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Women’s Action for New Directions responds to Obama’s Hiroshima speech

In Justice, Nonviolence, Nuclear abolition, Nuclear Guardianship, Nuclear Policy, Peace on May 28, 2016 at 3:06 am

President Obama Shines a Light on Horrors of Nuclear War

May 27, 2016

Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND) praises President Obama’s historic visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and his meeting with hibakusha, Japan’s atomic bomb survivors. He is the first sitting president to visit nuclear ground zero, now a memorial to the lives lost to the atomic bomb dropped there and at Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945.

We are inspired by the President’s statement that concluded with, “Hiroshima and Nagasaki should be known not as the dawn of atomic warfare but as a start of our own moral awakening.” We hope this moment inspires real action for nuclear disarmament.

Erica Fein, WAND’s Nuclear Weapons Policy Director, led a delegation of peace and security organizations to the White House to deliver over 52,000 petition signatures. The petitioners called on the President to go to Hiroshima and take concrete action to further the vision for a world without nuclear weapons.

Speaking about the 15,350 global nuclear weapons, the President strongly affirmed that we can “chart a course that leads to the destruction of these stockpiles.” The President must take immediate steps toward this goal by:

1. Reversing plans to spend $1 trillion upgrading the U.S. nuclear arsenal. A first step would be to cancel the planned new nuclear air-launched cruise missile.

2. Reinforcing the global moratorium on nuclear explosive testing and lay the foundation for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty’s entry into force.

3. Reducing tensions with Russia by taking the intercontinental ballistic missile force off of “hair-trigger” alert to lower the risk of a nuclear exchange.

In addition, WAND calls on Members of Congress to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki, meet with hibakusha, and take action that make us safer. Congress must thwart dangerous and expensive plans to rebuild the entire nuclear arsenal, and must ensure vigorous efforts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, reduce threats of nuclear terrorism, and promote all the tools of tough diplomacy and multilateral arms control.

Only strong and sustained U.S. leadership will move us forward on the path to a world without nuclear weapons.

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