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Friday, 17. September 2021

The Next Generation of Nuclear Disarmament Activists

ICAN Paris Forum 2020

27.02.2020 Earlier this month, ICAN held a forum in Paris, “How to Ban Bombs and Influence People,” to further empower the next generation of activists who are fighting to end nuclear weapons.  About 300 students, young professionals and youth organizers sat down with seasoned campaigners to explore and strengthen the links between disarmament work and the movements for women's rights, racial justice, and climate.

IPPNW representatives included Abraham Behar, Patrice Richard, Francine Cohen, and Marilyn Georgeff from France, Inga Blum and Lukas Breunig from Germany, Carlos Umaña from Costa Rica, Michael Orgel from Scotland, and Molly McGinty from the IPPNW Central Office.


The forum was opened by renowned disarmament activist and A-bomb survivor Setsuko Thurlow.  Setsuko was 13 years old when she witnessed the destruction of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Nine members of her family and close relatives, and most of her classmates, were among the 70,000 who were killed within the first minute.


At the forum, Setsuko testified to the horrors of that fateful day – as she has done thousands of times to audiences all over the world for decades.  As she spoke, the room, packed with hundreds of participants, went silent with awe.  During a question and answer session afterwards, Setsuko said that her motivation to continuously and publicly relive her pain came from IPPNW’s earliest warnings about the unprecedented catastrophe that would follow a nuclear war.  In turn, her story, and those of her fellow Hibakusha, of suffering, survival and determination call us all to action to ensure that nuclear weapons are abolished.  It is the only way to prevent their use.


You can view clips and sessions at the ICAN Paris Forum on Facebook, and here you can watch Setsuko pay special tribute to her lost but not forgotten schoolmates and teachers.  IPPNW is proud to continue to serve on ICAN's International Steering Group and grateful to the ICAN staff in Geneva and the ICAN partners in France for organizing this incredibly inspiring conference.

Get a visual impression of the Forum here.

 

 

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