We, the 57 participants of the 7th Hiroshima Junior International Forum, held during August 16th and 20th 2022, gathered online from 12 countries to learn about and discuss the abolition of nuclear weapons and peacebuilding.
We, the younger generation, understand that billions of people around the world are frightened by the risk of nuclear weapons being used in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We also understand that not only in Ukraine but also around the world, there are millions of people whose lives and safety are threatened by armed conflicts. The issues of abolition of nuclear weapons and peacebuilding are just as important as ever.
We have a responsibility to free people from the threat of nuclear weapons and to restore dignity to people in conflict zones. In order to take action on nuclear abolition and peacebuilding, we, the youth of today, need to acquire expertise and build a network of like-minded peers. With the strong will of the people of Hiroshima, at this forum we had a chance to listen to the testimony of hibakusha and lecture of experts as well as discussing the challenges and solutions for abolition of nuclear weapons and peacebuilding.
The Hiroshima Declaration is the final output of all that we have learned and discussed over these 5 days. The Hiroshima Declaration is an action plan for ourselves and a proposal for like-minded people around the world.
<Challenges and Solutions for Abolition of Nuclear Weapons>
✧ Toward nuclear weapons abolition, we recognize that many people do not know about the danger of nuclear weapons.
✧ Some countries are actively building nuclear weapons.
✧ For this challenge, we suggest appealing to the children in countries around the world which have nuclear weapons and telling them about the horror of the weapons. For already existing weapons, we think we can use the energy in nuclear weapons in a field which improves and develops society in a healthy way.
✧ Toward nuclear weapons abolition, we recognize that many countries rely on nuclear deterrence.
✧ For this challenge, we suggest that countries should engage in dialogue with each other and find ways to protect national security and create a new deterrence without nuclear weapons.
<Our Role for Abolition of Nuclear Weapons>
✧ We, the young people, can learn the danger of nuclear weapons and get correct knowledge. Also we can make a video and spread our knowledge to educate the younger generation via social media and peace education.
✧ We, the young people, commit to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki, so we can be inspired more towards peace.
✧ Our role is to continue the roles of the dwindling “Hibakusha”（peoples who were attacked by the atomic bomb) organizations because their aging makes it difficult for them to continue their organizations.
<The Role of Hiroshima for Abolition of Nuclear Weapons>
✧ We believe that Hiroshima can take the main role as one of the two prefectures which went through the horrors of the bombing and the pains of rebuilding
✧ We believe that Hiroshima should spread the stories of the A-bomb survivors, for example, using online blogs, social media and so on.
✧ We believe that Hiroshima should organize more programs like the Hiroshima Junior International Forum to bring high school students together to discuss the abolition of nuclear weapons.
<Challenges and Solutions for Peacebuilding>
✧ Towards peacebuilding, we recognize discrimination, cultural misunderstanding, and lack of knowledge as challenges.
✧ Towards peacebuilding, we recognize economic disparity and inequality in the environment.
✧ Towards peacebuilding, we recognize some people are not interested in or do not care about nuclear issues.
✧ For these challenges, we suggest that people should be educated about SDGs. (e.g. peace and justice for all, achieving goals through partnership etc.…) and working together with people from different cultures.
✧ For this challenge, we recommend being individually open minded, so we can improve our development towards peace as a society.
✧ For this challenge, we suggest that big companies and governments should help countries to recover from conflict.
<Our Role for Peacebuilding>
✧ We, the young people, should improve our intercultural knowledge.
✧ We should start being open-minded [accepting different cultures, behaviours, thinking patterns and lifestyles and not judging and discriminating people based on these] and nudge others towards it too.
✧ We can inform our friends and family about these kinds of programs and get them involved in peacebuilding activities. For example, taking part in peace organizations, Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) and so on.
<The Role of Hiroshima for Peacebuilding>
✧ We believe that Hiroshima can start a blog for the stories of the people who survived the bomb attack.
✧ We believe that Hiroshima should make more international interactions and work towards peace.
✧ We expect Hiroshima to organize more programs and sessions for peacebuilding. For example, like the Hiroshima Junior International Forum, exchange meetings between young generation (students) and older, are active by Hiroshima companies toward the government.
✧ Hiroshima can hand out interesting and fun activities related to peace to elementary schools in Hiroshima and all over Japan. Hiroshima should make manga about peacebuilding for elementary school students. Manga is a good way because they can imagine things easier this way. Other ways might be for Hiroshima to hold events about peacebuilding for all generations. Inviting influencers to these kinds of meetings is an effective way to attract more people.
✧ Hiroshima can encourage Hibakusha outside Japan because this city has a lot of information about Hibakusha.
All the participants have come together and made the Hiroshima Declaration. But we cannot stop ourselves here. We pledge to put the action plan into practice. We are also determined to keep learning and expand the network of like-minded people through dialogue. When we interact with people, we promise to be sensitive to diversity and respectful of each other, as we have been in our dialogue with the participants of this forum.
We understand that the world faces many challenges and difficulties each of which requires concrete and concerted action. With the support of the people of Hiroshima and the friends we have made at this forum, we are standing at the starting line full of enthusiasm. We are keenly aware of our power and responsibility, and hereby declare our determination to live up to the Hiroshima Declaration.
August 20, 2022