ICAN Executive Director Melissa Parke’s visit to Hiroshima

ICAN Executive Director Melissa Parke's visit to HiroshimaOn January 19, the new International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) Executive Director Melissa Parke visited Hiroshima for the first time. WFC was among the peace groups welcoming her.
In the evening, we welcomed her by the Motoyasu River and celebrated the 3rd anniversary of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), lighting candles which said, “END WARS — JOIN TPNW 2024.”
Melissa gave a message, expressing her gratitude for the Hibakusha’s courageous dedication to abolish nuclear weapons and end war, and reiterating the importance of hearing their voices. She urged Japan to join the TPNW and for everyone to work together “with love” to create peace in the midst of our difficult global situation.
The next day was intensive–on January 20 Melissa gave a keynote speech at the Peace Memorial Museum to a room of approximately 200 people, stating, “There are no right hands for wrong weapons.” During Q&A, she called for youth involvement in antinuclear organizations, and for antinuclear workers to recognize nuclear weapons’ connectedness to various issues, such as climate change, biodiversity, and human rights crises. She called for educational curricula which center those affected by the atomic bomb, rather than the men that created them.
Later in the day, WFC Vice-Chair Junko Hattori, Co-Director Matthew Bateman, and representatives of other peace and antinuclear organizations introduced themselves to Ms. Parke over lunch. In talking Hiroshiman Civil Society strategy toward the end of nuclear weapons, she urged us to share messages which speak from heart, not from the head.
Ms. Parke was given a tour of the Peace Park by young people working for peace, and WFC Chair Shizuo Tachibana introduced her to the Monument for Barbara Reynolds. He shared about not only Barbara but also Dr. Marcel Junod, Norman Cousins, and Floyd Schmoe who came to Hiroshima from abroad and gave a helping hand.
As a partner organization to ICAN, WFC will continue to work for the abolition of nuclear weapons and world peace.
More photos on the WFC Official Facebook page.