As part of Peace Boat’s Global Voyage for a Nuclear-Free World, the organization held an impactful testimony session on Monday, October 29th at Rutgers University-Newark in coalition with the Rutgers University Association of International Relations (RUAIR) and various partners. Student Speaker and “Youth for the SDGs” scholar Grace Appiah notably began the session with remarks, “Nuclear weapons are not equivalent to world peace.”
Since 2008, the international NGO Peace Boat has invited Hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to participate in the “Global Voyage for a Nuclear-Free World: Peace Boat Hibakusha Project.” As of 2016, over 170 Hibakusha have travelled around the world giving personal testimonies about the effects of the atomic bombs and calling for nuclear abolition. The messages from Hiroshima and Nagasaki have the potential to deeply move people around the world who are affected by war, violence, poverty and environmental issues. This project is held annually onboard Peace Boat’s global voyages. As the average age of the Hibakusha is now close to 80 years old, the time remaining for them to directly send out their urgent message is very limited.
Christopher King, the UN Deputy Chief of the United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs, related the ongoing and predicted tensions along the geopolitical landscape regarding the modernization of arsenals across nuclear states. Akira Kawasaki, an International Steering Group Member and representative from ICAN, emphasized the message, “There are no good nuclear weapons and no bad nuclear weapons” as he related the humanitarian consequences that are posed from threat of nuclear weapons.
Ms. Sora Tamiko, a survivor from the Hiroshima nuclear blasts, courageously shared her personal account of the horrors she and her family experienced at the time of the bombing. Three years old at the time of the bombing, Ms. Sora Tamiko expressed gratitude for organizations like Peace Boat that are taking a firm stance for peaceful nuclear disarmament on a global scale and for providing her a platform to turn her story into a impactful tool for change. The Rutgers University students who led the event were successful in reaching the goal of 1,000+ signatures for the Global Initiative to Ban All Nuclear Weapons.
To learn more about the Peace Boat Global Voyage for a Nuclear Free World, visit: