Dear friends on the path of Peace,
Warm greetings from California!
We are approaching the 72nd anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We do so with hope in our hearts because the majority of the world’s countries have adopted a Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (Ban Treaty). It is a gift to the world of enormous proportions. Among other prohibitions, it bans the possession, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons. It is a treaty that validates the call to abolish nuclear weapons by the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, by many civil society organizations and individuals, and by most of the non-nuclear nations in the world.
The negotiations leading to the adoption of the Ban Treaty on July 7, 2017 took place through the United Nations conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination. The treaty’s preamble expresses deep concern “about the catastrophic humanitarian consequences that would result from any use of nuclear weapons,” and recognizes “the consequent need to completely eliminate such weapons, which remains the only way to guarantee that nuclear weapons are never used again under any circumstance….”
Sadako’s paper cranes continue to fly all over the world, but, unfortunately, they still have not landed in the governments of the nine nuclear-armed countries, none of which participated in the negotiations for the Ban Treaty. The US, UK and France actually went so far as to issue a joint statement on the treaty in which they asserted, “We do not intend to sign, ratify or ever become party to it.” What can one say in the face of such overwhelming arrogance concerning one of the greatest threats to the human future?
It is clear that our work is far from finished. There is still much to do to rid the world of nuclear weapons. But an important step forward has been taken. I hope you will take heart from the progress that has been made, and always hold hope in your hearts. Always remember that hope gives rise to action, and action gives rise to hope.
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
David Krieger is President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (www.wagingpeace.org). He is the author and editor of many books on peace and nuclear weapons abolition, including “Speaking of Peace: Quotations to Inspire Action.”