Monday, March 13, 2017

Ban Nuclear Weapons, Stand up for Victims and Survivors

1945    Hiroshima    Nagasaki    2015

Under the shattered structures amidst the excruciating flames.
Parent left child, child left parent,
husband left wife, wife left husband.

Nowhere to escape to.
Figures fleeing in all directions.
This was the Atomic Bomb.

In the midst of this, how eerie--
Mothers' loving arms shielding their babies from death, dying themselves.
There were oh! so many.

From “Mother and Child”, 11th of The Hiroshima Panels by Maruki Iri and Toshi
http://www.aya.or.jp/~marukimsn/gen/gen11e.html


Last week I encourage everyone: dig into Banning nuclear weapons: principles and elements for a legally binding instrument -- by Reaching Critical Will -- and find ways to share elements you find particularly salient.

In my study of this document, one of the first things that caught my eye was two sections stressing the responsibility to victims of nuclear injury:

The treaty should recognise the rights of victims and survivors of nuclear weapons, and acknowledge the disproportionate and ongoing impact of the testing and development of nuclear testing on indigenous communities. (p. 10 - section on Principles and objectives - Human rights principles)

The treaty should recognise that victims and survivors of the use and testing of nuclear weapons have rights, as articulated in the development of international human rights law and other instruments prohibiting inhumane weapons, such as the treaties banning cluster munitions and antipersonnel landmines. (p. 19 - section on Positive obligations - Recognition of rights)

This reminds me of the extensive discussion of these issues at the World Nuclear Victims Forum, which I attended in Hiroshima in November, 2015. That gathering emphasized for me the centrality of people to the problem of nuclear weapons, and the fact that there are people throughout the world who have been injured by nuclear weapons and other aspects of radiation. It led me to ask: What does it mean to say, "We are ALL 'hibakusha'?"

from Hiroshima No Pika
This also reminds me -- particularly during this season of Lent, and with the approach of Good Friday -- of a ceremony we carried out in Chicago two years ago: Good Friday 2015: People Will Find the Way to Eliminate Nuclear Injury.

Everything in us wants to avert our gaze and act like none of this has happened . . . and/or that there's nothing we can do about it. And that's exactly why it's important that the issue of victims and survivors of the use and testing of nuclear weapons is central to this document.


I encourage everyone to read in full the sections of Banning nuclear weapons: principles and elements for a legally binding instrument I've referenced here, as well as the rest of the document.


More notes at: REQUIRED READING: "Banning nuclear weapons" from Reaching Critical Will


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