60 years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki Greenpeace renews its call for peace
Hiroshima, 5 August 2005 - On the eve of the 60th anniversary of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Greenpeace renewed its call to world leaders to make real their decades old commitments to nuclear disarmament and for the Japanese government to abandon plans to produce nuclear weapons usable material.
10 000 "Wings of Peace" messages sent to Greenpeace by people from 155 countries were attached to large dove-shaped balloons and flown in front of the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Memorial to commemorate the more than 300,000 people who died in the atomic bombings.
"To honour those killed and to make sure what happened here in Hiroshima never happens again, we must work together to create peace" said Kieran Longridge of Greenpeace International. "Next month at the United Nations, our leaders can start this work. At the Millennium Review Summit (1) world leaders must urgently take responsibility for their past nuclear disarmament promises, including the immediate commencement of negotiates on a treaty that will eliminate nuclear weapons."
"Eradicating the nuclear threat is more urgent than ever," warned Longridge. Since the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, eight nations in addition to the United States have acquired nuclear weapons - Russia, United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and N Korea. "Countries with nuclear weapons must lead by example and eliminate their arsenals."
"Japan too must strengthen its call for peace and nuclear disarmament, it should start by abandoning plans to begin for plutonium production at the Rokkasho-Mura reprocessing plant " said Atsuko Nogawa of Greenpeace Japan. "So long as deadly substances like plutonium are produced, the threat of nuclear weapons proliferation will always exist."
Greenpeace has actively protested against nuclear testing in the Pacific by both the American and French governments in the past. At today's ceremony, under a banner declaring "Yes to Peace; No to Rokkasho" representatives from Greenpeace offices around the world recommitted the international organization to its campaign for peace and working for and end to nuclear weapons and technologies and materials used to create them.
Notes (1) The Millennium Review Summit is a Heads of Government Meeting that will take place at the United Nations in New York on the 14, 15 and 16 September 2005.
Greenpeace is an independent campaigning organisation that uses non-violent creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems to force solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.