BY H.E. MR. SUMIO TARUI
EXTRAORDINARY AND PLENIPOTENIARY
OF THE DELEGATION OF JAPAN
THE CONFERENCE ON DISARMAMENT
THE FIRST COMMITTEE OF THE 62ND SESSION
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
THEMATIC DEBATE: DISARMAMENT AND NON-PROLIFERATION EDUCATION
As one of the members of the 2002 UN Study on disarmament and
non-proliferation education, Japan
places great importance on this issue.
For example, there has been much debate on how to create an international
environment conducive to the achievement of the total elimination of nuclear
weapons, as well as how to maintain a world free from such weapons after their
total elimination. Japan believes
that promoting disarmament and non-proliferation education is one answer to
Japan therefore strongly believes that education is a key to promoting
disarmament and non-proliferation, and lays a basis for any concerted international
efforts. Education not only
provides information, but motivates people to address the challenges and
problems through critical thinking.
We therefore need to be educated as well as to educate.
Cooperation with civil society in this regard cannot be
overemphasized. A notable example
is the Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Education Seminar, which Japan co-hosted with the United Nations
Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) during the Second Session of the
Preparatory Committee of the 2010 NPT Review Conference on 30 April in Geneva. A central theme of this seminar was to
discuss how to pass on the experience of atomic bombings to future
generations. Discussions among
people from various backgrounds, such as two Hibakushas (atomic survivors), a
disarmament educator, a professor and a high school teacher who actually conducts
disarmament and non-proliferation education classes in a Russian nuclear city,
made the seminar very interesting and insightful. This is a good example of cooperation
between governments and civil society.
This year, a biannual resolution on the UN study on disarmament and
non-proliferation education has been submitted by Mexico. Japan has been one of its
co-sponsors. Japan hopes
that this resolution will again be adopted by consensus with more co-sponsors
than in the past.