ICAN campaigners in India urge government to back global nuclear weapons ban
April 16, 2014
Just days ahead of India’s general elections, ICAN campaigners at the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace organized a seminar on 4 April at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi to examine the new evidence on the unacceptable consequences of nuclear weapons and the need for a global ban treaty.
Speakers included two of ICAN’s international co-chairs, Dr Rebecca Johnson from the United Kingdom and Akira Kawasaki from Japan, along with Dr Arun Mitra of Indian Doctors for Peace and Development and CNDP’s founding member Achin Vanaik.
University students and teachers learned about ICAN’s activities and the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons. Panellists discussed strategies and challenges for the campaign in the Indian context, including the implications of the elections and the general security situation in South Asia.
“Sixty-nine years after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the world public remains deeply concerned at the scourge of these weapons of mass destruction, their inhuman nature and the menace they continue to pose to the survival of humanity,” said ICAN campaigner Kumar Sundaram, who urged the Indian government to support a ban.
Presentations were followed by an animated discussion, including on effective ways to highlight the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons and increase youth participation and the use of social media. The success of this seminar shows a growing opposition to nuclear weapons in India, which is armed with between 90 and 110 nuclear warheads.