Hiroshima-ICAN Academy on Nuclear Weapons and Global Security 2022 – Online Learning and Webinar Session
Online Learning and Webinar Sessions of “Hiroshima-ICAN Academy for Nuclear Weapons and Global Security” were held on Tuesday, October 25, Friday, October 28, Tuesday, November 1, and Friday, November 4. During these sessions, participants learned about and exchanged views on nuclear disarmament, SDGs, and the relationship between nuclear and environmental issues with invited specialists such as NGO members or university professors etc.
Tuesday, October 25 Webinar#1
Theme : Humanitarian and environmental consequences of nuclear weapons, which disregard human rights
In the session on October 25, participants exchanged opinions with two guests, Ms. Koko Kondo, an atomic bomb survivor, and Ms. Mary Dickson, who was affected by radiation due to the U.S. nuclear tests.
Ms. Koko Kondo talked about the day of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima. She also shared how she let go of her previous desire for revenge against the U.S., through her experience of meeting the pilot of the B-29 that dropped the A-bomb on Hiroshima.
A Q&A session was held following her talk. In response to a participant asking what could be done to further share the stories of A-bomb survivors, Ms Kondo said, “I want people to do what they can do, even if it is a small thing. I am glad that the younger generation is taking action for nuclear abolition by participating in seminars like this one.”
Ms. Mary Dickson then shared her experiences of losing family members and relatives due to the effects of radiation from nuclear tests in the U.S., as well as her own experience of suffering and surviving from radiation-caused cancer.
Friday, October 28 Webinar#2
Theme : How does nuclear disarmament correlate with achieving the SDGs?
The webinar session on October 28 featured Kunihiko Shimada, Principal Director of the Hiroshima Organization for Global Peace (HOPe), and Rebecca Irby of New Detroit, an organization dedicated to the elimination of racial discrimination.
Principal Director Shimada asked the participants “What kind of world do you want to live in in the future?” and gave a lecture on HOPe’s efforts to realize a peaceful future in a sustainable manner.
Ms. Rebecca Irby gave a lecture on racism and colonial rule. During the lecture, there were activities such as questionnaires and quizzes about racism and colonization, and participants exchanged opinions with the lecturer and each other about the issue of racism.
Tuesday, November 1 Webinar#3-1
Theme : Nuclear weapons’ impact on the environment – past, present and future
November 1 was a two-part event. In the first part, Professor Karly Burch of the Otago University gave a lecture on the effects of nuclear weapons and nuclear power on the natural environment. In the lecture, Professor Burch pointed out that while nuclear power has the advantages of not emitting carbon dioxide and being inexpensive to generate, it also has dangerous aspects and has a negative impact on the environment. She then spoke to the participants about the dangers of radiation.
Next, Dr. Ira Helfand, member of the ICAN Steering Committee and the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), gave a lecture on the current status of nuclear weapons in each country and what would happen if nuclear weapons were actually used.
Dr. Helfand pointed out that the threat of nuclear war is increasing day by day, due to the Russo-Ukrainian war.
In response to the question, “What do you think about nuclear deterrence?”, Dr.Helfand asserted why he believes that nuclear deterrence does not work while giving historical background.
Tuesday, November 1 Webinar#3-２
Theme : United Nations, the SDGs and nuclear disarmament
In the second part, Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, explained to the participants the increasing danger of nuclear weapons being used in war, the need for nuclear disarmament treaties and communities of nuclear disarmament activists, and the relationship between nuclear disarmament and the SDGs, in light of the current state of global affairs.
During the Q&A session, participants asked questions such as “How can young people contribute to nuclear abolition?” and Ms. Nakamitsu gave them various advice.
Friday, November 4 Ｗebinar #4
Theme : Financial aspects of nuclear weapons – spending, corporations and divestment
In the session on November 4, Ms. Susi Snyder, ICAN Financial Sector Coordinator, began by explaining the economic benefits of nuclear abolition, including what companies are doing to abolish nuclear weapons and how many trillions of dollars could be saved by abolishing nuclear weapons.
Next, Mr. Tommy Piemonte, Head of Sustainable Investment Research at Bank für Kirche und Caritas (BKC), gave a lecture on the role of financial institutions in abolishing nuclear weapons. He explained the criteria to prevent financial institutions from investing in companies that manufacture nuclear weapons etc.
Afterwards, during the Q&A session, participants asked many questions, such as “How much can we contribute to nuclear abolition by investing in nuclear disarmament?”