The G7 Summit has begun in Hiroshima, with nuclear weapons high on the agenda. All eyes are on the seven leaders gathered in the first city to be attacked with a nuclear weapon to see whether they will actually listen to the survivors of the atomic bombing, hibakusha, by committing to concrete actions on nuclear disarmament, or whether they will merely pay lip service to a world free of nuclear weapons.
19 May 2023: Nuclear weapons on the agenda
On this first day of the summit, the leaders will visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and are expected to meet survivors of the atomic bombing, a programme that will confront them with the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons. Later in the day, the leaders are expected to discuss nuclear disarmament and present a stand-alone statement on nuclear weapons on Friday evening.
The #G7Hiroshima leaders visited Peace Memorial Museum today, laying wreaths at the cenotaph and meeting Hiroshima survivor, Ms Keiko Ogura. But did they listen to the hibakusha's call to end nuclear weapons? We’ll see in their nuclear disarmament communique, expected tonight pic.twitter.com/8yVDS3TntJ— ICAN (@nuclearban) May 19, 2023
In the lead up to the summit, different hibakusha groups and representatives have been urging the G7 leaders to take real steps toward ensuring such tragedy doesn’t unfold once again by taking concrete steps towards abolishing nuclear weapons. For the hibakusha, empty words will not be enough.
By choosing Hiroshima as the location for this Summit, Japanese PM, Fumio Kishida, has raised the hope that the summit could lead to commitment to action on nuclear disarmament. The G7 have a responsibility to reduce nuclear dangers because all these states either possess (USA, UK, France), host (Germany, Italy) or endorse the use of nuclear weapons in their security doctrine (Canada, Japan).
Earlier this week, PM Kishida declared that the G7 will "show their resolve to promote a world without nuclear weapons.” Yet the G7 Foreign ministers meeting in April failed to present any new or concrete ideas for moving towards the elimination of nuclear weapons, and if the leaders' summit present another empty statement, this will be a moral and political failure.
ICAN and its local partners are in Hiroshima to engage with media covering this event and make sure the leaders feel the global pressure to include real action to end nuclear weapons in their outcome. ICAN has also presented four practical demands to the G7 Summit.
The #G7Summit in Hiroshima🇯🇵 starts tomorrow. ICAN and our partners are here to present our 4 demands and engage w/ media covering the event to ensure g7 leaders feel the global pressure to take real nuclear disarmament actions. Hear more from our Interim ED @dhogsta. #nuclearban pic.twitter.com/wJYunpmWOQ— ICAN (@nuclearban) May 18, 2023