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Simon Coveney blasts Russian ‘nuclear rhetoric’ on 77th anniversary of Hiroshima, Nagasaki bombings

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People release paper lanterns on the Motoyasu River on the 77th anniversary of the bombing, in Hiroshima, Japan. Photo: Kyodo via Reuters

People release paper lanterns on the Motoyasu River on the 77th anniversary of the bombing, in Hiroshima, Japan. Photo: Kyodo via Reuters

People release paper lanterns on the Motoyasu River on the 77th anniversary of the bombing, in Hiroshima, Japan. Photo: Kyodo via Reuters

The world can “delay no longer” and must put nuclear weapons “beyond use”, Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney has said.

Marking the 77th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagaski this weekend, Mr Coveney said nuclear weapons threaten “the safety of humanity and our planet”, and blasted Russia’s “nuclear rhetoric” and threats as “wholly unacceptable”.

“Today, we commemorate all those who lost their lives in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We pay tribute to the dignity, courage and resilience of those who survived. We also recall the other victims and survivors of thousands of nuclear tests that occurred in the second half of the 20th century,” said Mr Coveney.

He said the world is once again facing “heightened nuclear danger” 77 years after the “utter destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki”.

“Russia has threatened use of nuclear weapons in the conduct of its war of aggression against Ukraine. Russia’s nuclear rhetoric, as well as its reckless military actions in and near civilian nuclear facilities, are wholly unacceptable.

“The risks posed by these actions serve as an urgent reminder that the lack of progress on nuclear disarmament undermines global security,” Mr Coveney said.

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) came into force in 1970 - its origins arriving out of a number of resolutions presented by Ireland to the UN General Assembly from 1958–1961.

This month, representatives of 191 governments, including Ireland, meet in New York to review the treaty’s implementation and chart the course for the way forward.

"Despite the current difficult context, it is vital that countries meeting in the framework of the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in New York, agree concrete actions on nuclear disarmament, including urgent action to reduce nuclear risks,” said Mr Coveney.

"We can delay no longer. These indiscriminate weapons, which threaten the safety of humanity and our planet, must be put beyond use. Ireland is ready to work with all states to progress this goal.”

Hiroshima Day will be marked today with an annual ceremony organised by civil society at Dublin’s Merrion Square.

While the exact number of direct deaths of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is not known, it’s estimated the two atomic bombs killed between 130,000 and 220,000 people.

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It is estimated that at least 65,000 to 70,000 of those were killed on the first days the bombs were dropped on August 6 and August 9.


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