The IAEA and other international organisations in Vienna, Austria, held a commemorative ceremony today in remembrance of the nuclear bombings inflicted on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
This coincides with IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano´s participation in similar ceremonies in Japan where he spoke of the need for total disarmament to finally become a reality.
Addressing the gathering at the Vienna International Centre, Deputy Director General Ana María Cetto echoed his sentiments, saying disarmament is the only way forward.
"We cannot allow six-and-a-half decades to soften our memories of how devastating such weapons are. The best protection against nuclear weapons, and the only way to prevent future Hiroshimas and Nagasakis, is to bring about an end to all nuclear weapons."
Although she lamented the lack of widespread resolve to move in this direction, the Deputy Director General acknowledged that there had been encouraging signs. "Despite continuing challenges, there are symbols of hope and indicators of the path to follow - the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons is almost universal, five nuclear-weapon-free zones cover all of the landmass of the southern hemisphere, and now also include six countries in the northern hemisphere; and there seems to be momentum for moving towards a world with fewer nuclear weapons."