Reaching for a Critical Mass of Political Will for Nuclear Disarmament

a project of The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom

In memoriam: Satomi Oba

Early in the morning on February 24, Satomi Oba, a renowned anti-nuclear campaigner and peace activist died at age 54 from a sudden aneurysm in her brain.

All of us in the disarmament community are devastated at this tremendous loss. Satomi was a tireless and fearless activist- a representative of Plutonium Action Hiroshima, a member of No Nukes Asia Forum, a founding member of Abolition 2000 and the Hiroshima correspondent of WISE International- she never shied away from speaking the truth or fighting for what she believed was right and just. She was also a wonderful friend to many of us around the world; words cannot express our shock and sadness.

Below is a brief note she and her friends contributed to a past edition of the News in Review, during the 2003 Preparatory Committee meeting in Geneva. To think that we will never have another heart-felt contribution from Satomi again is unfathomable. On behalf of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, I would like to express our utmost condolences to her family and friends, and to let them know how greatly she will be missed by all.

A Message from the Axis of Hope

After a long, hectic and exhausting week of activities at the NPT PrepCom, three NGO delegates took a day off on Sunday for a brief tour of the French Alps. We spent a glorious day enjoying the old Europe. We explored the market in the French village of Annecy, hiked up the hill to the old castle, and discovered the Mysteres et deouvertes, a most surprising art exhibition, bringing together medieval and futuristic art installations reflecting in one way or another the alpine landscape. The three of us found it spellbinding.

Emerging into the blazing sunlight, we pondered the spectacular view of the snow-capped mountains towering above Lake Annecy and watched the leisurely picture below of sailing boats and strolling families. One of us observed, imagine that the whole world could be this peaceful and content. As we sat together on an ancient stone wall and posed for a photograph, we looked at each other and realized who we were. One of us was from Germany, where nuclear fission was discovered and ballistic missiles originated. One of us was from the United States, the first country to develop and use nuclear weapons. And one of us was from Japan,the first country to suffer the devastating effects of the atom bomb. All of us were born in the years following these events. And all of us were women. We felt that we were the axis of hope. We sat down together to write postcards to our friends at home. And this is the message we sent:

We have a dream...A nuclear weapons convention ratified, space weapons banned, missiles gone,and we have loads of time to enjoy beautiful Switzerland (and France)!

Love and peace from The Axis of Hope: -Satomi Oba, Japan (born 1950)-Jackie Cabasso, USA(born 1952)- Regina Hagen, Germany (born 1957).

to Satomi Oba's page