ATOM Project Honorary Ambassador seeks renewed nuclear disarmament commitment on Hiroshima, Nagasaki anniversaries
August 6, 2018
Seventy-three years ago this week the world experienced what had previously been unimaginable. The United States exploded two nuclear weapons over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing 129,000 people and marking the dawn of the nuclear-weapons age.
“My thoughts and my heart are with the people of Japan,” said The ATOM Project Honorary Ambassador Karipbek Kuyukov. “The death and destruction experienced by the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 can never be repeated.”
These tragic bombings unleashed a nuclear arms race that has yet to end and have forced humanity to live under constant threat of annihilation. From an arms race between world powers, to the development of nuclear weapons by rogue actors to attempts by terrorists to gain access to nuclear weapons-building materials, we all still live under the nuclear weapons threat.
“Nuclear weapons represent the worst of man’s inhumanity to man. We must all do what we can to not only prevent the use of nuclear weapons but to permanently end nuclear weapons testing,” said Kuyukov.
Karipbek Kuyukov is himself a victim of nuclear weapons. Not of Hiroshima or Nagasaki, but of the more than 450 Soviet-era nuclear weapons tests conducted in Kazakhstan over four decades. Kuyukov’s parents were among the countless number of Kazakhs and others around the world exposed to nuclear weapons testing.
As a result, Kuyukov was born without arms. He has overcome that challenge, however, to become a renowned artist and internationally recognised nuclear disarmament activist. He has devoted his art to capturing the images of nuclear-weapons-testing victims and his life’s work to ending the nuclear-weapons threat.
“A nuclear weapons-free world is possible. My home country, Kazakhstan, inherited what was then the fourth-largest nuclear arsenal in the world following the collapse of the Soviet Union. But we gave up that arsenal and became a peaceful international partner. It is possible for other nuclear weapon states to do the same,” the activist said.
Kuyukov and The ATOM Project on the solemn anniversary of the tragic Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings encourage people around the world to honor the memory of those victims by reaffirming their commitment to achieving a nuclear weapons-free world.