ICAN events for 70th anniversary

August 14, 2015

So many inspiring events have been organised by campaigners all over the world to commemorate the first uses of nuclear weapons in Hiroshima and Nagasaki that it is almost impossible to list them all! Moving demonstrations, seminars, Hibakusha lectures and tours, concerts, fasts, online actions. Dozens of great articles and op-eds have contributed to highlighting  the memory of the bombings, the legal gap concerning nuclear weapons, and the urgent need to ban them due to their terrible humanitarian and environmental consequences.

At this occasion, a great deal of media around the world has challenged the myths around the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings and quoted the humanitarian pledge and the humanitarian initiative more broadly. This anniversary has also been a good opportunity for personalities like Hans Blix, religious leaders like Pope Francis, and members of governments like the Irish Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan to call for a ban.

Please find below some of these amazing actions.


+ APP – SEHLAC, Argentina

Sehlac and APP presented an art exhibition showing the nuclear weapons impact and a peace message trough thousand paper cranes and worked done in kindergartens. Margarita Stolbizer, Parliamentarian and President candidate in the next elections visited the exhibition.

The exhibition is going to be during August in an art space of the Parliament at the subway, one million and a half people use that line every day.


+ ECPAT – SEHLAC, Guatemala

At 70 years of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and with the arrival of Global Travel 87 Peace Boat to Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala, on June 29, two forums and an exhibition were organized by ECPAT, PEACE BOAT and Fundación Guatemala to commemorate the 70 anniversary of the bombing, with the participation of 7 hibakusha who presented their testimonies. The Councelor of the Japanese Embassy; Representantives of Peace Boat, ECPTA and Fundación Guatemala made presentations as well as the Mayor for Peace.



A Foz do Iguaçú, Brasil, SEHLAC organised an event with schools and several speakers to remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the City Council in partnership with the Brazilian Campaign against Landmines.


+ Instituto de Ecología Política – SEHLAC, Chile

To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings IEP with two Chilean NGO’s (Chilean Red Cross and Cehum), drafted an agreement with parliamentarians concerning the abolition of nuclear weapons, which was presented yesterday in the Chilean Senate (N° 1822-12)


Publications and video of the demonstration in Santiago.



+ MAC, Canada

There were quite a few events in Canada in cities from coast to coast. Physicians for Global Survival orgasised public events and media work; Mayors write an op-ed with Jonathan from PGS: http://www.timescolonist.com/opinion/op-ed/comment-threat-of-nuclear-weapons-has-not-gone-away-1.2021998.

webinar online at: https://www.msci.com/www/webcast/the-controversial-weapons/0190910540

The story of a local resident who survived the bombing in Nagasaki as a Dutch POW.  http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/jack-knox-victoria-philanthropist-reveals-he-survived-atomic-bombing-1.2025139.

The Times Colonist published Erin’s response to Mr. Hoenson’s question of what good telling his story would do: http://www.timescolonist.com/opinion/op-ed/comment-to-this-day-nagasaki-survivor-s-story-matters-1.2030280.


Demonstration in New York City outside the Japanese Consulate and visited with the consulate with flowers and apologized for the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.   We also asked them to maintain Japan’s peace constitution and not to amend Article 9 and to sign the Humanitarian Pledge and play a more active role in efforts to begin negotiations to prohibit and ban nuclear weapons.



+ Pressenza

Tony Robinson of Pressenza gave a talk at the TEDx event organised near the village of Anoigea (http://www.tedxanogeia.com/) in Greece: “I was invited as a director of my news agency and because of the date I proposed to give a presentation about nuclear weapons and the ICAN campaign.  I had 15 minutes, so I spoke for 10 and showed an ICAN video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7-gE25dEbg.  The reception was great and I proposed those interested to contact the ICAN campaign in Greece to get invovled”




+ Pax Christi, Belgium

Article for the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings:


Here a few links to activities that were organised in Belgium, namely the commemoration events in the cities Ghent and Leuven, both well supported by the city councils

http://www.nieuwsblad.be/cnt/dmf20150809_01810965 (Ghent)

http://www.nieuwsblad.be/cnt/dmf20150809_01810965 (Leuven)


+ VREDE Belgium

Link with television report of the events in Belgium/Ghent: http://www.avs.be/avsnews/herdenking-hiroshima

Small report from the  in commemoration in Ghent 9 August:

-  More than 200 spectators in for a classical concert with Kyoko Ishida, program on use of weapons of mass destruction in Nagasaki and during World War I

- More than 600 spectators for the commemoration ceremony with speeches from the City Council, 70 lights on the water

- More than 150 people (including members of city council of all parties and the Mayor) sending a letter to the prime minister urging Belgium to support the ‘Humanitarian Initiative’

Long report:


More pictures:


link to the pictures of Leuven events : http://www.nieuwsblad.be/cnt/blhsm_01811989



+ Irish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

Commemoration ceremony in Dublin with the Lord Mayor of Dublin quoting the Humanitarian Pledge and calling for the negotiation of a treaty to ban and eliminate nuclear weapons. This call was repeated by other speakers, who also urged the Irish government to take a strong leadership role in working for a new treaty. The commemoration was also attended by the Austrian ambassador, representatives from the other New Agenda Coalition states with embassies in Ireland, and from Norway and Russia, and from the Irish Foreign Ministry: http://irishcnd.org/node/123.

