Hiroshima Day: Call for Nuclear Disarmament

05 August 2005

The Uniting Church urges all Australians to reflect on the horrors of nuclear weapons and calls on our political leaders to commit to total nuclear disarmament as the world remembers the 60th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima this weekend.

Uniting Church President, the Rev. Dr Dean Drayton, said Hiroshima Day was the most important reminder that nuclear weapons are weapons of terror which kill innocent civilians and threaten world peace.

"Six decades after the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki we are concerned that our memories of these horrors, which continue to effect people even today, have grown dim. While the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) has gone some way to addressing the threat of nuclear war, there are still about 30,000 nuclear warheads ready for use and about 5000 of these are on hair-trigger alert. At the same time the Treaty itself is being threatened from many sides.

"The staggering loss of life in 1945 should be a reminder to all of us that there is no room for human error when it comes to nuclear weapons. As we take time to reflect on our history this Saturday, I ask all Australians to join the call for global nuclear disarmament," Rev. Drayton said.

At its Tenth Assembly in 2003, the Uniting Church stated its belief that genuine global security will only ever be achieved by working for an end to the arms trade, preventing the proliferation of nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction and requiring progressive disarmament of all nations.

"The Church believes that the ownership, use, or threatened use, of nuclear weapons is evil and threatens peace. In an increasingly unstable global environment it is now more important than ever that Australia continues to work toward total nuclear disarmament," Rev. Drayton said.

"Because we hope for a world without conflict and violence, I ask Australians to show their support for complete nuclear disarmament by joining one of the many Hiroshima Day events being planned across the country this weekend."