During of an age of the continued threat of nuclear weapons, the United Nations for the first time this year held a high-level meeting on nuclear disarmament during the beginning of the 68th session of the General Assembly. Its aim was for heads of state and government and other high-level officials to outline policies for nuclear disarmament.

Peace Boat US joined hundreds of organizations from various countries around the world at this historic event held on Thursday, September 26th, in an effort to encourage states to sincerely commit to nuclear disarmament and support the call for a treaty banning nuclear weapons.

At Peace Boat, we believe that tenacity will prevail. In order to create a safer world for our generation and generations to come, it is essential to label nuclear weaponry as a threat to humanity, and to enforce the abolishment of all nuclear weapons worldwide.

As a joint initiative between the Permanent Mission of El Salvador to the United Nations, and the International NGO Peace Boat, we organized a side event during the High Level meeting on Disarmament at the United Nations to share information about important projects on nuclear disarmament, such as the Peace Boat Hibakusha Project, which seeks to raise awareness about the dangers of nuclear weapons and foster public support for nuclear disarmament. The project was launched in 2008, and consists of inviting Hibakusha (survivors of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima and Nagasaki) to participate in around-the-world voyages to share their testimonies, educate people and youth in particular about the human costs of nuclear weapons. Over 120 Hibakusha (survivors) have participated in this global advocacy project to date.

img_2554Speakers at the event included the Permanent Representative of El Slavador, his Excellency Ambassador Carlos Garcia Gonzalez and guests Mr. Kawasaki Akira, the Director of Peace Boat’s Hibakusha Project as well as Dr. Kathleen Sullivan; the Director of Hibakusha Stories, a project created to share the stories of survivors from Hiroshima and Nagasaki with the next generation. It is imperative to share the survivor’s brave legacy of calling for a world free of nuclear weapons, and in accordance with the vision of the United Nations to continue working towards global nuclear disarmament, we support the efforts of the UN Office of Disarmament Affairs to meet their goals of increasing disarmament education and promoting a nuclear free world.

The General Assembly meets through October 4th. For more information on its agenda, visit http://www.un.org/en/ga/

You can also catch the live webcast at at http://webtv.un.org/

img_2599For more information on Peace Boat’s partner organization, Hibakusha Stories, visit www.hibakushastories.org

By Sarah Halford (Peace Boat US Intern)