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A single nuclear weapon can cause appalling devastation, death and lifelong suffering, as evidenced by the testimonies of survivors of the atomic bombs dropped by the U.S. over Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. Yet, thousands of nuclear weapons remain on hair-trigger alert.

Realising that the world is at increased risk of nuclear terrorism and proliferation, while efforts toward nuclear disarmament have been deadlocked, U.S. President Barack Obama pleaded for a nuclear free world in a landmark speech in the Czech capital Prague on April 5.

Thousands of atomic weapons spread across the world were "the most dangerous legacy of the Cold War", he said, pledging: "To achieve a global ban on nuclear testing, my administration will immediately and aggressively pursue U.S. ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty." Obama's pledge shared with the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on April 1 in London has set the ball rolling, also lending a strong tailwind to the persistent efforts of civil society organisations around the globe to strive for a world without nuclear weapons.

 

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