MESSAGE TO PEACE MEMORIAL CEREMONY, Hiroshima, 6 August 2013
Press Release 13-047-E 06/08/2013
Delivered by Dr. Noeleen Heyzer, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
I am honoured to pay my respects on this solemn occasion.
Tens of thousands have gathered here in Hiroshima, and millions more are observing this occasion around the world, as together we remember those who lost their lives here 68 years ago.
We pay tribute to the memory of the hundreds of thousands who perished or were gravely wounded. At the same time, we applaud those who survived to becomehibakusha. We thank them for all they have done to educate the public, especially young people, about the horrors of nuclear war and the importance of nuclear disarmament. They have helped to transform this city from a scene of devastation into a symbol of peace.
We also join hands with the new generation of citizens of Hiroshima who are working to build an era of greater peace, security and justice for all.
We are united in countering the erroneous view that security is achieved through the pursuit of military dominance and threats of mutual annihilation. Our memories are long. We know this path is a dead end.
True security is based on people’s welfare – on a thriving economy, on strong public health and education programmes, and on fundamental respect for our common humanity. Development, peace, disarmament, reconciliation and justice are not separate from security; they help to underpin it.
At this Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony, I appeal for universal adherence to the United Nations Charter, which emphasizes peace, disarmament, a prohibition on threats or use of force, and social and economic development.
Together, let us reaffirm our commitment to create a world free of nuclear weapons. This is the most meaningful way we can pay our respects to those we honour today and pave the way for a better future for all.
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ELIMINATING NUCLEAR ARMS MORALLY RIGHT, ‘A PRACTICAL NECESSITY’ TO PROTECT
HUMANITY, SECRETARY-GENERAL TELLS HIROSHIMA PEACE MEMORIAL CEREMONY
Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message, delivered by Angela Kane, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, to the Peace Memorial Ceremony in Hiroshima, today, 6 August:
Each year on 6 August, people throughout the world turn their thoughts to the city of Hiroshima. They think about the implications of the human catastrophe that occurred here in 1945. They remember the tens of thousands of civilians who perished on that fateful day. They contemplate the incredible hardships endured by the survivors, their families and generations to follow.
Yet this day on which we reflect on a tragic past is also time to recognize what the citizens here have accomplished in rebuilding their great city. Hiroshima has become rich with the comforts of modern life. It also has a wealth of wisdom to share with all nations about the vital need for nuclear disarmament. For many decades, your mayors and concerned citizens have shared your legacy and appealed for urgent measures to outlaw all nuclear weapons.
Your message is being heard. I am very pleased that the testimonies of many hibakusha are being translated into several languages. In support of these efforts, the United Nations has just launched a multimedia website of hibakusha telling their stories. It is very important that these words be heard and understood in all countries, especially by the younger generation.
The United Nations Secretariat has also sponsored international “Art for Peace” and “Poetry for Peace” contests, challenging young people everywhere to imagine a world free of nuclear weapons. In many ways, our collective future rests on their understanding and support for this goal.
On this day, in this city, let me proclaim again: there must never be another nuclear attack — never. The elimination of such weapons is not just a visionary goal, but the most reliable way to prevent their future use.
People understand that nuclear weapons cannot be used without indiscriminate effects on civilian populations. Security experts and defence analysts have come to understand that nuclear weapons, far from ensuring a balance of power, are inherently destabilizing. Such weapons have no legitimate place in our world. Their elimination is both morally right and a practical necessity in protecting humanity.
The more countries view nuclear weapons as unacceptable and illegitimate, the easier it will be to solve related problems such as proliferation or their acquisition and use by terrorists. This is why I have supported efforts to negotiate a nuclear weapons convention, or a framework of instruments with the same purpose of eliminating such weapons.
The tragedy in Hiroshima decades ago continues to resonate today. In remembering those lost, in recognizing the hibakusha, and in considering the legacy we will leave to future generations, I urge all here today to continue your noble work for a nuclear-weapon-free world. I am proud to be your partner in this great cause.
THE SECRETARY-GENERAL, MESSAGE TO PEACE MEMORIAL CEREMONY, Hiroshima, 6 August 2011
Press Release 06/08/2011
- Delivered by Mr. Sergio de Queiroz Duarte, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs -
Throughout the world, the arrival of the sixth of August offers a solemn occasion for remembrance, respect, reflection and re-commitment.
