First International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

Human Wrongs Watch

To mark the first International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, ICAN will organise Nuclear Abolition Day on 26 September 2014. The day was established by the United Nations General Assembly last year to enhance ‘public awareness and education about the threat posed to humanity by nuclear weapons and the necessity for their total elimination’, and takes place only two months before the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons.*

Photo from ICAN

Photo from ICAN

“This UN day is an important initiative, and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) will join forces with the UN, civil society, and governments to highlight the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons and the need for a ban treaty by organizing a global day of action.”

’69 years after the world witnessed the catastrophic humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons’

“We have come a long way since the UN adopted its first resolution calling for a nuclear weapons free world. Today, 69 years after the world witnessed the catastrophic humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, is the time for governments to step up and show the courage it takes to ban nuclear weapons,” says Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director of ICAN.

A number of UN agencies participated actively in the Oslo and Nayarit Conferences on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons. Earlier this month, United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) published an Inter-Agency Study on the UN’s capacity to respond to the humanitarian catastrophe that would follow in the wake of a nuclear detonation.

According to Valerie Amos, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, and Helen Clark, Administrator of United Nations Development Programme, “this study reminds us all that until we achieve a world free of nuclear weapons, they will continue to pose the risk of catastrophic consequences for humanity – whatever the United Nations and its humanitarian partners endeavour to do to pick up the pieces.”

Click here to read UNIDIR’s study

During ICAN’s Nuclear Abolition Week last year, ICAN’s campaigners and partner organisations organised a number of various outreach activities around the world. The activities included a number of outreach meetings to foreign ministry officials and parliamentarians, round table meetings, bike trips, Target X actions, flag hoisting, parties, cabin trips, church services, beach days, press conferences, exhibitions, public meetings, social media outreach, film screenings, and pub quizzes.

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.

“We hope that Nuclear Abolition Day this year will unleash an even more impressive wave of action and creativity, and ICAN’s partners will use this day to inspire, persuade and pressure your governments to support a treaty banning nuclear weapons,” says ICAN Campaign and Advocacy Director Magnus Løvold

Click here for a list of action alternatives for campaigners and civil society organizations working for a treaty banning nuclear weapons. 

*Source: international Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). Go to Original.

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2014 Human Wrongs Watch

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