Closing Plenary
2003 World Conference against A and H Bombs- Nagasaki
August 9, 2003

Herbert Docena
Peace and Security Section
Focus on Global South


It's an incredible sight seeing all seven thousand of you here today all opposed to atomic and hydrogen bombs. It's inspiring to see so many young people here like me.

I come with greetings and solidarity from the Philippines. Not many people know that long before there was Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Vietnam, or Iraq, the US' first big war was the on the Philippines - where thousands of my Filipino brother and sisters were killed by the invading American colonizers in the 1900s. I was in Iraq three days before the war and I went home very sad knowing that all the very friendly people I met there probably died in the rain of bombs. Now I'm here in Nagasaki and it pains me to know that like in Iraq, like in the Philippines, tens of thousands were killed for the same reasons - so that few can become richer and more powerful while the rest of us suffer and die. My brothers and sisters, there should also be NO MORE IRAQS, and NO MORE PHILIPPINES!

We all know what we DON'T want but now we need to say what we DO WANT. And what do we want? Do we want one arrogant superpower telling us who1s our enemy and who's our friend? Do we want the United States controlling our lives and our resources? Do we want more nuclear bombs or do we want more books? More hydrogen bombs or more food? More depleted uranium or more homes?

Like you did so inspiringly here in Nagasaki, we need to build a new world from the ashes of death and destruction. In this new world, we must replace the concept of "national security," or the idea that our country's peace and security depends on the security of our state. This is the logic that leads to international rivalries and the kind of thinking that makes us buy more and more bombs and attack other countries. We need to replace this with the concept of "human security" or "people's security." This is the kind of thinking in which we see everyone in the world as our brothers and sisters whom we don't want to kill. And instead of buying very expensive bombs, "people's security" will make us buy more books, more food, and more homes for our brothers and sisters.

My brothers and sisters, a new world is emerging. We saw a glimpse of that last February 15 when millions of people around the world opposed the war and everything it represented. We must now make sure to seize the moment and make our movement stronger. We can do this by broadening our ranks and uniting with as many people as we can from the anti-neoliberal globalization movement, from the environmentalists, the small farmers, trade unions, and everyone who shares our vision of a better world. We will find out that we have so much more in common with what they're fighting for.

Young people of the world: we are inheriting a very dangerous world. We gather here in very dangerous times. The challenge for us is to make sure that we have a better world to give to our children.



Sayonara and see you at the World Social Forum 2004 in India this January.