Breaking Through from Nagasaki to Dakar
The Director of UNI Tokyo office, Yoko Ogawa, addressing the 4th UNI Africa Conference in Dakar, brought a message of solidarity from all the Japanese unions affiliated to UNI.
Ogawa reminded the participants that UNI’s Breaking Through strategy was born at the Nagasaki in 2010 at the UNI World Conference. Breaking Through to organise has become part of the DNA of UNI, nowhere more so than here in Africa where thousands of workers have been organised or undergone training in organising thanks to UNI Africa.
Madam Ogawa explained how UNI in Japan was innovating by holding training camps for youth, the union leaders of tomorrow.
“In every camp, union activists from other countries are also invited as resource persons to share their experience and learn each other. And they have become peace ambassadors. UNI Africa youth also joined our camps twice and our participants enjoyed asking many questions about South Africa,” she explained.
“Through the camps, we have been able to reach out more than 600 young activists during more than 10 years. They are all impressed by UNI’s work and always conclude the camps by saying “See you in Nagasaki” “See you in Cape Town” and many of them actually did. Now they say “See you in Liverpool”, she said referring to the upcoming UNI World Conference in Liverpool next year."
Madam Ogawa said that unions were working globally for peace, especially the call for a ban on nuclear weapons.
“We are working to create a peaceful society free from nuclear weapons in cooperation with unions in other countries. Because one of the aims of Nagasaki Congress was to promote peace especially “No more nuclear weapons” as we know this cannot be achieved only by Japanese alone.”