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U.S. universities are complicit in nuclear weapons production, new ICAN report reveals

Under the Trump administration, the United States is engaging in a renewed nuclear arms race, spending nearly $100,000 of taxpayer funds every minute to upgrade its nuclear weapons arsenal. ICAN released today a new report, titled “Schools of Mass Destruction: American Universities in the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Complex,” that details the ways in which roughly 50 American colleges and universities are supplying the scientific, technical and human capital necessary to maintain and expand U.S. weapons of mass destruction.

Contradicting their mission statements, universities have signed formal agreements worth millions or billions of dollars to manage or partner with nuclear weapons development and production sites. Some of these universities are household names: University of California, Texas A&M University, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of New Mexico.

See the list of universities and details of their involvement

Recognizing the devastating humanitarian and environmental impact of nuclear weapons, U.S. states and cities have started to formally call on the federal government to stop backsliding on nuclear arms control and support the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It is time for universities to join these local governments and end their complicity in the production of weapons of mass destruction.

Check out the new project webpage for more details on what you can do and to download the full report.

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84% of Finns want the government to join the TPNW

84% of Finns support Finland joining the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), according to a poll by Kantar TNS Oy, commissioned by ICAN Finland, a network of ICAN partners based in Finland.

“Finns clearly understand that nuclear weapons are a real threat. As the tensions in the international geopolitical climate has increased, so has the risk of nuclear war. The only way to avoid a catastrophe is to completely ban and destroy nuclear weapons,” said Kati Juva, co-coordinator of the ICAN Finland network.

Finland chose to join nuclear weapon-possessing states in boycotting the negotiations of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in 2017 and has since refused to take steps towards signing and ratifying it.

With a new coalition government in place — and with a huge majority of the population in favour — there is hope that the current administration will reassess its position and decide to align itself with what the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross Peter Maurer has called, “an indispensable tool to ensure that these weapons are never used again.”

Joining the Treaty would allow Finland to back up its lofty words on nuclear disarmament with concrete action. According to Claus Montonen, co-coordinator of the ICAN Finland network, “At the UN, Finland has declared its support for and commitment to all serious initiatives for nuclear disarmament. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) is by far the most serious attempt to achieve a total ban on nuclear weapons and the only nuclear disarmament initiative that is going on today. Finland must sign the TPNW and work to promote it in all fora.”

The results of the survey are consistent with a survey last year in Sweden, in which 85% of the public were in favour of Sweden joining the TPNW. Polls in the nuclear weapon-hosting States Belgium, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands also demonstrated a clear rejection of the hosting agreements and strong support for the TPNW.

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These are the 36 banks, pension funds and insurers taking a stand against nuclear weapons

A newly released edition of the Don’t Bank on the Bomb Hall of Fame shows that the number of financial institutions adopting and strengthening their policies to prevent any financial involvement in nuclear weapon producing companies is growing rapidly. Together, the 36 institutions in the Hall of Fame are keeping at least EUR1600 billion in assets out of the nuclear weapons industry.

Download the report: Beyond the Bomb – Global Exclusion of Nuclear Weapons producers:

The 36 banks, insurers and pension funds that comprehensively exclude all nuclear weapon producers are:

  • A.S.R. (insurer), Netherlands
  • ABP (pension fund), Netherlands
  • Alternative Bank Schweiz (bank), Switzerland
  • AP1 (pension fund), Sweden
  • AP2 (pension fund), Sweden
  • AP4 (pension fund), Sweden
  • APG (pension fund manager), Netherlands
  • Australian Ethical (superannuation fund), Australia
  • Banca Etica (bank), Italy
  • Bank Australia (bank), Australia
  • Bank fur Kirche und Caritas (bank), Germany
  • bpfBOUW (pension fund), Netherlands
  • Cooperative Bank (bank), UK
  • DNB (bank), Norway
  • Ethos (fund manager), Switzerland
  • Fonds de Compensation (pension fund), Luxembourg
  • Future Super (pension fund), Australia
  • GPFN (pension fund), Norway
  • Green Century (fund manager), US
  • KLP (pension fund), Norway
  • Menzis (insurer), Netherlands
  • MP Pension (pension fund), Denmark
  •  NIBC (bank), Netherlands
  • PenSam (pension fund), Denmark
  • PFA Pension (pension fund), Denmark
  • PfZW (pension fund),, Netherlands
  • PH&C (pension fund), Netherlands
  • Philips Pension Fund (pension fund), Netherlands
  • PNO Media (pension fund),Netherlands
  •  Spoorwegpensioenfonds (pension fund), Netherlands
  • Stichting Pensioenfonds voor de Woningbouwcorporaties (pension fund), Netherlands
  • Stichting Pensioenfonds Openbaar Vervoer (pension fund), Netherlands
  • Storebrand (bank), Sweden
  • Triodos Bank (bank), Netherlands
  • Volksbank (bank), Netherlands
  • Zevin (asset manager), US

