A warning about Ukraine from Japan A-bomb survivor
Celebrated Canadian peace activist and A-bomb survivor Setsuko Thurlow says nations rushing to the nuclear-armed NATO alliance should consider the costs carefully.
Setsuko was a child in Hiroshima when the US detonated an atomic bomb above the city on August 6, 1945, killed over 70,000 people almost instantly.
Speaking to an international gathering at the United Nations in Vienna, Setsuko Thurlow warned Sweden and Finland of the cost of NATO membership. Spurred by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Finland and Sweden applied last month to join NATO, anticipating swift and smooth entry into the alliance.
“This is what scares me most about the moment: the unseemly rush of leaders from Finland and Sweden to join NATO’s nuclear club without properly asking their people – or even themselves – what the real costs and dangers might be,” said Thurlow via video conference to a meeting organized by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.
Thurlow has campaigned tirelessly for the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which held its first meeting of signatory countries this week in Austria.
She used the meeting to address the impact of the war in Ukraine on prospects for nuclear disarmament.
“The trauma of the war in Ukraine may be used to promote nuclear weapons as protection,” she said. “[Nations] fear to run the risk of nuclear disarmament, but choose to run the rick of nuclear annihilation – not just for themselves, but for everyone on Earth,” said Thurlow.