Today, we remember the great human tragedy that occurred in this beautiful city on that fateful day in 1945. We pay our respects to the memory of the tens of thousands of men, women and children who perished that day, and to the hibakusha who have survived to tell their stories to future generations so that such a catastrophe will never again occur.
Today, we also reflect on the world as it has been, the world as it is now, and the world as it can and should be -- a world free of nuclear weapons. And we re-commit ourselves to pursue this goal with all the reason, passion and imagination we can summon.
Last year, I had the honour to become the first United Nations Secretary-General to attend this Peace Memorial Ceremony. Like others who have journeyed to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I, too, will never forget that visit.
I left more convinced than ever of the importance of universal adherence to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, which include the duty to refrain from the threat or use of force, the obligation to settle disputes peacefully, and the need to pursue disarmament and the regulation of conventional armaments.
Nuclear disarmament is especially important because if we fail to achieve it, our other goals will also be in grave jeopardy. International peace and security is not a prerequisite for nuclear disarmament.
Quite the contrary, verified nuclear disarmament itself would make an immense contribution to international peace and security, and should be pursued today, not deferred because of the false notion that it should be undertaken only in a world fully at peace.
This is a cause that should unite all people, everywhere. This is a cause that reminds us of our common humanity and our responsibility to build a world that is more humane and peaceful than the imperfect one we share today.
I wish to convey my deepest respect for the efforts by the citizens and elected officials of Hiroshima and Nagasaki -- together with all the people of Japan -- in pursuing this cause for so many years. Today, I reaffirm my commitment to continue working with you in partnership until this great goal is finally achieved.
Remarks at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony
by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Hiroshima (Japan), 6 August 2010
Hiroshima no minasama konichiwa. Ohayo gozaimasu.
We are here, on hallowed ground, to see, to feel, to absorb and reflect.
I am honored to be the first UN Secretary-General to take part in this Peace Memorial Ceremony on the 65th anniversary of this tragic day. And I am deeply moved.
When the atomic bombs fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I was one year old. Only later in life, could I begin to understand the full dimension of all that happened here. As a young boy, I lived through the Korean War. One of my earliest memories is marching along a muddy road into the mountains, my village burning behind me. All those lives lost, families destroyed -- so much sadness. Ever since, I have devoted my life to peace. It has brought me here today.
Watakushiwa sekai heiwa no tameni Hiroshima ni mairimashita.
We gather to pay our solemn respects to those who perished, sixty-five years ago, and to the many more whose lives forever changed. Life is short, but memory is long.
For many of you, that day endures, as vivid as the white light that seared the sky, as dark as the black rains that followed. To you, I offer a message of hope. To all of you, I offer my message of peace. A more peaceful world can be ours. You are helping to make it happen. You, the survivors, who inspired us with your courage and fortitude. You, the next generations, the young generation, striving for a better day.
Together, you have made Hiroshima an epicentre of peace. Together, we are on a journey from ground zero to Global Zero – a world free of weapons of mass destruction. That is the only sane path to a safer world. For as long as nuclear weapons exist, we will live under a nuclear shadow.
And that is why I have made nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation a top priority for the United Nations – and put forward a five-point plan.
Our moment has come. Everywhere, we find new friends and allies. We see new leadership from the most powerful nations. We see new engagement in the UN Security Council. We see new energy from civil society. Russia and the United States have a new START treaty. We made important progress at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington last April, which we will build upon in Korea.
We must keep up the momentum. In September, I will convene a high-level meeting in support of the work of the Conference on Disarmament at the United Nations. We will push for negotiations towards nuclear disarmament. A Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. A Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty. Disarmament education in our schools – including translating the testimonies of the survivors in the world's major languages. We must teach an elemental truth: that status and prestige belong not to those who possess nuclear weapons, but to those who reject them.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Sixty-five years ago, the fires of hell descended upon this place. Today, one fire burns, here in this Peace Park. That is the Flame of Peace ? a flame that will remain lit until nuclear weapons are no more. Together, let us work for that day ? in our lifetime, in the lifetimes of the survivors. Together, let us put out the last fire of Hiroshima. Let us replace that flame with the light of hope. Let us realize our dream of a world free of nuclear weapons so that our children and all succeeding generations can live in freedom, security and peace.
Thank you. Domo arigato gozaimasu.