OREPA is pleased to announce STOP THE NEW NUCLEAR ARMS RACE, an international conference aimed at building collaborative strategies to achieve our long-standing goal—the abolition of nuclear weapons from the face of the earth.
Joining us as partners in the conference are Nukewatch and the Nuclear Resister, both of which will, in 2020, celebrate 40 years of resistance to nuclear weapons and active working to get rid of nuclear weapons.
Registration for the conference is now open—the deadline for registration is April 24, but space is limited and beds are available on a first-come/first-served basis, so don’t delay! You can register at orepa.org/registration-form
Around the globe, campaigns to reduce the nuclear threat, get US nuclear weapons out of Europe, establish nuclear weapons free zones, and abolish nuclear weapons altogether are moving relentlessly forward. Many of these efforts got a boost when the United Nations, in 2017, passed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
That effort, growing out of a ten-year campaign by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), demonstrated that persistent and dedicated citizen action can change the world. The Ban Treaty, as it moves toward entry into force, establishes a new platform for discussion of nuclear disarmament efforts.
Next year will also see several significant milestones: the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty will by the subject of the five-year Review Conference at the United Nations in April/May. July will mark 75 years since the Trinity Test first unleashed the devastating power of nuclear weapons, contaminating soil and humans who lived downwind.
August 6 will mark the 75th commemoration of the destruction of Hiroshima, followed by Nagasaki on August 9. All of these events will be accompanied by increased attention, in the media and the public imagination, on the threat nuclear weapons continue to pose still today.
At the same time, the United States has announced plans to spend as much as two trillion dollars “modernizing” its nuclear stockpile, undertaking to construct new production facilities to expand US capacity to manufacture nuclear weapons, and seeking funding for new designs for nuclear warheads. Russia and China, in turn, have responded with indications that they will also modernize their stockpiles. The result is a new nuclear arms race, as futile and perilous as the last nuclear arms race, in pursuit of a discredited and omnicidal policy of deterrence. This arms race, and the billions of dollars being spent for new bomb plants, casts a shadow over generations to come.
ONE VOICE, ONE GOAL
The global abolition movement is remarkable. It is a decentralized movement, taking many forms and using many strategies around the world, yet for the most part, devoid of any significant internal strife. The movement has one clear goal—to create a world free of the nuclear threat, a goal that is only possible by abolishing nuclear weapons altogether.
And although the movement uses many languages and accents, we speak with one voice, echoing the insistent plea of the hibakusha survivors of the bomb, turning it into a global demand: Never again!
The only way to assure nuclear weapons are never used again and to secure a future free from the existential threat they pose is to abolish them altogether.
STOP THE NEW NUCLEAR ARMS RACE
The conference will take place at Maryville College in Maryville, Tennessee, and will include a trip to the Y-12 Nuclear Weapons Complex in nearby Oak Ridge, Tennessee. It will represent the global community, with participants from around the world. Our plan is to come together to discuss ways in which we can collaborate to maximize the effect of the time, energy and resources being devoted by people in scores of countries.
With the entry into force of the Ban Treaty, nations in Europe that currently house US nuclear weapons will become outlaws, and citizen movements in those countries will have a powerful tool to leverage the removal of those weapons from their soil. It will be incumbent on us, in the US, to support those efforts.
When those weapons are returned to the US, the responsibility for compelling our country to comply with the Ban Treaty will fall to us, and we will depend on the support of our international colleagues and we press forward toward the day when the great and beautiful promise of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is finally realized.
Plans for the conference are being finalized by the planners. Workshops leaders are being lined up and people have begun registering—from Kazakhstan, Germany, Switzerland, Australia and the US.
Oh—and we will also celebrate: 2020 marks the 40th anniversary of Nukewatch, the Nuclear Resister and the Plowshares movement. So bring your appetite for music and cake!
Check nukewatchinfo.org/stop_new_nuclear_arms_race for updated information.