ACTON ALERT: Watch a Movie, Write a Letter, Stop a Nuclear War

September 28th, 2020 - by Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND)

The Man Who Saved the World: Film Screening Plus Discussion, September 28

Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND)

Invitation to an online screening of The Man who Saved the World an award-winning, feature length movie starring Stanislav Petrov, Sergey Shnyryov, Nataliya Vdovina and Kevin Costner. With Robert De Niro, Matt Damon and Walter Cronkite. Followed by discussion with the movie director and screenwriter Peter Anthony.

Monday September 28, 4-6:30pm CET (Berlin Time); 7-9:30am PDT; 10am-12pm EDT.  NOTE: Our earlier message had the wrong time of 4pm EDT. The correct screening is 4pm CET (Central Europe Time)

ACTION: Click here to register.

Note: If these times are inconvenient, you may watch the film online at this link. Caveat: This posting may be interrupted by pop-up ads.

Stanislav Petrov: How One Man’s Decision Prevented a Nuclear War

(September 27, 2020) — On September 26, 1983, an incident unfolded at a Soviet nuclear-early-warning facility that nearly led to a nuclear war by accident.

The Man Who Saved the World is a feature-length movie about Stanislav Petrov, a former lieutenant colonel of the Soviet Air Defense Forces who prevented the nuclear false alarm incident from becoming a nuclear holocaust.

The movie recreates those tense times in the Soviet nuclear facility, and then follows Petrov 30 years later when the incident is revealed to the West and Petrov is invited for the first time to the United Nations and the USA.

The movie has won a number of awards including the 2015 Sundance Film Festival Best Feature Film.  Click here for a short, powerful interview with Stanislav Petrov by PNND Council Member Jonathan Granoff.

International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

This special screening is held in conjunction with the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

It will be introduced by Michaela Sorensen, United Nations Youth Association of Denmark. It will be followed by a live discussion and the opportunity for you to ask questions with Peter Anthony, Director and Screenwriter of the movie.

The movie screening is being held in conjunction with the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, which is commemorated annually on September 26, the anniversary of the 1983 incident portrayed in the movie. 

The UN General Assembly will hold a High Level event on October 2 to commemorate the day. Click here to send a message to governments calling on them to:

pledge to never start a nuclear war,

to end investments in the nuclear weapons industry, and

to eliminate all nuclear weapons by 2045, the 100th anniversary of the UN.

Civil society has organized a number of events on September 26 including  “Nuclear Weapon Free World: Global civil society commemoration of the UN Day for Nuclear Abolition.”

Read the UN Secretary-General’s Message Commemorating the Date

Below is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message on the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, 26 September, 2020. 

Opting for Strategic Competition over Cooperation Makes Nuclear Dangers More Acute

Almost 75 years since the adoption of the first General Assembly resolution in 1946 committed the United Nations to the goal of nuclear disarmament, our world continues to live in the shadow of nuclear catastrophe.

Relationships between States possessing nuclear weapons are characterized by division, distrust and an absence of dialogue.  As they increasingly choose to pursue strategic competition over cooperation, the dangers posed by nuclear weapons are becoming more acute.

This International Day highlights the need to reverse course and return to a common path to nuclear disarmament.  The use of nuclear weapons would affect all States, meaning that all States have a responsibility to ensure that such deadly armaments are never used again and are eliminated completely from national arsenals.

COVID-19 has exposed a wide range of global fragilities, from pandemic readiness and inequality to climate change to lawlessness in cyberspace; our preparedness to address the threat of nuclear weapons is one of those vulnerabilities.  We need a strengthened, inclusive and renewed multilateralism built on trust and based on international law that can guide us to our shared goal of a world free of nuclear weapons.

Those States that possess nuclear weapons must lead.  They must return to real, good-faith dialogue to restore trust and confidence, reduce nuclear risk and take tangible steps in nuclear disarmament.  They should reaffirm the shared understanding that a nuclear war cannot be won and must not be fought.  They should take steps to implement the commitments they have undertaken.

The death, suffering and destruction caused by the atomic bombing in Hiroshima and Nagasaki must not be repeated.  The only guarantee against the use of these abhorrent weapons is their total elimination.  The United Nations stands ready to work with all States to achieve this shared goal.

SAMPLE LETTER: Sample letter to your government urging them to participate effectively in UN High-Level Meeting on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons (October 2, 2020).

Dear …

The UN General Assembly is hosting a High Level Meeting on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons on October 2. 

I/we urge you to speak at this meeting on the importance to: a) prevent any use of nuclear of nuclear weapons; b) achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world, and c) cut nuclear weapons budgets and investments. 

Any use of nuclear weapons would have catastrophic human, economic and environmental consequences. The use of just a small fraction of the 14,000 nuclear weapons in the world’s stockpiles could end civilization as we know it. In addition, the $100 billion spent annually on nuclear weapons is sorely needed for environmental, economic and human needs, including addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.

We encourage you in particular to:

  1.  Call on all States to affirm that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought, and therefore the nuclear armed States should all affirm policies never to initiate a nuclear war (no-first-use policies);
  2. Call on nuclear armed and allied States to commit to the elimination of nuclear weapons by 2045, the 100th anniversary of the United Nations;
  3. Call on the nuclear armed States to cut their nuclear weapons budgets, and on all States to end investments in the nuclear weapons industry, and redirect these investments and budgets to supporting COVID-19 management and recovery, supporting the United Nations and financing the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. 

Thank you
[your name]

Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) is a global network of legislators working on a range of initiatives to prevent nuclear proliferation and to achieve a nuclear weapons free world.