SHAFAQNA – The continuing threat posed by weapons of mass destruction is to be the theme of this year’s Genocide Memorial Day with the mayor of Hiroshima delivering a keynote speech.
Established in 2010, Genocide Memorial Day is intended to give people an opportunity to recall man’s inhumanity to man. It is unique in that remembrance is not limited by the background of either the victims of the genocides or the perpetrators of any of the genocides. GMD rejects the notion that there is a hierarchy of victim depending on their background.
This year’s theme for GMD is ‘Genocidal Weapons of Mass Destruction’. The keynote speech will be delivered by Dr Tadatoshi Akiba, former mayor of the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Along with Nagasaki, Hiroshima carries the dubious distinction of being the only city to have ever been attacked with a nuclear weapon.
Also featuring will be Professor Ramon Grosfoguel, a leading light in the field of decolonial studies, and Dr Enver Tohti, a prominent researcher on the topic of nuclear weapons testing in China.
Once again this year GMD will expand to more cities around the world. This is evidence that global awareness of genocide as a phenomenon that concerns humanity as a whole is increasing.
Raza Kazim of IHRC said: “This year we continue to further our aim of ensuring that GMD is not merely a commemorative space but provides a platform to raise awareness of genocidal policies, so that we can truly embody the ‘Never Again’ ethos. The existence of nuclear weapons and over-emphasis on militarisation is a threat to the security of every human being, and thus in violation of basic principles of human rights. We therefore hope that community members and leaders from all backgrounds will join us in providing a unified response against the possession and use of genocidal weapons of mass destruction by all nations.”