READ THE FULL REPORT

Why is this important?

Since last year’s report, 14 new financial institutions have been added who comprehensively exclude nuclear weapons producers from their investments. This is not just significant because of the billions of dollars that are no longer available to nuclear weapons producers, it is also a clear signal to the nuclear weapons complex that the financial sector is changing in response to the 2017 adoption of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Investments are not neutral. Financing and investing are active choices, based on a clear assessment of a company and its plans. By adopting public policies that prohibit investments in the nuclear weapons industry these institutions are demonstrating the stigma associated with these weapons of mass destruction. That deserves to be celebrated, and that is the role of the Hall of Fame.

Not on the list?

If your bank, insurer or pension fund is not on the list, check the Don’t Bank on the Bomb website to see if they have any investments in nuclear weapon producers. If they do, there are many ways you can get in touch to ask them to divest from all nuclear weapons companies and to adopt a policy to prevent all investments in the future, such as a tweet or a friendly phone call to Customer service.

About the Don’t bank on the Bomb Hall of Fame

Don’t Bank on the Bomb is a yearly report by ICAN partner PAX that exposes the different financial ties supporting the nuclear weapons complex. With the Hall of Fame, the report profiles financial institutions that have adopted, implemented and published a policy that comprehensively prevents any financial involvement in nuclear weapon producing companies. A place in the Hall of Fame shows that these financial institutions put their money where their mouths are when it comes to making responsible investments that don’t put everyone’s future at risk, and inspires other institutions — that may have no or limited policies in place — to do better.

 

DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT

Read the Executive Summary

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Two-thirds of the world’s countries support TPNW

The second edition of the Norwegian People’s Aid’s Nuclear Weapons Ban Monitor, the report tracking the progress of and compliance with the 2017 UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was launched at the United Nations Headquarters in New York today. The report finds that while over two-thirds of the world’s countries support the TPNW, 31 mostly European countries are complicit in maintaining the nuclear status-quo.

The Nuclear Weapons Ban Monitor, published by the Norwegian People’s Aid, monitors progress on compliance with and support for the TPNW by producing country-by-country analysis and an overview of the status of nuclear weapons today.

“A facts-based debate on the UN prohibition on nuclear weapons is essential if we are to achieve the goal of a world without nuclear weapons.” says Norwegian People’s Aid’s Secretary General Henriette Westhrin, “The Nuclear Weapons Ban Monitor gathers and makes available crucial data.”

The Nuclear Weapons Ban Monitor categorizes 135 countries as TPNW supporters and 31 countries as nuclear-weapon-complicit states, meaning they have endorsed or acquiesced the possession and potential use of nuclear weapons on their behalf. There are nine nuclear-armed states.

“This report documents the clear support by the vast majority of the world’s countries for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and a world free of nuclear weapons,” said Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director of ICAN. “Countries that continue to possess and endorse nuclear weapons must heed their call.”

The Nuclear Weapons Ban Monitor shows that the TPNW is moving steadily towards early entry into force. At the time of writing, the TPNW had, by a close margin, the second fastest speed of adherence of the treaties on weapons of mass destruction.

Nuclear_Linjegraf

The report also reveals the dire state of the world’s nuclear forces:

  • The Nuclear Weapons Ban Monitor’s estimate is that the total explosive yield of the nine nuclear-armed states’ active nuclear stockpiles is equivalent to almost 1.9 gigatons (1.9 million kilotons) of TNT. This means that these nine states have the capacity to unleash firepower equal to around 245 kilograms of TNT per person on Earth.

  • Nuclear-armed states conducted nearly fifty tests of nuclear-capable missiles from September 2018-August 2019 by the Nuclear Weapons Ban Monitor’s count.

  • The Nuclear Weapons Ban Monitor documents a dozen examples of heightened nuclear rhetoric and even outright threats to use nuclear weapons from nuclear-armed states during the time frame of the report, issued by foriegn ministries and heads of state in speeches and on Twitter.

For more information, please visit: http://banmonitor.org/about, and for any comments, clarifications or corrections please contact banmonitor@npaid.org.

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ICAN congratulates 2019 Nobel Peace Laureate Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Nobel Peace Laureate 2017, congratulates this year’s Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Prime Minister Abiy was awarded the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea.

Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director of ICAN, extended her congratulations: “Winning the Nobel Peace Prize gives an incredible platform, and I am excited Prime Minister Abiy will be able to use this opportunity to further the incredible impact he is already having. His award shows the value of working for peace through working with civil society, within international law, and by international diplomacy.

Prime Minister Abiy is now a member of a powerful group of all laureates — and we look forward to working with him and other past winners to create peace for our world.”

 

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Four Countries Display Missiles, Demonstrate Risks of Renewed Nuclear Arms Race

In the last two weeks, 13 more countries have signed or ratified the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), bringing it closer to its entry into force. In the same period, several of the world’s nuclear weapon states engaged in shows of nuclear force, deliberate acts that contribute to a dangerous escalation in the nuclear arms race.

On Monday, 30 September, Russia tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. With a range of 11,000 kilometres, this Topol-M missile can carry a warhead about 35 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. On 1 October, China marked its national day by parading several types of missiles prominently before the world for the first time.  One missile, the DF-41, has an estimated range of up to 15,000 kilometres and the ability to reach the continental United States in roughly 30 minutes; China also displayed the JL-2 missile, a submarine-launched ballistic missile, and the hypersonic DF-17, which is designed to evade missile defence systems. On 2 October, North Korea tested a submarine-launched nuclear-capable missile, just before entering a new round of negotiations with the United States about its nuclear weapons program. Access to a submarine-launched missile would provide North Korea the potential ability to strike a wider range of targets. Later the same day, the United States conducted a previously-scheduled test of its own unarmed ICBM. The United States has spent $7 billion over the last 15 years to modernize these Minuteman ICBMs.

For nuclear weapons states, nuclear-capable missile tests make a very public and provocative statement to the rest of the world. The U.S. officer responsible for its latest test stated, “Most importantly, this visible message of national security serves to assure our partners and dissuade potential aggressors.”

It is important to recognize, however, that nuclear-capable missiles are not tools to be tested, muscles to be flexed, or toys to be displayed on trucks – they are weapons of mass destruction. As a new study confirms, even a limited regional nuclear war would bring catastrophic global environmental and humanitarian consequences, immediately killing 125 million people and putting two billion more at risk of famine.

Although the timing might be coincidental, this short sequence of events highlights the dangers of a renewed nuclear arms race. Each action can provoke a reaction; intentions to increase feelings of security create the opposite effect.

The vast majority of non-nuclear weapon states recognize this danger. That’s why 122 states voted to approve the TPNW and are now in the process of signing and ratifying it. The treaty prohibits nations from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, transferring, possessing, stockpiling, using or threatening to use nuclear weapons, or allowing nuclear weapons to be stationed on their territory. Such nuclear-capable missile testing would violate the terms of the treaty.

As the last week has shown, the risks nuclear weapons pose are real. The majority of states are right to seek a ban on these weapons.

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ICAN and ICAN France co-host ICAN Campaign Forum – Paris 2020

On February 14 and 15, 2020, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons will be hosting an ICAN Campaign Forum in Paris, France. Organised by ICAN and ICAN France, the ICAN Campaign Forum – Paris 2020 will bring together students and ICAN campaigners from around the world to extract lessons from the ICAN’s work in achieving and promoting the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear weapons, and empower participants to get involved in ending nuclear weapons, or take on other challenges facing the world today.

With this Forum, ICAN hopes to further empower the next generation of campaigners to take meaningful action at a local, national and global level on issues that are relevant to them. In recent months, the world has seen the incredible successes of movements led by young people such as the massive climate protests seen around the world as part of Fridays for Future. With the ICAN Campaign Forum – Paris 2020, ICAN hopes to share its own experiences in this field and invite and empower new faces to join the fight to end nuclear weapons.

ICAN and ICAN France are finalising agenda and program, but those who are interested in receiving an invitation to register can do so here.

Sign up to be notified when registration opens

Photo: Chris Karidis | Unsplash

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Climate disruption: new study highlights the devastating global impact of regional nuclear conflict between India and Pakistan

The title of a new study by Toon et al, published this week in Science Advances, speaks volumes: “Rapidly Expanding nuclear arsenals in Pakistan and India portend regional and global catastrophe.”

The study models the potential impacts of a regional nuclear conflict and found that, given the increased size and power of their respective nuclear arsenals, the effects of a nuclear conflict between India and Pakistan would have even more catastrophic impacts than previously thought.

In a scenario where Pakistan uses 150 nuclear weapons and India uses 100 weapons on urban targets, and the two countries use an additional 85 weapons on non-urban targets, over the course of one week:

  • Up to 125 million immediate deaths, killing 2.5 times as many people died worldwide in World War II.
  • Smoke from the fires would trigger massive climate disruption, reducing surface sunlight by 20 to 35% and abruptly decreasing global land temperatures by 4~8˚C
  • Precipitation would be reduced from 15 to 30% globally, with even more severe regional variations: while the US Northeast and Midwest could lose up to 50% of their rainfall, rainfall would practically cease over India and Central China.
  • It would take more than a decade for temperatures and precipitation to return to normal.
  • The decrease in sunlight and precipitation would severely disrupt net primary production, and thereby the entire global food chain. Two billion people would be at risk of famine.

Read the full study in Science Advances

Toonet al 2019 list of findings

Ira Helfand, author of the 2013 report Nuclear Famine: Climate Effects of Regional Nuclear War and member of ICAN’s International steering group, said: “This is an extremely important study which once again shows that the risks of nuclear conflict are catastrophic and unacceptable. States that have or endorse nuclear weapons put the entire world at risk, and all responsible states must push back by joining the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.” The 2013 study by International Physicians for the Prevention Nuclear War (IPPNW) explored the impact of the use of 50 Hiroshima-sized bombs by each side during an India-Pakistan nuclear conflict.

“This terrifying study shows that there is no such thing as a ‘contained’ nuclear conflict,” said Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. “And this is not a remote scenario. India and Pakistan have had two major military incidences in the past few months. Any use of nuclear weapons will mushroom into a global famine threatening all of human existence. That is why the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is the only responsible response.”

The Toon et al study represents the best estimate of the climate science community about the catastrophic global effects of such a conflict. It was an update of a 2013 study that showed the significant disruption caused by the use of 50 bombs per side, each bomb with the power of the bomb used to decimate Hiroshima. But by 2025, India and Pakistan could have three to five times greater than the number of weapons estimated in previous nuclear winter studies. India’s nuclear arsenal is estimated to grow to 200 nuclear weapons by 2025 and Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is estimated to grow to 200-250 warheads.

The likelihood of a nuclear conflict between India and Pakistan also seems to be increasing. Tensions have been escalating in the region and there have been two major confrontations between the two nuclear-armed states in the past year. Just last week, Pakistani president Imran Kahn explicitly warned the UN of the rising risk of such a conflict : “We are heading for a potential disaster of proportions that no one here realises […] It is the only time since the Cuban crisis that two nuclear-armed countries are coming face to face. We did come to face to face in February.”

The only way to eliminate the risk of this catastrophe is to eliminate nuclear weapons. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is well on its way to entry into force after gaining 9 new signatories and 5 new states-parties on September 26. Given this new information about the dire consequences of nuclear war, all countries should join them in joining the TPNW and supporting a world without nuclear weapons.

