The year 2020 will mark the 75th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki—the beginning of the nuclear era and international movements to abolish nuclear weapons. It is also the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, the 25th anniversary of the UN Climate Change Conference following the Rio Earth Declaration. The 10th NPT Review Conference will be held at the U.N. in April and May
We are planning for a World Conference in New York City on the eve of the 2020 NPT Review Conference. The 2010 and 2015 conferences included addresses by then-UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Hibakusha, and disarmament movement leaders. Millions of petition signatures urging the complete elimination of the world’s nuclear arsenals were presented to the United Nations.
In organizing for the 2020 conference, we seek the broadest possible engagement with nuclear wea pons abolition, peace, justice and environmental constituencies as well as diplomats and politicians who seek a nuclear wea -pon-free world and a sustainable environment.
The World Conference will sound the alarm for popular movements and governments to address the growing dangers of nuclear war, the climate crisis and authoritarian, militarist governments. The struggles for peace and democracy are two sides of the same coin. The Conference will promote intersectional and youth-led movements.
The nuclear-armed states still resist fulfilling their Article VI disarmament obligations. They are all upgrading their nuclear arsenals, planning to deploy new land-based nuclear weapons in Europe.
Powerful popular movements have responded to the growing dangers of climate disruption, but temperatures and seas continue to rise. Deadlier hurricanes and cyclones, flooding, famine and sea level rise are taking lives and forcing migration. Assaults on biodiversity have left one in four species at risk of extinction.
The Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty, expected to come into force in 2020, is a beacon of hope. A World Conference during the 2020 NPT Review Conference, putting the Hibakusha at the centRE of international attention, will highlight their warnings that “human beings and nuclear wea pons cannot coexist.”
The World Conference will amplify our abolition de ma nds to the Review Conference. Making links to climate and social and economic justice movements offers a new opportunity to develop the alliances and intersectional movements we will need.
We envision the following events on April 24-26, 2020 in New York City:
We recognized that many self-organized youth will be unable to travel internationally. We thus encourage partner organizations in other countries to organize parallel events.
Joseph Gerson, American Friends Service Committee and the following organizations:
New York Bureau of Pressenza; International Peace Bureau; Western States Legal Foundation; Public Council of the South Coast of Finland; International Trade Union Confederation; US. Labor Against the War; Nuclear Free Philippines Coalition; International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War; Gensuikin; United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America; Peace action; Gensuikyo; Nihon Hidankyo; Movimiento Antinuclear de Chubut; Working Group Inclusive Security; Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace; Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament; Church and Peace; Mouvement de la Paix; Movimiento Antinuclear de la Republica Argentina; No to War/No to NATO; People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy.
Peace Magazine Jan-Mar 2020, page 5. Some rights reserved.
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