“Nuclear weapons are nonsense. Three-quarters of a century later, we must ask what we’ve learned from the mushroom cloud that swelled above this city in 1945”, the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Gueterres urged during the solemn event at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park attended by dozens of people, including hibakusha, young peace activists, Japan’s Prime Minister and other local authorities.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Gueterres: Warning that “humanity is playing with a loaded gun,” the UN Secretary-General urged that the world commit to proliferate peace, and repudiate first use of nuclear weapons. “Nuclear weapons are nonsense. They guarantee no safety — only death and destruction.” Consider contacting your government representatives to find out more about their efforts to end nuclear weapons.
Hiroshima Mayor MATSUI Kazumi asked: “Must we keep tolerating self-centredness that threatens others, even to the point of denying their existence? We should take to heart the words of Leo Tolstoy, the renowned Russian author of War and Peace, who advised, ‘Never build your happiness on the misfortune of others, for only in their happiness can you find your own.’”
Mayor Matsui went on to say “Japan must participate in the next Meeting of States Party to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and promptly become a State Party itself.”
Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio listened close by. His family originates from Hiroshima, and many family members died from the atomic bomb. He was the first Japanese PM to personally attend the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) talks in New York. He spoke to the General Assembly on Monday. Although he favours action on nuclear disarmament, Japan (like Australia) lives with the contradiction of having signed the NPT yet joins with US military doctrine which embeds the threat of the use of nuclear weapons as a legitimate military-diplomatic strategy (“the “nuclear umbrella”).
Image Credits: Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, UN Photo/Mitsugu Kishida