015 in the United Nations (UN). These five pillars are among others includes:
i. Transparency of nuclear force
ii. Deeper reduction of all types of nuclear weapons
iii. Common recognition of the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons
iv. Visit to Hiroshima and Nagasaki by political leaders and youths
• The declaration emphasizes the importance of the NPT, called for a ban on nuclear test explosions, and demands that all states sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty without delay and conditions.
• The declaration strongly supported the full implementation of the provisions of the NPT across all three of its "pillars" (non-proliferation, disarmament, and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy). It also reaffirmed the central role of the IAEA and its safeguards system.
• It highlighted the deteriorating security environment in a number of regions, such as Syria and Ukraine, and, in particular by North Korea's repeated provocations.
• It condemned “in the strongest terms” the North’s fourth nuclear test on 6 January 2016, followed by the launch of a long-range satellite which many claimed was a cover for a long-range missile.
• It also condemned recent terrorist attacks in Turkey, Belgium and other regions and said a concrete G7 action plan on countering terrorism would be adopted at the G7 Ise-Shima Summit in May 2016.
Statement on Maritime Security
• The statement on maritime security called for “the peaceful management and settlement of maritime disputes” in good faith and in accordance with international law, including civil arbitration.
• It also expressed strong opposition to “any intimidating, coercive or provocative unilateral actions that could alter the status quo and increase tensions,” citing land reclamation efforts.
Earlier, the foreign delegates made a landmark visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and the Atomic Bomb Dome. The Park commemorates 1945's atomic bombing of the city by US.
The G-7 Foreign Ministers meet was also significant and historic in the sense that, the US Foreign Secretary John Kerry became the highest American official to visit Hiroshima in 70 years. The city was A-bombed first by the US near the end of World War-II in 1945.
G7 Foreign Ministers' Meeting
The G7 Foreign Ministers' Meeting is one of the related ministerial meetings held in advance of the G7 Summit. It is an important meeting for foreign ministers to hold discussions on international affairs of the time, which later becomes the base for discussions by the G7 Summit.
The 2016 G7 Foreign Ministers' Summit held from 10 to 11 April 2016 in Hiroshima was the first of ten related ministerial meetings held leading up to the G-7 summit scheduled for May 26 and 27 in the Ise-Shima region in Mie Prefecture.
The member countries of the G-7 group are Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Canada, along with the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission.
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