On the eve of the NPT Review Conference that will take place May 3-28 at the United Nations in New York, thousands of NGO representatives and engaged citizens from around the world will come together to participate in a series of actions and events calling for nuclear weapons abolition.
On April 30-May 1, the International Conference for a Nuclear Free, Peaceful, Just and Sustainable World, will be held. Speakers will address the plenary session, including Mayor of Hiroshima and president of Mayors for Peace Akiba Tadatoshi, John Burroughs from the International Lawyers against Nuclear Arms and Hiroshima Hibakusha (Atomic Bomb Survivor) Kimura Hisakoto name just a few. Significantly, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon will come and address the hundreds of peace and disarmament activists. In the words of the organizers, "Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon's decision to join us is signaling the critical importance of popular action to move governments to do what they must do to abolish nuclear weapons."
In addition to speeches and public addresses, movies will be screened and a large number of workshops will take place on themes ranging from nuclear abolition, economic justice and human needs, to the environment, health and wider peace.
Article 9 will be visited in the debate on "Challenging Asia-Pacific Militarism and Achieving Nuclear Weapons Abolition" as well as in discussions with Hibakusha, as well as in the many more sessions that advocate for the same core values defended by the Global Article 9 Campaign.
Sunday May 2, the message "No Nukes, No Wars, Fund Human Needs, Protect the Planet" will be carried through a day of action that includes a rally and march, music and peace festival, and more.
The day will begin with a dynamic rally of speakers and performers from the international delegations, followed by a spirited march across town to the United Nations. Actions will end with an International Peace & Music Festival where there will be music from around the world as well as tents and tables that will provide information and organizing resources for a safe, nuclear-free, peaceful and just world for all. The Global Article 9 Campaign will have a presence at the Peace Boat booth in Dag Hammerskjold Plaza.
In addition to official meetings, NGO side-events will take place throughout the NPT Review Conference.
Flashes of HopeAmong the long list of diverse activities, the documentary "Flashes of Hope", filmed onboard Peace Boat during its first Global Voyage for a Nuclear-Free World will be screened at the United Nations.Costa Rican film director Erika Bagnarello followed a group of over 100 Hibakusha during their 129-day trip from September 2008 to January 2009 as part of Peace Boat Hibakusha Project - Global Voyage for a Nuclear-Free World. A third such voyage departed from Japan on April 16 and a delegation will attend and participate in the NPT RevCon as well as its many side-events.
Several additional events will address Article 9-related questions, including a discussion among Northeast Asian NGOs sponsored by the Pacific Freeze on military spending in Northeast Asia on May 3, and more.
Find out more about the Conference For a Nuclear Free, Peaceful, Just and Sustainable World, including the list of speakers and workshops here, as well as about May 2 Day of Action here.
Find a detailed NPT RevCon calendar of events, including official meetings, side-events and more on Reaching Critical Will's website here.
Visit the Pacific Freeze's website here.
Read about the film "Flashes of Hope" in the Japan Times here.