Saturday, August 28, 2010

What was left unsaid at the atomic bombings commemoration at Hiroshima this year...

Japan Focus has posted Yoshibumi Wakamiya's "What was left unsaid about the atomic bombings: silence and the politics of commemoration" which explores uncomfortable, painful issues left unspoken at the atomic bombings commemoration in Hiroshima this year.

Today, at her Peace Philosophy Center blog, Satoko Norimatsu questions why UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon did not mention a Nuclear Weapons Convention when he spoke in Hiroshima:
I was at the Riverside Church on May 1 to hear Ban's speech, which was powerful, convincing, and inspiring, so this is probably why I was not as excited as the other people at the Hiroshima ceremony were about his speech on August 6. Apparently, Ban avoided talking directly about the Convention idea at the main UN conference in order not to upset the nuclear weapons states too much.

That was understandable, but why did he avoid it again in his speech in the city, which is regarded by many as the international capital for nuclear abolition movements? Was he too considerate to the presence of U.S. Ambassador John Roos at the ceremony? It has been reported that Ban made a phone call to the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at some point when he was in Japan this summer.

Whatever the reason was, we need to be vigilant about the forces that disable Ban from talking about a Nuclear Weapons Convention in the ceremony hosted by Hiroshima City, a co-leader of Mayors for Peace, an organization of 4,000+ mayors around the world committed to the idea of a Nuclear Weapons Convention and the total abolition of nuclear weapons by the year 2020.

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