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HIROSHIMA DAY: 72 YEARS SINCE U.S. DROPPED ATOMIC BOMB, CAN THE WORLD BAN NUCLEAR WEAPONS? via Newsweek

In the morning of August 6, 1945, the world witnessed the devastating impact of nuclear weapons for the very first time, when a U.S. plane dropped the atomic bomb “Little Boy” on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.

Around 140,000 people died as a consequence of the bombing—both in the immediate aftermath and because of the long-term effects of radiation—and another 74,000 were killed when another U.S. plane bombed the city of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945.

A rare opportunity to prevent the horror of a nuclear attack from ever happening again has emerged 72 years since the threat of a nuclear war started hanging over humanity. On July 7, 122 of the 193 members of the United Nations General Assembly agreed on a draft treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons.

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The treaty bans the deployment, development, testing, production, manufacturing, and possession of nuclear weapons, as well as forbidding assistance to other states in nuclear weapons development and setting compensation to victims and environment remediation.

At least 50 states need to ratify the treaty—which opens for signatures on September 20— before it comes into effect. Notably, none of the nine countries known to possess the world’s 15,000 nuclear warheads (the U.S., the U.K., Russia, Israel, France, Pakistan, India, China and North Korea) participated in the process or adopted the convention. Regardless, ICAN and other campaigning groups are encouraging world governments to sign on.

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Even during the presidency of Barack Obama, who made history as the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima since the atomic bomb attack, the U.S. strongly opposed the treaty. Obama however expressed his wish for a nuclear weapons-free world in a message he wrote in the guest book of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.

Read more at HIROSHIMA DAY: 72 YEARS SINCE U.S. DROPPED ATOMIC BOMB, CAN THE WORLD BAN NUCLEAR WEAPONS?

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