Austrian Foreign Minister Kurz and Secretary General of the Austrian Red Cross Kerschbaum call for eradication of nuclear weapons

 

The following joint statement was made on the 71st anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki“

The 71st anniversary marking the devastating events which took place in Hiroshima and Nagasaki should encourage us to intensify efforts in international nuclear disarmament, particularly in the light of current geopolitical tensions. The great dangers arising from these weapons have by no means been eliminated yet. For this reason we have to continue to vehemently work towards a worldwide ban on and eradication of nuclear weapons”, said Austrian Foreign Minister Kurz on the occasion of the anniversary of the atomic bombing of the Japanese towns of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which took place on 6 and 9 August 1945, respectively.

“The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement calls for all nations of the world to make sure that nuclear weapons are never used again“, said Werner Kerschbaum, Secretary General of the Austrian Red Cross. “Nuclear weapons are one of the greatest threats to humanity - even if many people remain unaware of this threat. There are currently 2000 nuclear warheads ready for use worldwide“, said Kerschbaum. Their destructive force could annihilate the earth many times over. Each deployment of nuclear weapons would have catastrophic effects. The enormous heat, huge blast, radiation, the climate change caused by the explosion and the subsequent crop failures would claim millions of lives, make vast stretches of land uninhabitable and create a massive wave of refugees.

Effective aid to the victims of nuclear weapons is not possible. Those working for the Red Cross and other organisations as well as at healthcare facilities would themselves become victims. “The only effective strategy against such weapons is prevention: they need to be banned and destroyed so that they are never used, also in the interest of a credible humanitarian international law”, claimed the Secretary General.   

“In 2014 Austria has started an appeal to stigmatize and eradicate nuclear weapons and ban them under international law. 127 countries have already joined this initiative. The assertion of this demand is particularly important to me on the occasion of the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki“, concluded Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz.  

 

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