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Hibakusha Stories team member Setsuko Thurlow was given the honor of giving the final remarks upon the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons by the negotiations president Elayne Whyte Gómez.
Delegates, NGO colleagues, dear friends, I never thought I would see this moment. I would like to share my gratitude for the exceptional work and dedication of everyone who has put their brains and their hearts into these treaty negotiations.
I am grateful to you Madame President for your leadership and the UN Secretariat, the delegations and NGOs, devoted to moving us ever closer to the goal of the total elimination of nuclear weapons.
As we gather in our celebration of this extraordinary achievement, let us pause for a moment to feel the witness of those who perished in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Both at that time in August of 1945, and over these 72 years, hundreds of thousands of people, each person who died had a name. Each person was loved by someone.
I’ve been waiting for this day for 7 decades. And I am overjoyed that it has finally arrived. This is a beginning of the end of nuclear weapons. I remember back in 2014 when many of us met in Nayarit, Mexico. The conference chair said, “this is a point of no return”.
We will not return to the failed nuclear deterrence policies.
We will not return to funding nuclear violence instead of human needs.
We will not return to irreversibly contaminating our environment.
We will not continue to risk the life of future generations.
To the leaders of the countries across the world, I bessecch you, if you love this planet, you will sign this treaty. Nuclear weapons has always been immoral. Now they are also illegal. Together let us go forth and change the world.