Dear NAPF Family,
2022 has been the year of renewal. Renewal of our fears of nuclear war, but also renewal of hope that we can indeed bring about a world free of nuclear weapons. At NAPF, renewal has meant new faces, new events, and new initiatives, albeit all with the same fervor and devotion to nuclear abolition that guided David Krieger and Frank Kelly in founding NAPF 40 years ago.
When the Ukraine War started back in February, we rapidly put together a new initiative that included a series of virtual events, entitled Nuclear Dangers (in Ukraine). We have been fortunate to welcome to these events former Governor Jerry Brown, John Burroughs, Jackie Cabasso, Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg, Richard Falk, Martin Hellman, Cynthia Lazaroff, Andrew Lichterman, and Benoît Pelopidas, all of whom are leading thinkers, activists, academics, politicians, and more. All of the information about the events, including the recordings, is available HERE. In addition to the series, we also wrote a Declaration of Concern, which you can read and sign HERE. We are excited to continue to bring to you the foremost thinkers on nuclear disarmament issues from the US and abroad in 2023 and to continue to raise awareness of the dangers that these horrendous weapons and their potential use would bring to humanity and all life on Earth.
Our Nuclear Dangers Event with Noam Chomsky and Daniel Ellsberg, with co-hosts Cynthia Lazaroff and Richard Falk
2022 saw Reverse the Trend – Save Our Planet, Save Our People (RTT) officially becoming a youth initiative of NAPF, giving us new opportunities to engage with youth around the globe. Kudos to our Policy and Advocacy Coordinator Christian Ciobanu, for all that he does to make RTT such a vibrant initiative. We have held many events this year with a focus on youth and communities affected by nuclear weapons, some of which you can see HERE, HERE, and HERE. Numerous interns have put their energy and focus into learning about and engaging with these issues and we are thrilled to have their involvement.
Christian Ciobanu (center) with RTT interns and partners at the ICAN Forum in Vienna in June, 2022.
We were excited to return in 2022 to in-person programming at our home in Santa Barbara, including for the 29th Annual Sadako Peace Day and our First Annual Women Waging Peace Luncheon. Both events provided a sense of purpose and empowerment. Sadako Peace Day featured local poets, live music, community, and friendship at the lovely Casa De Maria in the Montecito foothills. At our very first Women Waging Peace Luncheon, we honored two incredible women: Cynthia Lazaroff, an esteemed Board member, an expert on US-Russia relations, and a documentary filmmaker, and Senator Monique Limón, who represents the 19th District in the California State Senate and who has championed groundbreaking legislation on nuclear weapons in California. Learn more about these events HERE and HERE.
Our poets at Sadako Peace Day: Sojourner Kincaid Rolle, Emma Trelles, Perie Longo, and Father Larry Gosselin. (photo by Rick Carter)
With our honorees Cynthia Lazaroff and CA State Senator Monique Limón, Santa Barbara Youth Poet Laureate Ambassador Kundai Chicowero and former CA State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson. (photo by Rick Carter)
2022 also saw a return of in-person conferences and meetings at the international level and we were thrilled to participate in numerous activities, including the ICAN Forum in Vienna, the Conference on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons, the First Meeting of States Parties of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, the 10th Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, the International Day for Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, and more. We made statements, enabled the attendance of many young people and leaders from affected communities, organized youth orientations, and worked with diplomats and NGO colleagues to strengthen and promote the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Earlier this month, two of our interns delivered statements at the United Nations Meeting on Information and Technology Security. You can read more about them HERE and see some of our 2022 statements HERE and HERE and event recordings HERE and HERE.
My statement at the International Day for Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons at the United Nations in New York on September 26, 2022.
One of the highlights of my year was starting in my position as President of NAPF on August 1, which was also the first day of the 10th NPT Review Conference (and my daughter’s 21st birthday!). Another highlight was traveling to Istanbul for the Politics and New Paradigms in the 21st Century International Forum, at the invitation of the organizers. I spoke on a panel that focused on humanitarian crises, including on climate change, migration crises, and biodiversity loss, where I addressed the horrible humanitarian consequences both for people in cities attacked by nuclear weapons and also for everyone around the world. On the last day of the forum, I met President Erdogan and made a case in front of members of the Turkish Parliament for why Turkey should engage with nuclear disarmament. I look forward to continuing to build on those relationships and partnerships.
Participating in a panel on Humanitarian Crises at the Politics and New Paradigms in the 21st Century International Forum in Istanbul on November 4, 2022.
Our 2023 calendar is quickly filling up. In Santa Barbara, we are planning film screenings, including of the Vow from Hiroshima by Susan Strickland (on February 10, stay tuned!), a Kelly Lecture in March, Evening for Peace in May, a summer high school program in July and August, Sadako Peace Day in August, and Women Waging Peace Luncheon in the fall. Virtually, we will hold more Nuclear Dangers and Reverse the Trend events. New initiatives are underway for legislative action in our home state of California and we are exploring litigation opportunities nationally and internationally. But at the heart of our activities will be the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This treaty is our best hope to rid the world of nuclear weapons. We will not stop until it fulfills its promise and every last nuclear warhead is destroyed.
We continue to be inspired by the power of our community, by your kindness and generosity, and your commitment to a better world. If you have made a donation to NAPF this year, we are indebted to you and utterly grateful. If not, we hope you might consider supporting our work. You can send a check to NAPF (see HERE) or make a donation HERE. Thank you for your support!
We wish everyone a joyful holiday season, filled with love and peace. They are the true motivation behind everything that we do. They are the reason why we must get rid of nuclear weapons.
With love and peace,