We are gathered here today to add a strong voice to those who consider it important that the memories of Hiroshima and Nagasaki do not fade from the consciousness of political leaders and people at large.
A world without nuclear weapons still remains a far-off goal as the world continues to be burdened with some 25,000 nuclear warheads. Massive arsenals that are capable of annihilating entire nations within an hour cannot be considered an asset by any standard. They breed mistrust and worst-case scenarios among other States. Quick launch nuclear weapon systems perpetuate the risk of an accidental or unauthorized launch. Nor do nuclear weapons serve any practical role in deterring non-State adversaries.
To date, Hiroshima and Nagasaki mercifully remain the only instances in which nuclear weapons have been used. The devastation of these two cities stands as a constant reminder of why preventing the further use and proliferation of such weapons – and why nuclear disarmament leading to a nuclear-weapon-free world –- is of utmost importance for the survival of humankind and planet Earth.
The International Atomic Energy Agency, born in 1957 out of the »Atoms for Peace« vision, came at a time when the horrifying consequences and images of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were still fresh.
Through its programmes in support of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and other similar agreements, the IAEA has done a great deal of work to help stem the tide of nuclear proliferation, while ensuring that the benefits of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy are made available to all those who want them.