The event today coincided with two important international events. Firstly the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (ICNND) met today in Hiroshima at the start of a three day meeting and the final meeting in a series of four that have taken place in Sydney, Washington, New Delhi and finally Hiroshima over the last year. The ICNND was formed in 2008 by the Japanese and Australian governments with the aim to reinvigorate international efforts on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, in the context of both the 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in May 2010 in New York, and beyond.
Gareth Evans the Australian co-chair of ICNND spoke during NO NUKES 2020 of his profound emotion at being in Hiroshima, 45 years after his first visit where the need for Nuclear Disarmament is so clear, and also of how moved he was with the beautiful message of peace made by the candles.
The second important international event today in Hiroshima was the arrival of the World March for Peace and Nonviolence which is on day 15 of its 93 day journey around the Earth from New Zealand to Argentina. Rafa de la Rubia, World without Wars President and March Spokesperson, together with the international members of his team were first presented to an enthusiastic crowd of youngsters in a downtown baseball stadium where a host of events with youth had been organised as part of NO NUKES 2020. Steve Leeper, Chairman of Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, presented de la Rubia with the Hiroshima-Nagasaki protocol; a protocol complementary to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons championed by Mayors for Peace and gathering the support of local authorities and civil society actors all over the world. The World March has agreed to add the Protocol to a growing number of important documents for peace and nuclear disarmament which it is gathering as it circles the planet with the aim to publicise each of them and gather endorsements as the March goes from country to country.
Later on in the evening during the Candle Lighting event, the World without Wars President said to the crowd of people present, including a handful of Hibakusha – the atomic bomb survivors – that the World March, *“must make it clear to the World that what happened here must never be allowed to happen again.”*
High resolution video: