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.

  • aiweiwei

    “Let’s act up! Ban nuclear weapons completely and unconditionally.”

    Ai Weiwei Artist and activist

  • sheen

    “If Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr were alive today, they would be part of ICAN.”

    Martin Sheen Actor and activist

  • bankimoon

    “I salute ICAN for working with such commitment and creativity.”

    Ban Ki-moon Former UN chief

  • yokoono

    “We can do it together. With your help, our voice will be made still stronger. Imagine peace.”

    Yoko Ono Artist

  • jodywilliams

    “Governments say a nuclear weapons ban is unlikely. Don’t believe it. They said the same about a mine ban treaty.”

    Jody Williams Nobel laureate

  • desmondtutu

    “With your support, we can take ICAN its full distance – all the way to zero nuclear weapons.”

    Desmond Tutu Nobel laureate

  • herbiehancock

    “Because I cannot tolerate these appalling weapons, I whole-heartedly support ICAN.”

    Herbie Hancock Jazz musician

  • dalailama

    “I can imagine a world without nuclear weapons, and I support ICAN.”

    Dalai Lama Nobel laureate