An event to commemorate the victims of nuclear bombs and to call for a ban on all nuclear weapons was organized by the NGO community on 8 August 2012 at the UN in Vienna. [See photos from the event taken by Maria Petrak here.]
“As the only country in the world to experience nuclear attack in war, Japan has a moral responsibility to lead in the international efforts towards the ultimate elimination of nuclear weapons,” said Toshiro Ozawa, Ambassador of Japan to the UN in Vienna. The Japanese Ambassador concluded “The IAEA and CTBTO are important international organizations based here in Vienna. Let us work together to ensure that we never see another Hiroshima, another Nagasaki.”
Jargalsaikhan Enkhsaikhan, Ambassador of Mongolia to the UN in Vienna, reminded that his people also suffered from 136 atmospheric nuclear test conducted near Mongolian borders increasing the rates of thyroid cancer in the region, something that prompted Mongolia to actively support the CTBT, and concluded his speech by underlining “the moral imperative and political importance of commemorating the victims of nuclear bombs, of nuclear-weapon tests and calling for a total ban of all nuclear weapons.”
“Let us all work tirelessly to ensure that nuclear weapons are never exploded again, not in wartime, not in peace time. Not in violation of international humanitarian law. Not in violation of human rights law,” said CTBTO Spokesperson Annika Thunborg and reminded that the CTBT, the treaty that bans all nuclear explosions is only lacking 8 ratifications to enter into force.
Klaus Renoldner of the IPPNW Austria recalled the long time efforts of civil society to outlaw nuclear weapons and identified several successful breakthroughs calling upon citizens and political leaders to redouble their efforts to that end who concluded: “As a physician I can certify that there is no special treatment, and even medical services will not work after a nuclear attack. Therefore there is only one reasonable way to deal with this problem: it is prevention, and prevention in this case means abolition of these weapons.”
Read here the full speeches by Toshiro Ozawa, Ambassador of Japan to the UN in Vienna; Jargalsaikhan Enkhsaikhan, Ambassador of Mongolia to the UN in Vienna; Annika Thunborg, CTBTO Spokesperson; Klaus Renoldner, physician representing IPPNW Austria.
A video is available (unedited recording by one of the attendants) with the remarks by Annika Thunborg, CTBTO Spokesperson, here.
Following the speeches, the attendants were lead to the UN Memorial Plaza by dancer Kazuko Korosaki. Representatives of NGOs were symbolically lying on the ground. Ms. Korosaki “brought them back to life” by placing in their hands origami cranes as the Peace Bell of the VIC sounded three times.
At the official commemorative events held in Hiroshima and Nagasaki the CTBTO was represented by the Executive Secretary Tibor Tóth. Read more here.