25 Jan

“Maailma ei pysty vastaamaan ydinaseen käytön seurauksiin” – ydinuhkaa pyritään hallitsemaan sopimuksilla

Suurten valtioiden ydinasearsenaalin purkaminen edistyy hitaasti. Kuvakollaasi: Tapio Pellinen

 

Ydinaseet ovat paitsi osa maailmanpolitiikkaa, myös vakava turvallisuusriski, joka uhmaa kansainvälisiä sodan oikeussääntöjä. Punaisen Ristin kansainvälinen liike kampanjoi ydinaseiden kieltämiseksi ja hävittämiseksi.

 

Kaikki alkoi toisen maailmansodan aikaan. Huhu kertoi, että Hitlerin Saksassa kehitetään ydinpommia. Kansallissosialistisen Saksan pelossa Yhdysvallat kääri hihansa ja keräsi kasaan joukon tiedemiehiä, matemaatikkoja ja insinöörejä. Kuuluisan Manhattan-projektin tavoitteena oli kehittää maailman ensimmäinen ydinase.

Etevät asiantuntijat onnistuivat tavoitteessaan vajaassa kolmessa vuodessa. Sota Euroopassa oli jo ohi, mutta onnistuneen ydinkokeen jälkeen Yhdysvallat pudotti ensimmäisen pommin Japanin Hiroshimaan elokuussa 1945. Tuhoisa temppu uusittiin kolme päivää myöhemmin Nagasakissa.

Lopputulos oli järkyttävä. Välittömästi pommien pudottamisen jälkeen ja seuraavien kuukausien aikana kuoli arvioiden mukaan 214 000 ihmistä. Ydinpommien seurauksista kärsitään edelleen.

– Punainen Risti toimi Hiroshimassa vuonna 1945. Jo silloin liikkeessä puhuttiin, että ydinaseet pitää kieltää. Humanitaarisena avustusjärjestönä tiedämme, kuinka katastrofaaliset ydinaseen käytön humanitaariset seuraukset voivat olla, Suomen Punaisen Ristin oikeudellinen neuvonantaja Jani Leino toteaa.

MAAILMAN YDINASEARSENAALI kuitenkin kasvoi toisen maailmansodan jälkeen. Vihdoin vuonna 1968 kansainvälisen yhteisön huoli ydinkokeista, -sodista ja yleisestä turvallisuudesta johti ydinsulkusopimuksen allekirjoittamiseen. Sopimuksessa linjattiin, että ydinaseettomat valtiot eivät saa kehittää ydinaseita. Ydinasevaltiot puolestaan saavat pitää aseensa, mutta sitoutuvat niiden vähentämiseen. Sopimuksessa sopimuspuolet sitoutuvat kuitenkin hyvässä uskossa neuvottelemaan yleistä ja täydellistä aseidenriisuntaa koskevasta sopimuksesta.

– Todellisuudessa ydinaseriisunnassa ei ole tapahtunut kehitystä pitkään aikaan. Ydinsulkusopimus ei velvoita valtiota hävittämään aseitaan, Leino kommentoi.

PUNAISEN RISTIN kansainvälinen liike piirsi ydinaseiden vastaisen kampanjansa päälinjat Genevessä vuonna 2011. Päätöslauselman tavoitteena oli saada aikaan kansainvälinen ja yksiselitteinen sopimus ydinaseiden kieltämiseksi ja hävittämiseksi. Mutta miksi asia on niin tärkeä puolueettomalle humanitaariselle liikkeelle?

– Monelle saattaa olla yllätys, että Punainen Risti ottaa kantaa tällaiseen asiaan, joka usein mielletään maailmanpolitiikaksi ja turvallisuusstrategiseksi kysymykseksi. Moni mieltää tällaisen kannanoton ennemmin rauhanjärjestöjen tehtäväksi, Leino aloittaa.

Hänen mukaansa usein unohdetaan ydinaseiden ongelmallisuus humanitaarisen oikeuden kannalta.

– Punaisen Ristin erityistehtävänä on valvoa ja kehittää humanitaarista oikeutta eli kansainvälisiä sodan oikeussääntöjä. Ydinaseiden käyttö eittämättä loukkaisi humanitaarisen oikeuden perusperiaatteita ja sääntöjä. Lisäksi ydinaseet uhkaavat koko ihmiskuntaa. Emme voi humanitaarisena järjestönä ottaa riskiä. Meidän on pakko toimia, sillä maailmassa ei ole resursseja vastata ydinaseen tahallisen tai tahattoman käytön humanitaarisiin seurauksiin, Leino perustelee.

UUSI YDINASEKIELTOSOPIMUS hyväksyttiin vihdoin kesällä 2017 Yhdistyneiden Kansakuntien (YK) kokouksessa tiukkojen neuvottelujen jälkeen. Ydinaseiden kieltäminen sai osakseen kansainvälistä huomiota myös myöhemmin syksyllä, kun ydinaseiden vastainen kampanja ICAN sai Nobelin rauhanpalkinnon.

Aiempaan ydinsulkusopimukseen ovat sitoutuneet lähes kaikki maailman maat, mutta toistaiseksi kaikki ydinasevaltiot ovat jättäneet uuden, ydinaseet totaalisesti kieltävän sopimuksen allekirjoittamatta. Myös Suomi useiden muiden EU-maiden ohella on sopimuksen ulkopuolella.

Joulukuisessa lausunnossaan Suomen Punainen Risti vetosi eduskunnan ulkoasiainvaliokuntaan, että Suomi muuttaisi kantaansa. Lausunnossa korostettiin, että uusi sopimus konkreettisesti edistää ydinaseriisuntaa ja lisää ydinaseisiin liittyvää stigmaa, muttei uhkaa vanhoja ydinsulku- ja ydinkoekieltosopimuksia.

Ydinaseriisunta oli teemana myös kansainvälisen Punaisen Ristin valtuutettujen kokouksessa Turkissa marraskuussa 2017. Kokouksessa hyväksyttiin toimintasuunnitelma, joka korostaa esimerkiksi nuorten roolia ydinaseriisuntaa koskevassa kansallisessa vaikutus- ja tiedotustyössä.

– Olimme mukana Turkissa. Suomen Punainen Risti haluaa profiloitua tämän tematiikan ympärille seuraavina vuosina, Leino vahvistaa.

Teksti: Ulriikka Myöhänen

24 Sep

Where are all the young volunteers?

danish_leadership

Did you know that only 7.7% of the members of the Finnish Red Cross are youth? Did you know that the mean age of our members is 57.5 years? We’re hardly considered as a youth organization and it affects us in a bad way. Our goal has been set to double the amount of youth members by the end of 2017. So how can we do it?

Two years ago I participated to a FRC study trip to Macedonia and Kosovo. There the local Red Cross branches successfully recruited almost all of their volunteers from schools. Also many Asian and African countries have mainly youth volunteers.

In Norway, Sweden and Denmark they have a separate Red Cross Youth organization. That seems to attract more young volunteers. However, that contradicts the Red Cross and Crescent movement’s basic principle of unity. The rules say there should be only one national society in each country, but these Nordic countries have organized it differently. It seems to work.

Could having a separate youth organization be a solution to our problem of not having enough youth members and volunteers? It has its pros but I wouldn’t go that far.

“I have learned that good leadership is about knowing the people you are a leader for.”

I dream that one day there won’t be separate activities for example for youth or immigrants because they have all been integrated to the organization and society so well. Mixing different ages and backgrounds can be a strength. However, peer-to-peer activities seem to be more important to youth than to other groups.

Who are they?

I have learned that good leadership is about knowing the people you are a leader for. By knowing their strengths, weaknesses, interests, motivation and the way they want to be rewarded is the key.

Young people need leaders that really want to know them: Who are they? What motivates them? Which of their strengths would be useful in their volunteer work?

This is especially needed now as Europe is flooding with refugees and the demand for volunteers to help them is high. It’s important to make sure that those who have already signed up to volunteer should be warmly welcomed to the organization.

