The annual Nuclear-Free Future Awards (NFFA) for 2015 were co-hosted by Green Cross International and Beyond Nuclear in Washington, D.C. on 27-29 October 2015. These prestigious awards, first organized in 1998, recognize individuals and organizations (both governmental and non-governmental) who have worked to eliminate nuclear weapons, nuclear power, and the full nuclear chain (including uranium mining, enrichment, reprocessing, and disposal) in order to build a world free of the threat of nuclear war, accidents, and radiation poisoning.
The five NFFA Laureates for 2015 included the Cree Youth — Shawn Iserhoff, Justice Debassige, Desmond Michel, and Kayleigh Spencer – of Mistissini, Quebec, Canada for opposing uranium mining and storage on their native lands; Ambassador Alexander Kmentt from Austria for his leadership in nuclear arms control and the recent Vienna conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons; the Transform Ploughshares – Sister Megan Rice, Michael Walli, and Gregory Boertje-Obed – for their opposition to nuclear weapons in the United States; Cornelia Hesse-Honnegger from Switzerland for her decades of study and illustration of mutated insects located in irradiated lands surrounding Chernobyl, Fukushima, Three Mile Island, and other nuclear facilities; and Foreign Minister Tony deBrum from the Marshall Islands for his pursuit of justice for South Pacific islanders impacted by many years of nuclear bomb testing and radioactive fallout.
Dr. Paul Walker of Green Cross commented that “these impressive Nuclear-Free Future Laureates represent the important dedication of many committed individuals, both within and outside of government, across the globe to build a much more secure and sustainable world without nuclear weapons, and to remediate the enormous and dangerous legacies of the military and commercial nuclear industries today. We owe them all a deep debt of gratitude, and wish them much more success in solidarity with us all.”
All the Laureates spoke forcefully about their personal experiences in opposing nuclear weapons, uranium mining, and commercial nuclear power at the ceremony held Wednesday evening in the US House of Representatives. The honorary co-hosts of the event were Congressman Jim McGovern from Massachusetts, Congresswoman Barbara Lee from California, and Senator Edward Markey from Massachusetts, who all warmly welcomed the Laureates and audience. The Laureates were introduced by Dr. Gordon Edwards, President of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility; Dr. Paul Walker, Director of the Green Cross Environmental Security and Sustainability Programme; Milo Yellowhair, a Lakota Native American from Wounded Knee, South Dakota; Dr. Catherine Thomasson, Executive Director of Physicians for Social Responsibility; and Linda Pentz Gunter of Beyond Nuclear.
Claus Biegert from Germany spoke on behalf of the NFFA Foundation. He recognized Franz Moll as the founder of the NFFA, as well as the good work of Jutta Wiesenthal and many others for the NFFA. Two musicians, David Amram and Paul Winter, also provided musical interludes for the audience.
More information, including photos of the 2015 NFFA events, can be found at http://www.nuclear-free-future.com/en/.