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Hiroshima Anniversary Hope For Nuclear-Free Future

Marking Hiroshima anniversary, Ban sees hope for nuclear-free future

6 August 2008 - Commemorating the 63rd anniversary of the first-ever atomic bomb attack, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today expressed optimism for a world free of nuclear weapons.

"From sadness and grief can emerge new hope for progress in our common journey to a new age of peace and security," he said in a message to the Peace Memorial Ceremony delivered by Sergio Duarte, United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs. "I see many grounds for such hope."

Mr. Ban stressed that support for nuclear disarmament spans the globe, with many - including educators, religious leaders, current and former government officials, journalists and individuals - proactively taking steps to achieve the goal.

He lauded the participation of schoolchildren in the annual ceremony, nothing that "their generation will soon take on their own responsibilities for remembering the past while continuing collective efforts towards a nuclear-weapon-free world."

The Secretary-General also paid tribute to the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki for promoting the "Mayors for Peace" initiative. "They understand that there is no more reliable way to achieve this than through the elimination of such weapons."

ENDS

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