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PSR brings the disarmament conversation to Capitol Hill

Posted by Martin Fleck on April 28, 2017
 Inside the Capitol Visitor Center Conf. Room  PSR's Dr. Ira Helfand and Hiroshima survivor Setsuko Thurlow

Zia Mian of Princeton
Ray Acheson of Reaching Critical Will

To bring the global disarmament message to the heart of the American political landscape, PSR co-sponsored an all-day conference April 27 titled, "Toward a Fundamental Change in Nuclear Weapons Policy" at the Capitol Visitor Center. The conference brought together young faith leaders, scientists and disarmament experts. Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA) welcomed conference participants to the Capitol. This event was convened by the Buddhist organization Soka-Gakkai International-USA. Climate scientist Alan Robock described the climate impacts of various nuclear war scenarios. PSR's Dr. Ira Helfand presented on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons. Hiroshima survivor Setsuko Thurlow described her experience in harrowing detail. ICAN campaigner Ray Acheson described how the nuclear weapons ban treaty—currently being negotiated at the UN—is "opening up paths to disarmament that did not currently exist." Ms. Acheson is the Director of Reaching Critical Will, a project of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. A panel of young people representing five different faiths explored the moral imperative to take action. Other speakers included Bruce Blair, Co-founder of Global Zero, Barry Blechman, Co-founder of the Stimson Center, Dayl Kimball, Executive Director of the Arms Control Association, Zia Mian, Co-Director, Program on Science and Global Security at Princeton, Joshua Pollack, Editor or Nonproliferation Review, and Dingli Shen, Director of the Program on Arms Control and Regional Security, Fudan University.

Full transcripts are expected to be posted online at the conference website by May 8. The full conference program is also posted there.

Here is the list of 21 cosponsoring organizations:
NGO Co-Sponsors
Arms Control Association
Citizens for Global Solutions
Global Zero
Hibakusha Stories
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War
Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
Peace Action
Physicians for Social Responsibility
Ploughshares Fund
Stimson Center
Union of Concerned Scientists
Women's Action for New Directions
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom

Faith-based Organizations:
American Values Network
Islamic Society of North America
Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns
Pax Christi-USA
Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries
United Methodist General Board of Church and Society


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