U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to speak on nuclear abolition from Hiroshima on August 6

by Yumi Kanazaki, Staff Writer

The City of Hiroshima has announced the schedule for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's visit to Hiroshima. Mr. Ban will attend the Peace Memorial Ceremony on August 6 and then deliver a speech on nuclear abolition, an event organized by the City of Hiroshima and Hiroshima Prefecture. He will also hold an exchange with students of Funairi Senior High School in downtown Hiroshima.

Mr. Ban's nearly 50-minute address will start at 10:15 a.m. on August 6 at the International Conference Center Hiroshima in Peace Memorial Park. No prior application for attending the speech is necessary. Seats are available for 500 people on a first-come-first-served basis. The speech will be delivered in English with simultaneous interpretation offered in Japanese.

Secretary-General Ban has been energetic in his actions toward nuclear abolition. He announced a five-point plan for nuclear disarmament in October 2008. At the news conference held on July 26 to outline Mr. Ban's schedule, Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba shared his hopes for the secretary-general's visit, saying, "Secretary-General Ban expressed a strong desire to convey a message on nuclear abolition from Hiroshima. We would also like to use the occasion as an opportunity to make further efforts for nuclear abolition by 2020."

Mr. Ban will arrive in Hiroshima on August 5, from Nagasaki. On August 6, he will attend the Peace Memorial Ceremony for the first time as the U.N. Secretary-General. Plans also call for Mr. Ban to listen to the A-bomb account of an atomic bomb survivor and, in the afternoon, visit Funairi Senior High School to speak about issues of peace with the students.

(Originally published on July 27, 2010)