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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 April 22 - May 12  > Online antinuke World Conference calls for solidarity to save human beings and the Earth
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2020 April 22 - May 12 [PEACE]

Online antinuke World Conference calls for solidarity to save human beings and the Earth

April 27, 2020
As part of the continuing efforts to abolish nuclear weapons amid the coronavirus pandemic, the online World Conference was held on April 25 under the slogan, “Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Resist and Reverse the Climate Crisis, For Social and Economic Justice”.

This event was hosted by the planning committee of the World Conference which was initially to take place in April in New York City. In the online conference, plenary speakers and activists working on various issues such as peace and climate change delivered speeches, in addition to UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Nakamitsu Izumi and Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo) Chair Tanaka Terumi. The conference was streamed live across the globe through the Internet.

In a session exchanging views on the fight for the elimination of nuclear weapons and the current situation in Japan, speeches were given by Nihon Hidankyo Deputy Secretary General Wada Masako and representative director of the Japan Council against Atomic & Hydrogen Bombs (Japan Gensuiko) Taka Hiroshi.

Atomic-bomb survivor Wada talked about her own experience and said, “The use of atomic weapons inflicted great and long-lasting suffering on us, Hibakusha, which even now have mental and physical impact on our children. Such inhumane weapons should never be used under any circumstances.”

Japan Gensuikyo representative Taka appealed for the need to push nuclear-armed and nuclear umbrella states to implement the UN first resolution which calls for “the elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons and of all other major weapons of mass destruction” and to use financial resources achieved through the implementation of this resolution to save the human species from extinction.

Other speakers in this session included Xiye Bastida who heads a youth movement tackling climate change, “Friday For Future”, in the U.S. and Mexico. The 17-year-old activist expressed her determination to participate in the antinuke movement as the issue of nuclear weapons is of great concern to her generation.

In another session discussing actions and priorities, as speakers, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) Secretary General Sharron Burrow and International Peace Bureau (IPB) co-head Reiner Braun appeared together with UN top official Nakamitsu.

On behalf of the international labor movement, Burrow in her speech stated that ITUC in its recent general meeting decided to work for the abolition of nuclear weapons. The ITUC secretary general said that in order to achieve decent wages, income, and social welfare services, the need is to build a historic collaboration between the peace movement and the labor movement.

IPB Braun proposed to increase efforts to press each government to slash its military budget and instead increase spending for the creation of new medical care systems and the attainment of the sustainable development goals called for by the UN.

Nakamitsu in her speech said that Hibakusha always give encouragement to her and she expressed her gratitude to those who signed the Hibakusha-led international signature calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons. She also said that every country should draft its national security policy centering on humanity.

The online World Conference adopted an organizers’ statement calling for a “World Free of Nuclear Weapons, Without Wars, with Global, Social, and Climate Justice”.

The statement points out that the pandemic has illustrated ways in which we can prepare for the inevitable future pandemics, as well as to reverse the threats posed by nuclear weapons and the climate crisis. In conclusion, it states, “We are committed to continuing our collaborations and organizing together for a better world with solidarity.”

Past related article:
> Japan Gensuikyo ready for online antinuke World Conference [April 17, 2020]
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