Conrad Grebel University College
140 Westmount Road North
Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3G6
In the midst of global tensions and threats of nuclear warfare, the many collaborative efforts to eliminate weapons of mass destruction provide hope. One of these initiatives is this year’s Nobel Peace Prize recipient ICAN, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. They are a coalition of nongovernmental organizations working to promote adherence to, and implementation of, the United Nations nuclear weapons ban treaty.
Project Ploughshares has been a proud member of ICAN since its launch in 2007. In support and celebration of receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, Cesar Jaramillo, Executive Director of Project Ploughshares travelled to Oslo last week to witness Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director of ICAN, and Hiroshima survivor Setsuko Thurlow jointly accept the prize on behalf of ICAN.
“The development of nuclear weapons signifies not a country’s elevation to greatness,” said Thurlow—who was 13 when an atomic bomb was dropped on her hometown—“but its descent to the darkest depths of depravity. These weapons are not a necessary evil; they are the ultimate evil.”
A leading figure in ICAN, Thurlow played a pivotal role in the United Nations negotiations that led to the adoption of a landmark treaty in July that outlaws nuclear weapons categorically.
Thurlow’s support for Project Ploughshares reaches back to its inception in 1976. This past March, she addressed supporters of Ploughshares at its 40th Anniversary event in Waterloo on the subject of the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons.
Project Ploughshares is a Core Collaborator of the Centre for Peace Advancement, and works toward advancing policies and actions to prevent war and armed violence.