Japan’s Hiroshima today marks the 65th atomic bomb anniversary for the first time with the presence of the United Nations chief and United States representatives, calling for a world free of nuclear weapons.UN Secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon attended the ceremony in Hiroshima Peace Park.
Before Hiroshima, he also for the first time visited Nagasaki, the second Japanese city the United States dropped an atomic bomb on during World War II.
“I feel honored to be the first U.N. secretary-general to take part in the peace memorial ceremony on the 65th anniversary. And I am deeply moved. … I come here for world peace.” Ban said at the memorial ceremony.
“When the atomic bombs fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I was one year old. Only later in life could I begin to understand the full dimension of all that happened here,” he said.
Calling nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation a top priority of his work, Ban said “the moment has come” for the world to become free of weapons of mass destruction.
“We see new leadership from the most powerful nations. We see new engagement in the U.N. Security Council. We see new energy from civil society.,” he said, adding important progress was made at the nuclear summit in Washington, which “we will build upon in
Korea in 2012″.
Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba made a peace declaration at the ceremony, urging Japan to take the lead in the pursuit of abolishing nuclear weapons by 2020.