By John Dear
A big hearty “Congratulations!” to all my friends at the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons for winning the Nobel Peace Prize this morning!
This is such a boost to the anti-nuclear movement, the United Nations and the world, a great encouragement to all of us, to keep working to outlaw and abolish nuclear weapons once and for all.
On March 1, 2013, my first day on the staff with Pace e Bene, I flew with Martin Sheen from Los Angeles to Oslo, Norway, where we were hosted by ICAN at the launch of the Norwegian government’s campaign to outlaw nuclear weapons on humanitarian grounds. (See photo above) The night before Norway’s two day gathering of representatives for scores of nations, ICAN held a public conversation featuring Martin and me on why we need to work for the abolition of nuclear weapons. Nearly a thousand people gathered in the theater in Oslo that night. By all accounts, it was an electrifying and inspiring evening.
Over the next few days, Martin and I met many of the leading anti-nuclear organizers on the planet, representatives from various governments, and Norwegian government officials, as they plotted the strategy to abolish nuclear weapons.
Last month, over fifty nations signed the first United Nations treaty outlawing nuclear weapons. This historic breakthrough is directly connected to the inspiring work of ICAN and the Norwegian government.
From the minute we met them, they told us that the abolition of nuclear weapons was not only possible, but probable and doable. Their determined vision and relentless persistence has brought us to this breakthrough UN treaty. They deserve all our congratulations and support, and I hope everyone can join ICAN and continue to global movement to prevent nuclear war, and outlaw and abolish nuclear weapons.
Blessings of peace to everyone at ICAN, and congratulations! Carry on!