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 the difficulty of its discontinuation due to its importance in establishing state power and status, as well as its significance as a form of defense against armed conflict.
✧ For this challenge, we suggest taking a humanitarian approach through spreading and preserving the stories of “hibakusha” or A-bomb victims in order to convey the importance of the abolition of nuclear weapons.
✧ For this challenge, we recommend all nations, especially those with high numbers of nuclear warheads, to give their full compliance on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) and reallocate the budget on the production of these weapons to environmental conservation and human welfare.
<Our Role for Abolition of Nuclear Weapons>
✧ We, the young people, commit to make nuclear weapons a “nuclear taboo” in order to stigmatize nuclear weapons and inform people around the world that they are not necessary for us or anyone else in the world.
✧ We, also, commit to spreading awareness on the dangers of nuclear weapons through conducting seminars, volunteering on exhibits that showcase the outcomes of a nuclear war, creating or joining nongovernmental organizations that advocate the abolition of nuclear weapons, and conducting social media campaigns.
✧ Furthermore, we commit to spreading awareness through creative means, such as making artworks, composing music, and making short movies to inform the public on the dangers of nuclear weapons.
<The Role of Hiroshima for Abolition of Nuclear Weapons>
✧ We believe that Hiroshima should conduct a yearly “peace relay and forum” where they invite different individuals from diverse backgrounds, and be able to discuss peacemaking measures and create a movement on the full abolition of nuclear weapons.
✧ We believe that Hiroshima should conserve testimonies from the “hibakusha”, preserve buildings and memorials that show the effects of nuclear weapons, and keep the Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park open to the public.
✧ We believe that Hiroshima should work together with the United Nations in their efforts toward the total abolition of nuclear weapons through participating in worldwide peace talks, and other campaigns against nuclear weapons.
<Challenges and Solutions for Peacebuilding>
✧ Towards peacebuilding, we recognize that structural, direct, and cultural violence such as high crime rates due to poverty and oppression, racism, classism, gender inequality, territorial disputes, refugee crisis, and wars are hindrances toward upholding peace.
✧ For this challenge, we recommend publicizing the importance of peacebuilding through online media exposure and in-person efforts such as seminars, programs, and exhibits.
✧ For this challenge, we recommend the mobilization of governments, non-governmental organizations, and start-up companies to advocate peacebuilding for applying peace education including the matter of conflict resolution in the international systems of work.
<Our Role for Peacebuilding>
✧ We, the young people, commit to preserve and enrich our knowledge on the experiences of Hiroshima and the whole world during the Second World War.
✧ We, the youth of today, commit to openly connect with people all over the world through creating online communication spaces such as social media platforms that could help to promote and educate people about peacebuilding.
✧ We, the young people, commit to volunteer and participate in governmental or organizational efforts that can help educate the youth on peacebuilding.
<The Role of Hiroshima for Peacebuilding>
✧ We believe that Hiroshima can recruit volunteers and conduct exchange programs that teach peacebuilding measures and conflict resolution amongst many developing countries all over the world.
✧ We believe that Hiroshima should conduct publicly accessible peace forums and seminars that emphasize its experiences and learning from the Second World War in order to bring forth the message of peace.
✧ We expect that Hiroshima should spread the history of the atomic bombing and importance of abolishing nuclear weapons.
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