Date: Friday, Sept. 21st, 2018
Location: Gumberg Library, 1st Floor, Simon Silverman Phenomenology Center, Duquesne University
Title: "Our Divided World: The Quest for Nuclear Disarmament and the Growing Dangers of Wars Among Nuclear-Armed States"
Presenter: Ms. Jacqueline Cabasso, Executive Director of Western States Legal Foundation, North American Coordinator, Mayors for Peace, and Executive Advisor to the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation.
We stand at a nuclear crossroads, in a sharply divided world. Last July the majority of the world's countries voted to adopt a historic treaty to prohibit the possession, development, testing, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons. While the Ban Treaty represents the total repudiation of nuclear weapons by most of the states that don't possess them, the U.S. and the eight other nuclear-armed states boycotted the negotiations. One expert has assessed today's nuclear threat as "an unprecedented moment in human history. The world has never faced so many nuclear flashpoints simultaneously. From NATO-Russia tensions, to the Korean Peninsula, to South Asia and the South China Sea and Taiwan - all of the nuclear-armed states are tangled up in conflicts and crises that could catastrophically escalate at any moment." In January 2018 the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the hands of its Doomsday Clock 30 seconds closer to the end of humanity. It is now set at two minutes to midnight, as close as it's ever been since 1947. We must keep both realities - the promise of the Ban Treaty and growing dangers of nuclear war - fully in mind as we work for a world without nuclear weapons.
Jacqueline Cabasso has served as Executive Director of the Western States Legal Foundation, based in Oakland, California, since 1984. She has been involved in nuclear disarmament, peace, environmental and social justice advocacy at the local, national and international levels for more than 35 years. A leading voice for nuclear abolition, she was a "founding mother" of the Abolition 2000 Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons in 1995. Since 2007, she has served as North American Coordinator for Mayors for Peace. She currently serves as National Co-convener for United for Peace and Justice. She is a co-author of "Nuclear Disorder or Cooperative Security? U.S. Weapons of Terror, the Global Proliferation Crisis and Paths to Peace" (2007) and the co‑author of "Risking Peace: Why We Sat in the Road" (1985), an account of the huge 1983 nonviolent protest at the Livermore Nuclear Weapons Laboratory and the subsequent mass trial conducted by Western States Legal Foundation. Jackie is a contributing author to a collection of papers entitled, "Rethinking General and Complete Disarmament in the Twenty-First Century", published by the United Nations in 2016. She received the International Peace Bureau's 2008 Sean MacBride Peace Award, and the Agape Foundation's 2009 Enduring Visionary Prize.
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