Date(s) - Wednesday - Sep 20, 2017 - Tuesday - Sep 26, 2017
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A GREAT EXCITEMENT ran through all the thousands and thousands of delegates at our member organization Gensuikyo’s World Conference Against A and H Bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki this year, as I wrote in my report in the last issue of IPB Newsletter. The adoption of the Ban Treaty was a remarkable success of our campaigns, and especially of our model of open collaboration between civil society and governments.
As we wrote in the Final Declaration, however, “To move forward towards completely eliminating nuclear weapons, it is of decisive importance to build a majority of opinion in favour of the treaty in the nuclear-armed countries and their allies and press their governments to sign and ratify the treaty with the force of public opinion and movements.” In pledging to do this, we have launched a variety of actions, the first one being the global Peace Wave, a week of actions in all countries from 20 to 26 September, for on 20 September the United Nations will host a ceremony where States come and sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons!
On the IPB website we will try and keep track of the myriad actions that have been planned (see the list)! And Gensuikyo, too, is collecting and then disseminating the lists of actions (which can be found here). A real WAVE will show the planet how strongly NGOs, social movements, students, trade unions, doctors and lawyers, and all sorts of citizens’ organizations care about the need to move forward towards the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. And, of course, the victims: the Hibakusha from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but also the many victims of nuclear tests. I shall take this opportunity to thank our friends from the Marshall Islands and from Australia: as Sue Coleman-Haseldine said so movingly, “They looked upon us as flora and fauna. But now finally, I feel that the world has finally heard our voice.”
Our Canadian colleagues have come up with a great action proposal! If our governments are not willing to sign, then we shall hold a Citizens Signing Ceremony. See the very long list of cities where there are going to be such events in Canada on 20 September here.
In Italy, we have borrowed this idea and plan to use it in an extended campaign, to be launched on 20 September, but which will go on and on … perhaps until the Italian government has changed its mind and decides to join the Ban Treaty process. We have added a draft city council resolution, suggesting to local government administrations that cities’ representatives should sign alongside their citizens: at a meeting of the city council, open to the public, the Treaty is signed and then photographs and an official adopted resolution are sent, by way of information, to the government. The overall list of events planned in Italy is to be found at:
In France, our member organization Mouvement de la Paix has opted for its traditional strength: People marching in the streets! The (very long) list of cities and towns where Mouvement de la Paix, with all its constituent members, is growing every day: the last time I looked (…) it stood at more than 30!!!
In Japan, there is going to be a paper crane action in front of the Prime Minister’s office. In the USA, Peace&Planet have put together another long list of events. And, of course, ICAN has drawn up a whole serie of useful suggestions and materials that we can all use to underscore the importance of 20 September.
The signing ceremony itself, at UN Headquarters in New York, will be held on the morning of 20 September as part of the High-Level Segment of the UN General Assembly, in the Trusteeship Council Chamber. Just a few representative speakers have been invited: the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the President of the General Assembly Miroslav Lajcak from Slovakia, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons! Congratulations, ICAN! An honour that is well deserved: you have been both leaders and servants to our global movement, successfully showing the way, but also doing a lot of hard work to make available to us all the knowledge, the materials, the suggestions necessary to carry out a splendid world campaign!