Photos from IAEA.org
Three survivors of the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki called for the elimination of nuclear weapons at a meeting of an international nuclear nonproliferation commission in Washington on Saturday. Breitbart/Kyodo notes that this was the first time victims of nuclear bombings spoke before the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament: The survivors sought a new trend toward nuclear arms abolition on the occasion of the launch last month of the administration of new U.S. President Barack Obama. They also handed Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich a letter from them addressed to Obama, asking him to visit the sites of the atomic bombings and to meet with survivors.
Can there be any more serious issue on our planet today than nuclear proliferation?A 77-year-old woman, Setsuko Thurlow, who was exposed to radiation in Hiroshima at the age of 13, said humans and nuclear weapons never coexist, calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons as soon as possible and changes to the cultural "obssession with violence and war."
An 80-year-old man, Shouo Michigami, who experienced the bombing of Nagasaki at the age of 16, said appeals from A-bomb survivors are crucial for the abolition of nuclear weapons. He said he could make his thoughts understood by the participants.
NHK World (video): A-bomb survivors speak at international meeting
ICNND, the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament is a joint initiative of the Australian and Japanese Governments. It aims to reinvigorate international efforts on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, in the context of the 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, and beyond.
The NPT, which entered into force in 1970 and was extended indefinitely in 1995, requires that review conferences be held every five years. The Treaty is regarded as the cornerstone of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime. It was designed to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology.
Yoriko Kawaguchi has noted that all the states possessing nuclear weapons have declared a moratorium on nuclear testing:
Although moratoria on nuclear testing will not replace the Treaty, I value them and strongly urge these states to maintain their policies pending the entry into force of the Treaty. I also strongly urge all the states once again not to carry out any nuclear weapon test explosion at any place.
Photo: Sydney Peace Foundation
According to the participants in Washington this weekend, former Australian Foreign Minister Gareth Evans, who jointly chairs the commission with former Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi, said he was moved hearing the three survivors speak and emphasized that the humanitarian standpoint of the issue should not be forgotten.
Remind me, which countries have nuclear weapons?
Maps from Carnegie Endowment for Peace
Last year, we noted that U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Hiroshima, Japan and laid flowers at the memorial to the Hiroshima atomic bomb victims in 1945:
It is difficult to discuss the horrific effects of the atomic bombs, including the environmental terror that they inflict, but Japanese victims of the attack are glad that the elected leaders paid respect to the site.
More anti-nuclear weapons:
How Much CO2 Would a Nuclear War Emit?
Who’s Who on Obama’s Green Team: Stephen Chu, Secretary of Energy
U.S. House Speaker Pelosi Makes Historic Visit To Hiroshima
Regional Nuclear War Could Create the Mother of all Ozone Holes
Bush Administration Plans to Bring Back Nuclear Testing
Written by Martin Frid at greenz.jp