We, the 59 participants of the 6th Hiroshima Junior International Forum, held from August 17th to 20th 2021, collaborated together online from 14 countries around the world. Our aim was to learn about and discuss the abolition of nuclear weapons as well as peacebuilding.
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) came into force in January of this year. This will be an integral and essential step towards the abolition of nuclear weapons. However, the division between nuclear weapon states and non-nuclear weapon states has yet to be overcome. In addition people around the world continue to be displaced by prolonged civil wars, terrorist attacks as well as natural disasters. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose further challenges for the population of the world.
Under such circumstances, we are acutely aware of the importance of the need for the younger generation to act upon what we have learned here. Furthermore, we are convinced of the need to deepen our understanding of the challenges facing us and the current efforts being undertaken to meet those challenges. Having strong support from the Hiroshima community, we, the youth of today, participated in this forum as an important step for achieving such goals. Spending four days together, we learned from experts in this field, shared our knowledge and gained inspiration from each other.
In this Hiroshima Declaration, we have compiled the results and fruits of our learning and discussion. The Hiroshima Declaration is a proposal to local and national government leaders, business leaders around the world and the rest of society, as well as an action plan for us, the participants.
<Challenges and Solutions for Abolition of Nuclear Weapons>
✧ Toward nuclear weapons abolition: we recognize that the nuclear weapon states or nuclear armed states are not willing to give up their weapons due to lack of trust and mutual understanding .
✧ Towards nuclear weapons abolition: we recognize that nuclear weapons are still regarded as important and many people argue that nuclear deterrence is conducive to peace.
✧ Toward nuclear weapons abolition: we recognize that the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty doesn’t fully function because nuclear armed states have not yet joined it.
✧ Toward nuclear weapons abolition: we recognize that maintaining the existence of nuclear weapons is a clear zero-sum situation, while the complete inhibition of nuclear weapons will ensure the survival of mankind in the future.
✧ For this challenge, we suggest preventing countries from acquiring nuclear fuel needed for development of nuclear weapons.
✧ For this challenge, we recommend the implementation and enforcement of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, strengthening global disarmament mechanisms, and ensuring nuclear disarmament can have a positive impact on world welfare.
✧ For this challenge,we suggest that countries around the world should join together to enhance mutual understanding, eliminate prejudice, develop common understanding and further promote cooperation in nuclear disarmament. For example, countries can hold international cultural festivals and attract people by developing tourism.
✧ For this challenge, people of all countries should gradually cultivate the consciousness of being global citizens. Political leaders should also avoid only taking their own national interests into account in international affairs. Instead, they should seek common ground while reserving differences.
<Our Role for Abolition of Nuclear Weapons>
✧ We, the young people, commit ourselves to bring about some revolutionary changes in the abolition of nuclear weapons. We can educate our peers and pass down the story to the next generation.
✧ Young people should commit themselves to introducing peace education and raising awareness in schools all around the world.
✧ We, the young people of the world, commit to interacting with nationalities from all over the world by actively participating in forums like this to promote peace.
✧ We, the young people, commit to studying and knowing more about the history as well as the current situation of nuclear disarmament.
✧ We, the young people, promise to run campaigns on abolition of nuclear disarmament and make full use of social media to connect with people all over the world.
✧ We, the young people, believe that a short film could be made to highlight historic moments like NPT signed in 1968, SALT & ABM treaty in 1972 and create awareness.
<The Role of Hiroshima for Abolition of Nuclear Weapons>
✧ We believe that Hiroshima can become a center for conveying the devastating experience of the atomic bombing. Also, Hiroshima could extend nuclear arms education to the world.
✧ We believe that Hiroshima can deepen cooperation with other countries or regions that have also suffered due to similar nuclear incidents to jointly promote nuclear disarmament.
✧ We expect that Hiroshima can make a comprehensive analysis of the additional harm caused by nuclear weapons, such as human rights violations, environmental pollution, and then cooperate with more relevant international organizations to expand and speed up the movement for nuclear disarmament.
<Challenges and Solutions for Peacebuilding>
Towards peace building, we recognize that power politics and hegemonism are why many countries are trying to prevent conflicts by force rather than by discussion.
Secondly, what we lack is the quality of searching for peace, countries have been trying to control each other since way longer than anyone could possibly imagine.
Thirdly, we recognize that there are also many obstacles in the building of world peace, such as regional conflicts, territorial disputes and racial discrimination.
Moreover, we recognize that many people have lost interest in participating in peace building in almost all age groups.
For this challenge, we suggest strengthening the mutual bond of trust among states and introducing the concept of togetherness.
For this challenge, we suggest taking action to learn and understand other cultures around the globe, respect diversity and be open-minded about different opinions and values, which are beneficial to maintain friendly relations between countries.
Secondly, we suggest that governments around the world should cooperate with each other in putting more efforts into peace education to raise the awareness of youngsters.
Thirdly, we suggest that the news media should shoulder the responsibility to spread the right information, instead of misleading the public and inciting hatred or violence.
So, we recommend that countries should strive to ensure that every child has the opportunity to receive education and establish more groups like PCV (peace culture village) to influence people’s mindsets and to spread the word of peace.
<Our Role for Peacebuilding>
We, the young people, are committed not to underestimate violent activities and ensure to share our ideas about peace on the Internet.
We, the young people, commit to communicate with a variety of people to eliminate stereotypes.
We, the young people, commit to actively participate in various peace-related activities and devote ourselves to promoting peace in our respective countries and commit to never give up easily when the peace process is blocked. It is true that our individual strength is weak, but what we should see is that our combined strength is great. Every single effort counts.
We would like to encourage the people around us to participate in sharing their perspectives related to peace keeping so we all could collaborate and create a better society.
<The Role of Hiroshima for Peacebuilding>
Hiroshima should take the lead in creating more opportunities for peace education, so people can learn about the ill effects of violence. For example, Hiroshima can host an international conference, inviting scholars, business leaders and other outstanding people from different countries to discuss the problems that the world is facing and try to find solutions together.
Hiroshima can create an environment that promotes long term peace by reconciling mutually, preventing recurrence of conflict, uniting civil society, creating a mechanism for the role of law and solving structural and social problems.
We believe that Hiroshima is addressing a significant global issue and can have an orientation program with some promising leaders and publish it on YouTube, social media and other online platforms etc, as it can create a deeper impact among the others. Also the Hiroshima government can financially support peace- related activities and research programs.
We believe that Hiroshima should encourage more young people to take an active part in peace-related activities and, together with the youth of other countries, we can contribute to the realization of world peace. Youth participation should be mainstreamed into these activities and organizations.
We participants are now highly aware that specialized knowledge is fundamental for us to understand the challenges that we face and to be able to propose effective solutions. We have also reaffirmed that it is important to mutually respect each other while discussing issues and deriving solutions. While we recognize the importance of outreach, we also grew to realize the strategic relevance that we should spread our message by using the appropriate tools and methods.
We know that our responsibilities do not end with the announcement of the Hiroshima Declaration. We know we need to put the action plan presented here into practice. When we interact with people to share our suggestions, we know we need to collaborate with like-minded people, but we also need to have dialogues with people who hold different perspectives and opinions to seek better solutions for the whole of society. Through such efforts, we believe that we can achieve nuclear abolition, peacebuilding, and the resolution for other fundamentally vital issues.
Now all of us on earth face many challenges and difficulties. It is time for us to take decisive and concrete action. Understanding the limits of our power but the importance of our responsibilities, we hereby make this declaration and stake our determination to achieve it.
August 20, 2021