August, 2015 marks 70 years since the atomic bomb was dropped on the civilian population of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On the evening of May 22, 2015, after almost a month of grueling and intensive debates and negotiations, The United Nations failed to achieve the consensus necessary for the adoption of the Draft Final Document of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, stalemating efforts to fulfill the United Nations Charter opening declaration “to save humanity from the scourge of war.” This failure resulted from the refusal, by the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada, to join a consensus on adopting the final document of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
The heart of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Article VI states: “Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.”
Victims of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had earlier given testimony describing the horrors of the nuclear attack. Hisako Kimura of Hiroshima stated: “Nuclear weapons must be eliminated without further delay. The dropping of an atom bomb on human beings is the most horrifying act that mankind has ever experienced, and it is a crime that we must not repeat. Nuclear weapons are the most inhumane weapons, and they take away our capacity to live as human beings.”
Kodama Michiko, Hiroshima testified: “I saw someone whose skin was hideously burnt and peeling off. I saw a mother carrying a baby burnt like charcoal. Even the mother herself was heavily burnt all over her body. As she tried to flee from the place she was almost crawling on the ground. Some people’s eyeballs had popped out, while others were trying to escape holding their own protruding intestines in their hands. ” Shigemitsu Tanaka of Nagasaki testified: “The atomic bombs turned Hiroshima and Nagasaki into cities of death. The extremely high heat rays vaporized human beings or burned them alive. The radiation completely destroyed human bodies….The Japanese government opened relief and rescue stations for only two months. The US government refused the request from the Red Cross and tried to cover up the brutal condition under the Press Code. Two years later, the US government established the ABCC (Atomic Bomb Casualties Commission) and examined about 110 Hibakusha as guinea pigs for its research and never gave them any treatment.”
Despite the devastating testimony by the victims of the nuclear bombing, despite the anguished and desperate statements delivered by the more than 150 countries who do not possess nuclear weapons, despite powerful and principled statements of commitment to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty by both Mikhail L. Uliyanov, Head of the Delegation of the Russian Federation, and by the head of the Chinese Delegation, Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong, despite the eloquent and impassioned statement by Austria that: “It is in the interest of the very survival of humanity that nuclear weapons are never used again under any circumstances…..The only absolute guarantee against the threat posed by nuclear weapons is their prohibition and their total elimination.” Despite the concurrence stated by Chinese Ambassador Fu Cong: “The fundamental solution to address the issue of security assurances is complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons,” despite the brilliant statement by Jackie Cabasso on behalf of “Peace and Planet Mobilization for a Nuclear-Free, Peaceful, Just and Sustainable world, despite the almost universal awareness that a nuclear holocaust would destroy humanity and the planet, the obstruction of consensus by three states, two of whom possess nuclear weapons, doomed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to oblivion on May 22, leaving the entire world vulnerable to the insanity of any nuclear state which makes the fatal decision to begin a nuclear war, or to provoke a nuclear war.
The failure of this year’s attempt to re-enforce and strengthen the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty sharpens the deadly trajectory pointing toward nuclear Armageddon. The documentary video which follows examines the causes and consequences of this ominous and necrophiliac refusal to eliminate nuclear weapons.
By Carla Stea