2015-04_OOC_Nuclear_NonProliferation_0079_web

Students Visit Hiroshima, Rally for Peace

Seventy years after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, two Harker students joined students from Russia, Japan and the United States for the 18th annual Critical Issues Forum, a student conference on nuclear disarmament held in Hiroshima.
The forum, April 2-4, was co-sponsored by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and the Hiroshima for Global Peace Plan Joint Project Executive Committee. Students presented their research, listened to talks by survivors and visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.
The full Harker team, Manan Shah, rising junior, Ethan Ma ’15; Alexander Sikand, grade 11, and Zarek Drozda, both rising seniors, did basic research on past events with global humanitarian consequences to find successful initiatives. Then, two of the students, Sikand and Ma, went to Japan in April to present the team’s findings.
“The issues of national security, military and strategic aspects have always taken precedence in the discussion of nuclear weapons,” said Shah. “The research centered on discussion about the implications of potential human catastrophe as a result of the use of nuclear weapons and what must be done to avoid any such future occurrence.”
“We basically tried to justify the use (of the atomic bomb),” Sikand said, ‘and talked about how it probably saved this many American lives; it ended the war this many years, this many months earlier than it would have otherwise,” he said. “After going there, you realize that there is much left [to
debate].”
“Participation in the Critical Issues Forum is a game changer,” Shah said. “The issue of use of nuclear weapons affects each and every one of us and our participation will ensure a better, safer and more peaceful tomorrow.”
This experience, and the knowledge and perspective it gave Shah has shown him the importance of the work of ending the use of nuclear weapons. “It will always be a part of me,” he said.

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