I am honoured to greet all participants at the 60th annual World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs. I especially recognize Mr. Hiroshi Taka and his many colleagues who have worked so diligently over the years for the success of these Conferences.
I pay my deepest respects to the memories of those who perished here on this day 69 years ago. I also express my profound gratitude to the hibakusha for their tireless efforts to remind the world of the inhumanity of these horrible weapons of mass destruction. I will never forget my meetings with these resilient and principled individuals who have done so much for our collective future.
By helping millions of people to understand the tragic human consequences of using these weapons, the hibakusha have contributed to a broad-based campaign of diverse groups in civil society joining forces to rid the world of nuclear arms.
Thanks in no small part to their efforts, we have witnessed a growing outpouring of concern shared both by the public and most governments about the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons.
Getting rid of these weapons would benefit all people everywhere, offering the only absolute guarantee against any future use. Realizing this goal would free us from another nuclear nightmare while unleashing immeasurable social, economic, environmental, human rights and security dividends.
I commend each of you for your contributions to this great cause and wish you every success as we continue our shared struggle to realize a world free of nuclear weapons.