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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 August 5 - 11  > 2020 antinuke World Conference Hiroshima Day Rally calls for early entry into force of UN nuclear weapons ban treaty
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2020 August 5 - 11 [PEACE]

2020 antinuke World Conference Hiroshima Day Rally calls for early entry into force of UN nuclear weapons ban treaty

August 7, 2020

On August 6, the 75th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima, the World Conference against A and H Bombs Hiroshima Day Rally was held online.

On behalf of the organizer, World Conference International Meeting Drafting Committee Chair Tomida Koji gave an address. He said that amid the coronavirus pandemic, it is increasingly important to slash military spending and create a government that gives top priority to people’s lives and safety. Tomida demanded that the government of Japan, the world’s only A-bombed country, join the UN nuclear weapons ban treaty and play a leading role in international movements for a world without nuclear weapons.

UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Nakamitsu Izumi pointed out that civil society movements have contributed to disarmament and the adoption of the UN antinuke treaty. She called on civil society to double its efforts, work to overcome dangerous currents in the world, and put pressure on nations to return to the pursuit of the common goal of the elimination of nuclear weapons.

From Austria, a party to the UN treaty, Thomas Hajnoczi, director for Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation in the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, argued that the total abolition of nuclear weapons is vital because it is a matter of life or death for everybody.

In the first session held under the theme, “Global Cooperation for a Nuclear Weapon-Free World”, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) Executive Director Beatrice Fihn noted that the UN nuclear weapons ban treaty offers a bright ray of hope to the international community and encouraged viewers to urge their governments to sign the treaty. Pedro Arrojo, former Podemos Party member of the Spanish parliament, said that his party almost succeeded in pushing the government to sign the UN treaty and expressed his fresh determination to keep working to achieve this.

From Japan, Nakano Koichi of the Civil Alliance for Peace and Constitutionalism and photo journalist Yasuda Natsuki gave speeches. They criticized the Japanese government for refusing to sign the UN treaty and resolved to further strengthen citizens’ joint efforts to pressure the government to work for the elimination of nuclear weapons.

Video messages from Hiroshima City Mayor Matsui Kazumi and Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo were shown at the event.

Shii in his message pointed out that the urgent need now is to immediately halt all armed conflicts in the world, drastically slash spending on nuclear weapons and other weapons, and concentrate resources on the fight against COVID-19.

Shii said, “Three years have passed since the nuclear weapons ban treaty was adopted. Thanks to mutual efforts made by governments of many countries and civil societies under the lead of Hibakusha, the number of countries that ratified the treaty steadily has grown. Ten more countries and the number reaches 50, at which the treaty comes into force. With this year marking the 75th year since the U.S. atomic bombings, let us work to realize the last step needed to achieve the entry into force of the UN antinuke treaty.”

Past related articles:
> 2020 antinuke World Conference starts with online International Meeting [August 3, 2020]
> Japan Gensuikyo secretary general talks about significance of 2020 antinuke World Conference amid pandemic crisis [July 11, 2020]
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