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Hiroshima for Global Peace

Hiroshima Report 2023(13) Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Education and Cooperation with Civil Society

Increased emphasis has been placed on disarmament and non-proliferation education, as well as on the importance of diversity and inclusion and cooperation with civil society in disarmament and non-proliferation.

These issues were also referred to by many participating countries at the NPT RevCon. For instance, the “Joint Statement on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Education” issued by 89 countries stated, “Education is imperative to promote disarmament and non-proliferation, and thus to achieve a world without nuclear weapons. Education imparts knowledge and critical thinking to individuals and people. Education can raise the awareness of the public, in particular the future generations, of the tragic consequences of the use of nuclear weapons. Education can also empower individuals and people to make their contribution, as national and world citizens, to disarmament and non-proliferation.”321 The NPDI, which argued the importance of disarmament and non-proliferation education in its working paper, “call[ed] upon States parties to take concrete measures to promote nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation education, including promoting and facilitating meaningful dialogue, … encourage[d] regular exchanges on this issue, including the sharing of good practices, and invite[d] States parties to share such experiences.”322

The “Joint Statement on Gender, Diversity and Inclusion,” which was issued by 67 countries, also stated, inter alia: “Gender perspectives provide key insights into how individuals and groups are differentially impacted by armed conflict and weapons, and gender inclusivity makes for better and more effective arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation”; and “To accurately assess how different populations and groups are affected, we must give greater consideration to diversity and inclusion in all processes and decision-making bodies such as this one to ensure that outcomes reflect their vital perspectives.”323 In addition, in their working paper, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Sweden and others called on “all States parties to acknowledge the relevance of gender perspectives in the Treaty by considering practical ways to promote women’s participation and leadership in the Treaty, as well as by implementing a gender analysis in nuclear policymaking.”324

Prime Minister Kishida addressed these issues as part of the “Hiroshima Action Plan” in his speech in the general debate, stating:325

Japan will promote the accurate understanding on the realities of nuclear weapons use through encouraging visits to Hiroshima and Nagasaki by international leaders and others. In this connection, I welcome the visit by Secretary General Antonio Guterres to Hiroshima on August 6th.

Japan shall make a contribution of ten million dollars to the United Nations in order to set up a “Youth Leader Fund for a world without nuclear weapons”. By inviting future leaders to Japan and providing them with opportunities to learn firsthand the realities of nuclear weapon use, this will create a global network among the youth towards the elimination of nuclear weapons. 

In order to build global momentum towards a world without nuclear weapons, I decided to hold the first meeting of the new “International Group of Eminent Persons” on November 23rd in Hiroshima, which will enjoy the involvement of former and incumbent political leaders of the world.

In 2023, Japan will host the G7 Summit in Hiroshima. It is my intention to demonstrate our firm commitment from Hiroshima to never repeat the catastrophe of atomic bombings.

South Korea, which has been active in disarmament and non-proliferation education in the NPT review process, also stated, “[T]o ensure the sustainability of our efforts well into the future, the ROK is leading the initiative on youth engagement as a champion of the UN Secretary-General’s Agenda for Disarmament. We will be contributing to the NPT by hosting a side event in this regard and look forward to your support.”326

The draft final document stated, inter alia:

➢“The Conference underscores the importance of disarmament and  nonproliferation education as a useful and effective means to advance the goals of the Treaty in support of achieving a world without nuclear weapons.”

➢“The Conference recognizes the vital importance of educating and empowering individuals of all generations regarding the dangers of nuclear weapons and the imperatives to reach a world without nuclear weapons, including the risks and humanitarian consequences associated with nuclear weapons. The Conference calls on States Parties to commit to take concrete measures to raise awareness of the public, in particular of younger and future generations, as well as of leaders, disarmament experts and diplomats, on all topics relating to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, including through interactions with and directly sharing the experiences of the peoples and the communities affected by nuclear weapons use and testing, to know their humanitarian and environmental impact. The Conference calls on States Parties to commit to empower and enable youth to participate in formal and informal initiatives and discussions related to nuclear disarmament.”

