Nuclear Abolition Week: A great success
July 19, 2013
19 July 2013
In Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, North America and in the Pacific, for Nuclear Abolition Week 2013, ICAN campaigners organised bike trips, Target X actions, flag hoisting, parties, cabin trips, church services, beach days, press conferences, exhibitions, public meetings, round tables, meetings with government officials, social media outreach, film screenings, pub quizzes, and many other activities. In addition to this, more than five hundred people shared their shadows in solidarity with the victims of nuclear detonations, and several thousands signed ICAN’s online petition calling for a treaty banning nuclear weapons. This report outlines the main achievements of Nuclear Abolition Week 2013.
SHARE YOUR SHADOW
Nuclear Abolition Week 2013 witnessed the launch of ICAN’s new public outreach initiative, Share Your Shadow. When a nuclear weapon explodes, the blast vaporises every living being in its path, reducing them to shadows burned into the wall. These ashen imprints, still visible in Hiroshima and Nagasaki today, are known as nuclear shadows. To raise awareness of the catastrophic humanitarian consequences caused by nuclear weapons, more than five hundred people shared their shadows with their friends and contacts on Facebook and Twitter, including the former President of Costa Rica and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Óscar Arias, the deputy Foreign Minister of Norway, Gry Larsen, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Angela Kane, and Nobel Prize laureate in physics Dr. Jack Steinberger (see below). To see all the shadow pictures shared during Nuclear Abolition Week 2013, click here.
During the Preparatory Committee of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in May, ICAN launched a petition calling for the states attending the upcoming conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons in Mexico to start negotiations for a treaty banning nuclear weapons. Nuclear Abolition Week 2013 also witnessed increased efforts by ICAN campaigners to collect signatures to this petition. At the moment of writing, more than 5000 people from 126 different countries have called on their governments take action for a nuclear ban, and the number is increasing every hour.
The campaigners and partner organisations of ICAN used Nuclear Abolition Week to plan and organise a wide range of different events around the world. In Togo, ICAN’s partner organisation Visions Solidaires organised a press conference, a beach day, a dance party, and several meetings with government officials and UN representatives – all within a week. In France, ICAN’s partners put up a banner along the route of the Tour de France, encouraging passersby to share their shadows and sign ICAN’s online petition for a nuclear ban. In Latin America, IPPNW Costa Rica hosted an epic anti-nuclear party and participated in an event organised by the Costa Rican Committee of International Humanitarian Law. And ICAN’s new Indonesian partner, Institute of International Studies, organised a regional round table meeting in collaboration with ICAN Australia and the International Law and Policy Institute. In addition, different types of events were organised in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Germany, Japan, Argentina, Macedonia, Nepal, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, the Philippines, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
Click on the countries to learn more on the events that were organised by ICAN’s partner organisations during Nuclear Abolition Week 2013.
In Australia, MAPW held an educational workshop, “Banning the Bomb”, and organised a Bikes Not Bombs tour. They visited three supportive politicians to pick up signed ICAN parliamentarian appeals and delivered 13,675 signatures to the somewhat frosty head of public relations for the Australian Future Fund, urging them to shift out the $227 million they invest in nuclear weapons producers. Click here to see photos from the event: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mapw/with/9276532384/
To prepare for Nuclear Abolition Week, CNAPD organised a regional outreach meeting in Brussels, inviting a number of civil society organisations and the Belgian Red Cross to discuss the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, and how a ban on nuclear weapons can be achieved. More than 30 participants from 10 different countries participated to the event.
In Canada, Kathleen and the others from Ceasefire.ca celebrated Nuclear Abolition Week by launching a “Louder than the bomb” campaign. They also met with parliamentarians to encourage them to sign ICAN’s parliamentary appeal for a treaty banning nuclear weapons.
Alexandra and Carlos from IPPNW Costa Rica organised an epic Antinuclear Night Party, and participated in an event organised by the Costa Rican Committee of International Humanitarian Law. They also encouraged people to sign ICAN’s online petition for a ban on nuclear weapons, and managed to get the former Costa Rican President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Oscar Arias to share his shadow for a nuclear ban.
In El Salvador, Jesús from Survivors and People with Disability Network organised a meeting with an academic group from the National University of El Salvador (Censorship Zero) about the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons and the need for a new ban treaty. In addition, they used their social network channels to spread information about the campaign, and participated in several lobby meetings with government officials.
ICAN’s partner organisations in France put up an ICAN banner along the route of Tour de France, encouraging passersby to share their shadow and sign ICAN’s online petition for a ban on nuclear weapons. They also sent out a press release to their media contacts with information about Nuclear Abolition Week.
