CHICAGO, IL (August 3, 2020) - The Parliament of the World’s Religions, the Charter for Compassion, Religions for Peace, and United Religions Initiative (URI) are coming together in commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan on August 6th, 2020 to inaugurate the annual “Voices Youth Award”.
This award will be given in honor of Mikhail Gorbachev and George Shultz for their ground-breaking efforts to reduce and eliminate nuclear weapons that started 35 years ago and ultimately resulted in the reduction in the number of nuclear weapons globally from ~70,000 to ~14,000 today. The Award will be inaugurated to coincide with the official introduction of the Hiroshima/Nagasaki Accord during a global broadcast in remembrance of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the sites of the first and only use of nuclear weapons against civilians in our planet's history.
“The Parliament is privileged to co-sponsor this first youth award to Kehkashan Basu in honor of Mikhail Gorbachev and George Shultz,” expresses Parliament Chair, Audrey Kitagawa. “Our future will be fashioned by today’s youth, and an award that demonstrates the commitment of youth to the abolition of nuclear weapons speaks well of their principled leadership to make this world a safer, more secure place for generations to come.”
This year’s Award honors Kehkashan Basu, the founder of the Green Hope Foundation for the 2020 Voices Youth Award. Ms. Basu, the winner of the 2016 International Children’s Peace Prize, has been a lead voice for young people on the issue of nuclear abolition at both the 2018 Summit of the Parliament of Religions in Toronto and at the 2019 Accelerate Peace Conference at Stanford University.
Ms. Basu’s goal is to work with youth and a worldwide leadership team to rid the world of nuclear weapons, “I am truly honoured and humbled to receive this award, and am deeply grateful to "Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons" for highlighting the critically important role of young people in peacebuilding, non-proliferation and disarmament. This award also vindicates my belief that we cannot solve these pressing issues through rhetoric alone - the need of the hour is collaborative action at all levels. This award is a recognition of the importance of young people in peace building and nuclear disarmament. For me, personally, it means a lot as it acknowledges the work that the thousands of young members of Green Hope Foundation do everyday at a grassroots level on peace, nuclear disarmament education and social justice. I believe that education is the most powerful tool to create a peaceful and sustainable world. So my call to action is 'We Want Books, Not Nukes!”
The Award announcement will be broadcast on August 6th at 8:00AM EDT as part of the program, “75th Commemorative Remembrance of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Introducing the Hiroshima/Nagasaki Accord”. The Parliament of the World’s Religions, the Charter for Compassion, Religions for Peace, and URI invite individuals, communities, and organizations committed to peace, justice and sustainability to join the inauguration of the “Voices Youth Award” by registering at www.voices-uri.org/registration
About The Parliament of the World’s Religions
The Parliament of the World’s Religions cultivates harmony among the world’s spiritual traditions and fosters their engagement with guiding institutions in order to achieve a more peaceful, just and sustainable world. Its origins are rooted to the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, where the historic first convening of the World Parliament of Religions created a global platform for engagement of religions of the east and west. Headquartered in Chicago, Il, USA, the Parliament of the World’s Religions is an international 501c3 NGO affiliated to the United Nations Department of Public Information.
The Parliament manages various programs throughout the year and hosts the world’s premier interfaith convening in cities across the globe. Past Parliaments have convened nearly 50,000 people across the world in Chicago, IL, USA; Cape Town, South Africa; Barcelona, Spain; Melbourne, Australia; Salt Lake City, USA; and Toronto, Canada.
For more information about the Parliament of the World’s Religions and the Hiroshima/Nagasaki Accord, please visit www.parliamentofreligions.org/nuclear
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