What kind of future do you want? The vision of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation is a world at peace, free of the threat of war and free of weapons of mass destruction. It is worth contemplating this vision. Is it a vision worth striving for? Is it an impossible dream or is it something that can be achieved?
Since no one can predict the future with certainty, those who say this vision is an impossible dream are helping to determine our reality and the future of our children and grandchildren. None of the pundits or intelligence agencies could foresee the fall of the Berlin Wall, the break-up of the Soviet Union, or the end of apartheid in South Africa. It was people who believed the future could be something more and better than the present that brought about these remarkable changes.
One thing is certain. The future will be shaped by what we do today. If we do nothing, we leave it to others to shape the future. If we continue to do what we have done in the past, the future is likely to resemble the past. When Nelson Mandela became president of South Africa, which itself was something impossible to predict, he had to make a decision on how the crimes of the apartheid period would be handled. Rather than harsh retribution, he chose amnesty for all who came before a Truth and Reconciliation Commission and admitted to their crimes. This choice helped shaped a new future for South Africa and perhaps for the world.
If we are to shape a new future for a safer and saner world we need to have bold visions of what that world could be. We need to dream great dreams, but we need to do more than this. We need to act to make our dreams a reality, even if those acts appear to be facing enormous obstacles.
It is hard to imagine an abuse of power that has ended of its own accord. Abuses end because people stand up to them and say No. The world changes because people can imagine a better way to treat the earth and each other and say YES to change.
If we want a world without war, we need to be serious about finding alternative means to resolve disputes non-violently and to provide justice and uphold dignity for all people. This requires an institutional framework at the global level: a stronger United Nations, an effective International Court of Justice, and a new International Criminal Court to hold all leaders accountable for crimes under international law.
If we do not begin to redistribute resources so that everyone’s basic needs can be met, the richer parts of the world will face a future of hostility and terrorism. The only way to prevent such a future is by turning tomorrow’s enemies into today’s friends. Creating a better future requires acting now for a more equitable present.
The future of life on the planet is endangered by weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons. We are committed to eliminating these weapons, but we won’t succeed unless we are joined in this effort by far more people. That’s where you come in. Be a force for a future free of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction by being a force for change.
One of our supporters, Tony Ke, a high-powered Canadian web designer, recently created a new web site called End of Existence (www.endofexistence.org). I encourage you to visit it for an exciting new look at why we must abolish nuclear weapons before they abolish us. I also encourage you to join some of the world’s great leaders in signing our Appeal to End the Nuclear Weapons Threat to Humanity athttps://www.wagingpeace.org/secure/signtheappeal.asp
Let’s not let the future be shaped by our complacency and inaction. We have the power, the privilege and the responsibility to shape a better world, a world free of war and free of weapons of mass destruction. The Foundation works each day to achieve this vision. You can find out more about what we are doing and how you can play a part by exploring our web site:https://www.wagingpeace.org. We invite you to be part of the solution.