The ATOM Project in Anti-Nuclear Weapons Event at U.S. Senate
March 1, 2014
U.S. legislators from both sides of the aisle, representatives of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND), The ATOM Project and more than 200 others gathered in the Russell Senate Building Feb. 27 for an evening meant to encourage anti-nuclear weapons dialogue and, according to PNND who organized the event hosted by U.S. Senator and PNND Co-President Ed Markey, “build parliamentary engagement in practical measures to advance nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, and achieve a nuclear-weapons free world.”
According to PNND, in 2007, four high-level U.S. statesmen advanced the goal of a nuclear-weapons-free world as something that must be “sought collectively to reverse nuclear proliferation and achieve security, but noted that such a goal was like an extremely high mountain that would take some effort to climb.”
In the seven years since that time, that aim has been embraced and endorsed by U.S. President Barack Obama, as well as leaders of other nuclear-weapon-states, their allies and the United Nations.
However, much work remains to be done and organizations like PNND and The ATOM Project, along with like-minded leaders such as Senator Markey are continuing the effort.
The Feb. 27 event include inspirational speeches by Senator Markey, Kazakhstan Ambassador to the United States Kairat Umarov, PNND Global Coordinator Alyn Ware, as well as ATOM Project Honorary Ambassador, armless artist and nuclear weapons testing survivor Karipbek Kuyukov.
Senator Markey urged those in attendance to embrace the cause, as well as highlighted other, better ways the U.S. can spend funds now devoted to its nuclear arsenal.
Ambassador Umarov also told the gathering of the efforts of his country to lead the way in nuclear non-proliferation and reminded participants that Kazakhstan unilaterally disarmed what was then the world’s fourth largest nuclear arsenal.
The evening concluded with a short documentary film by The ATOM Project and an inspiring presentation by ATOM Project Honorary Ambassador Kuyukov. Kuyukov was born without arms as a result of his parents’ exposure to Soviet-era nuclear weapons testing. He has since gone on to become a renowned visual artist and travels the globe on behalf of The ATOM Project sharing his story. Kuyukov told the crowd that doctors were so horrified at the sight of him at birth that they suggested to his parents that he be given a lethal injection to end his life. He also told of the premature deaths of his siblings and of the suffering of others as a result of nuclear weapons testing. He said he had travelled to the United States in the hope that his story will lead him to be the last person to suffer as a result of nuclear weapons testing.
For more information about The ATOM Project and its effort to permanently end nuclear weapons testing and to rid the world of nuclear arsenals, visit www.TheATOMProject.org.