Youth Summit participants pledge to work for a nuclear weapons ban
September 3, 2015
By Erin Hunt, Mines Action Canada
From 28-30 of August, the International Youth Summit for Nuclear Abolition brought 30 youth from 23 countries to Hiroshima to learn, share, and plan for increased youth engagement in nuclear disarmament. The Summit was hosted by ICAN partner Soka Gokkai International and co-organised by ICAN, Mines Action Canada, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, PAX, and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.
ICAN campaigners from around the world joined other nuclear abolition advocates for two days of networking, training, and learning before hosting a one-day public forum. The programme was packed: Participants visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and surrounding Peace Memorial Park, met with Ms. Toshiko Tanaka, a survivor of the Hiroshima nuclear attack on 6 August 1945, talked to the mayor of Hiroshima, Mr. Kazumi Matsui, did numerous media interviews, and held peer-to-peer training sessions on how to best reach out to younger people, uniting the movement, and how gender matters for nuclear disarmament. The two days of intensive work prepared the group to host a public forum on 30 August 2015 for 250 young people from across Japan.
The public forum included a premiere of the film “Hiroshima Lost – A Labor of Love” by filmmaker and hibakusha Masaki Tanabe, and an address by the United Nations Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth. ICAN campaigners from Romania and Kenya joined three other disarmament activists from Japan, Thailand, and the United States to present their youth campaigning to the audience. After all this theoretical input, the 30 Summit participants led an action planning session to help the forum attendees put their newly aquired knowledge of the horrific impact of nuclear weapons to active use in pursuit of nuclear disarmament.
The finale of the International Youth Summit was the presentation of a youth pledge. Entitled Generation of Change: A Youth Pledge for Nuclear Abolition, the pledge is open for signature now!
Signatories pledge to: “encourage others to join the nuclear abolition movement and establish a strong unity among all nuclear abolition campaigners; [and] call upon every State to start negotiations on an international treaty for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons” among other actions.
The pledge with the opportunity to sign on is available online at: www.internationalyouthsummit.org/pledge/.