20th World Congress of IPPNW 22nd to 26th August 2012 Hiroshima
The 20th World Congress of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), organized by the Japanese Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (JPPNW) was held at Hiroshima, Japan from 22nd to 26th August 2012 on the theme FROM HIROSHIMA TO FUTURE GENERATIONS. It reaffirmed the resolve to continue to work for a nuclear free world as a tribute to the victims of Atomic Bombing at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This will be achieved through its core programmes, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Aiming for Prevention - to check the proliferation of Small Arms. The IPPNW will also stress upon the world leaders to shun nuclear power plants and use renewable resources to fulfill the needs for energy as nuclear energy is neither safe nor economical and is a potential source for the development of weapon system. The congress demanded a Nuclear Weapon Convention under the auspices of the UNO on the pattern of convention on biological, chemical weapons and land mines. A mass movement will be build through public campaigns, advocacy and lobbying in different parts of the world. The activities will also be enhanced in the non nuclear weapon states so that they can put pressure on the nuclear weapon states. To achieve the goal, scope of the movement will be widened by collaborating with likeminded organizations and persons. ICAN will organize a Citizens’ conference in Oslo – Norway on 2nd and 3rd March 2013. This will precede the governmental level conference from 4th to 6th March. . .....
Main Congess Report
The 20th World Congress of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), organized by the Japanese Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (JPPNW) was held at Hiroshima, Japan from 22nd to 26th August 2012 on the theme FROM HIROSHIMA TO FUTURE GENERATIONS. It reaffirmed the resolve to continue to work for a nuclear free world as a tribute to the victims of Atomic Bombing at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This will be achieved through its core programmes, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Aiming for Prevention - to check the proliferation of Small Arms. The IPPNW will also stress upon the world leaders to shun nuclear power plants and use renewable resources to fulfill the needs for energy as nuclear energy is neither safe nor economical and is a potential source for the development of weapon system. The congress demanded a Nuclear Weapon Convention under the auspices of the UNO on the pattern of convention on biological, chemical weapons and land mines. A mass movement will be build through public campaigns, advocacy and lobbying in different parts of the world. The activities will also be enhanced in the non nuclear weapon states so that they can put pressure on the nuclear weapon states. To achieve the goal, scope of the movement will be widened by collaborating with likeminded organizations and persons. ICAN will organize a Citizens’ conference in Oslo – Norway on 2nd and 3rd March 2013. This will precede the governmental level conference from 4th to 6th March.
Whereas people around the world want peace, it is a few vested interests that want to sell arms for the sake of profit, the congress observed. Whereas only a handful of Military Industrial Complex is making the weapons, the developing world is spending huge amounts on their purchase. The US is spending nearly 50% of the total world military expenditure. It is in this connection that a special conference HUMAN TARGET will be organized in Germany from 30th May to 2nd June 2013 near to the Gun Making industry of Heckler and Koch in the twin cities of Villingen and Schewennign. Several affiliates from both South and North of the world will participate in this congress and deliberate from their perspectives.
After the congress, a 30 member delegation went to Fukushima to get first hand information of the situation resulting from the nuclear power plant melt down on 11th March 2011. Dr Arun Mitra from IDPD was a part of this delegation. There is no human population allowed in the 20 Km radius around the plant. Even after 1 year and 5 months, more than 1,60,000 people are still living out of their homes in the make shift houses. A large number of villages will never be inhabited again. As a result youth has moved out to distant places in search of jobs. Elderly are left behind in the make shift houses. This is causing lot of stress among the people. Fourth nuclear reactor in this Dai Ichi plant is still leaking. Decontamination is being done by removing the upper layers of the soil. This will leave huge amount of irradiated soil for which there is no method to dump. The delegation visited Kuwachki village 25 Km away from the plant and met the people there to learn about their horrifying experience. Delegation also had a meeting with the Mayor of the village. Later they also attended a seminar at Fukushima. This event was organized by the Physicians against Nuclear Weapons (PANW), Peace Boat and Green Peace. It was felt that the government is down playing the issue. Independent studies of the area need to be done.
