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Hiroshima Peace Declaration, 6 August 2009
Tadatoshi Akiba, Mayor, The City of Hiroshima, 6 August 2009.
That weapon of human extinction, the atomic bomb, was dropped on the
people of Hiroshima sixty-four years ago. Yet the hibakusha’s suffering,
a hell no words can convey, continues. Radiation absorbed 64 years earlier
continues to eat at their bodies, and memories of 64 years ago flash back
as if they had happened yesterday.
Fortunately, the grave implications of the hibakusha experience are granted
legal support. A good example of this support is the courageous court
decision humbly accepting the fact that the effects of radiation on the
human body have yet to be fully elucidated. The Japanese national government
should make its assistance measures fully appropriate to the situations
of the aging hibakusha, including those exposed in “black rain areas”
and those living overseas. Then, tearing down the walls between its ministries
and agencies, it should lead the world as standard-bearer for the movement
to abolish nuclear weapons by 2020 to actualize the fervent desire of
hibakusha that “No one else should ever suffer as we did.”
In April this year, US President Obama speaking in Prague said, “…as the
only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has
a moral responsibility to act.” And “…take concrete steps towards a world
without nuclear weapons.” Nuclear weapons abolition is the will not only
of the hibakusha but also of the vast majority of people and nations on
this planet. The fact that President Obama is listening to those voices
has solidified our conviction that “the only role for nuclear weapons
is to be abolished.”
In response, we support President Obama and have a moral responsibility
to act to abolish nuclear weapons. To emphasize this point, we refer to
ourselves, the great global majority, as the “Obamajority,” and we call
on the rest of the world to join forces with us to eliminate all nuclear
weapons by 2020. The essence of this idea is embodied in the Japanese
Constitution, which is ever more highly esteemed around the world.
Now, with more than 3,000 member cities worldwide, Mayors for Peace has
given concrete substance to our “2020 Vision” through the Hiroshima-Nagasaki
Protocol, and we are doing everything in our power to promote its adoption
at the NPT Review Conference next year. Once the Protocol is adopted,
our scenario calls for an immediate halt to all efforts to acquire or
deploy nuclear weapons by all countries, including the Democratic People’s
Republic of Korea, which has so recently conducted defiant nuclear tests;
visits by leaders of nuclear-weapon states and suspect states to the A-bombed
cities; early convening of a UN Special Session devoted to Disarmament;
an immediate start to negotiations with the goal of concluding a nuclear
weapons convention by 2015; and finally, to eliminate all nuclear weapons
by 2020. We will adopt a more detailed plan at the Mayors for Peace General
Conference that begins tomorrow in Nagasaki.
The year 2020 is important because we wish to enter a world without nuclear
weapons with as many hibakusha as possible. Furthermore, if our generation
fails to eliminate nuclear weapons, we will have failed to fulfill our
minimum responsibility to those that follow.
Global Zero, the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation
and Disarmament and others of influence throughout the world have initiated
positive programs that seek the abolition of nuclear weapons. We sincerely
hope that they will all join the circle of those pressing for 2020.
As seen in the anti-personnel landmine ban, liberation from poverty through
the Grameen Bank, the prevention of global warming and other such movements,
global democracy that respects the majority will of the world and solves
problems through the power of the people has truly begun to grow. To nurture
this growth and go on to solve other major problems, we must create a
mechanism by which the voices of the people can be delivered directly
into the UN. One idea would be to create a “Lower House” of the United
Nations made up of 100 cities that have suffered major tragedies due to
war and other disasters, plus another 100 cities with large populations,
totaling 200 cities. The current UN General Assembly would then become
the “Upper House.”
On the occasion of the Peace Memorial Ceremony commemorating the 64th
anniversary of the atomic bombing, we offer our solemn, heartfelt condolence
to the souls of the A-bomb victims, and, together with the city of Nagasaki
and the majority of Earth’s people and nations, we pledge to strive with
all our strength for a world free from nuclear weapons.
We have the power. We have the responsibility. And we are the Obamajority.
Together, we can abolish nuclear weapons. Yes, we can.
August 6, 2009
The City of Hiroshima
Source: City of Hiroshima website, www.city.hiroshima.jp.
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