Nobel laureates rebukes nuclear powers: – The madness can not go on
The nuclear weapons and their allies, including Norway, have to endure sharp condemnations and a heartfelt plea to get rid of nuclear weapons from Nobel Laureates, ICAN.
The international campaign for a ban on nuclear weapons ICAN was presented with the Nobel peace prize in Oslo City Hall on Sunday. There, the leader of the umbrella organization, Beatrice Fihn and Hiroshima survivor Setsuko Thurlow, received the Nobel medal in gold and accompanying diploma.
Norwegian Crown Princess Mette-Marit was obviously touched when Thurlow described August 6, 1945, the day when her hometown was wiped out. The 13-year-old came to herself in the ruins of her school.
– Most of my classmates who were in that building were burned alive. Around me I saw a total and incomprehensible destruction, Thurlow stated.
250,000 people were murdered when Hiroshima and Nagasaki were hit by American nuclear bombs
– Each person had a name. Each of them were loved by someone. Let’s make sure they did not die in vain.
85-year-old Thurlow’s view of those who do not support the ban of nuclear weapons was clear:- All responsible leaders are going to sign this treaty. And the story will not be condescending to those who reject it.
A few meters away, Prime Minister Erna Solberg (Conservatives) who was opposed to signing the nuclear weapons ban adopted by the UN this summer. The Government supports that NATO keep nuclear weapons as long as others posses them.
Even after hearing the powerful speech by the peace prize winners, she stuck to her view.
– What we must achieve is mutual disarmament and to have a world devoid of nuclear weapons, but then all of those with nuclear weapons must be involved. We do not achieve this through a treaty that those who posses nuclear weapons do not participate, says Solberg.
The Prime Minister had to face the music, and she and the other members of the Government applauded politely at the right places during Thurlow’s and Fihn’s speeches. The rest of the audience, many of them activists working towards the ban, and the 30 other Japanese survivors present on the other hand applaused heartfelt several times.
We are the rational
Fihn took a powerful stance against those who criticize the activists for being naive and unrealistic.
– It’s madness to let these weapons decide our fate. Many of our critics claim that we are irrational idealists without any kind of concept of reality. That nuclear weapons states will never are going to relinquish their weapons.
– We represent the only rational choice, she claimed. Cheers and applause in the hall followed Fihn’s harsh verdict:
– Men – not women! – created nuclear weapons to control others, but instead we are controlled by them.
Has not kept their promises
The Nobel Committee Chairwoman, Berit Reiss-Andersen, handed over the medal and diploma to ICAN’s two representatives. She pointed out in her speech that the fight against nuclear weapons has been honored with a peace prize twelve times and emphasized that ICAN is honored for giving momentum to the work of abolishing them.
“ICAN has succeeded in creating a new commitment among common people against nuclear weapons. Perhaps the organization’s acronym is not random. I CAN, she said.
Nuclear weapons opponents in the hall smiled and wiped tears alertnatively during the speech. Among them was the Norwegian People’s Aid Leader, Grethe Østem,, who has been a key player in the campaign.
Even Reiss-Andersen criticizes the nuclear powers.
– If the disarmament work had been completed as sopposed, ICAN’s struggle for a treaty-based ban on nuclear weapons would be redundant, she said.
Flower arrangements with orchids, carnations and other plants framed this year’s ceremony, where soprano Beate Mordal and Håvard Gimse performed music made by Ture Rangström and Edvard Grieg.
American John Legend also performed with Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” before the two award winners held their speeches.
See also the complete speech made by Beatrice Fihn
NTB Scanpix / Norway Today