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Hiroshima Day

Webinar series commemorating the 75th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The atomic bombs that exploded over Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August 1945 caused unspeakable suffering and devastation. For the last 75 years, humanity has lived under the dark shadow of these uniquely horrific and terrifying tools of war.

From 2 to 6 August, Australian Red Cross and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Australia, held a series of webinars to commemorate the anniversary, to honour the memory of the hundreds of thousands of victims of these atomic bombings, and to call on States to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

We are not prepared to deal with the humanitarian catastrophe that would occur if nuclear weapons were to be used again. A nuclear explosion would leave people helpless. Yet, the risk that nuclear weapons may be used is frighteningly high—and is increasing. Knowing our inability to respond to the consequences of a nuclear explosion, any risk of use of nuclear weapons is unacceptable.

What we cannot prepare for, we must prevent. It is high time that we take urgent action to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons. 

Watch our webinar series to learn more about the use of nuclear weapons, the stories of those who survived the bombings and hte nuclear weapons testing in Australia in the 1950 sand 1960s, and to learn about what you can do to support the campaign to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons. 

Professor Tilman Ruff

2 August 2020

Professor Tilman Ruff AO opened the webinar series by sharing his insights on the journey to developing the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and why it is so important that all States sign and ratify the treaty.

Professor Ruff is Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne and Co-President of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW, Nobel Peace Prize 1985). Tilman is a co-founder and the founding chair of ICAN.

Dr Eve Massingham

3 August 2020

Dr Eve Massingham shared her insights on the approach that States should take to nuclear weapons in consideration of their obligation to 'ensure respect for international humanitarian law' under Common Article 1 of the Geneva Conventions of 1949.

Dr Massingham is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Queensland. She has been an ARC volunteer, staff and/or member since 1999 and worked, in particular, on the ARC nuclear weapons campaign from 2010-2014. She has recently returned to Australia from working for the ICRC in East and Southern Africa from 2016-2019. Eve is the coeditor of a forthcoming book (Routledge, 2020) on the obligation to ensure respect for international humanitarian law and in the book, and previously in her PhD, she has looked at the legality of nuclear weapons and the approach that States have taken to them through an ‘ensure respect’ lens.

Professor Dale Stephens

4 August 2020

Professor Dale Stephens outlined his thoughts on the legality of the use of nuclear weapons pursuant to international humanitarian law and how we might operationalise the provisions of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols to encourage a shift away from the use of nuclear weapons.

Professor Stephens is a Professor of Law at the University of Adelaide Law School. He obtained his Law degree (LL.B (Hons.)) from Adelaide University in 1988. In 1989, he was admitted as a legal practitioner to the Supreme Court of South Australia. That same year he also joined the Royal Australian Navy. His operational deployments include East Timor and Iraq. He has been awarded the Conspicuous Service Medal (CSM), the (US) Bronze Star and the (US) Meritorious Service Medal. He attained the rank of Captain in the Navy before transferring to the Reserve. In 2004 Professor Stephens completed an LL.M from Harvard Law School (HLS) and taught at the U.S. Naval War College during the 2004/5 academic year. In 2014 he was awarded his Doctorate (SJD) from HLS. In 2013, Professor Stephens was appointed to an academic position at the University of Adelaide. He is currently Director of the Adelaide Research Unit on Military Law and Ethics and Head of the SA/NT Navy Legal Panel. He is a fellow of the Australian Academy of Law.

Karina Lester

5 August 2020

Karina Lester, a Yankunytjatjara Anangu woman from the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands (APY Lands) in the far North West of South Australia, shared her late father's and grandmother's stories of the British Nuclear Tests in the 1950s and 1960s, and a moving account of the impact of this weapons testing on her people and community.

Ms Lester is a keen anti-nuclear activist and speaks strongly about the impacts felt by her people. Her recent works have been with the Nobel Peace Prize Award Recipients ICAN UN Treaty Negotiations; SA Royal Commission into International Waste Storage facility and the National Waste Storage facility – WE SAY NO! Campaign. In 2018 Karina joined the list of ICAN Ambassadors along with current Ambassadors Robert Tickner – ex Australian director of the Australian Red Cross and the former federal Labor Aboriginal Affairs Minister, Scott Ludlam – ex Greens spokesperson on nuclear issues and Melissa Parke – ex federal Labor MP for Fremantle and international human rights lawyer.

Isao Morimoto

6 August 2020

Isao Morimoto shared the personal story of his mother's survival of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and how he has continued her esteemed advocacy and education work. 

Isao Morimoto’s mother Junko Morimoto was 13 years old when she survived the attack on Hiroshima. Isao and Junko migrated to Australia in the 1980s and Isao was a supporter of Junko’s work as a children’s book author. In 1987, Junko’s book (for children) ‘My Hiroshima’ was published. Isao graduated from the Australian Film and Television school and was director’s assistant in Australian film ‘Blood Oath’, later directed a film titled ‘Ichigensan’ in Japan. After Junko passed away in 2017, Isao created life size prints of Junko’s book My Hiroshima and held an exhibition titled ‘Handover Exhibition’ in Hiroshima city in 2018.