SANTA BARBARA, California - August 24 - A gathering of 50 young leaders, policy experts and veteran activists met from August 15-21, 2005 in Santa Barbara, California to discuss issues and develop action plans around nuclear disarmament, the social and environmental justice implications of the nuclear fuel cycle, including uranium mining and indigenous peoples, the role of universities in nuclear weapons production, alternatives to nuclear energy, and toxic waste disposal.
Titled “Think Outside the Bomb,” the conference was organized by the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation with assistance from the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (Maryland), Western States Legal Foundation (California), Women’s Action for New Directions (Georgia), Educators for Social Responsibility (New York), Nuclear Information and Resource Service (Washington, DC), American Friends Service Committee (Hawaii), and other non-governmental organizations.
Participants ranged from 15 to 29 years of age and hailed from 17 states, including California, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Texas, Illinois, Washington State, Washington DC, as well as from the Marshall Islands and Kazakhstan. Participants came from diverse ethnic backgrounds, fields of study and career aspirations.
Inspired by the need for a new generation of leaders working toward a nuclear-free world, the participants agreed to establish a diverse network of individuals and organizations for the purpose of communication, interaction, support, and to collect and disseminate resources. The youth participants crafted a collective “Principles of Unity,” which states in part, “The continued research, development, manufacture, testing, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons violate international law and basic human rights to life, dignity and security. Nuclear weapons disable functional diplomacy and prevent the establishment of a just peace. The only way to halt this vicious cycle is to devalue and delegitimize the role of nuclear weapons in national security policies. Nuclear weapons must be abolished.”
The full text of the “Principles of Unity” is available online at www.wagingpeace.org. For more information on the “Think Outside the Bomb National Conference on Nuclear Issues” or the “Principles of Unity,” please contact the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation’s Director of Youth Programs, Michael Coffey, at (805) 452-1166 or by email at email@example.com.