World Conference 2020: Moving Online
April 24 - April 26
World Conference 2020: Abolish Nuclear Weapons; Resist and Reverse Climate Change; For Social and Economic Justice
Concern for people’s health and protecting people from the risk of the accelerated spread of the corona virus has led our World Conference planning committee to cancel the in-person April 24-26 World Conference, rally and march. An online version of the event is now being planned, so please check back closer to the date.
BUT, we are planning to build from all that we have already accomplished, including planning for an international online conference with simultaneous interpretation. Look forward to future announcements.
The international coalition we have built is remarkable and will persist in these changed circumstances. With 1,500 people already registered to join our conference and related events, we have a strong foundation on which we can build for the future.
In this period, we recognize that there are already many forms of action dedicated to achieving our conference goals – abolition of nuclear weapons, reversing climate destruction, and social and economic justice – planned in many places around the world. We appreciate the support that many of you have given to our organizing. We look forward to our continuing collaborations and wish you every success in your actions in your communities and nations. We also recognize that new forms of organizing and social mobilization will be necessary. We will do our best to develop these new strategies and to learn from others’ initiatives.
Finally, with conferences at the U.N. either cancelled or reduced to symbolic events without the participation of civil society through mid-April, and with Secretary General Guterres’ announcement that the U.N. is now closed to everyone but those who work there, it seems unlikely that a meaningful NPT Review Conference will be held. Should a symbolic event be held, we will develop means to manifest the world’s demands for nuclear weapons abolition.
— the Planning Committee, March 12
World Conference 2020
Abolish Nuclear Weapons | Resist and Reverse Climate Change | For Social and Economic Justice
Conference April 24-25; March and Rally April 26
Humanity faces two existential threats: the increasing dangers of nuclear war and climate disruption. Human beings created these threats, which can only be reversed by mass popular actions.
2020 will mark the 75th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki — the beginning of the nuclear era which threatens human survival today. It also marks the birth of international efforts and movements to abolish nuclear weapons and create a nuclear free world. 2020 is also the 75th anniversary of the end of the second world war in Europe and Asia and the founding of the United Nations, the 25th anniversary of the UN Climate Change Conference following the Rio Earth Declaration, and the 10th NPT Review Conference will be held at the U.N. in April and May
With the encouragement of partners involved in organizing annual World Conferences against A- and H-Bombs in Japan on the anniversaries of the A-bombings, the Peace and Planet network and the International Peace Bureau, supported by the Abolition 2000 Global Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, have initiated planning for a World Conference and related events in New York City on the eve of the 2020 NPT Review Conference. These events build on the 2010 and 2015 conferences and mobilizations in New York, which included addresses by then-UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Hibakusha (victims of the atomic bombings and nuclear testing) and disarmament movement leaders. Rallies and inter-religious services involving thousands of activists from around the world culminated with the presentation to the United Nations of millions of petition signatures urging the complete elimination of the world’s nuclear arsenals.
Our commitments are to prevent nuclear war, to achieve the prohibition and elimination of all nuclear weapons, to work for the relief of and in solidarity with the world’s Hibakusha, to promote disarmament, stemming and reversing the climate crisis, social and economic justice, and building the intersectional movements we will need to prevail. Disarmament will be an important topic at the different events, and “no to war” the general basis of our actions
In organizing for the conference, we seek the broadest possible engagement with nuclear weapons abolition, peace, justice and environmental constituencies as well as diplomats and politicians from countries which are actively and meaningfully committed to achieving a nuclear weapon-free world and a sustainable environment.
Danger and Opportunity
The World Conference will provide a timely opportunity to sound the alarm and to inspire popular movements and sympathetic governments to address the challenges, posed by growing dangers of nuclear war, the climate crisis and the racism, repressions and inequalities spurred by authoritarian, militarist and oligarchic governments. Racism, other forms of hate and growing economic inequality, driven in part by the rise of authoritarian governments, truncate the lives and hopes of people across the planet. The struggles for peace and democracy are two sides of the same coin. The Conference also provides a unique opportunity to promote and build intersectional and youth-led movements.
A successful outcome of the 2020 NPT Review Conference will be a challenge. The nuclear-armed states remain resistant to fulfilling their Article VI disarmament obligations and, in what threatens to become a new unrestrained nuclear arms race, they are all engaged in upgrading their omnicidal nuclear arsenals. Plans include deployments of new land-based nuclear weapons in Europe. And nuclear weapons proliferation (possibly by Saudi Arabia, Brazil or others) further undermines the viability of the NPT.