Op-ed by the Irish Foreign Minister, Charlie Flanagan mentions the Humanitarian Pledge and speaks of Ireland working for “urgent discussions on legal pathways to hasten nuclear disarmament” : http://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/an-end-of-nuclear-arms-would-be-fitting-memory-to-hiroshima-victims-31435827.html

Irish Times newspaper (http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/government-urged-to-lead-campaign-against-nuclear-weapons-1.2309222) and the UTV television channel (http://player.utv.ie/programme/ireland-live/480013 – the report begins at 15:33).

+ ICAN France

International Fast in several places in France: http://www.alterjt.tv/ajt13-jeune-action-international-contre-larme-nucleaire-partie-1/

Mouvement de la paix: http://japonmvtpaix.top-depart.com/

… and much more! For the full list of activities undertaken by ICAN France, please check out the press review.

+ ICAN Finland

“Finnish media had quite a good coverage on reminiscence of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima and Nagasaki 70 years ago. Interviews of several hibakusha was published in the main newspaper Helsingin Sanomat and most other papers published articles on Hiroshima and the issue was also well distributed in television news. Chairperson of Peace Union of Finland was interviewed in one of the main tv-channels and Helsingin Sanomat published also a letter to the editor about ICAN campaign and the need for Finland to signs the humanitarian pledge (I’m not including the links here because they are all in Finnish).
There were remembrance events with floating candles in 10 different places, the largest in Helsinki with several hundred participants and our former Foreign minister as one of the speakers.
Ministry of Foreign affairs of Finland published a press release Hiroshima Day reminds of the necessity of nuclear disarmament? which says e.g. “Now attention to nuclear weapons and their effects are being paid in the framework of the so called Humanitarian Initiative.  Finland supports this initiative and promotes the aim of achieving a world without nuclear weapons. Finland stresses the importance of getting nuclear weapons states involved in the dialogue in order to achieve progress in nuclear disarmament.”
Finland has not (yet) signed the humanitarian pledge, and the peace organisations have now asked an audience to our new Foreign minister to urge them to do this.”



British and French campaigners fasted together from August 6 – 9th by the Ministry of Defence in London and in Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland, with “die ins” and painting of “shadows” around bodies outside the MoD, Westminster and Downing St. All over the British Isles there have been local vigils and ceremonies floating peace lanterns, including at the Faslane nuclear weapons base (Trident).

ICAN UK also created a video for the anniversary.

For a full run-down check out this report http://www.sgr.org.uk/pages/uk-nuclear-weapons-catastrophe-making


+ Peace Boat Japan

Peace Boat organized a global tour with 17 Hibakusha on board from April to July 2015. Here is an interview with Hiroshima survivor Nobuo Miyake, who traveled around the world onboard Peace Boat. The 8 minutes program has his powerful testimony and a strong message for banning nuclear weapons under international law.


Akira Kawasaki talks to RT International on Hiroshima tragedy anniversary


+ Soka Gakkai International

SGI has organised an International Youth Summit for nuclear abolition. See below:


+ ICAN Aotearoa New Zealand

On top of a tour of lectures and actions organised with ICAN Campaign Director Tim Wright, ICAN A-NZ organised many events with the public, the parliament and the government with many partners, the Red Cross, faith communities, and NGOs.



+ Centre for Peace and Education, Philippines

Op-ed from Loreta Castro in one of the largest daily newspaper:


Campaigners also held an exhibit to commemorate the 70th anniversary entitled, “No more Hiroshimas and Nagasakis, Ban Nuclear Weapons Now!” with speakers from Soka Gakkai International’s Phillipines section and Pax Christi. Check out the pics here, here and here!

+ IPPNW Malaysia

Article on “Hiroshima and Nagasaki, what have we learnt ?” was printed in the New Straits Times and in The Star, the two main English-language papers in Malaysia.


Lecture panel event ponsored by the  School of Government Development and International Affairs (SGDIA)  & School of Social Sciences.



Survivors Recovery and Rehabilitation Organization (SRaRO) in collaboration with Ethiopia National Disability Action Network organized an event to commemorate the 70th years anniversary in Addis Ababa  with 45 participants from different organizations.


+ PAMAI Nigeria

PAMAI commemorated the 70th anniversary of Hiroshima with several activities

1. Meeting with the Foreign Minister of Togo

2. Letter of Solidarity with Japan on the 70th anniversary of Hiroshima submitted to the Japanese Embassy in Nigeria and

3. Letter to the South African Ambassador encouraging South Africa to take the bold to host the International Conference that will see the commencement of the legal process towards the ban of nuclear weapons. Article:




  • aiweiwei

    “Let’s act up! Ban nuclear weapons completely and unconditionally.”

    Ai Weiwei Artist and activist

  • sheen

    “If Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr were alive today, they would be part of ICAN.”

    Martin Sheen Actor and activist

  • bankimoon

    “I salute ICAN for working with such commitment and creativity.”

    Ban Ki-moon Former UN chief

  • yokoono

    “We can do it together. With your help, our voice will be made still stronger. Imagine peace.”

    Yoko Ono Artist

  • jodywilliams

    “Governments say a nuclear weapons ban is unlikely. Don’t believe it. They said the same about a mine ban treaty.”

    Jody Williams Nobel laureate

  • desmondtutu

    “With your support, we can take ICAN its full distance – all the way to zero nuclear weapons.”

    Desmond Tutu Nobel laureate

  • herbiehancock

    “Because I cannot tolerate these appalling weapons, I whole-heartedly support ICAN.”

    Herbie Hancock Jazz musician

  • dalailama

    “I can imagine a world without nuclear weapons, and I support ICAN.”

    Dalai Lama Nobel laureate