Tadatoshi Akiba: 'No one should ever suffer as we did'

From a peace declaration by the Mayor of Hiroshima on the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city
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The Independent Online

The keynote of this commitment is the hibakusha warning, "No one else should ever suffer as we did." Our sacred obligation to future generations is to establish the axiom "Thou shalt not kill" as the highest priority for the human race.

Unfortunately, the Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in May left no doubt that the US, Russia, UK, France, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea and a few other nations wishing to become nuclear-weapon states are ignoring the majority voices of people around the world.

Based on the dogma "Might is right", these countries have formed their own "nuclear club". Within the United Nations, nuclear club members use their veto power to override the global majority and pursue selfish objectives.

To break out of this situation, Mayors for Peace, with more than 1,080 member cities, is currently holding its sixth General Conference in Hiroshima, where we are revising the Emergency Campaign to Ban Nuclear Weapons. To ensure that the will of the majority is reflected at the UN, we propose that the First Committee of the UN General Assembly establish a special committee to achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world. We expect the General Assembly to act on the recommendations from this committee, adopting by the year 2010 steps leading toward the elimination of nuclear weapons by 2020.

Meanwhile, we declare the 369 days from today until 9 August 2006 a "Year of Inheritance, Awakening and Commitment". During this year, the Mayors for Peace, working with nations, NGOs and the vast majority of the world's people, will launch abolition campaigns throughout the world.

On the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombing, we seek to comfort the souls of its victims by declaring that we humbly reaffirm our responsibility never to repeat the evil: "Please rest peacefully; for we will not repeat the evil."