(Putting) bombs away: how the Centre community supports nuclear disarmament

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Painted wall mural with sunflower and rainbow saying "no nukes"

Friday, January 22nd was a monumental day for many countries around the world as the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) became international law for over 51 states in 122 nations. More work needs to be done, but as Core Collaborator at the Centre, Project Ploughshares, explains in Five things to know about the nuclear ban treaty, the TPNW is “the most consequential nuclear disarmament development in decades”.

Last Friday, many participants at the Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement shared their excitement for this step forward in peacebuilding and disarmament. The TPNW is a global effort, and one that the Centre's community of peacebuilders have been involved in since the very beginning.

Project Ploughshares has been a founding Core Collaborator at the Centre, being the first organization to sign on to co-locate on the fourth floor of Conrad Grebel University College back in 2014. This non-governmental organization strives to build peace and advance policies to prevent war and armed violence. Project Ploughshares engages in many outreach and advocacy efforts in Canada and abroad.

As a partner organization of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Project Ploughshares staff participated in the series of conferences on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons that preceded TPNW negotiations and in the negotiations themselves at the UN in New York.

ICAN’s efforts paid off when they won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2017, generating further awareness of the consequences of nuclear weaponry and support for the Treaty. Project Ploughshares’ Executive Director, Cesar Jaramillo, travelled to Oslo, Norway to witness Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director of ICAN, and Hiroshima survivor Setsuko Thurlow accept the monumental prize.

Setsuko Thurlow accepting her honourary DoctorateAfter being nominated by staff at Grebel in 2018, Thurlow received an honourary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Waterloo for her lifelong efforts advocating for a ban on nuclear weapons.

Past Adjunct Associate Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Grebel, and co-founder of Project Ploughshares, Ernie Regehr, O.C., is also a Research Fellow at the Centre for Peace Advancement and a Senior Fellow at the Simons Foundation.

The Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement unites peacebuilders locally and globally around peace and justice issues that matter. Initiatives including the Epp Peace Incubator, Map the System Competition, and partnerships with Core Collaborators enable the Centre to catalyze real change and share good news stories like these with our community.<--break->

To learn more about why the Treaty is important and where this new development may lead, join the Centre and Project Ploughshares for a roundtable discussion on Friday, January 29th from 1:00 to 2:30 P.M: Nuclear ban treaty entry into force: Significance, implications and next steps.