Ribbon cutting, song, dance and disarmament!

I’m currently in Nagasaki, where the 5th Nagasaki Global Citizens’ Assembly for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons is taking place.

Before the opening of the conference, I was invited to participate in a ribbon cutting ceremony. This was to launch the SGI- ICAN exhibition “Everything You Treasure: For a World Free From Nuclear Weapons”. This exhibition is a brilliant illustration of what any use of nuclear weapons would take away from our lives. And I got to snip ribbons with some very sharp golden scissors.

Saturday afternoon was the official opening of the assembly. The programme is varied and cultured. The delicate mix of speeches, ballet, and music provided something for everyone. Instead of the usual speech after speech, the openig programme interspersed Nagasaki’s only jazz trombone player, modern ballet, and my personal favourite- children’s choirs with the speech deliverance.

I admit to being one of the talking heads. I certainly didn’t get invited here to sing! I delivered a short statement during the opening session that talked about relying on extended nuclear deterrence and divestment from nuclear weapons producers.

My full remarks can be found here.

Today is filled with workshops so far. This morning I attended one on Nuclear Weapon Free Zones, including in North East Asia. This afternoon I’m writing this short blog update from a session “Towards the establishment of a legal framework to ban nuclear weapons”. Right now, a professor is explaining how people need to elect parliamentarians willing to instill national laws prohibiting nuclear weapons. National legislation isn’t a bad start, to be honest.

I’m sure that this, and other ideas coming out of this assembly will be included in the final declaration. I’ll post that when it is available.