 

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12 States join the Nuclear Ban Treaty on International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons 2019

On the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, 12 states took another significant step towards achieving this goal by signing or ratifying the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, during a special High-Level Ceremony at the UN Headquarters in New York.

The five nations that ratified during the ceremony are:

  • Bangladesh
  • Kiribati
  • Laos
  • Maldives
  • Trinidad & Tobago

These states are also joined by Ecuador, which became the 27th state to ratify the Treaty on September 25th, one day before the ceremony.

The following states signed on to the Treaty:  Botswana, Dominica, Grenada, Lesotho, St Kitts and Nevis, Tanzania and Zambia, as well as the Maldives and Trinidad and Tobago (as the latter two states both signed and ratified the Treaty during the ceremony).

The treaty now has 79 signatories and 32 States Parties. By signing, a State commits to not take any action that would undermine the treaty’s object and purpose. Upon depositing its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, a state becomes legally bound by the terms of the treaty. When the Treaty has 50 states Parties it will enter into force, making nuclear weapons illegal under international law.

The ceremony was hosted by long-time champions of the Treaty: Austria, Brazil, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, South Africa and Thailand and enabled presidents and foreign ministers to take this important step while they were gathered at the UNGA.

Scroll through the photos:
Signing and Ratification Ceremony Sept 2019

Newly-elected President of the UN General Assembly, Mr Tijjani Muhammad-Bande of Nigeria, opened the ceremony, and spoke passionately in support of the Treaty’s importance in ending nuclear weapons. “We commend states that have joined TPNW and urge those who have not done so to do join in this most vital action,“ he said during his address to the UNGA Plenary event earlier in the day.

Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director of ICAN, celebrated the move by these 12 countries and the outspoken support for the Treaty around the world throughout the day.  “Away from most cameras, we come together to do the actual work of nuclear disarmament. For the good of your people and the good of the world you propel the Treaty toward entry-into-force […]  Today, in this room, I feel the scale tilting toward the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. This day of action gives us all hope at a bleak time.”

After today, the treaty is almost two-thirds of the way to its entry into force, and this momentum is expected to continue. Several countries have confirmed to ICAN that their ratifications are imminent, and campaigners around the world will not stop until every country is on board.

Join the movement to end nuclear weapons

The full ceremony can be viewed here:

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International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons: ICAN statements at United Nations

For other events taking place in New York and around the world to mark the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, follow the live-blog.

ICAN statement to the High-Level Ceremony for the Signature and Ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

Delivered by: Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director of the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons
26 September 2019, United Nations, New York.

 Excellencies, Distinguished Colleagues,

We find ourselves in this room in what is becoming a happy tradition on the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. It’s appropriate that here and now you, Excellencies, step forward to take concrete action toward nuclear disarmament.

The calendar tends to align this moment toward the end of UN Leaders Week, often after the great bluster of the nuclear-armed states has dissipated. In the General Assembly some leaders deliver harsh words about “blood-lust” and even issue threats. That is not the United Nations at its best.

Away from most cameras we come together to do the actual work of nuclear disarmament. For the good of your people and the good of the world you propel the Treaty toward entry-into-force.

This work is often unsung, as is the work that led many into this room today and will lead more in the days to come.

It is campaigners, diplomats and politicians who stay committed to the TPNW all year round that lead to this moment, today.

In June, ICAN and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Guyana convened a Caribbean Regional Forum on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons to take stock of the Treaty from a regional perspective. This meeting was a vital contribution to our work to achieve early-entry-into-force.

Similarly, ICAN was invited to address the African Union Peace and Security Council and the ECOWAS Parliament on the TPNW. Last month, too, ICAN held a regional Forum on the TPNW for ECOWAS member-states. Our work in these regions is so important because those supporting the Treaty recognize a central truth about nuclear conflict — that the humanitarian catastrophe cannot be contained by political borders.

There is a vibrant and growing movement in support of the TPNW because responsible leaders understand that there is no corner of Africa, the Pacific or the Caribbean region, or anywhere remote enough to be immune to the threat of nuclear weapons.

