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Anti-war activist nuns to speak Sunday for 30 Days of Peace

Saturday, September 21, 2019 is the United Nations International Day of Peace, and the theme for 2019 is “Climate Action for Peace.”

As part of Alpena Peace Coalition’s 30 Days of Peace initiative, Dominican Sisters Carol Gilbert, OP, and Ardeth Platte, OP, will present “A Time for Humanity” at 2 p.m. Sunday at St. Anne’s Parish Hall of All Saints Catholic Parish. The pair has traveled the globe promoting peace, dignity, and justice, on the platform of nuclear disarmament.

The Grand Rapids Dominican Sisters have both landed in prison for their anti-nuclear weapons protests, but that won’t stop them from doing the work they are called to do. In the Dominican Order, the OP after their names stands for Ordinis Praedicatorum, meaning of the Order of Preachers.

They joined the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), a collaborative of hundreds of peace organizations dedicated to informing the world of the catastrophic humanitarian and environmental consequences of using nuclear weapons. The sisters were an instrumental part of ICAN’s delegation to the United Nations, leading to the July 7, 2017 adoption of a landmark global agreement to ban nuclear weapons, called the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Their work resulted in the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to ICAN.

Background: Climate Action for Peace

“Climate change causes clear threats to international peace and security,” a statement on the United Nations website notes. “Natural disasters displace three times as many people as conflicts, forcing millions to leave their homes and seek safety elsewhere. The salinization of water and crops is endangering food security, and the impact on public health is escalating. The growing tensions over resources and mass movements of people are affecting every country on every continent.”

“Today peace faces a new danger: the climate emergency, which threatens our security, our livelihoods and our lives. That is why it is the focus of this year’s International Day of Peace. And it’s why I am convening a Climate Action Summit,” writes UN Secretary-General AntOnio Guterres.

“The United Nations Member States adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 because they understood that it would not be possible to build a peaceful world if steps were not taken to achieve economic and social development for all people everywhere, and ensure that their rights were protected,” the UN website states. “The Sustainable Goals cover a broad range of issues, including poverty, hunger, health, education, climate change, gender equality, water, sanitation, energy, environment and social justice.”

Climate Action is Sustainable Development Goal 13, “a call for immediate action by all to lower greenhouse emissions, build resilience and improve education on climate change. Affordable, scalable solutions such as renewable energy, clean technologies are available to enable countries to leapfrog to greener, more resilient economies.”