CND groups across Britain will gather this weekend to commemorate the 78th anniversary of the tragic atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Events will take place nationwide, honouring the memory of the hundreds of thousands of lives lost and emphasising the urgent need for global nuclear disarmament.
In a year where the hands of the Doomsday Clock stand at 90 seconds to midnight – the closest we have even been to a humanmade global catastrophe like nuclear war – and nuclear powers continue to modernise their nuclear arsenals, these commemorations are an important reminder of why the threat of nuclear use should not be dismissed.
It also follows May’s G7 summit – held in Hiroshima – where leaders paid their ‘respects’ at Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial but failed to make any concrete commitments towards furthering the cause of nuclear disarmament. Of the seven countries there represented, three – the US, UK and France have nuclear arsenals, and two – Germany and Italy – ‘host’ US nuclear weapons at bases in their own countries. While all are signatories to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which requires them to disarm, they make no progress to this end and spend increasing sums on upgrading their nuclear weapons systems.
CND General Secretary Kate Hudson said:
“While the movie Oppenheimer tells the story of how the atomic bomb was made, these commemorations are an important reminder of why they must never be used again. CND honours and remembers the victims of the atrocities that occurred at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and calls on the public to join us in these commemorations. There are no winners from possessing nuclear weapons and we call on leaders to acknowledge their responsibility in preventing such horrors from ever happening again. They must take active steps to achieve nuclear disarmament before it’s too late.”