On August 6 the world’s first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima in Japan with devastating consequences.
Every year peace groups around the world come together to commemorate all victims and to vow that never again shall such evil be perpetrated in our names.
For years many thought that the immediate threat had gone away, but we now find ourselves in a world where President Trump seriously asks why he cannot deploy nuclear weapons and our prime minister seems to think that she could press the nuclear button with a clear conscience. Terrifying times indeed.
Luckily, though, there is some sanity amidst this madness as the world now has an international treaty making it illegal for ratifying states to possess any nuclear weapons. On July 7 the UN General Assembly adopted, by a vote of 122 to one, the text of a legally binding ‘instrument’ to prohibit nuclear weapons. This landmark treaty signals a growing international desire to protect the world from the horrors of a nuclear war.
However, the UK did not sign and is still pressing ahead to spend £200 billion on Trident renewal despite the fact that drones are being developed which will identify underwater submarines. As the UK continues to keep and modernise its nuclear weapons at huge cost and risk to life it is increasingly seen as out of step with the rest of the world.
At a local level too Lewes Town Council voted to support my motion to support an annual event to observe the International Day of Peace on September 21 and to ask the town council’s Commemorations Committee to look at the details of such an event, to suggest a format for the first such annual event and to promote it to the wider community.
The theme of the 2017 Day of Peace is ‘Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity For All’. This seems particularly apt at a time when the world is seeing so many refugees fleeing violent war zones for a more peaceful life elsewhere. To welcome more of them into our community and recognise that across the planet we all have so much in common would be one step towards the more peaceful, nuclear-free world we should all desire.
Cllr Susan Murray,
Green Party, Castle ward