Greetings to all participants in the International Youth Summit for Nuclear Abolition.

You are engaged in the most critical task of our time, seeking a way out of the Nuclear Age, a very brief period in human history, but an incredibly dangerous one. Human civilization, so painstakingly created over thousands of years, could be destroyed in an afternoon of nuclear exchange, which could occur by accident, miscalculation or design. There would be no winners of that exchange, only losers, and the greatest losers would be the people of the future, including the youth of today. It is clear that nuclear weapons threaten all we love and treasure.

International Youth Summit for Nuclear AbolitionNuclear weapons should never have been created, but they were. They should never have been used on cities, but they were. There should never have been widespread nuclear testing, but there was. Nor, should there ever have been an insane arms race, but there was. Today, we have far fewer nuclear weapons than at the height of the nuclear arms race in the mid-1980s, but those that remain still endanger us all.

There is only one power strong enough to abolish nuclear weapons, and that is the power of the people acting with engaged hearts. Nuclear weapons are powerful devices. They can kill, maim, and cause massive destruction. But they are no match for the human heart, which has the power of love, compassion, understanding, empathy and cooperation. The human heart is an instrument even more powerful than nuclear bombs, warheads, and intercontinental ballistic missiles.

To the power of the human heart can be added the power of the human mind to have a vision and strategies and tactics to reach agreed upon goals. Your task is to awaken your generation to the challenges posed by nuclear weapons and to engage their hearts, as well as their minds, in ending the nuclear weapons threat to humanity and all life.

I have great faith in you, and I wish you all success in your important gathering. You are leaders for the common good on this most important of all issues. I encourage you to do your utmost and to never give up.

David Krieger
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation

This message was sent to the participants in the International Youth Summit for Nuclear Abolition, which took place on August 30, 2015.