ICAN launches initiative to shake up nuclear disarmament cause

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons launched a campaign on Saturday with multiple humanitarian, environmental and peace organizations in a concerted effort to demand the beginning of a process to ban nuclear weapons.

The Share Your Shadow campaign will encourage people worldwide to creatively capture their shadows across Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook. The shadows are a representation of the nuclear shadows still visible on the streets of Nagasaki and Hiroshima that were left by people instantly vaporized by atomic bombs in 1945.

"Blanketing Facebook with pictures of shadows is a powerful way to draw attention to the indiscriminate nature of a weapon which is unable to distinguish between a building and an infant, and show support for a nuclear free world." Magnus Løvold, ICAN's network coordinator, said. "The continued existence of thousands of nuclear weapons is unacceptable and their possession, use and stockpiling needs to be clearly outlawed to prevent another humanitarian catastrophe."

The campaign includes a global petition that will be presented to U.N. agencies, governments and representatives from the International Red Cross and Red Crescent movement gathering in Mexico early next year to discuss nuclear detonations and their humanitarian impact.

"The recognition of the widespread and disastrous effects of nuclear weapons makes nuclear disarmament a shared responsibility," Beatrice Fihn, a member of ICAN's International Steering Group, said. "This is not the domain of nuclear-armed states any longer. Nuclear free states have a responsibility to their citizens to take action and begin a process to outlaw the last weapon of mass destruction. A universal treaty would be the first step and could represent an important milestone to achieve a nuclear free world."

ICAN is a global campaign coalition with the goal of mobilizing people in all countries to persuade, pressure and inspire their governments to start negotiations for a treaty to ban nuclear weapons.