A three-day landmark U.N. Conference on Disarmament Issues has ended here – one day ahead of the International Day Against Nuclear Tests – stressing the need for ushering in a world free of nuclear weapons, but without a consensus on how to move towards that goal.
As the international community gears up to commemorate the 20th
anniversary next year of the opening up of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) for signature, a group of eminent persons (GEM) has launched a concerted campaign for entry into force of a global ban on nuclear weapon testing.
Seventy years after the brutal and militarily unwarranted atomic bombings of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on Aug. 6 and 9, a nuclear weapons free world is far from within reach.
It’s absolutely necessary
to remember what happened 70 years ago in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, see the movies from then, listen to the survivors, the hibakusa. But it isn’t enough
for us to rid the world of these crimes-against-humanity weapons. And that we must.
Speaking at a commemoration of the 70th
anniversary of the atomic bombings of Japan, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, a vociferous advocate of nuclear disarmament, echoed the rallying cry worldwide: “No more Hiroshimas, No more Nagasakis.”
The accounts of survivors of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki will serve as inspiration for leaders of Christian churches grouped in the World Council of Churches (WCC), which advocates the elimination of nuclear weapons.
From the end of April, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference will be held in New York. In this year that marks the seventieth anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I add my voice to those urging substantial commitments and real progress toward the realisation of a world without nuclear weapons.
When Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was at Harvard University early this week to pick up the 'Humanitarian of the Year' award, his thoughts transcended the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, to the Austrian capital of Vienna which will be the venue of a key international conference on nuclear weapons next week.
As we approach the 70th anniversary next year of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there are growing calls to place the humanitarian consequences of their use at the heart of deliberations about nuclear weapons.
At the height of the Cold War the world’s total arsenal of nuclear weapons, counted as explosive potential, may have amounted to three million Hiroshima bombs. The United States alone possessed 1.6 million Hiroshimas’ worth of destructive capacity.
It has been 69 years, but the memory is fresh in the minds of 190,000 survivors and their descendants. It has been 69 years but a formal apology has yet to be issued. It has been 69 years – and the likelihood of it happening all over again is still a frightening reality.
Sachiko Masumura (79) was standing just two kilometres away from the hypocentre of Little Boy, the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan over six and a half decades ago.