Today, August 6, 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and, three days later, Nagasaki. Earlier this year, ICRC President Peter Maurer and Tadateru Konoe, President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and of the Japanese Red Cross, visited Hiroshima together and later reflected on the human cost of nuclear weapons in an interview featured in an upcoming edition of the International Review of the Red Cross.
Consider a shocking reality: today, 70 years after the atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Red Cross hospitals are still treating thousands of survivors for the after-effects of radiation and nearly two-thirds of deaths among them are due to cancer.
Yet the two nuclear bombs which caused such untold human suffering and devastation were small compared to most of the bombs in the arsenals of nuclear-armed States today. What more compelling argument could there be for the international community to redouble its failing efforts to secure a timetable to prohibit the use of and ensure the complete elimination of nuclear weapons?
In their interview, Presidents Maurer and Konoe discuss the Movement’s work toward the elimination of nuclear weapons and the challenges ahead for nuclear disarmament. "It is clear that these weapons must be eliminated once and for all. Many people understand this in theory, but after visiting Hiroshima and Nagasaki and hearing the voices of survivors, perhaps others would better understand what we are talking about" said Konoe.