Their appearances at the "Testimony of Hibakusha" event, which was organized by the Japanese Mission and the U.N. Office of Disarmament Affairs, were part of efforts by Japan — the only nation attacked with atomic weapons — to stress the importance of educating people about the horrors of nuclear arms.
The committee adopted a Japan-led resolution Wednesday calling for the total elimination of nuclear weapons — just as it has done annually for the last 18 years. This year, there were a record 97 cosponsors of the resolution, which was backed by 157 countries.
While Thurlow pointed out that the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant accident was caused by "the force of nature," the resulting release of radiation from the power station's crippled reactors has sparked radiation fears in Japan for the second time in her life.
Citing Douglas Roche, a former Canadian ambassador of disarmament at the United Nations, she also warned that nuclear materials such as enriched uranium and plutonium can be used both for peaceful purposes and to build nuclear weapons.
"Will the expansion of nuclear energy in the world lead to the spread of nuclear weapons and increase dangers of nuclear terrorism?" she asked.
Despite the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, she expressed concerns about countries being allowed to pursue atomic energy for peaceful purposes in exchange for agreeing to never develop nuclear arms.
"Thus, the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki who witnessed the atrocities of the first two uses of nuclear weapons 66 years ago now must confront the horror that sufficient nuclear fuel exists in dozens of countries" to build more bombs, she said.
"Has not the time come to consider replacing the pillar of the NPT that guarantees access to nuclear energy technology with a new guarantee for access to technological assistance for renewable energies?" she asked.