International Day against Nuclear Tests: Prof M S Swaminathan
29 August 2019: The use of nuclear weapons in Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II indicated the enormous dimensions of the damage these weapons can cause to life and property. The Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs which I had the privilege of chairing for five years (2002-07) has taken as its major role the abolition of nuclear weapons.
I quote below an extract from my remarks made on 12 August 2002 at the 52nd Pugwash Conference after my election as President of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs (Ref: Pugwash Newsletter, Volume 39, Number 2, December 2002) :
While there are many forms of threats to a sustainable human future, we should not relax our efforts in getting a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty on all kinds of nuclear weapons approved by all nations by the year 2005, which marks the 50th anniversary of the Russell-Einstein Manifesto, and the 60th anniversary of the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I consider the launching of an Agenda 2005 programme designed to terminate nuclear, biological and chemical perils forever, will meet with widespread support from concerned citizens worldwide who are all bewildered at the direction human civilization is taking following the September 11, 2001, events. We should focus our moral and intellectual resources to fostering harmony within humankind and between humankind and nature.In all such efforts, we should keep in mind what Mother Theresa once said, “My work may be a drop in the ocean; but the ocean will be less with that missing drop”. Let us continue to strive to be an organisation which helps to make a difference to human destiny – a destiny where the uncommon opportunities opened up by modern science and technology help to confer on every child, woman and man on our planet the four freedoms which President Roosevelt advocated 60 years ago – freedom from feat, freedom from want, freedom of expression and freedom of worship.
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) established in 1988 is a not-for-profit trust. MSSRF was envisioned and founded by Professor M S Swaminathan, agriculture scientist with proceeds from the First World Food Prize that he received in 1987.