TRC goes to the Nobel Peace Prize conference!

426

Local peace activists are taking their work on banning nuclear weapons global, heading to the Nobel Peace Prize conference in Oslo, Norway for a week, starting on December 7. Jeff Napolitano (Executive Director) and Sabine Merz (Board of Directors) from The Resistance Center for Peace and Justice will represent the goals and efforts of a campaign to push for the implementation of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (https://www.un.org/disarmament/ptnw/). This Treaty was is the result of over 10 years of work by a diverse coalition of non-governmental organizations in over one hundred countries, headed by ICAN (the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN, http://www.icanw.org/), which subsequently was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its role in this work.

This brand-new campaign is using very concrete steps for individuals, cities, states, countries and organizations to become treaty compliant. To make this work happen, NuclearBan.US has teamed up with The Resistance Center for Peace and Justice

In July 2017, 122 countries voted to adopt the Treaty; since then 53 countries have signed the treaty (with four having ratified the Treaty). The Prize will be given out on December 10th in Oslo, Norway (Napolitano and Merz will be in attendance of the observation of the ceremony.) It is expected that at least 146 countries will sign the Treaty at some point. The United States of America has not signed the Treaty and the U.S. ambassador has even declined to attend the Nobel Peace Prize awards ceremony.

For Mr. Napolitano going to Oslo “means an elevation of the work we’ve been doing, started decades ago by Frances Crowe, and an opportunity to make ridding the world of nuclear weapons the priority for humanity it deserves to be.” For Ms. Merz it also represents “an amazing opportunity to engage with other activists from around the world but also to share how to comply with the Treaty in a global forum.” Their work will focus on coordinating international activists in pushing their governments to implement the Treaty.

Long-time activist and Northampton resident Dr. Timmon Wallis first got interested in nuclear disarmament working with Frances Crowe while a student at Northampton High School in the 1970s. During his many years in the United Kingdom Dr. Wallis was deeply involved as the Peace and Disarmament Programme Manager for Quakers in the U.K. Now back in Western Massachusetts he is “more determined than ever to get rid of these weapons, once and for all!” He and Northampton resident Vicki Elson founded a Treaty Compliance Campaign: NuclearBan.US (http://NuclearBan.US).This brand-new campaign is using very concrete steps for individuals, cities, states, countries and organizations to become treaty compliant. To make this work happen, NuclearBan.US has teamed up with The Resistance Center for Peace and Justice (known formerly as the American Friends Service Committee of Western Massachusetts). A report on the Peace Prize conference will be the focal point of this year’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day commemoration on January 15, hosted by The Resistance Center for Peace and Justice.