<[link removed]> We hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe in these difficult times. Like everyone else, ICAN has also been adapting to the developing health crisis caused by COVID-19, and we wanted to give you not just an idea of what we are doing differently, but also what you can do to stay involved with the causes you care about, during these anxious times.
#1 Support your healthcare workers
As a campaign, we have our roots, and many allies, in the medical community, and we are inspired by and immensely grateful for the work and dedication shown by all the healthcare workers and first-responders in our network and around the world. We are heeding their instructions during this crisis, refraining from hoarding the masks and gloves and medical supplies that they need, and donating blood if feasible.
We are equally grateful that, in between their hectic shifts, the doctors in our network have come together to call for an end to nuclear weapons, in a joint letter to governments. As the International Committee of the Red Cross has stated: in case of a nuclear attack, first responders would be unable to help. “We must prevent that which we cannot cure” also applies to nuclear war.
Read and share the joint letter <[link removed]>
#2 Expose the costs of choosing nuclear weapons
The COVID-19 outbreak shows how connected we are and that global threats such as pandemics, nuclear weapons, and climate change can only be solved together. It also sheds a light on the unconscionable choices made by nuclear-armed states, and the countries that endorse them, to divert public resources away from critical infrastructure and into weapons of mass destruction. We collected the data on the costs of ICU beds, ventilators and medical staff salaries and compared those to the annual nuclear spending by the United States, France and the United Kingdom.
#3 Carry on campaigning and remember to celebrate the wins!
As a global campaign, active in over 100 countries and in all time zones, we have a lot of experience in carrying out our work remotely. One of the best examples of how we are creatively finding ways to carry out our work comes from our team working on the entry into force of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).
Last week, we worked with the Namibian government and the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs to ensure that ratifications of the TPNW would still be possible in times of self-isolation. We were delighted to see Namibia successfully deposit its ratification last week, bringing the number of states parties to the treaty up to 36!
Usually, that would call for an in-person ceremony to celebrate with those involved in making it happen, but in times of self-isolation, we moved the celebration, the ratification instrument and the Nobel Peace Prize medal online, and shared that Zoom-selfie far and wide on our social media.
Share the good news of Namibia’s ratification: on Twitter <[link removed]>, Facebook <[link removed]>, Instagram <[link removed]>
Other partners around the world are also coming up with different ways people can engage from home:
• Scottish CND is encouraging people to create posters, put them in their window and share them online using #windowsforpeace <[link removed]>(which is also a great activity to do with kids, if you ask us).
• ICAN Australia will be holding webinars, and has shared this great presentation <[link removed]> on how you can get your city to support the TPNW.
• We’ve also heard from several partner organisations that they’ll be setting up conference calls with their elected officials in the coming weeks. You can also help encourage your parliamentarian to pledge to support the TPNW by sending them an email. <[link removed]>
All of these are examples of actions you can take from home too, and prove that the work doesn’t have to stop if we stay indoors.
During this unprecedented moment, we remain committed to continue our work to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons.
Stand with us - we need each other now more than ever.
All the best,
Beatrice, Tim, Daniel, Celine, Alicia, Seth, Liz, Lucero and Hawa
International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)
PS - Bonus idea: if the lack of social contacts is getting to you, why not set up group calls with your friends to brainstorm ideas around the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? This year’s commemoration should be a great opportunity to raise awareness of the humanitarian consequences of nuclear war and the need to prohibit and eliminate these weapons. Let us know if you did this and what you came up with at [email protected] <mailto:[email protected]>.
It’s time to end the nuclear weapons.
Contribute to ICAN’s work <[link removed]>
ICAN - Switzerland
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