A little over a year ago, the UN adopted the historic Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons which forbids all activities related to nuclear weapons: using, producing, testing, storing, financing, threatening to use, etc. This treaty was also the first to acknowledge the suffering of the victims of nuclear use and testing. And of course, the Treaty was so welcome in this time where it seems like a single tweet could end in nuclear war, that our campaign won the Nobel Peace Prize. But it’s not just among citizens, support for the treaty is growing fast at the official level too. Just last week, New Zealand officially ratified the treaty – becoming its newest State Party – while Colombia became the 60th country to sign it. It’s time for all states to join the Treaty.
Japan is conspicuous by its absence. Much to the horror of the Hibakusha, the Japanese government remains complicit in promoting the legitimacy of nuclear weapons, claiming to rely on the US “nuclear umbrella” for its security. But should the country that first witnessed the scale of devastation brought by a nuclear attack truly allow the use – or the threat of use – in its name? A recent poll showed that 80.8% of Hibakusha urge the Japanese government to join the Nuclear Ban Treaty.
The commemorative events all over the world this week – but particularly those in Hiroshima and Nagasaki – are a call to reflect and to listen. Reflect because we should never forget the events of that week in 1945 or their devastating impact on people and planet. Listen, because the survivors of nuclear use and testing have powerful stories to tell that remind the world of the unacceptable humanitarian effect of nuclear weapons.
All week, we will be sharing testimonies and commemoration events from around the world on social media. Will you take a moment to cast your thoughts to Hiroshima and Nagasaki and share these stories with your loved ones?