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Oslo: Next Generation Leaders
Ira Helfand, MD
March 5, 2013
The ICAN Civil Society Forum was a triumph of youthful energy and should put to rest fears that young people can not be mobilized to address the humanitarian consequences of nuclear war. The conference was attended by more than 450 people from some 20 countries, the clear majority students and other young people. It was held at the Chateauneuf the home of the Norwegian student association, and organized by an incredible team team of young ICAN campaigners. The program included an in depth discussion of the medical consequences of nuclear war presented over two days and featured also presentations by Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja Nigeria, and Martin Sheen.
The conference was the prologue to ICAN'S critical role as the civil society partner for the Norwegian government's forum on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons which continues today in Oslo. 132 nations have sent delegations to the conference, including all 25 non nuclear weapons states in NATO. ICAN has been recognized repeatedly at the conference for its key role in mobilizing public attention to the danger of nuclear war.