Never again: Nagasaki must be the last atomic bombing

Appeal by the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement

On 24-26 April, leaders and experts of 35 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, their International Federation, and the ICRC, met in Nagasaki to reaffirm the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement's long opposition to nuclear weapons and to commit to intensify efforts to ensure that nuclear weapons are never again used, and that they are prohibited and eliminated. The Nagasaki Conference welcomed the ongoing negotiations at the UN of a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination. In addition to adopting an action plan to guide their efforts and stimulate greater engagement by all National Societies in the months and years ahead, participants in the Nagasaki Conference issued the public Appeal that follows:

We, leaders and representatives of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement participating in the Conference on the Prohibition and Elimination of Nuclear Weapons in Nagasaki, congratulate the 132 States that have so far participated in the UN negotiations to prohibit nuclear weapons.  We urge all other States to take part in the next phase of these negotiations in June-July 2017.  All nations have a responsibility to their populations and to future generations to faithfully use this opportunity to shape the course of history.

We have witnessed the past devastation and heard of the ongoing physical and psychological suffering of thousands of Hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) 72 years on. 

We know that the destructive capacity of nuclear weapons in arsenals today is many times greater than the bombs used in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  The risk that nuclear weapons will again be used by intent, miscalculation or accident is higher than most people realize and ever increasing.  The threat to humanity is beyond imagination.

We deplore that tremendous financial and human resources continue to be invested in modernizing and maintaining nuclear weapons, resources that should be dedicated to preserving life.

We therefore appeal to all States to use the unprecedented window of opportunity to take a decisive step towards a world without nuclear weapons.

We are standing at the brink of what will be the turning point in efforts to end the era of nuclear weapons.  By negotiating and adopting a treaty that recognizes the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons and contains a clear and unambiguous prohibition, States have the opportunity to ensure that Nagasaki is the last place in history to have suffered the effects of an atomic bombing.  Prohibiting nuclear weapons will strengthen current nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation efforts.

Achieving a world without nuclear weapons is an obligation to future generations and imperative to preserve our common humanity.  Weapons that risk catastrophic humanitarian consequences cannot possibly be viewed as providing peoples’ security.  Protecting humanity requires courage, commitment and concerted action:  it is time to put humanity first by prohibiting and completely eliminating nuclear weapons.

Nagasaki, 26 April 2017

Participating National Societies:
Algerian Red Crescent
Australian Red Cross
Austrian Red Cross
Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society
Bangladesh Red Crescent Society
Belgian Red Cross
Costa Rican Red Cross
Danish Red Cross
Fiji Red Cross
German Red Cross
Indonesian Red Cross
Red Crescent of Iran
Iraqi Red Crescent
Magen David Adom in Israel
Italian Red Cross
Japanese Red Cross Society
Jordan Red Crescent
Kazakh Red Crescent
Latvian Red Cross
Lebanese Red Cross
Micronesian Red Cross
Netherlands Red Cross
Nigerian Red Cross
Norwegian Red Cross
Philippines Red Cross
Qatar Red Crescent
Red Cross of Serbia
South African Red Cross
Swedish Red Cross
Thai Red Cross
Trinidad and Tobago Red Cross, on behalf of 13 Caribbean National Societies
Turkish Red Crescent
Vanuatu Red Cross
Vietnam Red Cross

International Committee of the Red Cross
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies


Nagasaki Appeal, International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement

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