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High school lobbyists ‘thrilled’ as Winnipeg unanimously supports ban on nuclear weapons, 

CBC News · Jun 27, 2021 Two Winnipeg high school students are “thrilled” after their campaign to get the city’s support for a ban on nuclear weapons got council’s unanimous backing.

“We were both thrilled because this is months and months of work,” Avinashpall Singh said of Thursday’s vote.

Singh and classmate Rooj Ali started working in March toward their goal of getting the City of Winnipeg’s support for the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons as part of the youth-led International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons Cities Appeal.

High school lobbyists ‘thrilled’ as Winnipeg unanimously supports ban on nuclear weapons, 

City joins 14 others across Canada in backing UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons  https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/winnipeg-city-council-supports-nuclear-ban-unanimously-1.6082203

CBC News · Jun 27, 2021 Two Winnipeg high school students are “thrilled” after their campaign to get the city’s support for a ban on nuclear weapons got council’s unanimous backing.

“We were both thrilled because this is months and months of work,” Avinashpall Singh said of Thursday’s vote.

Singh and classmate Rooj Ali started working in March toward their goal of getting the City of Winnipeg’s support for the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons as part of the youth-led International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons Cities Appeal.

That campaign looks to gain support at a municipal level for the first legally binding international agreement to ban nuclear weapons.

They got endorsements from organizations including the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the Rotary Club of Winnipeg and Manitoba’s Mennonite Central Committee, and gave presentations to city committees and councillors across Winnipeg — all while balancing homework and other commitments at River East Collegiate.

It’s a cause the students have been working on for years, they told CBC’s Weekend Morning Show host Stephanie Cram on Sunday.

“This cause is incredibly important for us because, among other things that our generation will be inheriting, it will still be a world still full of nuclear weapons. And so we aren’t going to stay silent as this happens,” Singh said.

“I think by far the most important reason is that [a nuclear incident] doesn’t have to be with intent. It could also be through an accident that something catastrophic could happen. And so [if we’re] trying to eliminate that risk totally, disarmament is the only guarantee toward that. No other solution exists.”

Ali says she hopes their achievement with city council inspires other young people to get involved in issues that matter to them.

“No cause or activism work is too impossible to achieve,” Ali said.

“The key to making change is to start. And we started this not knowing where it could end up, but we took it so far and we’re so happy for that.”

The move means Winnipeg joins 14 other Canadian cities, including Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, in support of the nuclear weapons prohibition treaty, the campaign’s website says.

However, while Canada has said it’s committed to nuclear disarmament, it has so far not signed the UN treaty.

Ali says that’s why getting Winnipeg’s support felt like such a win — it added one more city to the list of those willing to go on the record that it stands in support of the ban, and potentially sends a message to Ottawa.

“Not one city is going to make a difference,” she said.

“But when more cities do it — especially here in Canada, as Winnipeg joins the list — then hopefully we can turn that conversation up to the national level and make this a priority, because right now it’s not as discussed as it should be and that needs to change.”

The biggest issue is still awareness, so Ali and Singh’s work isn’t done yet. Next, they say they plan to take the campaign to other cities and municipalities in Manitoba and Canada. 

June 28, 2021 - Posted by | Canada, weapons and war

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