August 2016 – A Month Full of Nuclear Hopes and Fears


A Month Full of Nuclear Hopes and Fears

The month of July was full of nuclear hopes and fears. From July to October 2016, civil society around the world is acting in a Chain Reaction launched by UNFOLD ZERO to promote nuclear disarmament. The renewal of Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons system on 18 July was a major setback, with 2001 Laureate Trident Ploughshares condemning the vote as “dangerous, undemocratic and self-serving”.

1997 Laureate Mycle Schneider and contributing author Tadahiro Katsuta released the World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2016 on 13 July, which shows that no new reactors have been built so far this year. Meanwhile, old reactors – such as Argentina’s accident-prone Embalse nuclear plant – are an ever-present danger, according to 2004 Laureate Raul Montenegro.

On the eve of the Rio Olympic Games, 2006 Laureate Chico Whitaker and several others supported the call by the Mayor of Hiroshima to hold a minute of silence during the Opening Ceremony on 5 August, in memory of the victims of the atomic bomb that exploded over their city that day and at that time, 71 years ago, killing immediately thousands of men, women and children. Sign the petition here.

89925616a6Right Livelihood Award in Almedalen

Every summer, Visby, a small town on the island on Gotland in southern Sweden, plays host to a week-long political festival with 4,000 different events and over 30,000 participants, known as Almedalen. This year, the Right Livelihood Award Foundation organised a seminar on the rehabilitation of torture victims, together with Laureate organisations IRCT and Kvinna till Kvinna.

“The Almedalen week is characterised by an openness that is typical for Swedish politics. All events are free, and the many meetings and chance encounters provide for some real political dialogue, mutual learning and new perspectives. And although Almedalen is mainly about Swedish domestic politics, we see an enormous interest in the work of our Laureates near and far from Sweden,” writes Ole von Uexkull, the Foundation’s Executive Director.

9f851d0597Tackling Zika, Naturally

Several high-profile athletes have pulled out of this month’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil citing concerns over Zika virus. How serious is the Zika threat and are there solutions at hand to address it? Frontline response to the virus threatening the Rio Olympics needn’t be costly, says Swiss biological pest control expert and 2013 Laureate Dr Hans R. Herren.

14796af77aMarika Hedin Joins Advisory Board

The Foundation is delighted to welcome Dr Marika Hedin as the newest member of its Advisory Board. Marika is the Director of Gustavianum, Uppsala University museum, a position she has held since 2014.

Prior to this, she served as Director of The Vasa Museum for five years, and as Head of public programming at the Nobel Museum for 10 years. She holds a PhD in history and focuses on material culture and cross-disciplinary dissemination of knowledge.

Welcome, Marika!

389e243041Paul Walker: Towards a World Without WMD

2013 Laureate Paul Walker is one of the most effective advocates for the abolition of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). On 26 July, he spoke at an event organised by the Geneva Environment Network, on global progress towards the elimination of chemical weapons.

In this month’s Voices of Right Livelihood podcast, Paul Walker talks about his personal and professional journey, starting from his interest in studying German and Russian, working on US foreign and military policy matters, and his ongoing involvement in the elimination of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons around the world.

Looking Ahead: This Month’s Events

SAVE THE DATE! The Right Livelihood Award European Regional Conference 2016 will be held near Geneva, from 28 October to 1 November. 31 October will be reserved for public events with Laureates.

2-6 August – Guatemala Poetry Festival with Laureates Helen Mack Chang and Gabriel Jaime Franco from the International Poetry Festival of Medellín participating.

5 and 16-19 August: UN Open Ended Working Group on Taking Forward Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament Negotiations will resume in Geneva, with several Laureates actively involved.

31 August – 2015 Laureate Sheila Watt-Cloutier will present her book The Right To Be Cold: One Woman’s Story of Protecting Her Culture, the Arctic and the Whole Planet at this year’s Melbourne Writers’ Festival.

More News from the Foundation & Laureates

1982 Laureate and Founder of the Right Livelihood College Anwar Fazal celebrated his 75th Birthday in July. Read his interview with Malay Mail Online.

On 12 July, 2010 Laureate Erwin Kräutler celebrated his Birthday, which coincided with the Berlin premiere of the film “Count Down am Xingu V” featuring his struggle against the Belo Monte dam in Brazil.

In an opinion editorial published by InterAksyon, 2003 Laureate Walden Bello writes about his perspective on the South China Sea ruling.

“Forget ‘Miracle’ Rice, Just Eat A Carrot!” is 1993 Right Livelihood Laureate Vandana Shiva‘s response, published on, to the Nobel Laureates’ earlier open letter endorsing GMOs.

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