On 1 May 2019, Syed Mohamad Hasrin Aidid, Permanent Representative of Malaysia to the United Nations currently overseeing the third session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), and Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, were presented by Mr. Sueichi Kido, Secretary-General of Nihon Hidankyo (Japan Confederation of A-and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations), and Mr. Jiro Hamasumi, Assistant Secretary General of Nihon Hidankyo, with 9,415,025 signatures supporting the “Appeal of the Hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors)”.
The petition has collected an additional 1.1 million signatures since the last submission to the UN in 2018.
During the handover of the signatures, Mr. Kido said to Mr. Aidid, “Nuclear disarmament is an irreversible international trend. The rise in global conflict and tension is not a justification to oppose abolition; it is a reason to support it.”
The event took place on the sidelines of the Non-Proliferation Treaty Preparatory Committee which is being held at the United Nations Headquarters until 10 May 2019. As part of the NGO Session of the NPT PrepCom, Nihon Hidankyo gave a presentation on the same day including both Mr. Kido and Mr. Jiro’s testimonies of the effects of the nuclear bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Emphasizing the main goal of the organization, Mr. Kido addressed the participants of the NPT PrepCom stating “Let us achieve the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and the total elimination of nuclear weapons by the voices and actions of the citizens all over the world.”
Mr. Jiro stressed the collective responsibility of “adults all over the world to hand down the blue and clear sky free of nuclear weapons and wars to our children in the world.”
The more than 9.4 million signatures where gratefully received by the Malaysian ambassador to the United Arab Emirates and the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs.
Drafted by Trine Pejstrup and Jonah Glick-Unterman