➢“The Conference recognises the importance of and commit to ensure the equal, full and meaningful participation and leadership of both women and men in the NPT’s implementation and review. The Conference noted States Parties’ call for the further integration of a gender perspective in all aspects related to implementation of the Treaty.”

At the 1MSP of the TPNW, which was held before the NPT RevCon, the participants from NGOs spoke at the sessions along with government delegations, giving a greater impression of civil society participation. (This is unlike the NPT RevCon, where NGOs are only allowed to address one specific session throughout the conference). In its Vienna Action Plan, states parties are called for “[cooperating] closely with the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, academia, affected communities and other civil society organisations”; and “facilitating the active participation of relevant stakeholders, and take into account the different needs of people in affected communities and indigenous people and ensure strong ownership by all States Parties.” The document also required the states parties to “emphasize the gender-responsive nature of the TPNW and recommend that gender considerations are taken into account across all TPNW-related national policies, programs and projects,” and decided to “[e]stablish a Gender Focal Point to work during the intersessional period to support the implementation of the gender provisions of the Treaty and report on progress made to the 2MSP.”

At the 2022 UNGA, the resolution “United Nations study on disarmament and non-proliferation education” was adopted by consensus.327 The UNGA resolution on nuclear disarmament led by Japan stated the following on disarmament and nonproliferation education:

[The UNGA calls] upon all States to facilitate efforts on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation education, which is a useful and effective means to advance the goals of the Treaty in support of achieving a world without nuclear weapons, inter alia, efforts in which the young generation can actively engage, including through dialogue platforms, mentoring, internships, fellowships, scholarships, model events and youth group activities, as well as to raise awareness of the realities of the use of nuclear weapons, including through, among others, visits by leaders, youth and others to and interactions with communities and people, including the hibakusha (those who have suffered the use of nuclear weapons) who pass on their experiences to the future generations, and welcomes concrete measures in this regard, including the Young Professionals Network of P5 academics, the Youth Disarmament initiative, the “Disarmament education: resources for learning” website and the announcement of a youth leader fund for a world without nuclear weapons

During the 1MSP,328 the NPT RevCon329 and the UNGA First Committee330 in 2022, side events involving non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and others were held in person, which had been held online the previous years due to the global pandemic of COVID-19.

Regarding cooperation with civil society, one of the important efforts required from governments is to provide more information on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation issues. Among those surveyed in this report, the following countries have set up a section or sections on disarmament and non-proliferation on their official English-language homepages and posted educational information: Australia, Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. In addition, the UNGA resolutions on nuclear disarmament proposed by Japan and the NAC, respectively, emphasized the importance of disarmament and non-proliferation education.

Finally, a few countries started to legislate for “divestment” from organizations or companies involved in producing nuclear weapons. According to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) annual report published in December 2022, 308 banks, insurance companies, pension funds and asset managers invested over USD $746 billion in the top 24 nuclear weapon producers from 2000 to June 2022.331



321 “Joint Statement on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Education,” Main Committee I, NPT RevCon, August 11, 2022. Australia, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and other countries participated.
322 NPT/CONF.2020/WP.10, September 10, 2021.

323 “Joint Statement on Gender, Diversity and Inclusion,” General Debate, NPT RevCon, August 4, 2022. Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United States and other countries participated.
324 NPT/CONF.2020/WP.54, May 17, 2022.
325 “Statement by Japan,” General Debate, NPT RevCon, August 1, 2022. The first meeting the International Group of Eminent Persons for a World without Nuclear Weapons was held in Hiroshima on December 10-11, 2022.

326 “Statement by South Korea,” General Debate, NPT RevCon, August 2, 2022.

327 A/RES/77/52, December 7, 2022.
328 Kazakhstan, New Zealand, and other countries hosted side events.
329 Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Kazakhstan, South Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and others hosted side events.
330 Canada, France, the United States, and other countries hosted side events.

331 ICAN and PAX, Risky Return: Nuclear Weapon Producers and Their Financiers, December 2022.


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