Over 800 delegates from all around the world participated in the congress. Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) delegation was represented by 43 delegates including 31 students from different states namely Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Bihar, Maharashtra, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Nagaland, Manipur and Karnataka. IDPD delegation participated actively in the congress deliberations. Dr Satyajit Kumar Singh gave a presentation in the session on Health Effects of Uranium mining. Dr Balbir Singh participated as a panelist in the session on Responsibility to Protect. Dr Jeetendra Singh coordinated students’ activities during the congress. Dr Vasundhara Bhupati actively participated in the session on Violence and women. Dr Amarjit Singh took part in the discussion in various sessions. Ms Soumya Shree National Students’ Representative (NSR) IDPD co-chaired the plenary on World Without Nuclear Weapons. Mr Arshdeep Singh NSR IDPD co-chaired the youth summit. He also co-chaired the workshop on Nuclear Energy. A special workshop was held on south Asia. Affiliates from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka attended this session to chart out strategy of action to strengthen confidence building measure in the region with a purpose to check the arms race. Theworkshop made following recommendations to be sent to all the heads of governments of south Asia.
A south Asian regional meeting was held in which it was decided to hold a South Asian regional meeting next year.
Congress also elected a Board for the next two years. Dr Arun Mitra from IDPD was reelected as a member of the board. Before the Congress 31 students from different countries including Mr Arshdeep Singh and Ms Apramjyot from IDPD undertook a Bike Tour from Nagasaki to Hiroshima covering a distance of 480 Kilometers in 14 days from 7th August to 21st August. They stopped on the way at various places spreading the message of peace through different activities.
Students’ Congress was held on 22nd and 23rd August. It deliberated on strengthening the movement among students. A full fledged action programme including students’ exchange programme was designed. Students from India made several presentations. Next World congress will be held in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan in 2014.
Dr Arun Mitra General Secretary
Student Congress Report
Student report 20th world congress Hiroshima Japan
The 20th world congress of IPPNW started with a pre-congress bike tour(August 09-20) in which participants from 20 countries went on bikes to cycle from Nagasaki to Hiroshima, the two cities against which the atomic bombs were ever used, passing 15 cities and covering over 500kms in 12 days. Arashdeep Singh, Co-NSR and Apramjyot, North Zone Representative represented India in the event. The aim of bike tour was to show solidarity with the victims and the survivors of not only the nuclear weapons but also nuclear testing, uranium mining, nuclear energy and nuclear accidents over the whole nuclear chain since the inception of nuclear energy. Keeping fresh, blunders of the past in one hand and a message for a nuclear free world in another the bikers spread their message throughout the tour by meeting and interacting with the locals, meeting with the mayors, conducting street actions and interacting with the media.
The student congress was held from August 22-23, a day after ICAN meeting. There were more than 100 students participating from 25 countries. The Indian delegation was again the biggest consisting of 31 medical students from J&K, Punjab, Manipur, Delhi, Haryana, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.
The congress focussed mainly on the issue of nuclear energy and its relation with nuclear weapons, small arms violence as depicted through one bullet stories, Hibakusha around the world and learning nuclear issues with Hibakusha and Fukushima victims and challenges faced by IPPNW student movement. There were numerous workshops held during the student congress covering vast global issues like climate change, medical peace works, doctors in training, communications and media, website and student magazines, IPPNW core programs ICAN, NWIP, post congress activity and many more.
There were guest speeches from Dr Masako Nakamoto, Hiroshima Bomb survivor, Gynaecologist & Obstetrician; Dr Robert Mtonga, Vice President, IPPNW and Mr Steven Leeper, Chairman, Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation. They all stressed on the need of eliminating both nuclear weapon and nuclear power which is vital for the survival of mankind in future.
The Indian students’ participation is well up to the mark throughout the student congress and main congress as well. The highlights are:
The students were also active throughout the main congress and almost each workshop and plenary has witnessed the active participation of medical students from India. They met local campaigners, Hibakusha, Peace activists, Anti nuclear activists and above all people from different backgrounds and ethnicity. Overall, it was a successful and promising tour for the student movement in IDPD in India.
