Every year on August 6th millions of people all around the world gather in solemn contemplation and remembrance of the anniversary of the devastating atomic bomb which the United States dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima in 1945. More than 70 years on and survivors and victims from that explosion as well as from other nuclear blasts, tests, accidents, and also those affected by other forms of warfare, pledge themselves to work for a nuclear-free world. Together with fellow MEP Afzal Khan I regularly take part in a ceremony in Manchester (a Nuclear-Free Local Authority) reading testimonies and poems with faith leaders and peace campaigners. We also read the UN Peace Pledge (see below)
The UN Peace Affirmation
Affirmation adapted from the declaration delivered outside the United Nations Second Special Session on Disarmament, 1982 (the conference from which the Mayors for Peace organisation was formed) http://www.mayorsforpeace.org
We today declare our hope in the future.
From the diversity of our cultural and religious traditions,
We have come to renew our belief in the wholeness of the earth and the sanctity of all life.
We declare we are at peace with all people of good will.
We need no leader to define for us any enemy,
Nor to tell us what we need security for and defence against.
Instead, we affirm that our earth’s security rests not in the continuing production of
In the justice of adequate housing and food,
In the justice of meaningful education and work,
In the justice of an economic order that gives everyone access to our earth’s abundance,
In the justice of human relationships, nourished by co-operation,
In the justice of safe, clean and renewable energy.
We affirm people over property, community over individualism,
Respect for others in all their diversity.
We choose struggle rather than indifference.
We choose to be friends of the earth and of one another, rather than exploiters.
We choose to be citizens rather than subjects.
We choose a nuclear weapons free future,
And we will settle for nothing less.
Before us today are set life and death.
We choose life that we and those that come after us may live.
Let it be so.