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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 August 2 - 8  > Antinuke int'l meeting calls for cooperation of civil societies with gov'ts
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2023 August 2 - 8 [PEACE]

Antinuke int'l meeting calls for cooperation of civil societies with gov'ts

August 5 & 6, 2023
The International Meeting of the 2023 World Conference against A and H Bombs closed on August 5 in Hiroshima City after adopting a declaration calling on civil societies to develop cooperation with the world's governments.

The declaration urges civil societies worldwide to bring their antinuke movements together in NYC on the occasions of the 78th UN General Assembly, the second meeting of the State Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), and the process for reviewing the NPT.

In the 2-day meeting, foreign peace activists, a UN representative and several representatives of governments (43 delegates and 23 organizations from 16 countries and regions) as well as Japanese peace activists took part.

On August 4, the first day of the meeting, Noguchi Kunikazu, a co-chair of the World Conference Steering Committee, delivered a speech on behalf of the organizer. He appealed for more efforts to accelerate the moves toward the elimination of nuclear weapons and to help achieve denuclearization and peace on the Korean Peninsula. In addition, he said that the Japanese government should sign and ratify the UN treaty and hold fast on peace diplomacy in compliance with the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution.

Hamasumi Jiro of the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo), an antenatal Hibakusha, criticized the "Hiroshima Vision" published by G7 leaders for continuing to promote the use of the nuclear deterrence doctrine.

In Session I of the meeting, "Spreading voices of the Hibakusha to the world", a Hiroshima Hibakusha and a Nagasaki Hibakusha spoke of their A-bomb experiences.

Lee Ki-yeol and Sim Jin-tae of the Korean A-Bomb Casualty Association, South Korea, said they hope that an International People's Tribunal on the U.S. A-bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will be held in order to clarify the illegality of the bombings.

Abacca Anjain-Maddison from the Marshall Islands, representing the Rongelap islanders, reported on the negligible U.S. compensation scheme and the still-continuing ill health and contamination caused by the U.S. H-bomb tests.

In Session II, which took place on the second day of the meeting, delegates from nuclear-weapon states and their allies discussed the theme, "Prohibition of nuclear weapons and achieving a world without nuclear weapons". They all pointed to an imminent danger of nuclear-weapon use and underscored the importance of taking action right now.

Joseph Gerson of the Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security, U.S. said, "To hear testimonies from Hibakusha gives us strength needed to defeat the continued use of the logic of 'security' which relies on nuclear deterrence."

Oleg Bodrov of the Public Council of the Southern Coast of the Gulf of Finland, Russia; Roland Nivet of the French Peace Movement; and Lee Jun Kyu of the Institute for Unification and Peace Policy, Hanshin University, South Korea, also delivered speeches.

Yasui Masakazu, secretary general of the Japan Council against A and H Bombs (Japan Gensuikyo) said, "I hope that Japan Gensuikyo will contribute to making a success of the international joint action held in NYC on the sideline of the second meeting of State Parties to TPNW in November and December 2023."

Session III took place under the theme of "A nuclear weapon-free, peaceful and just world - Solidarity and actions of civil society". Overseas delegates talked about their grassroots activities against U.S.-led military alliances.

Ulla Klotzer, a member of the Women for Peace from Finland, said, "As long as NATO extends its influence, none of the nuclear-armed countries will join the TPNW." She added that the "Global Women United against NATO" which was inaugurated in March has been spreading to about 40 countries.

Margaret Engel of the Peace Action New York State, U.S.; Kate Hudson of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, U.K.; Reiner Braun of the Scientists for Peace; and Sean Conner, executive director of the International Peace Bureau (IPB) also spoke at Session III.
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