Toshiki Fujimori, left, hands folded paper cranes to the representatives of countries participating in the United Nations Conference to negotiate a ban on nuclear weapons at the United Nations headquarters in New York on March 31, 2017.
Anti-nuke NGO hands paper cranes to delegates at U.N. conference
NEW YORK — As the first session of the United Nations conference to negotiate a ban on nuclear weapons wrapped up here on March 31, an atomic bomb survivor and Nagasaki University students had a special present for each of the government representatives: a folded paper crane.
By handing the representatives this symbol of peace, Hiroshima atomic bomb survivor Toshiki Fujimori, 73, and the students conveyed their hope for the establishment of a U.N. treaty outlawing nuclear weapons. The cranes were an initiative planned by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), a non-governmental organization (NGO).
“I hope that the cranes will remind the representatives of their determination to abolish nuclear weapons each time they see them,” Fujimori commented.
Hanako Mitsuoka, 21, a third-year student at Nagasaki University and a Nagasaki Youth Delegation member, said everyone took the cranes with smiles on their faces.
ICAN called for the participation of more countries during the conference by also placing the cranes on the seats of representatives of countries that did not participate, including Japan, and running a campaign on social media posting pictures of the non-participating countries’ flags and a signboard with the message “Wish you were here.”
Fujimori, who gave a speech to the conference on its opening day on March 27, conveyed his determination to rid the world of nuclear weapons.
“There is no doubt that there is high hope for us members of civil society to abolish nuclear weapons, so we must act in order to meet those expectations,” he said.
A-bomb survivor comments on treaty talks
A representative of a group of atomic bomb survivors has criticized the Japanese government for its refusal to join UN discussions on a legally-binding treaty to ban nuclear weapons.
Toshiki Fujimori is an assistant secretary general of Nihon Hidankyo, or the Japan Confederation of Atomic and Hydrogen Bomb Sufferers Organizations.
He said many participants during the first round described the experience of “hibakusha” or atomic bomb survivors. Fujimori himself told the General Assembly about his experience.
He said he expects Japanese officials to take a seat at the negotiating table and accept the outcome of the first round of talks. He says he believes a good treaty can be drafted in the next round.
Ambassador Thomas Hajnoczi
Word ‘hibakusha’ should be in nuke ban treaty preamble: Austrian U.N. delegate
NEW YORK — The permanent representative of Austria to the United Nations in Geneva has told the Mainichi Shimbun he hopes a treaty on the nuclear weapons ban being negotiated at the U.N. headquarters here will include the term “hibakusha” — a Japanese word for those exposed to radiation.
Ambassador Thomas Hajnoczi, who played a leading role in five days of international negotiations between March 27 and 31, told the Mainichi that he is lobbying other participating countries to push for the addition of “hibakusha” in the treaty’s preamble, and said he believes the word will indeed be included since no countries are opposed to the idea.
The term “hibakusha” used here is not just referring to survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings, but those who were exposed to radiation from nuclear tests around the world.
The Austrian representative emphasized during a meeting on March 31 that articles on support measures for the victims of nuclear blasts should be included in the treaty since it will focus on human rights issues derived from nuclear weapons.
He also touched on the speeches made by atomic bombing survivors invited to the talks during the March 28 meeting and said he was moved by them. He argued that in the preamble, it is important to refer to suffering that the victims of nuclear explosions have been going through, a central part of the treaty.
Toshiki Fujimori, assistant secretary general of the Japan Confederation of Atomic and Hydrogen Bomb Sufferers Organizations, who was exposed to the atomic bomb in Hiroshima, told the U.N. meeting on March 27 that the treaty must reflect the calls of hibakusha “in express terms so that the world makes remarkable progress toward nuclear weapons abolition.”
Another hibakusha from the Hiroshima bombing, Setsuko Thurlow, who now lives in Canada, also made an address during the meeting, saying that she wanted the world to feel the souls of those who died in the two bombings.