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Reflection questions & activities for 'A global peace movement'

Geraldine Martin  |  20 February 2018

Read the article A Global Peace Movement, and answer the following reflection questions. Then share your answers in pairs and groups.


1. How do you think a campaign which began quite small in Australia and now has membership in 101 countries, grew into this large organisation that caught the eye of the world and the Nobel Peace prize committee?

2. The initial idea of a campaign came from Ron McCoy a Malaysian obstetrician and long-serving co-president of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear (IPPNW). Why would an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist have such a passion for the prevention of nuclear war?

3. After the Conference on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons had collapsed and similarly the World Summit was unable to agree to disarmament, how did ICAN, a small campaign in its infancy, manage to grow so successfully?

4. Have any of you in your class heard stories of the Second World War or Vietnam either from your parents or grandparents. What were they? How did they feel about those wars? What advice did they have for you about making sure war does not happen again, especially nuclear war?     

5. Why do you think Pope Francis would have added his voice to the calls for banning nuclear weapons? What does this movement have to do with the Church?


1. Go to the ICAN website and on the right hand side of the page there is a column with ‘The Facts’. If there is time read them all, but particularly the second one which gives the effects on health and the environment. In small groups discuss what effects these nuclear weapons, if detonated, would have on the human race and on the environment.

2. Australia did not participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons. It voted against the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016. Australia claims that US nuclear weapons are essential for its security. Write a short paragraph on how you feel about this action.

3. In Genesis 26 it says: ‘Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.’ What does this really mean? Look for a good commentary in your library or online and write down exactly what is meant by this statement.

4. Paul Kelly’s song ‘From little things, big things grow’. In a class discussion do you think there is anything you can do to persuade Australia to sign the Nuclear Weapons Ban treaty? Read about ICAN in Australia on the website to get some ideas about what you could do?

For younger students

1. Teachers read or summarise the article, ‘A Global Peace Movement’, for the class. Then lead a discussion about the Nobel Peace Prize. How did it begin? Who actually receives the prize? Explain about ICAN beginning in Australia in a small way and growing into this large organisation with its headquarters in Geneva and receiving the Peace prize. Discussion could then develop into areas such as not getting on with each other in the classroom and in the playground. What does this lead to? What can we do as a class to make sure there is always peace in our class? A Poster could be made by the students that set out the rules of keeping the peace in the classroom and in the playground.

2. If God made us in His image and likeness and wanted us to look after the earth and all its creatures, what can we as a class do to make sure the environment around the school is kept clean?




Topic tags: sustainableliving, environmentalissues, buildingpeace

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