September 09, 2021 | by Rev. Nobuaki Hanaoka
UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned the world of the New Cold War, referring to the tension between the US and China. In the new international political climate, the threat of global nuclear catastrophe has become more pronounced. North Korea continues with its nuclear weapons program, China with its unhinged nuclear development, and Iran with its nuclear ambition. “The accidental or deliberate detonation of a nuclear weapon would cause severe, and far-reaching harm on all aspects of our lives and our environment throughout the world.” Radioactive fallout from such detonation would encircle the world, killing millions around the world, and the nuclear winter it causes will destroy our precious environment. Yet, we have become numb to the looming threat of global catastrophe.
In 2017, however, history was made, when 122 countries voted at the General Assembly of the United Nations for the Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), and in January of 2021, the Treaty entered into force, making it illegal to possess, develop, and threaten to use nuclear weapons. The General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church, along with a wide international coalition of faith-based organizations, signed the document to support the Treaty, which concludes, “We urge all States to join the growing community of States which have rejected nuclear weapons and to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. At this historic moment, we must act decisively to strengthen the power of the TPNW upon its entry into force, and to work for peace, cooperation, and common security.”
Please register and join us for a webinar on “The Real threat of Nuclear Weapons,” at 5 pm on September 16. To enlighten us of the immorality and illegality of the nuclear weapons program, and the opportunity the TPNW gives us to join our efforts to work toward a peaceful, compassionate, nuclear-free world, Nobu Hanaoka, a retired clergy member of the Conference and Nagasaki survivor, Marylia Kelley, who has been monitoring for decades the Livermore National Nuclear Laboratory, whose activity includes developing and producing nuclear weapons, and Seth Shelden, a UN liaison of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize-winning organization, ICAN (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons) will speak and answer questions.
Nobu Hanaoka was an infant when the atomic bomb was detonated over Nagasaki. He has no memory of the devastation of the city, but lost his mother and sister, and later his brother, to radiation poisoning. He can share his personal experience of the terror of radiation exposure.
Marylia Kelley is Executive Director of Livermore-based Tri-Valley CAREs, and brings 38 years of research, writing, and facilitating public participation in nuclear policy decisions. Kelley has testified before the US Congress, the California Legislature, and the National Academy of Science.
Seth Shelden is ICAN’s UN liaison. ICAN (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons) is a coalition of non-government organizations represented by over one hundred countries. They were awarded Nobel Peace Prize in 2017 for bringing the TPNW to be voted in the United Nations at its General Assembly.