 When India and Pakistan face off with their nuclear weapons over the disputed region of Kashmir, when the United States and North Korea point their nuclear missiles at each other across the Pacific, that poses inordinate risk to populations and environments located nowhere near the conflict zone. It is for this reason that we are already making plans to continue with these regional initiatives in the coming months and year.

There has been a surprising and inspiring theme running through the UNGA this week, largely due to the overrunning of the halls of power by young people. That theme is that where the status quo threatens to end humanity, silence is not an option. When it comes to the twin existential threats of our time, the threats of climate change and of nuclear weapons, nobody will be spared by a failure to act. And that means we must all act.

ICAN’s role is to ceaselessly tell the truth about the scale of the threat of nuclear weapons. Our job is to raise the voices of the people whose lives and livelihoods will be decimated by nuclear conflict. We cannot hold back about the humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons.

At the same time, we must point the way toward solutions — not simply “Hope,” but also actions that will make a meaningful difference.

Today, in this room I feel the scale tilting toward the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. This day of action gives us all hope at a bleak time.

For those of you who are signing today, congratulations — you have taken the first step. We look forward to celebrating your ratification in the not-too-distant future. If you work quickly enough, you can be among the 50 states that enable this landmark treaty to enter into force.

For those of you who have ratified today, congratulations, you are making history. But don’t think that your job finishes here. We look forward to working with you to bring the rest of the world on board. Every last state.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons will enter into force, and soon. Our journey has blown past the half-way point thanks to you. But we are absolutely not done yet.

Thank you to everyone in this room for your determination and unwavering commitment to solving one of the greatest threats to humanity.

 

 

ICAN statement to the High-Level Plenary Meeting to commemorate and Promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

Delivered by: Mitchie Takeuchi

During the UNGA event to mark the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, Campaigner Mitchie Takeuchi, second-generation Hibakusha and granddaughter to the director of the Red Cross hospital in Hiroshima at the time of the bombing, delivered the following statement on behalf of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons:

Mr. President, distinguished delegates, and colleagues,

My name is Mitchie Takeuchi. I have the honour today to represent the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, the 2017 Nobel Peace Laureate. I grew up in Hiroshima and my family survived the atomic bombing in 1945. I wish to share something of my own story and the importance of ICAN’s collective work around the world to usher in an age of the end of nuclear weapons.

In 1938, my grandfather, Ken Takeuchi, became the founding president of the Red Cross Hospital in Hiroshima. On August 6th he and most of his colleagues arrived a little before 8 a.m., which meant they were inside the hospital building before the first war-time use of an atomic bomb levelled my hometown. My grandfather’s request that they come early saved many doctor’s lives, so they could save more civilians that day. Although close to Ground Zero, the Red Cross Hospital withstood total destruction.

My grandfather remembers an enormous blast that caused a heavy door to fly off its hinges and knock him unconscious. When he came to, he was not able to move due to broken bones all over his body. His face also sustained horrible injuries. He had been carried to the outside of the main hospital building. What he saw defies description—unimaginable suffering, wailing and crying, dead bodies everywhere. It was complete chaos.

My 18-year-old mother was on the outskirts of the city. She survived the atomic bomb but was exposed to radiation as she searched for her father. She walked five miles through the hell-scape that Hiroshima City had become.

As we approach 75 years since the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the risk of nuclear use is rising. The nuclear-armed states have embarked on a process to develop even more destructive nuclear weapons. They are tearing up arms control treaties.

Today, humanity faces not one but two existential threats—climate chaos and nuclear weapons. But an alternative future is possible. A future that drastically cuts carbon emissions and a future that eliminates nuclear weapons.

For the latter, this future lies with the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. In an increasing climate of risk, the TPNW offers an alternative path forward to the irresponsibility and irrationality of world leaders with nuclear weapons. It outlaws nuclear weapons for everyone, for all time. This treaty is the future. It will enter into force. More countries are joining the treaty at ceremony in this very building, at this very moment.

You, member states of the General Assembly, have the power to stand up for the rule of law, peace, security, human rights, and environmental survival. On behalf of the atomic bomb survivors, both living and already deceased, we ask that you support the TPNW by signing and ratifying it. As young climate activist Greta Thunberg said here at the UN this week, “the eyes of all future generations are upon you.”