Hiroshima Day 2018 was a special occasion for Hastings against War. Fiona McGregor, our correspondent with the the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) explains why -
Each year, as the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima comes round, Hastings against War floats lanterns at sunset on the boating lake at Alexandra Park,Hastings.
"This time last year we were celebrating the successful negotiation of the United Nations Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, passed by 122 nations on 7 July 2017. Much has happened since then.
"The treaty opened for signatures on 20 September and 51 states signed at once. Signing signals the intention of becoming a party to it in future. Once it has signed, a state must not take any action that would undermine its object or purpose. A state becomes legally bound when it deposits its instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval. The treaty will enter into force 90 days after it has been ratified by 50 states. As of 6 August 2018, it had been signed by 60 states – with Colombia on 3 August being the latest – and it has been ratified by 14 states, the two most recent being Uruguay on 25 July and New Zealand on 31 July.
"On 6 October, the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced that ICAN had won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize: 'For its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons, and its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons'. (Negotiation of the UN treaty followed three international conferences on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons: in Oslo, March 2013; Narayit, Mexico February 2014; and Vienna December 2014. ICAN organised Civil Society Forums before each of these conferences).
"ICAN, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, is a coalition of 468 partner organisations in 101 countries. Hastings Against War is one of those partners, as is SGI, Soka Gakkai International, a lay Buddhist group whose members will be chanting as we launch our lanterns.
"So, in a real sense, we – all of us who have worked and campaigned against nuclear weapons for so long – are all Nobel Peace Prize Winners".
THANKS FIONA and CONGRATULATIONS!
Meanwhile the commemoration was being observed by peacelovers in Hiroshima itself: Press here to join them
Hastings Councillor and Hastings against War member Maya Evans also sent us a message from Hiroshima.