Hiroshima, Nagasaki: Nuclear war must not ever happen again – UN chief
Peace Park Hiroshima
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said that the atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki must not ever happen again.
Guterres, who stated this at the 73rd Memorial Service at the Hiroshima Peace Ceremony in Hiroshima, Japan, called for a common path towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons and a safer and more secure world for all.
Represented by the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Izumi Nakamitsu, the UN chief noted that tensions between nuclear-armed states were rising and stressed that world leaders must return to dialogue and diplomacy.
“It is a privilege to pay tribute to the citizens of Hiroshima and all those who perished in the blinding flash of nuclear destruction, and in the weeks, months and years that followed, and to stand in solidarity with the Hibakusha and their families.
“What occurred in Hiroshima on 6 August 1945 cannot and must not ever happen again. The future of our children and of our children’s children depends upon it.
“The legacy of Hiroshima is one of resilience. The city we see today, this bustling metropolis, is a testament to that fact. You, the people of Hiroshima, are not only brave survivors of the atomic bomb, but courageous activists for peace and reconciliation.”
The Secretary-General was expected to meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Foreign Minister Taro Kono, as well as take part in the 73rd Nagasaki Peace Ceremony on Thursday.
He offered sincere thanks to the Hibakusha and the people of Hiroshima for their decades of dedication to educating the world about the threat nuclear weapons posed to our global, national and human security.
“The world needs your continued moral leadership. After decades of momentum towards the shared goal of a world free of nuclear weapons, progress has stalled.
“Tensions between nuclear-armed states are rising. Nuclear arsenals are being modernised and, in some cases, expanded.
“The adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons last year demonstrated the international support that exists for a permanent end to the threat posed by nuclear arms, as well as frustration at the slow pace of achieving this goal.
“World leaders must return to dialogue and diplomacy to a common path towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons and a safer and more secure world for all,” Guterres said.
The UN chief said dialogue and diplomacy were the background for his new initiative on disarmament adding that his disarmament agenda, ‘Securing Our Common Future’, released in May, sought to strengthen disarmament as a practical tool that enhances international peace and security.
“It (new initiative) cannot replace governments’ responsibilities; but it seeks to foster dialogue, create space for new ideas and find common ground.
“While its focus is on all weapons, it recognises that nuclear weapons pose a threat to our very existence. Nuclear disarmament, therefore, remains our priority.
“On this day, as we remember the tragic victims of nuclear weapons, I reiterate my firm commitment to working with the Hibakusha, citizens of Hiroshima, and all peoples of the world to realise our common vision of a world free of nuclear weapons.”
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that during the final stage of World War II, the U.S. detonated two nuclear weapons over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on Aug. 6 and 9, 1945, respectively, and the two bombings killed at least 129,000 people, most of whom were civilians.
The U.S. dropped the bombs after obtaining the consent of the UK as required by the Quebec Agreement, and they remained the only use of nuclear weapons in the history of warfare.(NAN)