World Humanitarian Summit: preparations are underway!

Takeshi Komino | May 21, 2016

The World Humanitarian Summit in Instanbul is starting soon! Photo: Takeshi Komino / CWS

The World Humanitarian Summit in Instanbul is starting soon! Photo: Takeshi Komino / CWS

The final countdown for the World Humanitarian Summit has begun.  The actual summit is in a day and half, and CWS, along with partners and colleagues from Japan, ACT Alliance, Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network, Global Network for Disaster Reduction, and WHS Regional Steering Group member for Asia, is getting ready here in Istanbul.  The booth of the Japan CSO Coalition for DRR, in which CWS plays a secretariat role, is being set up and registration completed.

Today was also one of the key pre-summit event for CWS, particularly sharing lessons from nuclear power plant accident in Japan with the people of Turkey.  Turkey is in the process of setting up two nuclear power plants, and there is quite a strong opposition movement in the country.  The one in Sinop (in northern Turkey) is being contracted by a French/Japanese consortium, and Japanese civil society feels it is important that risk sensitive discussions are encouraged in Turkey towards its future energy policy.

CWS's Takeshi Komino (left) at a pre-summit event. Photo: courtesy Takeshi Komino

CWS’s Takeshi Komino (left) at a pre-summit event. Photo: courtesy Takeshi Komino

Due to the strong sense of responsibility among Japanese civil society members to disseminate the lessons learned from Fukushima in order to prevent any similar incidents in the future, the Booklet “10 Lessons from Fukushima” was published in 2015, and it is has now been translated into 14 languages, including Turkish. As Turkey is also in the process of establishing nuclear power plants, Japanese civil society strongly urges Turkey to consider the consequences faced by Japan since the disaster, and to realistically assess its mitigation plans, in terms of public awareness of risks, public health issues, and regulatory and contingency planning issues.

The press conference was attended by some key news agencies, and the lessons communicated include:

  • Nuclear risk is one form of disaster risks→it is important to assess the risks and communicate these as transparently as possible, or refuse to use nuclear as a power source.
  • There is no zero-risk scenario→experience shows we should always keep in mind that accidents can and will occur at some point in time.
  • History of consequences is available→proactively learning from Chernobyl and Fukushima is important while thinking about energy policies.

Takeshi Komino is the General Secretary of CWS Japan.