UN Calls for Global Nuclear Disarmament As Japan Marks Hiroshima Bombing Anniversary
- August, 06, 2022 - 11:45
- World news
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The UN chief warned of a new nuclear arms race during a solemn event at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park attended by hundreds of people at a ceremony marking the 77th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
“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”, Antonio Guterres 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.
The UN secretary general warned that a new arms race is picking up speed and world leaders are enhancing stockpiles at a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars with almost 13,000 nuclear weapons currently held in arsenals around the world.
Guterres called the current Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in New York a ‘sign of hope’.
“Today, from this sacred space, I call on this Treaty’s members to work urgently to eliminate the stockpiles that threaten our future, to strengthen dialogue, diplomacy and negotiation, and to support my disarmament agenda by eliminating these devices of destruction”, he emphasized.
He underscored that countries with nuclear weapons must commit to the “no first use” of them, and assure other states that they will not use –or threaten to use—nuclear weapons against them.
“We must keep the horrors of Hiroshima in view at all times, recognizing there is only one solution to the nuclear threat: not to have nuclear weapons at all”, the UN chief stated.
The UN secretary general will be in Japan over the weekend, where he will meet with a group of surviving victims of the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and participate in a dialogue with young activists who are leading initiatives on nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and other global issues.
Japan Saturday marked 77 years since the city of Hiroshima was destroyed by a US atomic bomb, as its mayor urged the world to unite in abolishing nuclear weapons.
At 8:15 a.m. on Aug. 6, 1945, the US B-29 warplane Enola Gay dropped a bomb nicknamed “Little Boy” and obliterated the city, with an estimated population of 350,000. Thousands more died later from injuries and radiation-related illnesses.
On Saturday, as cicadas shrilled in the heavy summer air, the Peace Bell sounded and the crowd, including Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who is from Hiroshima, observed a moment of silence at the exact time the bomb exploded.
The bombing claimed the lives of 140,000 people. Some died immediately while others succumbed to injuries or radiation-related illnesses weeks, months and years later.
The Hiroshima catastrophe was followed by the US military’s atomic bombing of Nagasaki on Aug. 9, instantly killing more than 75,000 people. Japan surrendered six days later, ending the Second World War.
Many in Japan believe the attacks amount to war crimes and atrocities because they targeted civilians and due to the unprecedented destructive nature of the weapons.