It’s about giving a seat

Sometimes young people complain about not being heard in branches, districts or at the national level. But the truth is that there are many places of getting heard. You just need to find them and use them.

Let me give you an example: In the Danish Red Cross Youth Leadership Academy we had an exercise where our team had to verbally guide one team member blindfolded through a small track. The other team had to shout false directions to make our team fail. Afterwards in the feedback session somebody said that the person leading should have the loudest voice. There were so many other sounds that were trying to distract from the guidance.

Of course, it’s so simple. We, as youth, should have the loudest voice. It doesn’t mean standing in the barricades and yelling your say, it’s about giving a seat to an old lady on the bus and standing by a small boy who’s been bullied by his classmates.

It’s about speaking up for others. Especially today when budgets seem to be more important than the people. Humanity – humanity should have the loudest voice.

camp

Senja Multala (right), is the President of the Helsinki and Uusimaa District Youth Committee in the Finnish Red Cross. She loves her work, as she gets to work with amazing volunteers who are enthusiastic about what they do. She travelled to Denmark for a 13-day Danish Red Cross Youth Leadership Academy Training.

Do you want to make a difference?

At the moment The Finnish Red Cross is rewriting its rules and there is a need for young people´s voice in the workshops. Keep your eye on the event calendar for more information, contact a youth coordinator that runs activities in your region or sign up to be a volunteer. 

Text and pictures: Senja Multala

09 Jul

Living the dream of Henry

World Village Festival

Siaka (the second from the left) participating in the World Village Festival.

Siaka Dippa moved to Finland a few years ago. New country and culture didn’t feel that strange after he joined the Finnish Red Cross. As a former volunteer of The Gambia Red Cross, he has been happy to see that there are many similarities between different Red Cross societies.

I was a volunteer in The Gambia Red Cross Society. It started as a branch of the British Red Cross Society in 1948, and became an independent national society in 1966.

Unlike the Finnish Red Cross, more than 80% of the volunteers are young people aged between 15 and 30, and this cohort of people are the backbone of The Gambia Red Cross. Like other members of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, The Gambia Red Cross places great emphasis on supporting activities relevant to young people as they are 60% of The Gambia’s population.

Many people in The Gambia become Red Cross volunteer when they start primary school, usually at the age of six or seven. However, my case was different as my journey to the Red Cross started late. It was in my eleventh grade when I got invited to join one of the most active Red Cross links in The Gambia-Bundung Home Link with over 100 other very active and dedicated volunteers.  A home link in The Gambia is what is referred to as a branch in the Finnish Red Cross. I remember the first activity I took part in was a National Youth Drama competition organised by Youth In Development and Change (YIDAC) and guess what, we won!

Gambia RC Training

This marks the beginning of a journey serving humanity through the Red Cross and I cherished every single moment, from an international youth camp commonly known as Bantaba to the polio vaccination and Malaria campaigns, reproductive health, disaster preparedness and response, leadership training and first aid camps among others.

I joined the Red Cross because I wanted to serve humanity. I felt that there is someone out there who might be vulnerable or might need help and by volunteering in the Red Cross, I could change the person’s life. In addition I want to live the dream of Henry Dunant who called for the creation of an aid organisation, not only for the wounded in war, but to aid in all manner of disasters needing an organised response.

For many like me, Gambia Red Cross serves as another home, where skills and hidden talents are developed. They made us to believe in ourselves.

Jukka Louma

Photo Jukka Louma

Moving to a new country. I had no idea about its people, culture, weather or work. I had mix feelings. I was happy because I was going to study but leaving behind family, friends, work and all the different voluntary activities was the saddest and the most difficult moment.

The confusion didn’t last long after arriving in Finland as I found a new home and a new family, the Finnish Red Cross. Just with a simple click of a computer I got an information package of all the activities within Helsinki and Uusimaa district, especially those that are conducted in English.  As if that is insufficient, I was invited to an introductory course about the Finnish Red Cross. I never hesitated to sign up because I was hungry to know all the bits and pieces of the national society and how I could get involved.

