2017 World Conference against A and H Bombs, Nagasaki – Closing Plenary

Lisa Clark
Co-President, International Peace Bureau


This was my first time at the World Conference. Let me thank Gensuikyo for having allowed me to enjoy this extraordinary experience. The International Peace Bureau (IPB) is dedicated to the vision of a world without war.

We are here, all of us, full of excitement thanks to the vote at the United Nations on the 7th of July, when 122 States approved the text of a Treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons, an achievement that we have worked towards for years! This success has given us new energies. The Treaty opens the door to a new age of United Nations initiated disarmament agreements. As Prof Anzai said, It is our imperfect but powerful Treaty, our Achilles Treaty. Powerful, because it gives us strength. Imperfect, because we need to act to get it ratified by the widest possible number of States.

The new Treaty has created a new climate, strengthening the alliance of civil society and governments that achieved this result. The world’s peace movements must now engage in a whole range of activities to ensure the Ban Treaty is ratified.

At this World Conference we have proposed a global “Peace Wave”, with actions all over the world being organized between the 20th and the 26th of September, the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. Each one of our countries and movements can organize its own events, but we can be coordinated into a vast “Wave” of anti-nuclear activism across the globe.

The Hibakushas are willing to renew the pain of retelling their stories so that humanity can learn from their experience, so that no one else ever suffers what they went through. Our brothers and sisters from the Marshall Islands and Australia will help us understand the horrors of nuclear testing, when human beings were considered merely part of the flora and fauna. And all the other victims of the nuclear fuel cycle and of inhumane weapons of war will help us educate the younger generations. For we know from experience that is only the solidarity of citizens and peoples that can provide us with the real power to find peaceful solutions.

It is our duty to convince all governments, including those of NATO and nuclear-umbrella countries, to ratify the Treaty. Including Japan, of course! To do this we must rally our citizen’s movements in support of our vision of a nuclear-weapon-free world, forge alliances across the generations, bringing together professional associations and trade unions, students and young workers. We can organize inter-faith prayer meetings, participate in our local government institutions and get resolutions adopted, convince parliamentarians to propose motions in our national and international democratic institutions. Our global Peace Wave must turn into a “Ratify the Ban Treaty” Tsunami!

Our first goal is to ensure that the Treaty enters into force, but our ultimate objective is the elimination of nuclear weapons. For this, we need to promote a culture of peace, including support for broader disarmament campaigns. We need to provide activists with the tools for analysing the cost of weapons, militarism and war; to collaborate in the global campaign against military spending, including by proposing alternative budgets for positive peace programmes.

I look forward to putting into practice all the exciting new proposals we have shared over the past few days in this World Conference! We are full of ideas and creativity. Let’s build on the enthusiasm created by the approval of the Ban Treaty. The IPB with its over 300 member organizations will actively support and accompany this process. You, in Japan will redouble your efforts at sharing the legacy of the Hibakusha, at opposing the militarism of foreign bases, at showing the Japanese government that you are the majority! We, in Italy, shall build on the history we are proud of (the first modern state to abolish the death penalty, the peaceful Constitution we share with Japan). And the International Peace Bureau, like other international coordinating structures, will enable us all to make the most of our networks, spreading our activism across the globe in a vast Culture of Peace Wave!

No More Hiroshimas!
No More Nagasakis!
No More Hibakushas!
No More War!

Download the speech here