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The world stands at a critical juncture as we mark the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It is time for young people around the world to unite and make a breakthrough toward a world without nuclear weapons. Youth have the vision and energy needed to change the status quo.
On July 17, Nobuyuki Asai, program coordinator for peace affairs of the SGI, announced during a press conference at Hiroshima City Hall that the SGI will co-facilitate an “International Youth Summit for Nuclear Abolition” in Hiroshima on August 28–30.
Steering committee members include representatives of ICAN (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons), Mines Action Canada, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, PAX and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.
The youth summit in Hiroshima aims to enable a new generation of leaders working for the abolition of nuclear weapons to learn firsthand about the atrocities that took place 70 years ago. It will also help preserve the living memories of hibakusha and further galvanize youth to work toward ridding the world of nuclear weapons as well as strengthen the networks linking them. It is expected that an action plan and a joint pledge by the participants will be among the outcomes of the summit.
The event will be youth-led, consisting of a diverse group of experts from more than 20 countries, including Costa Rica, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Tunisia, Pakistan, the UK and the USA, who are actively engaged in nuclear disarmament and related fields at the local, regional and international levels. Around 30 people will join working sessions on August 28–29, while the youth summit on August 30 will be open to the public with 300 participants.
related article Faith Communities Unite Against Nuclear Weapons at ICAN Civil Society Forum; Issue Joint Statement Prior to the holding of the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons from December 8-9 at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) held a Civil Society Forum (CSF) from December 6-7 at the Aula der Wissenchaften. The CSF was attended by more than 600 people from 70 countries representing 100 organizations. Highlights of the youth summit will include a meeting on August 28 with the mayor of Hiroshima, Kazumi Matsui, and a speech on August 30 by Ahmad Alhendawi, the first-ever UN envoy on youth, appointed in 2013 by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Cosponsors of the youth summit include the City of Hiroshima, the City of Nagasaki, the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, Mayors for Peace, Nagasaki Global Citizens’ Assembly for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons and International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War.
For details and updates, visit the official website or Facebook event page or follow the summit on twitter using the hashtag #HiroshimaYS2015. The summit will be live streamed on August 30 between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. (Japan time).
[Adapted from a press release from the SGI Office of Public Information (SGI-OPI) released in Japan on July 21, 2015]
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