NPT World conference on the abolition of nuclear weapons to be held in New York next year

by Junji Akechi, Staff Writer

On April 24 and 25, 2020, Japan Council against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs (Gensuikyo), Japan Congress against the A- and H-Bombs (Gensuikin), and Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo) will hold a world conference on the abolition of nuclear weapons in New York City.

The conference will be held in conjunction with the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), scheduled from April to May next year. It is being organized conjointly with other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) around the world. An expected march of thousands is also being planned in the United States, a nuclear superpower, to increase public sentiment in favor of nuclear disarmament.

In addition to discussions surrounding the abolition of nuclear weapons, pacifist groups, researchers, diplomats, and citizens are expected to attend the two-day meeting. They will also enter dialog about a wide-range of issues including climate change and economic disparity. The day after the conference (April 26), participants will march toward United Nations Headquarters to submit the “Hibakusha Appeal,” a signature campaign calling on all nations to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The International Peace Bureau, a pacifist organization headquartered in Germany, and several other groups, proposed the conference. Representatives of about 20 bodies, including Gensuikyo, Gensuikin and Nihon Hidankyo from Japan, are listed as organizers.

Hiroshi Takakusaki, representative director of Gensuikyo, expressed this hope: “We would like to take this opportunity to further strengthen international public opinion and realize the survivors’ wish of eliminating nuclear weapons.” Toshihiro Inoue, assistant secretary general of Gensuikin, said, “This will be an important opportunity for anti-nuclear and pacifist organizations around the globe to meet together in one place. We would like to seize the moment, acting to produce ongoing real results, not allowing our actions to close with the event itself.”

The NPT Review Conference is held every five years to discuss measures for nuclear disarmament. The next meetings are scheduled from April 27 to May 22 of next year at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

(Originally published on September 25, 2019)