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On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima, the president of the Republic of Slovenia sends a video message to the international community

Ljubljana, 6. 8. 2020 | press release, speech

On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima and at the special invitation of Kazumi Matsui, the Mayor of Hiroshima, the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, participated in the central commemorative ceremony by addressing a video message to the international community.

Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, foreign statesmen took part at the commemorative ceremony only virtually, by sending video messages. Among them was President Pahor, who expressed in his message his commitment to lasting peace and his desire to live in a world without nuclear weapons. The main speaker at the ceremony was Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan, joined by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who also gave a video address. The world leaders participating at the memorial ceremony with their video messages also included President of the Republic of Austria Alexander van der Bellen, President of the Slovak Republic Zuzana Čaputova, President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö.

The commemoration took place on Thursday, 6 August 2020, starting at 5:30 a.m. (local time).

The text of the video message by President Pahor is given below. The spoken word applies!

"Mr. mayor, ladies and gentlemen,

Hiroshima is the embodiment of everything that is wrong with war.

Both, Hiroshima and Nagasaki are a symbol of its dark nature.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki mark the end of one of the most atrocious periods in human history, World War II. With it, humanity was defeated and degraded. The world lost its moral compass.

They show that the advancement of science does not necessarily mean the advancement of humankind. It can also lead us to our downfall.

The use of science to the benefit of peace or of war is a human, political decision.

But, first and foremost, Hiroshima and Nagasaki remind us of our duty to peacefully resolve our disputes and always endeavour to improve relations between people, nations and states.

The world is closely connected. A threat to one part of the world—be that an arms race or pandemic—can quickly become a threat to all of the world.

We need to work together even more closely and invest shared, genuine efforts to strengthen our mutual trust and cooperation.

Today’s anniversary should remind and caution us about where a world of conflict and hatred can lead.

It is easy to make enemies and hard to build friendships, and even harder to forgive. Although learning from the past is probably the hardest of all. We cannot change history, but we can change the future.

I would like to express my appreciation for all those who work tirelessly to preserve the memory of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and I would like to express my deepest respect for the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the families."