In Hanover, Germany, members of IPPNW Germany organised a Target X action to raise awareness of the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons. On 8 July, mayors from all around Germany hoisted their Mayors for Peace flag at their town hall in support for the atomwaffenfrei.jetzt campaign. A group of ICAN campaigners also organised a civil society outreach meeting in Berlin, inviting partners from Austria and Switzerland.
In Yogyakarta, Indonesia, ICAN’s new partner Institute of International Studies organised a regional round table meeting in collaboration with ICAN Australia and the International Law and Policy Institute (ILPI). Participants included ICAN campaigners, diplomats and other civil society organisations from the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos, Vietnam, UK, Norway and Australia. The ICAN campaigners also held a seminar at Gadjah Mada University with international relations students.
Japan saw the screening of seven films related to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, attracting more than seven hundred people. The Japanese version of ICAN’s booklet Catastrophic Humanitarian Harm were promoted during the event. For more photos, click here
In Latin America, Human Security Network in Latin America and the Caribbean (SEHLAC) launched a call for papers on “current perspectives on nuclear disarmament”. Many of the organisations in the network also shared their shadows and encouraged people to sign ICAN’s online petition for a ban on nuclear weapons.
In Macedonia, Journalists for Human Rights sent out a press release to their media contacts with information about ICAN, Nuclear Abolition Week, and the need for a ban treaty. They also participated in ICAN’s Nuclear Abolition Week competition, sharing their shadows and collecting signatures for ICAN’s online petition.
In the Netherlands, the gang at IKV Pax Christi – No Nukes collected signatures for ICAN’s parliamentarian appeal, ICAN’s global petition, and shared their shadows for a nuclear ban. They also pulled together a nuclear pub quiz and handed out lots of “Greetings from a Nuclear Europe” postcards at a festival on the island of Terschelling.
In Nigeria, Kolade from Churches in Action for Peace and Development organised a church service focusing on nuclear weapons and property. Forty-two people attended the event, and were encouraged to sign ICAN’s global petition for a ban on nuclear weapons. The following day, Kolade and CAPAD was featured on the state television channel BCOS along with a parliamentarian to discuss the need for a nuclear ban.
In Norway, ICAN campaigners invited fellow campaigners form Germany and Denmark to a nuclear cabin trip in the Norwegian mountains to do outreach and make plans for the future. Norwegian ICAN campaigners also had a meeting about nuclear weapons with Norwegian State Secretary Gry Larsen, who agreed to share her shadow for a nuclear ban.
Loreta and Jasmin from the Center for Peace Education hosted prayer circle and a screening of ‘Hiroshima’ at Miriam College, which served as an inspiration for an evening of making posters that will be displayed for the rest of the week. Students were also encouraged to sign ICAN’s online petition.
The people in Assistance Advocacy Access – Serbia, organised events in three different Serbian cities during Nuclear Abolition Week. They shared shadows, collected signatures to ICAN’s global petition, and organised a Bombs No More action. Go to their Facebook photo stream to see more photos from their events.
Lourdes from FundiPau organised a public meeting, “Nuclear armament: Let’s stop this threat” with Robert Jacobs from the Hiroshima Peace Institute, Xavier Bohigas from the Delàs Center of Studies for Peace, and Jordi Armadans from FundiPau. They also managed to place an op-ed in the Spanish online newspaper Público.
ICAN’s partners in Sweden, WILPF Sweden and IPPNW Sweden, organised a number of events during the Almedalen week, a massive festival for political nerds, including political parties, NGOs, journalists, and activists. They organised a panel on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, participated in several other panel discussions, and staged a “Let us measure your blood pressure while we talk to you about nuclear weapons” street activity.
In Switzerland, campaigners set up the exhibition “Everything You Treasure – For a world free from nuclear weapons” in collaboration with ICAN partner Soka Gakkai International (SGI), with 40 panels covering the issue from 12 different perspectives. The exhibition opened in Geneva and was on display through 12 July. Special evening viewings, workshops and tours were organised for 8 July and 12 July.
There was no limit to what Samir and the others in Visions Solidaires did during Nuclear Abolition Week in Togo. A press conference, several meetings with government officials, a beach day, and a dancing party are just a few examples of what they organised. In addition, hundreds of signatures for ICAN’s global petition was collected, and numerous people were encouraged to share their shadows. Click here to read a story published by a Togolese online newspaper about their events.
Rebecca and Rebecca in ICAN UK and Acronym Institute made this fantastic short film during Nuclear Abolition Week. In addition, they collected signatures to ICAN’s online petition, and convinced the popular Oxford professor and mathematician Marcus du Sautoy to share his shadow in solidarity with the victims of nuclear weapons.