UN Special Sessions on Disarmament In response to the continuing arms race, the United Nations General Assembly convened its first special session on disarmament in 1978. Delegations of peace activists from around the world marched through the streets of New York City during this exceptional event. They included 500 Japanese activists seeking the abolition of nuclear weapons. Two more special sessions on disarmament were held at the United Nations in 1982 and 1988. “No more hibakusha! No more war!” Mr. Senji Yamaguchi at the second special session on disarmament. Photograph courtesy of UPI/Kyodo. Demonstrators on 42nd Street in Manhattan during the second special session on disarmament. June 12, 1982. Photograph by Yasuo Otsuji. The Hibakusha in Europe Concerned about the possible deployment of battlefield nuclear weapons in Europe, anti-nuclear activists staged large demonstrations in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Netherlands, among others. Many hibakusha were invited to participate. In August 1982 four members from Japan visited the Vatican and met Pope John Paul II to seek his blessing for efforts to abolish nuclear weapons. Meeting Pope John Paul II in Vatican City, August 25, 1982. Photograph courtesy of Nihon Hidankyo. Dr. Shuntaro Hida speaking at Municipal Technical College of Montpellier, France, in October 1983. Photograph courtesy of Nihon Hidankyo. Representing the hibakusha, Mr. Satoru Konishi gave a solidarity speech at a 500,000-person rally held in Bonn, Germany in 1985. Photograph courtesy of Nihon Hidankyo. In front of the Liberation Memorial of Buchenwald Concentration Camp in Germany, August 1982. Photograph courtesy of Nihon Hidankyo.