Peace and disarmament organisations around the world commemorated the 75th anniversaries of Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombings on August 6 and 9 with numerous events and actions.

A number of these highlighted the role of the nuclear weapons industry in maintaining and expanding the nuclear arms race, and promoted the Move the Nuclear Weapons Money campaign. The campaign works to cut nuclear weapons budgets and investments, and move these to instead support peace, public health, economic recovery, climate protection and sustainable development.

In Amsterdam, for example, nuclear disarmament campaigners organised a Hiroshima Day event in front of the Euronext Stock exchange calling on investors to stop investing in corporations manufacturing nuclear weapons. This includes several (Airbus, Boeing, Saffran and Thales) which are traded on Euronext.

The event also used an inter-active #3DnukeMissile to highlight the risks of nuclear weapons (including those deployed in Netherlands), oppose new nuclear weapons and promote nuclear abolition.

Nuclear disarmament campaigners on the inter-active #3DnukeMissile in front of the Euronext Stock Exchange in Amsterdam

Switzerland nuclear weapons divestment

In Switzerland, an event held in Heiden on Nagasaki Day in front at the Henri Dunant Museum also highlighted the Move the Nuclear Weapons Money campaign. Marzhan Nurzhan, Deputy Director of the Basel Peace Office, spoke at the event about the humanitarian impact of nuclear tests – more then 450 of which were conducted in her home country of Kazakhstan – and highlighted the massive nuclear weapons budget and for what it could instead be used. (For a Swiss-German media report on the event see «Ich bin zutiefst berührt»: Friedensglocke in Heiden erklingt in Erinnerung an den Atombombenabwurf auf Nagasaki vor 75 Jahren).

Switzerland is one of four countries which has adopted nuclear weapons divestment policies at federal level, having adopted legislation in 2013 to prohibit financing of prohibited war materials, i.e. nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, anti-personnel mines and cluster munitions. This has led to divestment by most Swiss pension funds from the nuclear weapons industry.

Marzhan Nurzhan rings the Nagasaki Peace Bell on August 9 at the Henri Dunant Museum in Heiden, Switzerland.

Parliamentary/legislative actions

A number of legislators (parliamentarians) active in the Move the Nuclear Weapons Money campaign also led parliamentary actions for the Hiroshima and Nagasaki commemorations.

U.S. Senator Ed Markey, a Co-President of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND), released a statement on Hiroshima Day noting the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of the Hiroshima/Nagasaki explosions and the 2000 nuclear test detonations since 1945, and calling on the United States to ‘ ensure that the events of August 1945 will never be repeated .’ Senator Markey is author of the Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditure (SANE) Act which calls for a slashing of the U.S. nuclear weapons budget in order to fund renewable energy, health, education and a sustainble economy.

Bill Kidd MSP, another Co-President of PNND, introduced a motion in the Scottish Parliament commemorating the 75th anniversaries of Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings and highlighting the humanitarian impact of any use of nuclear weapons. Mr Kidd was one of the core members of the Count the Nuclear Weapons Money action in New York last October.

Bill Kidd (MSP) with Vanda Proskova at the Count the Nuclear Weapons Money action in New York, UN Disarmament Week, 2019