By John Marciano
This coming Aug. 6-9, the 32nd Annual Hiroshima-Nagasaki Vigil will be held. The theme is "Stepping Back from Nuclear War: The World’s Call to Peace." It highlights the international effort to abolish nuclear weapons, building upon the work of 122 UN nations that produced the Nuclear Ban Treaty. For more information on the events, please check the Peace House Calendar: peacehouse.net — or contact Herbert Rothschild at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-531-2848.
"This treaty is an incredible new piece of international law, achieved despite the opposition of the most militarized and powerful countries in the world," states Ray Acheson, director of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom’s (WILPF) disarmament effort, Reaching Critical Will. "It marks a turning point in the struggle against these genocidal weapons, in which the vast majority of governments and civil society have united to create law that can change policies and practices of nuclear deterrence and help facilitate nuclear disarmament."
The existing nuclear states — China, France, Great Britain, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia and the United States, boycotted the deliberations. In addition, France, Great Britain and the U.S. issued an attack on the effort, stating that they “do not intend to sign, ratify or ever become party to it.”
Writer David Krieger responded (Counterpunch, July 13): “The U.S., UK and France have never shown enthusiasm for banning and eliminating nuclear weapons. It is not surprising, therefore, that they did not participate in the United Nations negotiations leading to the recent adoption of the nuclear ban treaty, or that they joined together in expressing their outright defiance of the newly-adopted treaty.”
These nations and all nuclear powers hold the entire world as prisoners.
In light of this opposition to the responsible and sane action by 122 nations that have signed the Nuclear Ban Treaty, as concerned citizens we should support it and actively work to see that these actual weapons of mass destruction are abolished.
— John Marciano lives in Talent.