Thursday, June 22 at 6:30 pm Franciscan Peace Center 841 Thirteenth Avenue North, Clinton, IA (maplink)
MEDIA RELEASE Submitted by: Laura Anderson Sisters of St. Francis, Franciscan Peace Center email@example.com Franciscans Call for Elimination of Nuclear Weapons: Program Scheduled in Clinton
While world leaders are meeting this month in New York at the United Nations to negotiate a historically significant nuclear weapons ban, the Franciscan Peace Center will host a program that explains actions ordinary citizens can take toward achieving global security without nuclear weapons. The program, “Nuclear Abolition Now,” will be held at The Canticle on Thursday, June 22 at 6:30 P.M.
“Nuclear Abolition Now” is being presented to coincide with the negotiations taking place this week through July 7 at the UN. Over 130 nations are participating in the creation of a treaty banning nuclear weapons.
Leading the discussion will be Dr. Maureen McCue, Adjunct Professor of Global Health at the University of Iowa and coordinator for the Iowa Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR). A founding member and former director of the University of Iowa Global Health Studies Program, and a founding member of the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights, Dr. McCue has helped organize many forums on cross-cultural global health and refugee health and has traveled and worked extensively as a peacemaker, researcher, and physician. Her publications include “Reassessing War-Making in Our Post 9/11 World” and “The Price of War.”
Dr. McCue will address the renewed plea that PSR, the International Red Cross, and the World Medical Association have made after reviewing the four medical and environmental reasons for eradicating nuclear weapons presented in “ZERO is the Only Option”, a study published in 2010 by International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW). The 1985 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to IPPNW for its work on the dangers of nuclear testing.
“Nuclear weapons are the last of the weapons of mass destruction NOT yet prohibited; biological and chemical weapons, landmines and cluster munitions are all banned under international law,” said Dr. McCue. “Risks of a nuclear exchange threatening all humanity are at the highest level in decades, as is the need to protect basic life supports like food, water, and the environment. In such an unsettling time, the world realizes the time to stop courting catastrophe and ban these weapons is now.”
Following Dr. McCue’s presentation, a 30-minute film, “Hiroshima: Repentance and Renewal”, will be screened. Presenting an overview of the scourge of nuclear weapons and resistance to them, the film combines archival materials, quotes, and interviews with footage of peace activists, using the annual Hiroshima Day events at Los Alamos Laboratory in New Mexico to provide information about nuclear weapons and action suggestions.
Dr. McCue and the Sisters of St. Francis are lending their support to the efforts of the June 17 Women’s March to Ban the Bomb, a women-led initiative held in New York to promote a strong nuclear weapons ban treaty. The Sisters of St. Francis are official sponsors of the march along with over 30 local, national, and international organizations. Marches will also be held simultaneously in dozens of cities across the globe.
In 2005, the Sisters of St. Francis took a corporate public stand in opposition to the continued maintenance, research, development, and threatened use of the United States arsenal of nuclear weapons. They call on our government to fulfill its commitments to nuclear disarmament as agreed to in the Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1970 and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty of 1996.
The Cold War has been over for more than 25 years, yet over 20,000 nuclear warheads remain in eight nations: China, France, Israel, India, Pakistan, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, and the United States. There are also large quantities of weapon-grade fissile material that remain in the military stockpiles of several of these nations that could potentially be converted into many thousands of additional warheads.