Thursday, 23 November 2017

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70 years marked at Peace Memorial by Secretary General

Ban ki moon Hiroshima DEF

6.8.2015- Presenting a message at the Peace Memorial Ceremony in Hiroshima earlier today, the United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon marked the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing there. In remembrance, he observed that “seven decades after their first use in conflict, this somber occasion commemorates the thousands who died that day. It honors the survivors and their descendants who have suffered severe adversity in the aftermath. The United Nations stands with them, resolved to realize their vision of a nuclear-weapon-free world.”

Hiroshima was the first of two Japanese cities struck by the then new weapon of mass destruction. In addition to thousands of people who were killed directly, more than 200,000 died from nuclear radiation, shock waves and thermal radiation. The UN reports that another 400,000 “people have died – and are continuing to die – since the end of the Second World War from the impacts of the two bombs.”

84769 hiroshimaThe Secretary General also recalled his memories from an earlier visit to the memorial five years ago when he had the opportunity to talk to survivors.  He heard their memories and the impact it had on their families and community.  Speaking of them, he observed that, ‘the courage of those who lived through this catastrophic, man-made tragedy was deeply inspiring. The hibakusha are more than survivors – they are unparalleled champions of peace. From their searing experiences, they have forged a message of hope that someday the world will be free of these indiscriminate and destabilizing weapons.”

A link was also draw between that fateful day, the formation of the UN later that year, and the world concern reflected in the fact that the very first resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly concerned the use of atomic weapons. He ended his message at the Peace Memorial, saying that, “as you keep the memory of the bombing alive, so, too, must the international community persist until we have ensured that nuclear weapons are eliminated. I echo your rallying cry: No more Hiroshimas. No more Nagasakis”

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