Hiroshima Prefecture to urge U.N. to realize a world without nuclear weapons in 2045

by Takamasa Kyoren, Staff Writer

On November 1, it was learned that Hiroshima Prefecture has decided to strengthen its efforts to urge the United Nations to set a goal of realizing a world without nuclear weapons in 2045, the year marking the 100th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That year will also mark the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the U.N., and the prefecture sees this goal as a useful new aim to harness the cooperation of the international community. Mayors for Peace, for which Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui serves as president, has been seeking the abolition of nuclear weapons by the year 2020, and Hiroshima Prefecture has been behind this goal as well. With two goals now present, the understanding of citizens is now needed in order to determine how the goals will be used with regard to antinuclear efforts.

At the U.N. summit held at U.N. headquarters in New York in September 2015, the U.N. adopted a list of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are to be achieved by 2030. There are 17 goals, including abolishing poverty and hunger, expanding opportunities for education, and addressing inequality within and between nations.

Based on the efforts made to date by the U.N., Hiroshima Prefecture believes that the next set of SDGs will be crafted around 2030 with 2045 as the year designated for achieving these goals. The prefecture plans to urge the U.N. to incorporate the goal of realizing a world without nuclear weapons into these next goals.

The prefecture’s plan to urge the U.N. to set nuclear abolition as a goal has been included in SDGs for Hiroshima Prefecutre’s Future City Plan. The prefecture has indicated that it will announce its next goals in 2020 and then proceed with its efforts. Among these efforts will include three projects: creating a network of businesses and groups that are making contributions to peace-building; devising a business model that can support entrepreneurs who are interested in the prefecture’s SDGs; and providing opportunities for young people from around the world to engage in peace studies.

In response to a call by the prefecture, business people and those involved in nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) inside and outside Japan will gather in Naka Ward on November 5 and 6 for the World Business Conference for World Peace. The event is designed for the participants to exchange views about forming a foundation to support the realization of sustainable peace.

Hiroshima Prefecture has been provided a 35 million yen subsidy for this fiscal year by the Cabinet Office. Hiroshima Prefecture’s Peace Promotion Project Team commented that a world without nuclear weapons is a fitting aim for the Charter of the United Nations, as this would demonstrate the desire to cooperate to maintain global peace and security. The team intends to strengthen its efforts with regard to the U.N., though the fact that the U.N. membership also includes nuclear weapon states makes the goal of realizing nuclear abolition that much more challenging.

Under the “2020 Vision,” which seeks to realize the abolition of nuclear weapons by 2020, the members of Mayors for Peace have worked together to collect signatures in support of nuclear abolition and raise awareness of this cause among the people of the world. Groups of A-bomb survivors have also been engaged in efforts to realize nuclear abolition at the earliest possible date, and collaboration has been a vital factor in conveying this message from the A-bombed city. Hiroshima Prefecture says that it will continue its efforts to achieve the nuclear abolition aim by 2020, but the timing may now make this difficult to accomplish, and so the extended goal would be to eliminate nuclear arms by the year marking the 100th anniversary of the atomic bombings.


SDGs Future Cities
The “SDGs Future Cities” are projects backed by the Japanese government to support the efforts of local governments to promote the attainment of U.N. “Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs). This program was established in February by the Cabinet Office. Local governments that have been accepted into this scheme can also apply for subsidies for regional revitalization projects in the 2018 fiscal year. Among the five prefectures of the Chugoku Region, not including Hiroshima Prefecture, the three cities of Ube, Okayama, and Maniwa were selected. Ube is making efforts to support children’s education as one measure to address poverty. Okayama is providing consultations for children’s healthcare through the use of smartphones. Maniwa is seeking to make efficient use of woody biomass power generation.

Hiroshima Prefecture’s timeline for realizing a world without nuclear weapons

The prefecture determines the Future City SDGs for Hiroshima Prefecture. It indicates that the prefecture will urge the U.N. to include the goal of realizing a world without nuclear weapons in the U.N.’s next set of goals.
The prefecture will announce its plan to persuade the U.N. to set this goal of nuclear abolition.
Around 2030:
The U.N. will set this goal to abolish nuclear weapons.
A world without nuclear weapons will be achieved.

(Originally published on November 2, 2018)