From Hiroshima, UN chief calls for global nuclear disarmament |

Nuclear weapons are meaningless. Three quarters of a century later, we must wonder what we have learned from the mushroom cloud that grew over this city in 1945,” he urged during a solemn event at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park with attended by dozens of people, including hibakushayoung peace activists, the Prime Minister of Japan and other local governments.

The UN Secretary General warn that A new arms race is accelerating and world leaders are increasing stockpiles at a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars with nearly 13,000 nuclear weapons currently held in arsenals around the world.

He warned: “…Severe nuclear-sounding crises are spreading rapidly – ​​from the Middle East to the Korean peninsula, to the Russian invasion of Ukraine… Mankind is playing with a loaded gun. bullet”.

Hiroshima, shortly after a nuclear bomb was dropped on the city in August 1945.

UN photo / Mitsugu Kishida

Hiroshima, shortly after a nuclear bomb was dropped on the city in August 1945.

Signs of hope

Mr. Guterres calls the present Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in New York a ‘sign of hope’.

“Today, from this sacred space, I call upon the members of this Treaty working urgently to eliminate stockpiles that threaten our futureto strengthen dialogue, diplomacy and negotiation, and support my disarmament program by removing these destructive devices,” he stressed.

He stressed that states with nuclear weapons must commit to “no first use” of them and assure other countries that they will not use – or threaten to use – nuclear weapons against surname.

“We must always see the horrors of Hiroshima, realizing that there is only one solution to the nuclear threat: no nuclear weapons at all,” he said.

Time to breed peace

Guterres emphasized that leaders cannot shirk their responsibilities.

“Let’s get rid of the nuclear option – good. It’s time for peace to flourish. Heed the hibakusha’s message: “No more Hiroshimas! No more Nagasakis! ,” he said, acknowledging that in 1945, two atomic bombs were detonated over Japan – the first over Hiroshima on August 6 and Nagasaki three days later, on August 9.

Mr. Guterres also sent a message to young people urging them to finish the work that hibakusha has started.

The world must never forget what happened here. The memory of the dead – and the legacy of the survivors – will never be extinguished‘, he concluded.

The United Nations Secretary-General will be in Japan over the weekend, where he will meet a number of senior Japanese officials, including Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

The UK will also meet a group of survivors of the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and engage in dialogue with young activists who are leading initiatives for nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation, and non-proliferation. nuclear weapons change and other global issues.

The world must never be forgotten

Later in the day, the Secretary-General met with the five surviving victims of the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, known as Hibakusha, and heard their stories.

He paid tribute to them, admitting that they had suffered a lot but had overcome the trauma with ‘tremendous courage and resilience’.

Mr Guterres also called them an example to the world, and told the three women and two men who reunited with him that they have the moral authority to tell leaders that ‘nuclear weapons are useless. means’

“The UN is committed to keeping the memory of what happened alive and making sure your stories resonate forever,” he said.

Hibakusha told the head of the United Nations how they remained involved in peace and disarmament issues for most of their lives: for example, one of them wrote a song to raise perception and another person illustrating her experience with pictures.

All expressed the desire that young people also understand the rudimentary reality of nuclear weapons.

In Japan, Guterres had a meeting with the hibakusha.

UN photo / Ichiro Mae

In Japan, Guterres had a meeting with the hibakusha.

The strength of youth from Hiroshima

António Guterres also participated in an informal dialogue session with young Japanese activists currently leading initiatives on nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and other global issues.

“I want to apologize on behalf of my generation for the state of the world we are leaving to your generation,” he said, repeating the apology he had previously sent to young people around the world. gender.

He talked about the current state of the world, including the three-planet crisis, raging inequality and widespread armed conflict.

“Our generations need to work together… and then you will take on the responsibilities, and you need to be prepared and stay very good,” he told the young participants.

Honorary Citizen

The head of the United Nations also met the mayor of Hiroshima, and the deputy mayor of Nagasaki, and was granted honorary citizenship of Hiroshima.

“On behalf of all the women and men of the United Nations working for peace in the world, I accept this great honor. I am on behalf of the diplomats and negotiators who – this week – are meeting in New York to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons,” he said.

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