Remembering Hiroshima and Honoring the Role of Civil Society in the Cause of Nuclear Weapons Abolition

Flame of Peace, Hiroshima By redlegsfan21 (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Sunday,  August 5

3:00 to 5:00 pm

Unitarian Universalist Church of Ventura,

5654 Ralston Street, Ventura

As we reflect again on the anniversary of the first use of nuclear weapons,  we also mark the first anniversary of  the United Nations’ Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty, passed on July 7, 2017.  122 nations – comprising almost two-thirds of the total UN membership – voted in favor of adoption of the treaty.  To date, 59 nations have signed the treaty and 13 have ratified.    We realize that there is  long road to the treaty coming into force.   There is also a long history of civil society advocating  for the goals of the people in order to develop the political will to achieve them.   The loudest endorsement of the treaty doesn’t come from the UN, or parliamentarians, or even the Nobel Committee. It comes from hopeful, determined people all around the world. New polls released in July 2018 show that a vast majority of Italian, German, Belgian, Dutch and French citizens, want their governments to join the Nuclear Ban Treaty.

The recent award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons is the latest recognition of this crucial role of civil society.

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) is a coalition of non-governmental organizations in one hundred countries promoting adherence to and implementation of the United Nations nuclear weapon ban treaty.  Included in this coalition are:  Citizens for Peaceful Resolutions, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Peace Action, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Sierra Club USA, Veterans for Peace Golden Rule Project, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (US) and World Beyond War.

Let’s reflect on the path we have traveled and the path ahead to a better world free of nuclear weapons.

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