UN Ban Conference begins

The United Nations conference on a nuclear weapons ban opens in New York City on Monday, March 27. The purpose of the conference is to “negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading toward their total elimination.”

OREPA coordinator Ralph Hutchison will be presenting in a side event during the Conference on Tuesday, March 28, with colleagues from other nuclear weapons sites. The panel discussion, US Nuclear Modernization Under President Trump: Implications for the Ban Treaty Process, was organized by the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability. The  focus on US efforts to modernize the entire nuclear weapons program.

Hutchison will be joining Jay Coghlan of Nuclear Watch New Mexico; Marylia Kelley of TriValley CAREs in Livermore, California; Rick Wayman of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation; Matthew McKinzie of the Natural Resources Defense Council; and Hans Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists.

“The US government refused to support the call for this conference,” Hutchison noted, “and it is unlikely that we will participate. So it is up to us to explain the US plan to modernize our nuclear weapons stockpile, production facilities,  delivery vehicles”basically the entire nuclear weapons enterprise.”

OREPA is a member of the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability an accredited Nongovernmental Organization (NGO) with the United Nations and has participated in events for nearly a decade. “It will be wonderful to have a chance to talk with our colleagues in other NGOs around the world during the conference,” said Hutchison.

The UN Ban Treaty Conference will run until March 31, then will break until it resumes in a June/July session.

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Sunday Vigil at Y-12 in Oak Ridge Tennessee

Sunday Vigil

The OREPA Board has now decided that we are prepared to do a limited re-opening of the Sunday vigil to allow for slightly more participation.  We are asking anyone who wants to attend a Sunday vigil to sign up in advance—by the Thursday before. There are two ways to sign up. You can email Ralph at orep@earthlink.net or you can call him at 865 776 5050. If the five slots are already taken, we’ll ask you to wait until next week. All vigilers are expected to wear masks. Bring your own chair. Avoid physical contact and maintain an appropriate social distance in the circle of chairs. Of course, if for any reason you feel you may have been exposed to the virus or to someone with the virus, you should not attend the vigil. At this point, we are not resuming our monthly potlucks.

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