Powerful popular movements and local, state and national governmental commitments, including the Paris Climate Agreement, have responded to the growing dangers of climate disruption. But global temperatures and seas continue to rise. The climate crisis is already exacting heavy tolls on human lives and wellbeing. Deadlier hurricanes and cyclones, flooding, famine and sea level rise are taking lives, destroying communities, leaving people hungry and homeless, and fueling desperate mass migration which contributes to militarized conflicts. Additionally, as UNESCO’s Global Assessment Study recently reported, assaults on biodiversity have left one in four species at risk of extinction, threatening the ecosystems on which human life depends.
The Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty, expected to come into force in 2020, is a beacon of hope, and has become a priority for many of the world’s non-nuclear nations. A World Conference held during the 2020 NPT Review Conference, on the eve of the 75th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings — at a time of increasing nuclear danger and the threats of wars — will serve as one of the last and greatest opportunities to put the experiences of the Hibakusha at the center of international attention, It will be a critical time to highlight their continuing warnings that “human beings and nuclear weapons cannot coexist,” and to recall the principal directive of the seminal 1955 Russell-Einstein manifesto: “remember your humanity and forget the rest.”
The World Conference will provide a unique opportunity for the world’s nuclear disarmament campaigns, allied movements and organizations, and diplomats committed to banning and eliminating nuclear weapons to amplify our abolition demands to the Review Conference. Making links to climate and social and economic justice movements offers a new opportunity to develop the alliances and intersectional movements we will need to prevail.
YOUTH ASSEMBLY Friday, April 24
CONFERENCE Friday, April 24, 5:00pm – Saturday, April 25, 6:00pm ~ Riverside Church
MARCH and RALLY Sunday, April 26, 1:00 pm, Union Square – March to Dag Hammarskjold Plaza
RIDES: Sign up for carpools: https://www.prepatrip.com/t/cnxv7t/carpool/1
World Conference: Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Resist & Reverse Climate Change, For Social & Economic Justice (1/16/20 edition)
April 24, 2020
5:00 – 6:00 p.m. Registration
6:00 – 9:00 p.m. Opening
Japanese choir and First Nation Welcome
Formal welcome & conference framing – Joseph Gerson – (CPDCS/USA –confirmed)
Setsuko Thurlow (Hibakusha of Hiroshima/Canada – confirmed)
Mayors Matsui and Taue (Hiroshima & Nagasaki/Japan – invited)
Ambassador Elayne Whyte Gomez (Costa Rica – invited)
Noam Chomsky (Video) (Renowned Scholar/USA – confirmed)
Michael Klare (Five College Peace & World Security Studies/USA – confirmed)
Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner (Poet/Marshall Islands – confirmed)
Xiye Bastida – (Sunrise Movement/USA &Mexico – invited)
Phillip Jennings (International Trade Union Confederation & Int’l Peace Bureau/Britain – confirmed)
Rep. Barbara Lee – (U.S. Congress/USA – invited)
April 25, 2020
8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Registration
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Plenary speeches – organized by panels
Section 1 (Reporting & Analysis)
Hibakusha Panel: Hidankyo, Korean A-bomb survivors and Leona Morgan (Nuclear Issues Study Group, Navajo/ – confirmed)
Bill McKibben (350.Org/USA – invited)
Youth speaker – TBD
Rev. William Barber or Rev. Liz Theoharis – (Poor People’s Campaign/USA – invited)
Walden Bello – (Focus on the Global South/Philippines – confirmed)
Oleg Bodrov (Coalition for a Clean Baltic/Russia – confirmed)
Binalakshmi Nepram – (Control Arms Foundation /India – confirmed)
Section 2 (Actions & Strategies)
Emad Kiyaei (IGD Group/Iran – confirmed)
Sharon Dolev – (Israeli Disarmament Movement/Israel – confirmed)
Youngdae Ko – SPARK – (Korea – confirmed)
Arielle Denis – (International Peace Bureau/France –confirmed)
Tadatoshi Akiba – (Gensuikin/Japan- Confirmed)
Andrew Lichterman – (Western States Legal Foundation/USA – confirmed)
Sharran Burrow – (International Trade Union Confederation/Australia -Confirmed)
Sophia (Soda) Garcia – (Pax Christi/Philippines -confirmed)
12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Lunch Break
1:00 – 2:30 p.m. Workshops/Forums Session
2:30 – 4:00 p.m. Second Workshop/Forums Session
4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Closing Plenary
Secretary General António Guterres (United Nations – invited)
Beatrice Finn – (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons/Sweden confirmed)
Gensuikyo speaker (Japan – confirmed)
Jackie Cabasso – (United for Peace & Justice and WSLF/USA – confirmed)
Reading & Distribution of conference organizers’ statement
*Order of speakers subject to change
April 26, 2020
1:00 Rally – Union Square (Tentative Location – Be Sure to Check Back for Confirmation)
3:00 Rally and Ceremony – Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, 245 E 47th St, New York, NY 10017