Great news: over 40,000 people have signed the ‘Sign against Nukes’ citizens initiative! This means that the House of Representatives must hold a debate about a national ban on these weapons of mass destruction, and that we are one step closer to eliminating nuclear weapons from the Netherlands.
Lots of signatures were submitted via www.tekentegenkernwapens.nl, partly thanks to the generous support of the Dutch Red Cross and ASN Bank. In addition PAX employees and volunteers recently flooded shopping streets, festivals, concerts and political congresses all over the country to inform as many people as possible about the need for a ban on nuclear weapons.
PAX campaign leader nuclear disarmament Krista van Velzen: “Many people realized that time has come again to be concerned about nuclear weapons. The current tensions between East and West unfortunately have made nuclear weapons relevant once more and a ban is therefore more important than ever. An increasing number of people are aware of this. In the meantime, 113 of the 195 internationally recognised countries have indicated that they want to negotiate a global ban. The time has come for the Dutch government to join this majority.”
Twenty nuclear weapons in the Netherlands
There are approximately twenty American nuclear weapons stored on the Dutch Air Base in Volkel. “The support we have received for our citizens initiative reveals that a large part of the Dutch population wants to get rid of nuclear weapons”, explains Krista van Velzen. PAX will present the signatures to the House of Representatives in September. The latter will then determine when the debate on the citizens initiative will be held.
70th Anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
The sixth and ninth of August mark the seventieth anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Krista van Velzen will attend the commemoration in Hiroshima on behalf of PAX. The gruesome humanitarian consequences that people have suffered as a result of nuclear weapons will play a key role during the commemorations in Japan. Van Velzen: “By banning nuclear weapons, humanitarian disasters such as those we have observed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, will never be repeated.”
The signatures will be presented to the House of Representatives in September. It is still possible to add your signature; the more signatures the better! www.tekentegenkernwapens.nl