Senator Douglas Roche, O.C., Chairman of the Middle Powers Initiative recently joined GSI Advisory Board Member and Mayor of Hiroshima, Tadatoshi Akiba, in Japan at commemorative events surrounding the 60th Anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Mayor Akiba delivered an impassioned Peace Declaration that incorporates a vision of hope for the entire world.
Senator Roche, in an interview on ABC Australian radio along with Mayor Akiba, bluntly placed a stark alternative before us: The day will arrive when either nuclear weapons abolition takes effect or the world will be devastated by a nuclear attack. One or the other will take place and no person informed on the gravity of the situation can deny this.
Senator Roche’s inspiring speech at the Hiroshima ceremonies can be found here.
Mr. Alyn Ware, a member of the Peace Declaration’s Drafting Committee and the Global Coordinator of the Parliamentary Network for Nuclear Disarmament, a program of GSI, reported that the events in Hiroshima began with a moment of sobering and powerful silence to honor the hundreds of thousands who died from the atomic blasts. Let us, at least for a deep breath and a moment, reflect on what lessons we might learn from that flash of light, heat, fire and radiation that changed the world on August 6, 1945.
Only recently has film footage become available of what transpired in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Intentionally preventing the populations of democracies from knowing the truth of these horrific devices subverts the free flow of information necessary for a responsible public to make informed decisions. A bootleg copy of films taken shortly after the devastation has recently been made available, and I am convinced that if more people viewed this material that policies would promptly change.
Please click here for reports about this discovered film and how to view it.
A recent film, Original Child Bomb, effectively incorporates relevant footage.
If you cannot watch the film footage, I urge you to read the accounts the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki presented to the International Court of Justice as formal testimony in its landmark decision on the legality of the use or threat of nuclear weapons (1996).
The Mayor of Hiroshima’s testimony can be found here.
The Mayor of Nagasaki’s testimony can be found in the Dissenting Opinion of Justice Koroma.
Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba and Christie Brinkley
GSI and MPI honored the Mayors for Peace Campaign spearheaded by Mayor Akiba last year at the home of Joseph and Elizabeth Bianco, where Christie Brinkley delivered an impassioned speech in support of nuclear disarmament work. (Click here for a photo gallery)
We are pleased that Mayor Akiba has continued to lead outstanding and effective efforts to address what is the world’s largest democracy deficit – the nearly universal aspiration for the elimination of nuclear weapons and the lackluster response by the governments of the world.
We urge everyone to devote time, intelligence, and passion to build a bridge between what conscience dictates and what policies express. Before it is too late, before a nuclear weapon clouds our vision with pain and fear, let us work and succeed in controlling and eliminating these devices of death. Nothing so threatens our future, and working to eliminate this threat is an affirmation of all we hold dear.
Very truly yours,