Rotary Global Peace Forum concludes with Hiroshima Declaration of Peace

by Kohei Okata, Staff Writer

The Rotary Global Peace Forum, a gathering of Rotary Club members from Japan and overseas, held its plenary sessions at the International Conference Center Hiroshima on May 18, the final day of the conference. At these sessions, the participants reaffirmed the important role of young people in building peace. The forum concluded after the adoption of the Hiroshima Declaration of Peace, which calls for conflict resolution through peaceful means, among other aims.

Two participants reported on their activities on the theme of “youth and peace.” Yumiko Shinya, originally from Onomichi, Hiroshima Prefecture and now studying peace issues at a graduate school in the United Kingdom, said that this interest was inspired through the peace education she received in elementary school and she appealed to those in attendance to do their best in peace building efforts.

Janchiv Galbadrakh is the principal of a high school in Mongolia which incorporates Japanese-style features, such as school uniforms and club activities. He expressed his determination to nurture young people who can represent their nations on the world stage and contribute to peace.

At the closing session, the participants adopted the Hiroshima Declaration of Peace. The statement first touches on the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and the reconstruction of the city, then goes on to pledge such efforts as urging politicians to pursue peaceful means to resolve conflicts and organizing friendship activities among groups of people who have had a history of ill will.

A total of 2,763 people, from 52 nations, took part in the forum.

(Originally published on May 19, 2013)