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Red Cross Oration: 'A nuclear weapons-free world'

Thursday 14 November 2013

Our ability to destroy ourselves is the greatest threat

Dr Tadatoshi Akiba, former Mayor of Hiroshima and advocate for the elimination of nuclear weapons, presenting for the 2013 Red Cross Oration.

This week, Dr Tadatoshi Akiba, presented the annual 2013 Red Cross Oration, 'A Nuclear Weapons-Free World: A Perfect Vision with a Deadline' in both Sydney and Hobart.

The former Mayor of Hiroshima and anti-nuclear advocate gave a lively and impassioned address calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons. Drawing on the horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Dr Akiba recounted the spirit of Hibakusha -survivors of the bombs which devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They have made it their life mission to ensure that no one should suffer as they did.

Dr Akiba said that although the last of the Hibakushas are now elderly, telling their stories had raised awareness around the world encouraging, "the younger generation themselves to realise the world situation and the role they must play to improve it."

"The destructive force of the world's nuclear arsenal is now far greater than the bombs used to destroy Hiroshima. Collectively, the threat approximates to 150,000 Hiroshima bombs."

Dr Tadatoshi Akiba with Robert Tickner, CEO Australian Red Cross, following the 2013 Red Cross Oration in Sydney this week.

In his closing remarks, Robert Tickner, CEO Australian Red Cross, reiterated Red Cross Red Crescent's commitment to the abolition of nuclear arms.

"Never again should the world revisit the humanitarian and environmental tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And we must do all we can to prevent it."

Australian Red Cross has played an integral part in Red Cross Red Crescent's call for an international convention to make the use of nuclear weapons illegal under international law.

Australian Red Cross would like to thank the University of Tasmania for once again supporting the Oration, this year both in Sydney and Hobart. We appreciate the ongoing support of the university in helping us to advance public understanding of contemporary issues that impact all of us.

Read more about our campaign to ban the use of nuclear weapons.