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Peace laureate urges world to ‘see the light’ and ban nukes

  • International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons activist Setsuko Thurlow speaks in Oslo City Hall on Sunday after the ICAN received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway. AP

  • Winners of the Nobel Peace Prize 2017, representatives of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Hiroshima Survivor Setsuko Thurlow and leader of ICAN Beatrice Fihn, right, stand with leader of the Nobel committee Berit Reiss-Andersen, left, after receiving their awards in the City Hall Oslo, Norway, Sunday Dec. 10, 2017. (Berit Roald/ NTB scanpix via AP) Roald, Berit

  • Oslo, Norway 20171210. Winners of the Nobel Peace Prize 2017, representatives of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), with leader of the Nobel committee Berit Reiss-Andersen, left, Hiroshima Survivor Setsuko Thurlow and leader of ICAN Beatrice Fihn in the City Hall Oslo, Norway, Sunday Dec. 10, 2017. ICAN are officially receive the Nobel Peace Prize award during a ceremony. (Berit Roald/ NTB scanpix via AP) Berit Roald

  • Winners of the Nobel Peace Prize 2017, Beatrice Fihn, the executive of International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) gives her acceptance speech in Oslo City Hall, Norway, Sunday Dec. 10, 2017. ICAN officially receives the Nobel Peace Prize award during a ceremony Sunday. (Terje Bendiksby/ NTB scanpix via AP) Terje Bendiksby

  • Hiroshima and an supporter of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Setsuko Thurlow sits on a bench in front of the Norwegian parliament surrounded by 1000 paper cranes in Oslo, Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017. Thurlow was chosen to represent ICAN in accepting the Nobel Peace Prize on Sunday. (AP Photo/David Keyton) David Keyton

  • CAPTION CORRECTS THE DAY ICAN campaigner and Hiroshima survivor, Setsuko Thurlow speaks during a press conference with ICAN (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons), In Oslo, Norway, Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017. ICAN are set to receive the Nobel Peace Prize on Sunday. (Audun Braastad/NTB scanpix via AP) Braastad, Audun

  • A thousand paper cranes installed by anti-nuclear activists in front of the Norwegian parliament in Oslo, Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017. The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons is the recipient on this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, has installed 1,000 paper cranes made by children in Hiroshima, the site of the world’s first atomic bomb attack in Japan, outside the Norwegian Parliament ahead of formally receiving the prize. (AP Photo/David Keyton) David Keyton

  • CAPTION CORRECTS THE DAY Executive Director of ICAN (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons), Beatrice Fihn, arrives for a press conference at the Norwegian Nobel Committee, in Oslo, Norway, Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017. As long as atomic bombs exist, a disaster is inevitable, the head of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, the winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, said Saturday. (Audun Braastad/NTB scanpix via AP) Braastad, Audun

  • ICAN (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons) campaigner and Hiroshima survivor, Setsuko Thurlow signs the Nobel protocol, during a press conference at the Norwegian Nobel Committee, in Oslo, Norway, Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017. As long as atomic bombs exist, a disaster is inevitable, the head of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, the winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, said Saturday. (Audun Braastad/NTB scanpix via AP) Audun Braastad

  • International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Hiroshima Survivor Setsuko Thurlow, left, and leader of ICAN Beatrice Fihn during the awarding ceremony in Oslo City Hall after the ICAN officially received the Nobel Peace Prize 2017, in Oslo, Norway. (Berit Roald/ NTB scanpix via AP) Berit Roald

  • International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), activist and Hiroshima survivor Setsuko Thurlow, left, speaks in Oslo City Hall after the ICAN officially received the Nobel Peace Prize 2017, in Oslo, Norway. (Terje Bendiksby/ NTB scanpix via AP) Terje Bendiksby

  • Executive Director of ICAN (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons), Beatrice Fihn signs the Nobel protocol, during a press conference at the Norwegian Nobel Committee, in Oslo, Norway, Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017. As long as atomic bombs exist, a disaster is inevitable, the head of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, the winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, said Saturday. (Audun Braastad/NTB scanpix via AP) Audun Braastad


Associated Press
Sunday, December 10, 2017

A survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima compared her struggle to survive in 1945 to the objectives of the group awarded this year’s Nobel’s Peace Prize during a formal presentation Sunday.

Setsuko Thurlow, who was 13 years old when the U.S. bomb devastated her Japanese city during the final weeks of World War II, spoke in Oslo, Norway, as a leading activist with the Nobel-winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

Thurlow said the Hiroshima blast left her buried under the rubble, but she was able to see light and crawl to safety. In the same way, the campaign she is part of now is a driving force behind an international treaty to ban nuclear weapons, she said after ICAN received the Nobel prize it won in October.

“Our light now is the ban treaty,” Thurlow said. “I repeat those words that I heard called to me in the ruins of Hiroshima: ‘Don’t give up. Keep pushing. See the light? Crawl toward it.’ ”

The treaty has been signed by 56 countries – none of them nuclear powers – and ratified by just three. To become binding it requires ratification by 50 countries.

ICAN Executive Director Beatrice Fihn, who accepted the prize along with Thurlow, said that while the treaty is far from ratification “now, at long last, we have an unequivocal norm against nuclear weapons.”

“This is the way forward. There is only one way to prevent the use of nuclear weapons – prohibit and eliminate them,” Fihn said.

The other Nobel laureates announced in October – winners of the literature, physics, chemistry, medicine and economics prizes – were to receive their awards later Sunday in Stockholm.