Global wave for nuclear abolition as world leaders gather for non-proliferation conference

Global Wave 2015, a series of creative actions to ‘wave goodbye to nuclear weapons’ swept around the world on April 26 and 27 as world leaders gathered at the United Nations in New York for a month-long conference on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament

The waves were part of a global mobilisation of civil society organisations calling on governments to use the opportunity of the 2015 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference to abolish nuclear weapons and redirect the $100 billion annual nuclear weapons budget to addressing climate change, support renewable energies and meet global human needs in health, education and welfare. 

The wave was launched at the Peace and Planet rally in New York at approximately 1:30pm on Sunday April 26 with over 3000 people waving goodbye to nuclear weapons. 

It then swept around the world in 24 hours with over 100 exciting Global Wave actions, including in Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Guam, India, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kenya, Laos, Malaysia, Marshall islands, Mexico, New Zealand, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Romania, Russia, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, United Kingdom, United States, Vietnam and other countries.

There were waves at schools & universities, homes & workplaces, city halls & parliaments, places of worship & interfaith gatherings, peace monuments & museums, at music festivals & sports events, at nuclear weapons deployment sites and production facilities, and at conferences and special anniversary events. See a slide show wave of Global Wave actions and news articles on some of the interesting waves.

Global Wave 2015 arrived back in New York for a concluding wave outside the United Nations at 1:30pm on April 27, the opening day of the NPT conference.  

As the governments gave their opening statements inside the United Nations, Global Wave 2015 tweeted comments (@globalwave2015) on their statements along with photos or videos of Global Wave actions in their countries. It appeared that many of the governments had heard the call of the global wave - especially the non-nuclear States - as they spoke strongly in favour of a nuclear-weapon free world, and urged nuclear-armed States to reduce tensions, halt nuclear threats and join a process for nuclear abolition. 

As Tony de Brum, Foreign Minister of the Marshall Islands spoke of the case they have lodged in the International Court of Justice on nuclear disarmament, we tweeted a video of Marshallese school children waving goodbye to nuclear weapons, and a photo of Foreign Minister de Brum joining Global Wave 2015. As Mr. Yerzhan Ashikbayev, Deputy Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan spoke, we tweeted photos of Global Wave actions by musicians in the Astana International Classical Music Festival and from the Library of President Nazarbayev. Both countries have been devastated by nuclear tests, stimulating them to be strong anti-nuclear advocates. 

On the other hand, many of the nuclear-armed States and those under extended nuclear deterrence relationships (nuclear umbrella states) continued to make excuses for a lack of progress to achieve nuclear disarmament. Their statements contrasted with the wishes of their own populations for nuclear abolition as demonstrated by Global Wave 2015.

As US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke, explaining why nuclear disarmament would take a long time, we tweeted examples of US religious communities, congress members, sports teams and others calling on the US to wave goodbye to nuclear weapons now. As Mikhail I. Uliyanov Head of the Russian Delegation spoke, blaming the US for provoking Russia into increasing nuclear threats against the West, we tweeted videos of Russian school children calling for peace between US and Russia and waving goodbye to nuclear weapons. 

We tweeted a number of other interesting Global Wave videos and photos during the opening sessions. As Mr. Li Baodong, Vice Foreign Minister of China spoke we tweeted the Global Wave video from Solar Valley in Dezhou, China. See ‘Goodbye nukes wave’ from Solar Valley, China.  As Senator Benedetto Della Vedova, Deputy Foreign Minister for Italy spoke, we tweeted some of the photos of Global Wave actions by Italian mayors. See Italian mayors celebrate Liberation Day with Global Wave actions. As Mr. Michael Roth, German Minister of State for Europe spoke we tweeted photos of the Global Wave action at Buchel nuclear weapons basein Germany. As Mr. Jakub Kulhánek, Czech Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs spoke we tweeted photos of the Prague Global Wave action – see Prague: 1800 steps to a nuclear-weapon-free world). 

Global Wave 2015  also presented to a plenary meeting of the NPT conference on May 1. We will be at the NPT Conference for the full four weeks monitoring progress, making other presentations and advocating for a nuclear weapons free world.