We, the 30 participants of the 5th Hiroshima Junior International Forum, held on November 29th, December 6th and 13th 2020, collaborated together online from 14 countries to learn about and discuss the abolition of nuclear weapons as well as peace-building.
In 2020, the world has been massively influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it has not hampered the enthusiasm of us, the younger generation, to learn about the challenges of the world and together discuss what we should do to make the world a better place.
Supported by the strong will of the people of Hiroshima and their desire for action, we, the youth of today, learned about nuclear weapon abolition and peacebuilding, had three wonderful days filled with disarmament learning and mutual understanding. Together, we listened to lectures from both Atomic-bomb survivors, experts on nuclear disarmament and peacebuilding, and then discussed the challenges we face in finding solutions for these two fundamentally critical issues.
We have incorporated the results of our learning and discussions in this Hiroshima Declaration. This Hiroshima Declaration is an action plan for us as participants and also a proposal that we hope to share with like-minded people around the world.
<Challenges and Solutions for Abolitions of Nuclear Weapons>
Towards Nuclear weapons abolition we recognize that the use of nuclear arms acts as a deterrent for many countries and provides safety and security while in a dormant state. We also recognize that some countries may still refuse to abolish nuclear weapons due to lack of trust and insecurities in terms of military power.
○For this challenge we suggest the promotion of mutual understanding and improving relationships between countries to make the justification of inactive nuclear arms as peacekeeping methods unjustifiable through annual meetings between world leaders.
○For this challenge we recommend that agreements are made between countries and that citizens from different countries are encouraged to meet and bond. It is also recommended that nuclear arms are no longer promoted by creating a negative bias towards them based upon the knowledge of their capabilities and aftermath effects. This is a form of positive peer pressure that can encourage some countries disarm and this method would not be impossible to carry out since some countries have already taken the initiative for this.
○For this challenge we commit to the collaboration between others on an open and even stage where we can express ideas and viewpoints productively and create bonds of admiration for one another between world leaders and citizens alike.
Toward nuclear weapon abolition, we recognize the range of knowledge regarding nuclear power in different parts of the world
○For this challenge, we suggest increasing the opportunity of sharing the experiences of how horrible nuclear weapon are from survivor stories and testimonies. ²
○For this challenge, we recommend that there is an effort to enhance human knowledge about nuclear power by opening workshops to learn about the Hibakusha and the present situations of nuclear weapons in the world as well as talks or open discussions that are facilitated.
○For this challenge, we commit to research about how many people know why nuclear weapons were created in the first place, how they were developed and tested, how they were used, and how they affected the world.
Toward Weapons Abolition, we recognize a challenge that Japan did not ratify the treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
○For this challenge we suggest that we recommend that the NPT and Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty are discussed again and the reasoning for the presence of a nuclear deterrent for Japan based on its locational circumstances.
○For this challenge, we recommend that in order to abolish the nuclear presence within Japan, there is a petition calling for Japan to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and that is it then submitted to the Japanese government.
○For this challenge, we commit that we can show a justified negative attitude toward Nuclear Weapons and that Japan can be a role model in the disarmament of nuclear weapons.
<Challenges and Solutions for Peace-building>
Towards peace building, we recognize that not all people agree with one another and it is within human nature for there to be differentiating opinions ideals and ethics that may conflict with each other.
○For this challenge, we suggest that individuals are exposed to a wider degree of information regarding foreign viewpoints. In doing so by discussing these topics more frequently it is hoped that the youth learn and develop balanced opinions that are not easily swayed by bias or irrationalities. This results in more opportunities for discussions promoting peace building from a personal scale to a community setting.
○For this challenge, we recommend that the challenges and successes of other countries and their communities are more widespread in order to promote collaboration and interaction on a global scale and so that all citizens can be aware of other communities and develop their own inquiries. In short, by increasing the knowledge within people about others we hope to make conflicting opinions less foreign when introduced into discussion.
○For this challenge, we commit to the spread of knowledge and interaction between others of different nationalities and upcoming in order to connect people globally so conflict may escalate to a status of war and to also create peace on multiple levels from interpersonal to global.
Towards peace building, we recognize the current issue of COVID-19 has disrupted peace and has created many other issues as a result and as such caused many conflicts across the world in the form of economic recession and racial discrimination.
○For this challenge, we suggest that the world whole comes together to help nations that are in need of assistance.
○For this challenge we recommend the promotion of information for health and sanitation practices for individuals and advertisements for donating funds and manpower within COVID compliant conditions to assist groups of individuals in need.
○For this challenge, we commit to sharing knowledge about the importance of peace building and volunteering in events that would be of help to people during this trying time.
Towards peace building, we recognize that countries have a large defense spending budget that endangers peace building around the world.
○For this challenge, we suggest using part of each country’s military budget in peace building and reconstruction.
○For this challenge we recommend the deployment of the advancement of weaponry and contribute increasing portions of that fund to peaceful projects.
○For this challenge we commit to displaying our love for the world we live in and each other.
Toward peace building we recognize that there are forms of inequalities and discriminations present in the world that are counterproductive to peace building.
○For this challenge, we recommend spreading more and correct information by using social network service.
○We also commit that we must educate ourselves in peace more through joining programs and activities like this forum. We must stop not only physical violence but also structural violence.
<Our Role for Abolition of Nuclear Weapons and Peace-building>
Our role within the disarmament of nuclear weapons and the production of peace building is as a student who is open minded and well committed to learn and take on opinions and knowledge about peacebuilding and nuclear weapon weapons. In the future this balanced and well educated perspective combined with accumulated knowledge from research and interactions such as this collaboration will then be used to influence others in forming an agreement that focuses towards the disarmament of nuclear arms in a peaceful world. By using social networks and the internet efficiently, we should take the lead in raising awareness about the nuclear weapons and the importance of peacebuilding. In addition, we should also actively take part in international forums like this to exchange our opinions with people from all over the world and broaden our horizons. By the above mentioned methods, we, the youth of today, shall be of help in building the way to a peaceful world.
<The Role of Hiroshima for Abolition of Nuclear Weapons and Peace-building>
Hiroshima should use methods such as enlisting the help of the atomic bomb survivors (hibakusha) to share their testimony to many people from all over the world by using virtual technology and making videos as well as conducting activities in peacebuilding and supporting developing countries and finally, actively raising awareness about the potential threat of nuclear weapons to create a world without nuclear weapons.
Hiroshima should be connecting the people and the youth around the world together to bring about contributions to construct a peaceful world.
We, the participants of this forum, learned the importance of the ongoing process as we found about the challenges for world peace, the search for the causes of those challenges, and also how to find and develop solutions. We also learned that we can enhance our understanding of the challenges and reach more comprehensive solutions by talking to people from diverse backgrounds with mutual respect.
We know that our responsibilities do not end with the completion of the Hiroshima Declaration. We know we need to put the action plan presented here into practice, and we need to interact with people to share our suggestions. And when interacting with other people, we will make sure we value diversity and respect each other, just as we did in the dialogues that took place between us participants. Through such efforts, we believe that we can make strong ties among people around the world, and achieve results on nuclear abolition, peacebuilding, and other fundamentally vital issues. In this way, we believe that our efforts can lead the world to a better place.
The world we live in is facing many challenges and difficulties. It is time for us to take decisive and concrete actions. As global citizens and future young leaders of the world, we are here to make small changes for bigger changes towards a fully denuclearized, demilitarized, and peaceful world. Recognizing our power and responsibilities, we hereby strongly declare our determination.
December 13, 2020