One of the clubs that I was interested to join right after the introductory course was Betania International Club which is open for everyone and provides a meeting place for people from various backgrounds. I started to go to Betania and was lucky to meet different people. With some of them I’m still in contact.

Five months after my arrival, an application to the Youth delegate training course was announced and I applied, luckily I was selected. This course prepared me to work as youth delegate for the International Red Cross Movement through the Finnish Red Cross. Shortly after our training together with other participants, we established an international youth club (FRC International Youth Club), a group for young people between 15 and 28. I continue to volunteer in different activities including visits to schools, campaigns and festivals among them Hunger Day Campaign, World Village Festival and Lupa Välittää.

Siaka received the Youth Volunteer of the Year award from the Helsinki and Uusimaa district this May. Photo Tuula Korhonen

If you ask me today, I will say Finnish Red Cross solved the puzzle! I haven’t done much because of the language barrier, but I am happy I could serve humanity. I am even happier of the fact that my humble efforts can be linked to those countless others who make a difference to the world.

Having experience both national societies, I have come to realise that each national society design their activities based on the need of the people. Therefore I would say there are a lot more similarities than differences as all Red Cross societies in the world work in accordance with the seven principles of the movement.

No one is too poor to volunteer and you don’t have to wait until you retire. The experiences you gain while volunteering can never be learned anywhere else. There is a lot more to be done.

Siaka K. Dibba

14 May

Hinivuu!

This is the third part of our series of Red Cross’ principles. You can find the first post here and the second one here. Youth delegate Laura Leino asked the volunteers and workers at the Red Cross Nyeri Branch in Central Highlands of Kenya what the seven principles mean to them.

The initial letters of the seven Red Cross principles are often heard as salute at youth gatherings of Kenyan Red Cross. All of the members know the initials by heart and the HINIVUU-greeting emphasizes the unity of the members, however there is more essential meaning behind the letters.

Humanity

HUMANITY

“Humanity is like a kind heart. Red Cross is an organisation that helps people regardless of financial charges. Humanity to me is doing good without expecting anything in return.” -Sabina, Intern at Nyeri Branch

Impartiality

IMPARTIALITY

“You should not discriminate against any gender, race, political stand or age. No discrimination at all. For example in terms of disaster a friend of mine has been mildly affected by accident and there are other people who have been more seriously injured. I should not go to help my friend at first but serve the most injured first.” -Fidelis, Nyeri Branch Coordinator

Neutrality

NEUTRALITY

“Neutrality is state of being fair in everything. I have seen the principal in action in disaster response where we help each and every person equally. If there has been a fire we treat the caretaker and landlord with the same respect.” -Terry, Receptionist at Nyeri Branch

Independence

INDEPENDENCE

“Kenyan Red Cross runs its programs or the emergency response independently. There was a time we responded to a situation where a school bus carrying children had been drift out of the road. There was a delegation visiting from Norwegian Red Cross last week and they participated to a fire incident together with us.” -Daniel, Head Chef at the Boma Restaurant in Nyeri Branch

Voluntary-service

VOLUNTARY SERVICE

“For me voluntary service is helping the community. I am nutritionist and a new volunteer at Red Cross. I am currently planning to start a deworming project in primary and secondary schools.” -Rachel, Volunteer at Nyeri Branch

Unity

UNITY

“People should always be united, like kids of the same mother and so should be the Red Cross societies.” -John, Tree Nursery officer

Universality

UNIVERSALITY

“Everywhere in the world and all around Kenya there is Red Cross. No matter where you are, there is Red Cross that will help you. It´s the helping hand who doesn’t choose which tribe you are of how you look.” -Rebecca, Guard at the Nyeri Branch

Laura Leino

Laura was working as a youth delegate in Kenya for six months. The first three months she worked in the head office of Kenya Red Cross Society in the youth and voluntary service programmes in Nairobi. After that she helped to build the capacity of youth volunteers at Nyeri branch.