Today we learned the amazing news that Canadian citizen Setsuko Thurlow, a survivor of the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima, will jointly accept this year’s Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). Here is an excerpt from the ICAN press release:
Thurlow was 13 years old when the United States attacked her city, killing more than 140,000 people. She will receive the prize together with ICAN’s executive director, Beatrice Fihn, at a ceremony in Oslo on 10 December.
Thurlow has been a leading figure in ICAN since its launch in 2007. She played a pivotal role in the United Nations negotiations that led to the adoption of a landmark treaty on 7 July that outlaws nuclear weapons categorically.
She and other Canadian ICAN campaigners are appealing to the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, to sign this historic accord. At the behest of the United States, Canada boycotted the negotiating process earlier this year.
“I was dismayed and heartbroken when the Prime Minister dismissed the new treaty as ‘sort of useless’,” said Thurlow, referring to a statement that he made in the Canadian parliament on 7 June.
“Such callous language to describe the prohibition of the most horrific weapons humankind has ever known. The Prime Minister seems to wilfully ignore the fact that the majority of Canadians want a world without nuclear weapons.”
A former social worker, Thurlow has lived in Toronto since 1955. She was made a member of the Order of Canada in 2006.
“As a living witness to Hiroshima, I beseech Justin Trudeau to change course,” she said.
Click here for the full ICAN press release.
The NDP Critic for Foreign Affairs, Hélène Laverdière, made the following statement:
“Perhaps now that a Canadian is accepting the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, the Trudeau government will wake up to the reality of this global threat to humanity, and join the Nuclear Ban Treaty.
The Liberals cannot continue to pretend they believe in nuclear disarmament so long as they stay outside of this treaty, and they cannot pretend to celebrate Canadian achievement on the international stage so long as they do not congratulate ICAN on their Nobel Peace Prize.”
Click here for the entire statement.
Further reading: Laura Stone, “Canadian woman who survived Hiroshima bombing urges change of heart from Trudeau,” Globe and Mail, 26 October 2017.
Photo credit: Wikimedia