Senator Ed Markey, PM Jacinda Ardern and other PNND members mark Hiroshima/Nagasaki anniversary

PNND members around the world are commemorating the 75th anniversaries of Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombings with statements, events and parliamentary motions. Here are just a few of them.

PNND members around the world, including US Senator Ed Markey, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Scottish MP Bill Kidd, PNND Japan and others, yesterday commemorated the 75th anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima with statements and parliamentary motions. On Sunday many will also commemorate the 75th anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Nagasaki.

US Senator Markey August 6 statement

PNND Co-President Senator Markey released a statement on August 6 noting the catastrophic humanitarian consequences not only of the Hiroshima/Nagasaki explosions, but also of the 2000 nuclear test detonations since 1945. ‘The United States and the former Soviet Union conducted thousands of atmospheric and underground nuclear-explosive tests, all of which left thousands more victims in their destructive wake, from the American Southwest, to the steppes of Kazakhstan, to the South Pacific Marshall Islands.”

Senator Markey noted the successes of civil society over the years to push leaders to agree to important arms control agreements. “The unchecked development of these weapons of annihilation led me to Central Park in 1982 where I addressed the largest peace demonstration in our nation’s history. One million people strong came together to demand that President Reagan freeze the unaffordable and unwinnable U.S. arms race with the Soviet Union. The energy, activism, and pressure borne by the ‘Nuclear Freeze Movement’ spurred Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Gorbachev to complete serious arms control treaty negotiations.'

Markey also noted that “We will not retire the nuclear-bomb overnight, but we can work to ensure that the events of August 1945 will never be repeated. That is why I introduced the PLANET Act, legislation to prevent new nuclear testing.  It is also why we must extend the New START Treaty with Russia to place mutual, verifiable limits on strategic nuclear warheads. As the first and only country to ever use nuclear weapons in conflict – 75 years ago today – the United States has a special responsibility to ensure they are never used again and that starts by breathing five-years of new life into the New START Treaty.”

NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern video statement

On August 6, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, released a video message in which she highlights the catastrophic consequences of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the nuclear tests in the Pacific Islands. Prime Minister Ardern also calls on the nuclear armed states to commence negotiations for the global elimination of nuclear weapons, and for countries to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons as steps towards the goal of nuclear disarmament. Ms Ardern has been an active member of PNND since joining parliament in 2008. The New Zealand parliament also adopted an uncontested motion on August 6 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The motion calls for continuation of the global norm against nuclear tests, and for the achievement of a ‘world finally free from the threat of nuclear weapons.’

New Zealand Prime Minister delivers Hiroshima Day message

3Dnukemissile at Euronext Stock exchange

PNND helped organise an action on August 6 in front of the Euronext Stock exchange in Amsterdam to highlight the risks of nuclear weapons (including those deployed in Netherlands), oppose new nuclear weapons, support nuclear abolition, and call on investors to stop investing in corporations manufacturing nuclear weapons. Several of these corporations - Airbus, Boeing, Saffran and Thales - are traded on Euronext.

PNND Global Coordinator Alyn Ware brought the 3DNukeMissile to Amsterdam, and helped members of the public to ‘prevent the missile from firing’ by holding the chains strapped across the missile.

Nuclear abolition campaigners at the Amsterdam August 6 event, standing on the chains to prevent the nuke missile from being launched.

Scottish parliamentary motion

PNND Co-President Bill Kidd introduced a motion into the Scottish parliament to commemorate the Hiroshima and Nagasaki anniversaries (Motion S5M-22373). The motion ‘commends the survivors, who are known  as "Hibakusha", for their courageous sharing of personal testimonies from these horrific events, which show the human realities and impact of the only war-time nuclear bombings to ever take place,’ and calls on ‘people across Scotland to participate in virtual events taking place throughout this week and to learn about the realities of indiscriminate weapons through initiatives such as Hibakusha Stories.’

Nagasaki Day commemoration at Henri Dunant Museum

Marzhan Nurzhan, PNND Coordinator for CIS (former Soviet) Countries will be the guest speaker for an event in Heiden, Switzerland on August 9 to commemorate Nagasaki Day. The event will include a symbolic ringing of the Nagasaki Peace Bell which stands in front of the Henri Dunant Museum. The Peace Bell is one of five copies of the Angelus bells from the Urakami Cathedral in Nagasaki. The church was destroyed in the atomic blast of August 9, 1945, but one of bells survived and its ringing symbolises hope for peace, life and the abolition of nuclear weapons.

Japan PNND and WCRP joint statement

PNND Japan and the World Conference on Religions and Peace (Religions for Peace, Japan) adopted a joint statement in April this year focusing on the 75th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombings and on the 2020 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, now scheduled to take place in January 2021. (click here for the statement in Japanese).

The joint statement highlights the risks of nuclear weapons use, the catastrophic consequences of any use of nuclear weapons, the international law against nuclear weapons (as affirmed by the International Court of Justice in 1996), the problems with security based on nuclear deterrence, the important goal of the elimination of nuclear weapons, and the contribution towards this goal provided by the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.