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NZ Celebrates Global Nuclear Weapons Ban, 21 And 22 January 2021

Celebrations in Aotearoa New Zealand to mark the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) will begin on Thursday 21 January with ICAN Aotearoa New Zealand’s Wellington and online event, and continue on Friday 22 January.

The TPNW bans the development, testing, production, manufacture, possession, transfer, use or threat of use, deployment, installation or stationing of nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices, as well as assistance, encouragement or inducement of any of these prohibited activities. It provides a pathway for nuclear-armed states to join and to destroy their nuclear weapons in a time-bound, verifiable and irreversible manner. As we said at the time it was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, “its potential to end the threat of nuclear destruction is a gift for future generations.” (ICAN Aotearoa New Zealand, 8 July 2017).

The TPNW recognizes the urgency of achieving a nuclear weapon-free world and the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons. It acknowledges the unacceptable suffering of the atomic bomb and nuclear test survivors, and the disproportionate impact that nuclear weapons and related activities have on indigenous peoples, women and girls. It contains provisions for assistance to those affected by nuclear weapons testing and use, as well as for environmental remediation of areas affected by nuclear weapons testing and use - a welcome development for the Pacific, a region irreparably harmed by more than 300 full scale nuclear weapon detonations by Britain, France and the USA from 1946 to 1996.

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On Thursday 21 January, Disarmament Ambassador Dell Higgie, Cook Islands High Commissioner Elizabeth Wright-Koteka, the NZ Red Cross, and Pacific campaigners for a Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific, will be joining ICAN Aotearoa New Zealand from 12.30pm to 2pm in central Wellington to mark this significant milestone towards a world free of nuclear weapons. If you would like to join us in Wellington, please note there is a limited number of tickets and registration will close at 5pm on Monday 18 January; entry is free and light refreshments will be available.

To join us in Wellington, please register at https://www.eventbrite.co.nz/e/nuclear-ban-treaty-celebration-tickets-135924906053 by 5pm, Monday18 January, or to join us online, please register at https://www.eventbrite.co.nz/e/nuclear-ban-treaty-celebration-online-participation-tickets-135927840831 (registration will close three hours before the celebration starts).

On Friday 22 January, the day of the entry into force, there are three events: a ‘Bomb Ban Day’ celebration, organised by the Disarmament and Security Centre, will be held at New Brighton Pier in Christchurch at 9am; there will be an ICAN Aotearoa New Zealand / Peace Boat ‘Hibakusha Project Online’ session with Ms Kimura, a survivor of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki in 1945, from 1.30pm to 2pm; and the government celebration, with Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control Phil Twyford, will be held from 4pm to 6pm in central Auckland and livestreamed online.

Details of how you can join the 22 January events, as well as overseas online events such as ICAN’s international virtual event (from 9am to 10.30am on Saturday 23 January, NZ time), will be available on the ICAN Aotearoa New Zealand website - http://icanw.org.nz - on Monday 18 January.

* ICAN Aotearoa New Zealand is the NZ national campaign of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize recipient International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), and is coordinated by Peace Movement Aotearoa. It was established in 2011 following a nationwide consultation, initially with twelve supporting organisations: Abolition 2000 Aotearoa New Zealand, Aotearoa Lawyers for Peace, Disarmament and Security Centre, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (New Zealand), Pax Christi Aotearoa New Zealand, Peace Foundation, Peace Movement Aotearoa, Quaker Peace and Service Aotearoa New Zealand, United Nations Association NZ, Visual Artists Against Nuclear Arms, WILPF (Women's International League for Peace and Freedom) Aotearoa, and the Yearly Meeting of Aotearoa New Zealand Te Taahi Tuuhauwiri / Religious Society of Friends (Quakers); with the Anglican Pacifist Fellowship, Christian World Service, Engineers for Social Responsibility, Greenpeace New Zealand, Nelson Peace Group, Pacific Institute of Resource Management, St Andrew's on The Terrace, The Peace Place, and Waiwhetu Lower Hutt Peace Group becoming supporting organisations soon after.

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