The nightmare of nuclear holocaust has haunted mankind ever since the macabre tragedy that befell Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945 respectively. The two bombs, no doubt, put an end to the catastrophic World War II but in the bargain destroyed over 120,000 lives in Hiroshima and) 70,000 in Nagasaki with a much larger number suffering from debilitating radiation effects since then. The tragedy was so awfully gruesome and shockingly inhuman that even after 40 years one shudders to recall it. The feat of its repetition leaves one utterly paralyzed, particularly in view of the fact that nuclear power is no more the exclusive domain of the United States. Nearly a dozen countries have already acquired this monstrous power, while others are anxiously exploring the possibilities of acquiring it.

With each passing day we are getting closer to the brink of a smouldering volcano where just one push of a button can unleash hell and reduce this beautiful, vibrant planet to a grisly graveyard.

Proliferation of the nuclear ball has aggravated this perilous situation. The ball can go off accidentally or a leader with distorted vision can spell disaster. None can guarantee that all leaders would be rational all the time. For forty years we have managed to avoid the catastrophe, but for 40 years this mad race for superior weapons has been relentlessly going on resulting in stupendous waste of resources. How utterly irrational is this wastage when perhaps one third of human race is suffering from starvation, illiteracy, disease, inadequate housing, low levels of economic development and general deterioration.

The laudable initiative taken by Mayors Takeshi Araki of Hiroshima and Kitoshi Motoshima of Nagasaki in hosting the first World conference of Mayors needs all the cooperation and support to dispel the menace of gathering nuclear gloom.

Eighty seven Mayors from various countries have resolved to establish closer solidarity among the cities of the World and hope to awaken a concern for the eradication of nuclear arms and thus contribute toward the establishment of a lasting world peace. The Mayors appeal to the world to ensure that Nagasaki should remain in the history of mankind as the last city to have suffered nuclear devastation can be ignored only at the risk of complete annihilation of our species.

Article extracted from this publication >>  August 16, 1985