Japanese youth call for a world free from nuclear weapons
Nagasaki Hiroshima Peace Messengers visit UNI head office en route to UN where they will present petition calling for a global ban on nuclear weapons.
The Nagasaki Hiroshima Peace Messengers visited UNI Global Union head office in Nyon, Switzerland on their way to bringing a petition to the UN calling for a world free of nuclear weapons. The youngsters from Japan supported by first, second and third generation survivors of the nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, have collected around 125,000 signatures added to the petition this year which now has about 1.5 million signatures in total.
The young activists’ presentations paint a vivid picture on the horrors of nuclear war drawing on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The peace messengers are working to ensure that Nagasaki is the last ever city subjected to the atomic bomb. They are the last generation who will hear first-hand the voices of the survivors. They have been visiting UNI’s head office annually for the last 12 years and this year, the group was as eloquent and powerful as ever in their condemnation of nuclear weapons. The horrific stories of the human suffering caused by the nuclear bombings provoked a strong reaction from UNI staff present.
Alan Tate, Head of UNI ICTS, who led the welcoming party, said “Your visit is an important moment for UNI, it reconfirms our commitment to peace and the movement for nuclear disarmament and reaffirms our bonds with the people of Nagasaki. The horror of Nagasaki and Hiroshima was the main driver for the peace movement in the aftermath of World War Two. And we hope you will keep coming back for many years to remind us of our responsibilities to build a peaceful world.”
UNI Global Union has a warm friendship and profound link with the people of Nagasaki – the city where UNI held its World Congress in November 2010. UNI’s Breaking Through plan supports the global nuclear disarmament movement and UNI is a member of ICAN, the International Campaign Against Nuclear Arms.
Marcio Monzane, Head of UNI Finance, said “We should not forget that poverty and inequality need to be tackled through social inclusion if we are to create a more peaceful world. The union movement has an important role to play in ridding the world of nuclear weapons.”
The Peace Messengers will take the petition to the United Nations in Geneva and urge action to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the threat from 15,000 nuclear weapons held by nine countries around the world, including the United States, Russia, North Korea and China.