Group delivers millions of signatures calling for nuclear ban to U.N. officials

The Japan Council Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs delivered more than 3.2 million signed petitions that support a compete ban on nuclear weapons to United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Angela Kane in New York on Thursday.

Members of the group, which is also referred to as Gensuikyo, visited U.N. headquarters to renew its call to Member States of the General Assembly's First Committee for a complete worldwide ban on nuclear weapons. Gensuikyo also delivered the petitions to Permanent Representative of Libya to the U.N. Ibrahim Dabbashi, who chairs the 68th session of the General Assembly's First Committee.

Gensuikyo began collecting signatures for the petition in early 2011. The petition calls for "all governments to enter negotiations without delay on a convention banning nuclear weapons." Among the supporters of the petition are 1,167 mayors and deputy mayors as well as 859 speakers and vice speakers of assemblies in Japan.

In August, Kane and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon sent "messages of support" to Gensuikyo during the World Conference Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs. The conference is held in Japan each year on the anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Gensuikyo also plans to present the signatures and call for a total nuclear ban at the 2015 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference.