The campaign “Breaking the Nuclear Chain” will be launched on 22 October 2012 by the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), IKV Pax Christi and Peace Boat.

We talk about this initiative and its objectives with Marte Hellema, Programme Manager Public Outreach at the GPPAC Global Secretariat.

Where did the idea get started?

Peace Boat, a GPPAC member and one of the organizations strongly involved in the campaign, has been working for a long time with Hibakusha, survivors of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Organizing for them to be able to travel to world to tell people about what they went through and warn them about the dangers of nuclear weapons, to give testimony. Once you have ever met one of these people, it is very hard to deny their experience, and not recognize the inhumanity of nuclear weapons.

However, many more people have suffered from the nuclear chain – people that were affected by testing, by the uranium mines themselves, by accidents with nuclear plants. During the Global Conference for a Nuclear Power Free World in Yokohama, Japan on 14-15 January 2012, several of these people came together to tell about their stories, give their testimonies. And again, we realized the power of a human story.

But most people don’t go to such conference, or don’t have the chance to meet Peace Boat, so that is where the idea for this campaign came from. For giving a platform for people that have been affected by any part of the nuclear chain to give their testimony, and make these testimonies available to an audience that is as wide as possible.

What are the objectives?

The overall objectives of the campaign are to make people see beyond the abstract discussions about nuclear issues, and hear what we are truly talking about. And in doing so the objectives are to:

  • Educate people that nuclear weapons, nuclear waste and nuclear energy are all tied together.  You cannot have one without the others, and they all leave a legacy of contaminated communities.
  • Convince people – Governments and populations – of the urgency to create a nuclear free world.
  • Begin the process by calling for the immediate start of negotiations to make nuclear weapons illegal for everyone, setting the stage for future negotiated processes to end the nuclear legacy.

And how can people get involved?

There are different levels of getting involved. To start off with of course people can help by sharing the information about the campaign with others, by liking the facebook page, retweeting messages or showing the link, with other people.

The next step would be to get involved with some of the activities we will be organizing over the coming months. All of these will have both on- and off-line components, and will all be announced and presented on our website. Some of these will include webinars, discussions forums, twitter Q & As, and a contest to become a civil society representative at the NPT Review Conference in Geneva next year.

But maybe most importantly we want to ask people to get involved in compiling the information on the website. So if you yourself have been affected by the nuclear chain, make a short video giving your testimony and share it with us. Or if your country has not been included yet in the Facts & Figures section, send us the information. Or if you are involved with an organization that works on anything related to the nuclear chain, send us your organizational profile, so we can add it to our world map.

So by doing any of these things, people can help us break the nuclear chain.


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