New Humanist

An international delegation will represent the World March for Peace and Nonviolence at ceremonies marking the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Japan Hiroshima – Nagasaki | August 06, 2009

Rafael de la Rubia, spokesperson for the World March (WM), was invited to attend a commemoration of the atomic bombing of Japanese cities between 6 and 11 August. He is travelling with a special delegation of representatives of various countries, including Japanese descendants.

A symbolic act will take place on 5 August: a torch will be lit, and carried from Hiroshima to New Zealand by the mayor of the city of Wellington (NZ), which will be the starting point for the WM base team on 2 October.

A delegation of the World March for Peace and Nonviolence will be part of a special group of guests invited by Hiroshima city council to attend the annual tribute to victims of the atomic bomb on 6 August. Coordinated by international WM spokesperson Rafael de la Rubia, from Spain, the committee will also participate in the “Mayors for Peace” conference, which will be held in Nagasaki between 7 and 10 August. The World March is an unprecedented initiative, which will officially begin in Wellington, New Zealand, on 2 October. It will take place in more than 100 countries – including conflict areas – and will end in Argentina on 2 January, at the foot of Mount Aconcagua.

A symbolic act will also take place, on 5 August. A torch will be lit and handed to the mayor of Wellington, Bob Harvey. “The purpose of the ceremony is to strengthen the World March’s profile. One of the aims of the march is to eliminate the nuclear threat to humanity,” Rafael explained. He added, “The march has other aims too: the return of occupied territories, gradual disarmament of conventional weapons, and the disavowal of all forms of violence.” In addition to Rafael, the committee also includes Natsuko Ota, who is Japanese-Spanish, Alexandre Sammogini, who is Japanese-Brazilian, and Matteo Gattoni from Italy, who represent the World March in their respective countries.

After the ceremonies in Hiroshima, the delegation will move to Nagasaki. Members will attend the annual “Mayors for Peace” meeting there; this will bring together 3,000 mayors from all over the world. The organization is now campaigning for the abolition of nuclear weapons by 2020, through the endorsement by politicians of the Protocol of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The meeting is regarded as one of the most important initiatives for the preparation of the United Nations Conference for a review of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which will take place in May next year.

Hundreds of well-known figures have expressed support for the World March, including presidents, artists and Nobel laureates.

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