Photos by David Andersson
Today, on day two of the four-week 1970 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, several hundred people marched to the US Mission from the Isaiah Wall across the street from the United Nations, passing by the Wall’s quote from the Prophet Isaaiah,
Report by Alice Slater
“He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”
Singing peace and anti-war songs, to “lay down their swords and shields” with dramatic interventions and a multitude of posters with slogans calling for nuclear abolition in every possible way, the indomitable peace activists from every continent joined together to press the governments in the coming weeks, who promised in 1970 to make “good faith efforts” for nuclear disarmament, to “lay down their swords and shields” and make their promised “good faith” commitments to restore their tattered promises to finally ban the bomb.
Despite the 2017 enactment of the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons that closed the NPT loopholes, finally saying that nuclear weapons are illegal in every way, including use, threat to use, sharing, shipping, and manufacturing– the race goes on with all the major powers expanding their arsenals and spending trillions of dollars and millions of IQ points confronting each other with their evil nuclear deterrents. Meanwhile, Mother Earth desperately needs extraordinary global cooperation to prevent a catastrophic climate collapse, a nuclear cataclysm and spreading lethal plagues. We are at a turning point, and this NPT might be the last time that people can bring their governments to their senses, instructing them to step back from the catastrophic cliff edge, towards which we are perilously and thoughtlessly careening.
Report by Anthony Donovan
When I look at the UN from the U.S. Mission today, I think of a wonderful mentor and champion for nuclear disarmament, Amb. Zenon Rossides of Cyprus. I interviewed him in 1983. He’d been challenging the nuclear countries since taking to the UN podium in 1960, to focus on common and collective security, not with nuclear arms. “Listen to the scientists!” He’d often exclaim.
I’d like to echo his public words when speaking about the negotiations for the NPT and other nuclear treaties
“The negotiations are a stagnant pretense, deceiving the people that something is being done about the nuclear arms race, a galloping reality.”
He would often also repeat
“It is not the power of weapons,
but the power of Spirit
That can save the world.”
He met and felt very close to Pres. John F. Kennedy. He said JFK was determined to end nuclear weapons and that the Herculean effort and great success of his Test Ban Treaty was meant to only be the first step toward total abolition.
My word for today’s action, when things look so dire, and heading evermore in the wrong direction, is…… community. A courageous community that sustains life, and joy.
Alice Slater is an Advisor to the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and serves on the Coordinating Committee of World Beyond War worldbeyondwar.org
Anthony Donovan. A political campaigner and activist from the age of 12, ending up in jail three times for Vietnam War nonviolent civil disobedience.