The final day of the G7 Youth Summit opened with time for reflection and discussions with other participants on what we had experienced over the past few days. This included sharing ideas for how we plan to use the knowledge and experience in our campaign work moving forward.
The first panel of the day was titled ‘No action without inclusion- intersectionality and nuclear weapons’. This revisited discussions on the affected communities of nuclear weapons and how important these voices are when making the case for the TPNW. Additionally, the nexus between nuclear weapons and sustainability was stressed as being of high importance. For example, Namibia made the following statement at the general statement of the State Party’s meeting:
“We can also not ignore the devastating environmental damage caused by any use of nuclear weapons or nuclear explosions. This relates to air, soil, water, and food supply, issues that are of paramount importance also within the sustainable development goals. With all the current threats in the SDGs, can we afford a nuclear threat as well? The answer is clearly no.”
During the afternoon, I attended a workshop on speaking to parliamentarians about their concerns of signing the TPNW pledge. This was framed as a roleplay session, where we were asked to respond to questions and comments such as:
- Doesn’t the TPNW weapons the NPT?
- Why care about the TPNW without the P5?
- What about deterrence?
- What are the political and economical benefits of supporting the TPNW?
- How will this impact jobs?
Another workshop I was involved in was centered around creating engaging content for social media. I acted as part of the climate change team, to help others gather information that could be used to showcase the link between the military and concerns about the environment. This can be viewed here: https://www.instagram.com/reel/CsQ8t05oHhS/
The day culminated with the presentation of our collectively written youth statement, for the G7 leaders. You can read the statement here: https://www.icanw.org/youth_statement_from_the_hiroshima_g7_youth_summit?locale=en
To conclude, whilst the G7 summit did not see the progress we wanted we must not give up. The energy from young campaigners proved that there is a demand for a nuclear-free world. Through fresh ideas and international collaboration, a more peaceful world is indeed possible. It will take time, but it’s worthwhile pursuing. Never give up.