After ICAN's Nobel Peace Prize, PSR doubles down on preventing nuclear war
December 15, 2017
On December 10, the Norwegian Nobel Committee sent a message to the world when it awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), represented here by bomb survivor Setsuko Thurlow and ICAN Executive Director Beatrice Fihn.
In 2018, PSR will amplify ICAN's message, leveraging our unique role as America's medical voice for disarmament. We will guide public policy away from a dangerous new arms race, inform American voters about nuclear weapons realities, and strengthen the grassroots political power of PSR's chapter network.
Ready to roll your sleeves up and take action? A number of national and local organizations and faith groups have joined together in a campaign centered on the "Back from the Brink" resolution. Consider introducing this resolution at your church, synagogue, civic group, medical association, university, or municipality.
For PSR's Security program, charged with promoting peace and nuclear disarmament, it goes without saying that 2017 was a "difficult" year. PSR strongly opposed the nuclear weapons spending binge that originated in the Obama administration, and has continued under the current administration. To make matters worse, President Trump and North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-Un have spiraled into a nuclear standoff so tense that it has been compared to the Cuban Missile Crisis.
But there have been some real victories, also. The most obvious victory came on July 7, when 122 nations voted at the UN to adopt the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This success earned ICAN the Nobel prize. PSR is a Partner Organization in ICAN. PSR Board member and Security Committee co-chair Ira Helfand, MD also serves on the ICAN international steering group, and Dr. Helfand traveled to Oslo to attend the award ceremony and related events. So did Student PSR members Autumn Vogel and Michael Musharbash, who provided on-the-scene reports for PSR's social media channels. Meanwhile, PSR chapters in Washington state, Oregon, California and North Carolina organized local Nobel celebration events. Watch the Nobel award ceremony and read the acceptance speeches delivered on ICAN's behalf by Beatrice Fihn and Setsuko Thurlow.
Excerpt from Beatrice Fihn:
The story of nuclear weapons will have an ending, and it is up to us what that ending will be. Will it be the end of nuclear weapons, or will it be the end of us?
One of these things will happen.
The only rational course of action is to cease living under the conditions where our mutual destruction is only one impulsive tantrum away.
Excerpt from Setsuko Thurlow:
Today, I want you to feel in this hall the presence of all those who perished in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I want you to feel, above and around us, a great cloud of a quarter million souls. Each person had a name. Each person was loved by someone. Let us ensure that their deaths were not in vain.
Berit Reiss-Andersen, chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, presents the Nobel Peace Prize to ICAN representatives Setsuko Thurlow (atomic bomb survivor) and Beatrice Fihn (ICAN Executive Director).
Outside the Norwegian Parliament in Oslo, Ira Helfand adds IPPNW's paper crane to the display of 1,000 paper cranes created by children in Hiroshima.
Student PSR members Autumn Vogel and Michael Musharbash spread the word about the Nobel events with live tweets from the Nobel events in Oslo.
Washington PSR organized a day of action across the state with "WE CAN Ban the Bomb" events in seven communities. Over 200 disarmament supporters in Seattle sent a rousing message of thanks and solidarity to ICAN, holding flags from each of the countries that voted "yes" on the UN ban treaty.