In 2012 ICAN youth campaigners from Hiroshima launched a project to send 1,000 hand-folded paper cranes to the president or prime minister of every UN member state – a total of more than 190,000 cranes. In return for this gift, they sought a message of support for a treaty banning nuclear weapons. They said that more needed to be done to ensure that no other city ever experienced the horrors of nuclear weapons.
- United Nations: Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General
- Afghanistan: Hamid Karzai, President
- Australia: Julia Gillard, Prime Minister
- Belgium: Elio Di Rupo, Prime Minister
- Costa Rica: Laura Chinchilla, President
- Cyprus: Demetris Christofias, President
- Finland: Sauli Niinistö, President
- France: Pierre Besnard, Chief of Cabinet
- Greece: Karolos Papoulias, President
- Kazakhstan: Nursultan Nazarbayev, President
- Luxembourg: Jean-Claude Juncker, Prime Minister
- Marshall Islands: Christopher J. Loeak, President
- Mexico: Enrique Peña Nieto, President
- Mozambique: Armando Emilio Guebuza, President
- Poland: Sławomir Rybicki, Secretary of State
- Slovenia: Danilo Türk, President
- Spain: Jorge Moragas, Director of the Cabinet
- Switzerland: Evelyn Widmer Schlumpf, President
- Thailand: Surapong Tovichakchaikul, Deputy Prime Minister
- Tunisia: Dr Mohamed Moncef Marzouki, President
- Vanuatu: Iolu Johnson Abil, President
Why paper cranes?
Paper cranes are a traditional Japanese symbol for good health. Since the US atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, they have also symbolized support for a nuclear-weapon-free world. The two bombings claimed more than 210,000 lives by the end of 1945. Many more people have died from radiation-related illnesses in the decades since. We hope that this project will help to demonstrate the overwhelming support worldwide for a treaty banning nuclear weapons.High school students from Hiroshima launch the project at an ICAN meeting in August 2012. Costa Rican president Laura Chinchilla receives cranes from ICAN campaigner Mariko Ishii. Australian prime minister Julia Gillard (centre) holds cranes from Hiroshima and Gisborne. Campaigners present paper cranes to Finnish president Sauli Niinistö (centre). Swiss president Evelyn Widmer Schlumpf receives 1,000 paper cranes from ICAN.