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Dunedin: Nagasaki Day Peace Vigil

Nagasaki Day Peace Vigil: Marking the Dropping of the Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima And Nagasaki

The National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Otago will organize a peace vigil on 9 August from 1pm to remember the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August, 1945.

72 years have passed since the destruction of Nagasaki, the last time a nuclear weapon was used against a civilian target. The Geneva Conventions demand a clear separation between civilians and combatants. These distinctions were clearly overlooked in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki and their threatened use continues to be an infringement of basic humanitarian law.

On July 7, 2017, the United Nations adopted a Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons following negotiations by over 120 countries on the draft treaty during March, June and July. The treaty will be open for signature on September 20 and will enter-into-force once 50 States ratify. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres noted that ‘The treaty represents an important step and contribution towards the common aspiration of a world without nuclear weapons.”

This is an important historic moment, therefore, for all of us to give thanks to the New Zealand Ambassador for Disarmament, Dell Higgie for her work on The Prohibition Treaty and to urge the New Zealand government to work hard with other like-minded nations for its ratification.

There must never be another Hiroshima or Nagasaki. This is a moment to remind ourselves that nuclear weapons and the deterrent doctrines based upon them have outlived their usefulness. This is a time to work hard for their global abolition.

Time: Wednesday, 9 August, 2017 from 1:00 pm

Place: Otago Museum Reserve, Peace Pole

Performance by O-Taiko, Dunedin’s Taiko Drumming Ensemble
Speech by Prof. Richard Jackson, Director of the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies
Speech by Prof. Kevin Clements, Chair of the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies
Flute performance by Michelle Jackson
Silent Prayer
(as participants place paper cranes around the peace pole in remembrance of the atomic bomb victims)

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