Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

ICAN leader urges nuclear powers to join the United Nations treaty banning atomic weapons

‘Prevent the end of us’: Nuclear powers urged to ban the bomb http://www.smh.com.au/world/prevent-the-end-of-us-nuclear-powers-urged-to-ban-the-bomb-20171210-h0279q.html, Gwladys Fouche, 11 Dec 17,

Oslo: The leader of the group that won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize has urged nuclear nations to adopt a United Nations treaty banning atomic weapons in order to prevent “the end of us”.

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) was awarded the prize by a Nobel committee that cited the spread of nuclear weapons and the growing risk of an atomic war.

ICAN, which began in Melbourne, is a coalition of 468 grassroots non-governmental groups that campaigned for a UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, adopted by 122 nations in July.

The treaty is not signed by – and would not apply to – any of the states that already have nuclear arms.

Beatrice Fihn, ICAN’s executive director, urged them to sign the agreement.

 “It provides a choice. A choice between the two endings: the end of nuclear weapons or the end of us,” she said in her speech at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo on Sunday.

“The United States, choose freedom over fear. Russia, choose disarmament over destruction. Britain, choose the rule of law over oppression,” she added, before urging France, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel to do the same.

Israel is widely assumed to have nuclear weapons, although it neither confirms nor denies it.

“A moment of panic or carelessness, a misconstrued comment or bruised ego, could easily lead us unavoidably to the destruction of entire cities,” she added.

“A calculated military escalation could lead to the indiscriminate mass murder of civilians.”

Fihn delivered the Nobel lecture together with Setsuko Thurlow, an 85-year-old survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bombing and now an ICAN campaigner.

Thurlow recalled on stage on Sunday some of her memories of the attack on August 6, 1945.

She was rescued from the rubble of a collapsed building about 1.8 kilometres from Ground Zero, she said. Most of her classmates were burnt alive.

“Processions of ghostly figures shuffled by. Grotesquely wounded people, they were bleeding, burnt, blackened and swollen,” she said.

“Parts of their bodies were missing. Flesh and skin hung from their bones. Some with their eyeballs hanging in their hands. Some with their bellies burst open, their intestines hanging out. The foul stench of burnt human flesh filled the air.”

The US, Britain and France sent second-rank diplomats to the Nobel ceremony, which Fihn earlier said was “some kind of protest”.

Hours before the prize was presented in Oslo, co-founder Dimity Hawkins said it was “gratifying to win a Nobel Peace Prize but we’ve still got to get ourselves to zero nukes”.

“The biggest prize will be to have all nations – including Australia – sign up to the nuclear weapons ban treaty which we helped bring about at the UN this year.” Reuters with Carolyn Webb

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December 11, 2017 - Posted by | General News

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