The report complied by Arashdeep, Soumya -National Student Representatives, India at IPPNW and Apramjyot
Bike Tour Report
IPPNW BIKE TOUR JAPAN 2012: CYCLING FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
44 medical students and doctors came together from around the globe this august to bike together across southern Japan with the common message of NUCLEAR ZERO resonating among them all. The uniqueness and the exceptionality of this tour brought about by the perfect blend of determined and brave activists from medical background belonging to 20 countries and all continents, biking over approx 600 kilometers of highly undulating and hilly terrain from Nagasaki to Hiroshima, so different from each other yet so similar with the dream and hope of bringing about ultimate world peace and security was unprecedented.
Extending over 13 days from august 7th to the 20st, the tour started and finished in the two cities which were shamefully wiped off by the nukes in 1945. Starting in Nagasaki the participants cycled to Hiroshima where they eventually attended the 20th IPPNW World Congress 2012. In the bike tour India was represented by two IDPD affiliates- Arashdeep Singh,National Students Representative and Apram Jyot, North Zone Representative.
The aim of this tour was to show solidarity with the victims and the survivors of not only the nuclear weapons but also nuclear testing, uranium mining, nuclear energy and nuclear accidents over the whole nuclear chain in the past 60 years . Keeping fresh blunders of the past in one hand and a message for a nuclear free world in another the bikers spread their message throughout the tour by meeting and interacting with the locals, meeting with the mayors, conducting street actions and interacting with the media.
Activities during the bike tour
On August 7th after meeting the whole bike crew in Nagasaki at the RECNA, a research centre to promote nuclear abolition, the tour crew had the opportunity to meet the mayor of Nagasaki, Mr. Tomihisa Taue, one of the vice presidents of the Organization Mayors for Peace. Being equally impressed and amused after listening about the plans for the next 13 days the mayor expressed overwhelming appreciation for the bikers and a wish to join the tour if it hadn’t been for his commitments. The meeting ended with best wishes from the mayor and a memento from the Office of Nagasaki to the bikers.
August 8th was a day fully devoted to anti nuclear activities and no biking. Street action was conducted on a crowded intersection in Nagasaki. With HIBAKUSHA WORLDWIDE poster exhibition lined on both sides of the road the bikers were able to generate quite a public stir. There was one on one interaction with the interested locals about the dangers of the nuclear chain. After the street action the bikers attended the meeting with the high school students of Nagasaki . Dr. Alex Rosen spoke about the nuclear chain. An integral part of the meeting was a very heart warming and touching speech by a girl about her experience as a first hand witness to the Fukushima disaster. The narration of her misery as she and her family suffered the agony of evacuation from the nuclear fallout zone shook everybody. This was followed by a very fruitful discussion on the Hibakusha World Wide posters as each one was handed to a biker with a group of very eager to learn students. The bikers then picked up their respective bikes followed by official bike tour t- shirts and buttons.
August 9th, on the 67th anniversary of the grim nuclear bombing of Nagasaki, the bike tour crew was invited as special guests to the very prestigious Memorial ceremony at the Nagasaki peace park. It was a great honor because the ceremony was attended by the most distinguished guests from all over Japan. Later in the day, in the presence of local press the bikers then started the tour from the Nagasaki medical college under the applause of IPPNW members and local supporters. After 50kms of biking through the Omura bay and rice paddies the bikers ended the day by reaching the rest house at a hilltop in Seihi. This was followed by an exceptionally sunny day of august 10th when biking through the hilly terrain the bikers reached another hilltop rest house. After diner everyone enjoyed the unwinding at the traditional Japanese bath called the onsen.
August 11th brought about an approx 80km journey to the hilltop Oonojo campsite. The day which was a variegated mixture of picturesque surroundings, up hills, rain and the sun ended with some much missed Indian curry. A former Japanese nuclear power plant worker who was also biking with us shared his experiences of working in a NPP and the prejudice he faced for questioning the authorities.
