TAKE ACTION

September 26

September 26, 2015, will be the second International Day for Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

Join people around the world in celebrating the vision of a nuclear weapons free world, raising awareness and calling on their leaders to advance nuclear disarmament.


ACTION 1

Organize a screening of “The Man Who Saved the World”

Organise a special screening of the award-winning movie ‘The Man Who Saved the World’ featuring Stanislav Petrov (the man himself), Kevin Costner, Sergey Shnrynov, Matt Damon, Natalia Vdovina & Robert de Niro. On the night of September 26, 1983, Stanislav Petrov disobeyed military protocol and probably prevented a nuclear holocaust. He says that he is not a hero: ‘I was just in the right place at the right time.’ Watch this new movie and you decide!

For a few crucial minutes on September 26, 1983, Stanislav Petrov held the fate of the world in his hands. It was the height of the Cold War. The Soviets had recently shot down a Korean airliner. The United States was preparing to deploy Pershing II missiles in Europe. The Soviets suspected that the United States was planning a nuclear first strike.

In this tense time, a nuclear war was almost started by an error.

When an alarm suddenly went off at Soviet nuclear early warning center Serpukhov-15, Stanislav was responsible for reacting to information from Soviet satellites that five American nuclear missiles were heading toward the Soviet Union. Rather than initiate a nuclear retaliation, Stanislav went against protocol, and assured his colleagues that it was a false alarm.

He was right. His decision saved the world from a potential devastating nuclear holocaust. But he went unrecognised for this action for decades.

‘The Man Who Saved the World’ recreates those tense moments in 1983 when Stanislav was faced with the decision of his life. And it chronicles his spectacular journey to the United States three decades later, where he was finally acknowledged for his historic deed and found the strength to reconcile with his past.

In the film we see him reflecting on the current state of nuclear tensions as he visits a US nuclear missile silo. He is honoured at the United Nations. And he is thanked for his actions by celebrities including Walter Cronkite, Kevin Costner, Robert De Niro, Matt Damon, and Ashton Kutcher.

Shot on location in the former Soviet Union and the United States, The Man Who Saved the World shines a light on the continued risks of nuclear weapons today, and the challenge to reject nuclear weapons in order to prevent an unimaginable disaster.

Screenings in various locations around the world during the week September 21-26

UNFOLD ZERO is helping to organise special screenings of this powerful movie in parliaments, universities and public theatres around the world during the week of September 21 (International Day for Peace)  to September 26 (International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons).

Let us know if you are interested in a screening in your city.
Contact info@unfoldzero.org for more information.

Click here to listen to a recent BBC interview with Stanislav Petrov


ACTION 2

Call on your government to speak up at the UN

Send a letter or email or tweet to your President/Prime Minister (copied to your Foreign Minister and UN Ambassador), calling on them to speak up for nuclear aboliton at the United Nations. Encourage them to highlight the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons when they speak at the United Nations in September. You can include hashtag #Sep26dontNukeUs.

Sample letter

Dear […]

In September, we expect that are you will join other world leaders in New York for the United Nations Summit on Climate Change and the opening session of the United Nations General Assembly. I urge you to use these occasions to affirm the importance of nuclear disarmament and to highlight the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons which occurs on September 26.

September 26 is here to remind us that nuclear weapons are immoral weapons that can annihilate cities in seconds and destroy the life-sustaining environment for decades. September 26 is here to remind us of the risks of nuclear weapons. On this day, three decades ago, the world as we know it nearly ended due to computer error. The dangerous nuclear policies that brought us to the brink of annihilation then, still prevail today.

Nuclear weapons will not solve our conflicts. They will not foster confidence between nations. They will not prevent climate change. They will not feed and educate the world’s children.

[Enclosed/attached is a photo of me and one thing I love in this world. Please don’t allow this to be nuked by accident, miscalculation or intent].

When you speak at the United Nations, please support actions to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons.

Thank you
[your name]


ACTION 3

Engage your parliamentarian, mayor or religious leader

Encourage your local mayor, parliamentarian and/or religious leader to endorse the Joint Statement of Legislators and Religious Leaders for a Nuclear Weapon Free World. Mayors for Peace, Religions for Peace and Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament will present the statement to the United Nations on September 26 to support UN actions for a nuclear-weapon-free world.

TEXT OF THE JOINT STATEMENT

A Nuclear-Weapon-Free World: Our Common Good

Statement by parliamentarians, mayors and religious leaders to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the onset of the nuclear age and the foundation of the United Nations

From the ashes of World War II, and in the wake of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the United Nations was established with a common vision to end war and with its first resolution to eliminate “all weapons adaptable to mass destruction.”

70 years later, over 16,000 nuclear weapons remain in the world’s arsenals costing $100 billion annually – funds that could instead be used to reverse climate change, eliminate poverty and address other social and economic needs.

As parliamentarians, mayors and religious leaders we join together to highlight the continuing risks of a nuclear catastrophe – whether by accident, miscalculation or intent – and the moral and security imperative to achieve nuclear abolition.

We reaffirm UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s description of the abolition of nuclear weapons as a “common good of the highest order.”
In special ways mayors are responsible for protecting the safety and welfare of their citizens, as well as for preserving and promoting cultural and environmental values and heritages; parliamentarians for national policies and laws for the benefit of present and future generations; and religious leaders for advancing the shared moral principles and respect for the well-being of all people regardless of ethnicity, nationality or religion.

Together—as mayors, parliamentarians and religious leaders— we support the common good of nuclear abolition. We reject nuclear weapons, which threaten our humanity, contravene our moral principles, violate international law and thwart the safety and well-being of current and future generations.

We commit to principled action to advance shared security and well-being based on deeply held and widely shared moral principles, the rule of law and a profound commitment to non-violent conflict resolution.

We call upon world leaders to commit to nuclear abolition and to replace nuclear deterrence with shared security approaches to conflicts. We further urge states to advance a nuclear weapons convention or framework of agreements that eliminate nuclear weapons.

We pledge to engage our constituencies and to strengthen the cooperation among religious leaders, parliamentarians and mayors to promote this vital mission.

Adopted in Hiroshima on August 6, 2015, for presentation to the United Nations on September 26, the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

DOWNLOAD THE STATEMENT

CONTACT US

ACTION 4

Join a social media action: #Sep26dontNukeUs

‘Don’t nuke what I/we love’! Take a photo of yourself (perhaps with friends or family) next to something or some place you love and don’t want nuked. It could be your cat, an historic building, your favourite sports team, a concert hall, a beautiful place in nature… Include a sign ‘Don’t nuke [your favourite thing/place]’ in your photo.

Post your photo on social media with #Sep26dontNukeUs and send it also to your government along with the letter/email/tweet you write encouraging them to speak up at the UN (see Action 2 above).

About the day

Established by the United Nations General Assembly, the aim of the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons is to enhance ‘public awareness and education about the threat posed to humanity by nuclear weapons and the necessity for their total elimination, in order to mobilize international efforts towards achieving the common goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.’ The resolution establishing the day also calls for the immediate start of multilateral negotiations on a nuclear weapons convention – a global treaty to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons – and decides to hold a high level United Nations conference no later than 2018 to review and enhance progress.

The day is supported by UNFOLD ZERO and the United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs. UNFOLD ZERO provides a platform for governments, parliaments and civil society to post announcements, photos and reports of actions and events to commemorate this day.

The Inter Parliamentary Union (164 member parliaments) has called on all parliamentarians to promote and commemorate the day.

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