On 30 August 2015, approximately 250 young people from around the world met in Hiroshima for the Youth Summit for Nuclear Abolition and adopted Generation of Change: A Youth Pledge for Nuclear Abolition. The Summit followed a two-day strategy session of 30 youth leaders in Hiroshima. Youth, and young at heart, from around the world are invited to endorse the pledge.
The summit was hosted by Soka Gakkai International, co-sponsored by a number of international nuclear abolition organisations and organised by a small steering committee of youth leaders.
The young leaders visited the Peace Museum in Hiroshima, listened to the experiences of Hibakusha (survivors of nuclear bombings), considered how to engage youth in nuclear abolition, and discussed strategies to abolish nuclear weapons globally.
Youth Summit for Nuclear Abolition
The pledge says:
Nuclear weapons are a symbol of a bygone age; a symbol that poses eminent threat to our present reality and has no place in the future we are creating.
Seventy years have passed since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and yet the existence of nuclear weapons continues to threaten every single person with the prospect of a cruel and inhumane death. For 70 years speeches have been made, statements issued and endorsed saying “never again,” and yet we are still held hostage by nuclear weapons. We, youth around the world, are mustering the courage to stand up and fulfill these decades-old promises of abolition. We need to eliminate this threat to our shared future and we urge you to join us, the Generation of Change.
It is time to take action.
We, youth seek human security and sustainability, which are impossible to achieve fully in the presence of nuclear weapons. Youth see the potential for a world without nuclear weapons – we see the potential for security not to be based on fear and more militarism, but on diplomacy, cooperation and trust. Abolishing nuclear weapons is our responsibility; it is our right and we will no longer sit by while the opportunity of nuclear abolition is squandered. We, youth in all our diversity and in deep solidarity pledge to realize this goal. We are the Generation of Change.
The continued existence of nuclear weapons is unacceptable and action must be taken to protect our shared future. Therefore, as the Generation of Change, we pledge to:
- Continue to educate and empower ourselves in order to better spread this awareness amongst our peers;
- Recognize that diversity in this work is important and work to educate ourselves on how gender impacts disarmament
- Take action, raise our voices and pursue nuclear abolition in our communities and our countries;
- Share our knowledge about the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons and the experiences of hibakushas and survivors of nuclear weapons tests;
- Encourage others to join the nuclear abolition movement and establish a strong unity among all nuclear abolition campaigners.
- Call upon every State to start negotiations on an international treaty for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons;
- Call on our elected representatives to adopt national legislation prohibiting and criminalizing the manufacture, investment in, testing, deployment, threat or use of nuclear weapons.
We, the Generation of Change, invite you to join us as we raise our collective voice to call for action; we refuse to stand by while nuclear weapons continue to threaten our lives and future generations. Join us, take action and create change!
- Click here to endorse the pledge.
- For further information on working with elected representatives to adopt national nuclear abolition legislation contact Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament www.pnnd.org or firstname.lastname@example.org
Anna Ikeda and Rick Wayman present the Youth Pledge to Ahmad Alhendawi – United Nations Secretary-General`s Envoy on Youth