On august 12th,biking through rain the bikers reached another hilltop campsite in Fukuoka. After a very brisk change the bikers made it to the very prestigious symposium in a grand conference hall. Dumbstruck by the grand welcome with music and applause the bikers took the allocated executive seats as Dr. Alex Rosen presented the nuclear chain. The session was concluded with a question and answer session and the day with a Japanese ramen diner.
August 13th was biking trough the rain and clouds to lunch when all voted for an early day off and stay at a nearby boat house to reenergize the spirits.
August 14th was a day of unbelievable and striking 93kms for the bikers through the city of Kitakyushu, island of Honshu ,the harbor town of Shimonoseki to the campsite. The plateau of Akioshidai marked the mid point of our tour which was celebrated by all with nepali curry , drinks and singing. August 15th was a rest day, no biking(except for Alex and Bene) , only touring trough the biggest limestone caves of Asia below the Karst plateau. The evening was well spent learning how to make paper cranes with the help of the fellow Japanese which is a tradition to honor the nuclear bomb victims .The diner followed by campfire with bikers sharing their work and contributions in their individual chapters was very inspiring. August 16th was many long kilometers in the sun before lunch including the visit to the famous five tiered pagoda in Yamaguchi and the rest along the coast towards Hikari, the beach campsite. The bikers experienced immense joy and satisfaction as they jumped into the welcoming waters of the Seto inland sea and letting the waves wash away every bit of anguish of the taxing 88kms they biked. Perfect evening ended with the perfect night of sleeping on the beach under the stars. August 17th was an activity day per se. After some delicious bannock for breakfast, a delegation to meet the mayor of Hikari the sunshine city ,so called because of its promotion of the solar and wind energy. Bikers were then taken to Kaminoseki in vans where a discussion was held with the pro nuclear energy PR man from a local energy supplier. They also met up with many extremely dedicated anti nuclear activists who took them to the site of construction of a very controversial nuclear power plant in the far side of peninsula. The activists shared their inspiring experiences and struggles over the past 30 years, opposing the construction by blockading the beach, kayaking in the cove and holding weekly protests. Many devoted activists from all over Japan had moved to the region to oppose the construction. Their conviction was truly inspiring for all of us. The evening was well spent with barbeque followed by a long discussion with the activists until midnight on the beach
August 18th was another long day of 80 kilometers of biking which went past surprisingly easy and fast as we reached the hostel at Miyajimaguchi. The highlight of the day was the lunch in the beautiful park in Iwakuni where everyone wholly enjoyed, starting from the huge shower to the delicious softi cream in amazing flavors. The historic bridge of Iwakuni was breathtaking. August 19th was a much awaited rest day for all. After a hearty Indian breakfast of stuffed paronthas, the bikers took a ferry to the famous island of Miyajima which everybody explored in their own way and thoroughly enjoyed.
The half submerged shrine in the centre of the island was the main attraction. Winding up with barbeque on the beach and the ferry back to the hostel it was truly a rest day for all. August 20th was only 30 kilometers to the grand finale!!Hiroshima welcomed us with open arms and cheers. IPPNW members and locals greeted us in front of the Hiroshima peace museum. This was followed by a meeting with the mayor of Hiroshima and the president of the organization Mayors for Peace Mr.Kazumi Matsui.The bikers then attended a meeting with the students in the medical school where a discussion on the nuclear chain was followed by very edifying presentations by the students. Our tour was officially concluded by the live prepared Japanese specialty Okonomiyaki. People from -Germany,Netherlands,India,Nepal,Canada,phillipines,iran,Australia,Nigeria,U.S.A.,Norway,Swedn,Estionia,Japan,Switzerland,Ukraine,Denmark,Nicaragua,Ecuador,Egypt…..widely separated from each other in terms of land, nationality and culture ,yet so closely connected by the bond of value and reverence for human life and yearning for peace and security world wide….this is what made this tour a huge success.
WHO ARE WE? Doctors Worldwide
WHAT DO WE WANT? Nuclear zero
WHERE ARE WE FROM? Nagasaki
WHERE ARE WE GOING? Hiroshima LETS Go!!!!!!!!