Statement on Anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Bombings

Vienna, Austria

by IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano

It is 65 years since the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were obliterated in just a few moments by the most lethal bombs the world had ever seen.

As a human being - and particularly as a citizen of the only country ever to suffer such a nuclear catastrophe - I believe with all my heart and soul that these horrific weapons must be eliminated.

It is right and proper to mark these anniversaries with solemn words of remembrance. It is also a time to renew our commitment to concrete action.

And so as Director General of the IAEA I am making my own, personal commitment to redouble efforts towards a world free of nuclear weapons. There are four elements to this commitment:

First. With its knowledge and experience, the IAEA will work to facilitate the implementation of disarmament - for example by helping to build confidence through verifying independently that nuclear materials from dismantled weapons are never again used for military purposes.

The Agency played this role in 1993, when South Africa turned its back on nuclear weapons. It is ready, where called on, to play its part again.

Second. The IAEA will work, when requested, to support the creation of new Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones and continue to help in implementing such Zones. These already cover vast parts of the world; perhaps in future we could see a Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone in the Middle East.

Third. The Agency┬┤s safeguards inspectors will continue to work around the globe to check that nuclear materials from civilian nuclear programmes are not diverted to nuclear weapons.

Fourth. IAEA security experts will redouble efforts to work with countries to help prevent nuclear materials from falling into the hands of terrorist groups. The nuclear threat does not only exist at the level of nation states.

The names "Hiroshima" and "Nagasaki" have gone down in history as shorthand for nuclear devastation. We owe their victims this commitment: that we will do everything in our power to make sure we never see another Hiroshima, another Nagasaki.

Last update: 21 October 2014