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Published on October 22nd, 2012 | by Wilbert van der Zeijden

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New campaign gives a human face on the fight against nuclear weapons

They are called ‘Hibakusha’: the surviving victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. However, the Hibakusha and other victims of nuclear weapons are usually not discussed in political-strategic discussions on these devastating weapons. The campaign Breaking the Nuclear Chain, which starts today, aims to change this and literally gives victims of nuclear weapons a face.

Breaking the Nuclear Chain is an initiative of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), IKV Pax Christi and Peace Boat. The name of the campaign refers to the whole ‘nuclear chain’, from uranium mining to nuclear energy, nuclear weapons and nuclear waste. The atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Chernobyl disaster show that each step in the nuclear chain has its own catastrophic humanitarian consequences. No part of this chain is completely safe. Accidents do not happen often, but when it does go wrong, the consequences are often disastrous. In the fight against nuclear weapons we should therefore deal with the whole nuclear chain.

The campaign literally gives a face to the victims of all the different steps in the nuclear chain by collecting stories from people who have been affected by nuclear weapons, uranium mining, nuclear power and nuclear waste. You can read their stories on the website www.breakingthenuclearchain.org.

IKV Pax Christi has been working towards a nuclear-free world for many years. The campaign Breaking the Nuclear Chain is characterized by an emphasis on the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons. These humanitarian consequences should be a central discussion point in diplomatic talks on nuclear weapons. Once these consequences are recognized as unacceptable on national and international level, the negotiations to declare nuclear weapons illegal can begin. An essential step towards a nuclear-free world.

• Read more about the campaign on www.breakingthenuclearchain.org
• Like the campaign on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/breakingthenuclearchain
• Twitter: @breakingnuclear

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About the Author

Wilbert van der Zeijden is the senior researcher of the Security and DIsarmament team of PAX. Wilbert currently focusses on getting US nuclear weapons out of Europe; WMD out of the Middle East and your savings out of nuclear weapons producing companies. He graduated at the Vrije University in Amsterdam and previously worked for about nine years for the think-tank Transnational Institute, as their Peace and Security Programme coordinator. Wilbert’s research interests include humanitarian disarmament, NATO and European security, toxic legacies of war and developments in international military infrastructure.



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