Urges Concrete Steps Toward Nuclear Weapons Free World
For Immediate Release: May 10, 2016
Media Contacts: Daryl G. Kimball, executive director, (202) 463-8270 ext. 107
(Washington, D.C.)—Today the White House announced that on May 27 President Barack Obama will become the first serving U.S. president to visit Hiroshima and its Peace Memorial Park, which honors the victims of the world’s first atomic bombings seventy years ago.
In an announcement of the visit, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes wrote that the president will “reaffirm America’s longstanding commitment — and the President’s personal commitment — to pursue the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons,” and “offer a forward-looking vision focused on our shared future.”
“We applaud President Obama's decision to visit Hiroshima, in part to recognize the innocent victims of war and, in particular, the experience and work of atomic bomb survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki—the hibakusha—who have worked tirelessly to remind the world why nuclear weapons must never be used again,” said Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the independent, non-partisan Arms Control Association.
“Just as importantly, he should use the opportunity to map out concrete actions the United States and other countries can and will pursue to move closer to a world free of nuclear weapons,” said Kimball, who visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August of last year.
“With just months remaining, Obama can still make a positive impact but only if he is more creative and is prepared to provide bolder leadership,” Kimball wrote in an editorial earlier this month, which describes key steps the president could announce.
As President Obama winds up his time in office, tensions with Russia are high, and further nuclear arms talks are on hold; no multilateral disarmament talks are underway; the door to further nuclear testing remains open; and a new technological arms race involving the world’s nuclear-armed states is underway
“Obama’s visit to Japan represents one of his last and best opportunities to take steps necessary to head off a new phase of global arms competition and establish a more meaningful legacy on nuclear disarmament,” according to Kimball.
Ten days after President Obama’s visit to Japan, on June 6, the Arms Control Association’s Annual Meeting will feature as keynote speakers Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes and one of the most prominent and active Hiroshima survivors, Setsuko Thurlow. Details are online here.
The Arms Control Association is an independent, membership-based organization dedicated to providing authoritative information and practical policy solutions to address the threats posed by the world's most dangerous weapons.