April combines two special events: the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace on April 6th and the campaign to Wave Goodbye to Nuclear Weapons.
Lisa Seidel, a Kiwi (New Zealander) currently working for the Lao Red Cross, has decided to honour these two initiatives with a Wave goodbye to nuclear weapons and war which includes a16 kilometre run. The event relates to disarmament and development issues in Laos. Why?
Laos is the most heavily bombed country per capita in the world. During the Vietnam War in 1964-1973, the United States dropped more than half a ton of bombs for every man, woman and child in Laos. 30% of the ordinance dropped did not explode, posing a continuing threat to everyday life in Laos.
‘We all know that cluster bombs (most of the bombs dropped on Laos) are less dangerous than nuclear weapons,’ says Lisa. ‘Yet these still affect people’s everyday lives over 40 years since the bombing missions ended. If the bombing missions were nuclear, nobody here would live to tell the tale.’
The most heavily bombed area in Laos is the Plain of Jars.
On April 6th, Lisa will run to the Plain of Jars, where she will Wave goodbye to nuclear weapons and war and take a photo of the wave in front of the bomb craters.
There are currently about 16,000 nuclear weapons in the world. ‘I run 16,000 metres, one meter for each nuclear weapon, to run away the nukes’ says Lisa. ‘It’s time we send a message to each other and to global leaders that these threats are not something we want to live with.’
Holding the run on April 6 will reinforce the aims of the International Day of Sport for Peace and Development. These include the use of sport to bridge conflicts, re-build communities in post-conflict situations and promote the intrinsic values of sport, such as teamwork, fairness, discipline, respect for the opponent and the importance of rules applicable without discrimination. It will also link with actions and events of Sport and Peace to commemorate the day.
Lisa’s run and wave will also feed into Global Wave 2015, a campaign empowering people all over the world to support the call for nuclear abolition – and the re-direction of the $100 billion global nuclear weapons budget to instead fund development. The campaign calls on governments meeting at the United Nations from April 27-May 22, 2015 to start a diplomatic process to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons globally.