World Court Project The World Court Project was a citizens’ movement seeking a judgment from the International Court of Justice on the legality of the use of nuclear weapons. In 1994 and 1993, respectively, the United Nations General Assembly and the World Health Organization each adopted a resolution endorsing this effort. More than three million signatures in support of the World Court Project were gathered in Japan and submitted to the Court. Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki made statements to the Court suggesting that the use of nuclear weapons would be a violation of international law. The International Court of Justice delivered a ruling on July 8, 1996 stating that “the threat or use of nuclear weapons would generally be contrary to the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, and in particular the principles and rules of humanitarian law.” However, the Court added that an exception might exist “in an extreme circumstance of self-defense” where the survival of a nation was threatened. Above: The International Court of Justice delivers its landmark ruling. Photograph courtesy of Tokyo Federation of A-Bomb Sufferers Organizations. Left: A delegation of the World Court Project visited the International Court of Justice to listen to the statements of the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In front of the Peace Palace which houses the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands. October 1995. Photograph courtesy of Tokyo Federation of A-Bomb Sufferers Organizations. Disarmament Diplomacy The Hague Convention of 1899 created the first treaty limiting the conduct of international warfare. To mark the 100th anniversary of this landmark event, nearly 10,000 citizens and 790 organizations from about 100 countries participated in the Hague Appeal for Peace conference held in May 1999. The Japanese delegation exhibited photo panels and presented testimonials from 78 hibakusha during a Japan Day program. One year later, in New York City at the United Nations Millennium Forum, the UN participated with nongovernmental, nonprofit citizens’ organizations to create a Declaration and Agenda of Action Plans, which included a statement on peace, security, and disarmament. At the send-off ceremony before the hibakusha join a march to NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, at an ancillary event of the Hague Appeal for Peace, May 1999. Photograph courtesy of Nihon Hidankyo. Hague Appeal for Peace, conference ceremony, May 1999. Photograph courtesy of Japan Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (JALANA) The United Nations Millennium Forum at United Nations Headquarters, May 22 through 26, 2000. Photograph courtesy of Nihon Hidankyo.