Technically it was awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), although I played my part…
For a few years now I’ve wanted to donate some of my time to charity and I have volunteered in various roles. In June 2016 I started volunteering for the Soka Gakkai International (SGI). I’ve often wondered if this is a worthy cause and then I remind myself that the purpose of the Soka Gakkai is to achieve Kosen Rufu (world peace) in the world and that’s probably the best cause there is.
ICAN, a coalition of over 460 non-governmental organisations including the SGI, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize after the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) was adopted by the United Nations in July 2017. The TPNW makes nuclear weapons illegal under international law and sets out a plan for the complete abolition of such weapons.
Beatrice Fihn, ICAN Executive Director said “SGI has been one of our greatest partners in this fight. Faith based perspectives are extremely important, because there is a moral reason to why we are doing this.”
There are so many reasons to ban nuclear weapons. Some are obvious, others less so. Nuclear weapons are a crime against humanity. The use and possession of chemical and biological weapons have been banned because of the horrific effects, why should nuclear weapons be any different? Less obvious is the possibility of accidental detonation. Did you know that nuclear weapons are regularly transported around the UK and there have been numerous near misses? This thought chills me to the bone. Find out more at the Nukes of Hazard website.
But don’t we need nuclear weapons as a deterrent?
Daisaku Ikeda, outlines why this is a fallacy in his 2017 peace proposal. Former SGI President, Josei Toda identified that the deterrence argument “focuses solely on protecting the countries possessing them, while remaining coldly indifferent to the immense sacrifices that would be exacted from the greater part of humankind.” Toda stated that “‘we, the citizens of the world have an inviolable right to live’ and “declared that it was impermissible for any country to threaten this right and that the use of nuclear weapons could never be justified.”
Deterrence has been used to rationalise the use and development of weapons throughout history and yet this has not prevented war. Can we 100% confident that deterrence will be effective in the case of nuclear weapons? Stop for a minute and consider the implications if deterrence fails.
President Ikeda says “it is precisely because deterrence is something deeply rooted in human nature that we need to confront head-on the great risks that lie hidden in its depths.”
What can you do?
- Write and ask the Prime Minister to sign the TPNW.
- Send the parliamentary pledge to your local MP and ask them to sign. http://www.icanw.org/projects/pledge/
- Share this treaty text with your MP and ask them to share it.
- Write to your UN Ambassador.
- Join the Nukes of Hazard movement. Sign the petition to get dangerous nukes off our roads.
- Ask your banks and pensions schemes to move away from nuclear weapons. http://www.dontbankonthebomb.com/