Nagasaki, Japan

09 August 2015

Message to Peace Memorial Ceremony in Nagasaki

It is my honour to greet all those attending this Peace Memorial Ceremony commemorating 70 years since the bombing of this beautiful city. I thank the organizers and all those who gather here.

The people of this city carry a powerful message for the world: Nagasaki must be the last. We cannot allow any future use of nuclear weapons. Their humanitarian consequences are too great.

I wholeheartedly join you in sounding a global rallying cry: No more Nagasakis. No more Hiroshimas.

When I visited your city five years ago, I was deeply inspired by the strength of its people, who have transformed the awful events of 9 August 1945 into a resounding call for peace.

Nagasaki is united on this point. Your mayors and other elected officials, your civil society groups, your academics, your students and your citizens – led by the hibakusha – have reached out to all corners of the world to unite the international community in pursuit of a world free of nuclear weapons.

I salute the hibakusha. These survivors present the human face of this man-made tragedy, refusing to relent in advocating hope for a better future.

As the average age of the hibakusha passes 80, I feel a growing sense of urgency to honour their legacy by finally ridding the world of nuclear weapons.

My pledge five years ago to stand in solidarity with the citizens of Nagasaki will never waver. I am proactively working to realize our common goal. Seven decades is far too long for the world to have lived in the nuclear shadow.

As Mayor Taue has said, “Nuclear weapons were made by humans, and humans can conquer them; humans can abolish nuclear weapons.”

The United Nations will mobilize the world’s peoples to achieve this goal.