While nuclear weapons have not been used as weapons of war since the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, extensive testing of nuclear weapons in the Pacific region was conducted by the United States, the United Kingdom and France until 1996.
The consequences of this testing have largely remained invisible and unaddressed, whilst victims continue to suffer from the impacts on their health and that of their descendants, the degradation of their environment, and pollution of their waters. Very few people have received compensation or adequate assistance for the consequences they have suffered.
The pilgrimage will carry out an accompaniment visit, raise global awareness of the ongoing impacts of nuclear testing and the effects of climate change, and demonstrate solidarity with the citizens and member churches.
The delegation will meet with survivors of nuclear testing and a wide range of civil society groups to hear of their experiences and concerns. The delegation will also meet with the Marshall Islands National Nuclear Commission, UN partners, and church partners.
By engaging with survivors of nuclear testing and their families, the WCC delegation hopes to be guided by them to support advocacy strategies which put the needs and priorities of the affected people first.
The visit will begin in the capital Majuro, with encounters between survivors of nuclear testing and their families. Connections with local churches will also be a priority. The head of the WCC delegation is Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia A. Thompson.