The 10th World Summit of Noble Peace Laureates was held in Hiroshima, Japan, from November 12 to 14 and, given the venue, the theme was appropriately Legacy of Hiroshima: A World without Nuclear Weapons. I participated in this Summit, on invitation, as a Representative of Parliaments for Nuclear Non Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND). The Summit began with one of the most moving testimonies I have ever heard or experienced. It was from Akihiro Takakashi, a surviving victim of the Hiroshima atom bomb, a Hibakusha (a Japanese word that literally translated means explosion affected people), who recalled horrors of one of the darkest chapters of human history to an audience that included Noble Laureates His Holiness The Dalai Lama, Frederik William De Klerk, Mohammad El Baradei, Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Shirin Ebadi. These are some of his words based on notes I took: It was 8:15 a.m. on August 6, 1945. I was a 2nd grade 14-year-old student waiting at the school playground with my friend Yamamoto and others for the morning assembly. We were all feeling safe and secure, as there was an air raid warning that cleared a few minutes earlier. We saw a B29 aircraft approaching and never for once imagined it was carrying an A Bomb. There was a huge explosion and complete darkness. Once the smoke had cleared in the playground, I realised I had been blown away 10 meters, as was everyone around me. The school building and all other buildings as far as the eye could see had collapsed and were levelled. People were fleeing in processions towards the nearby river. People around me all had tattered skin dangling and there was body flesh all around. Skin was peeling off many bodies, one person had glass fragments pinned all over his body, I saw someone with one of his eyeballs hanging out, one womans ruptured internal organs were bulging out and everywhere there was burnt red flesh exposed. So horrendous and dreadful were those scenes after the bomb had been dropped that words cannot fully describe. I was under medical treatment for 18 months and recovered, but my friend Yamamoto died of radiation related reasons. Realising peace is easier said than done but we have to make a start and ensure that never, never ever what happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki be repeated. During his description of that tragic day, Mr. Takahashi was choked with emotion, and when he completed his testimony he broke down completely. The fact that an individual can cry like a child recalling the horrific events that took place a distant 65 years back is in itself a powerful reminder of how deep the hurt is and how devastating an experience it must have been for those who lived through that day. What amazed me was that not once in his intensely moving twenty minute testimony did this brave Hibakusha make a single reference to the United States, the country that unleashed the worlds first atom bomb in Hiroshima, and unbelievably repeated the act three days later in Nagasaki. 70,000 innocent lives were lost instantly upon impact of the bomb and a similar number died within the end of that year due to radiation and other injuries, and this was only in the city of Hiroshima. There was, however, in the words of Mr. Takahashi no call for revenge, no hate, no bitterness, no calls for trial of those responsible. In his words, we cannot eradicate hatred by hating others. We have to overcome hatred. We must open our hearts to others. Rather, he spoke of the excesses that Japan itself had committed in the war. The legacy of Hiroshima is not only one of tragedy, sadness and shame at what one human being can do to another but is also a beacon of celebration of life and how a community, rising like a Phoenix from the ashes of destruction and devastation, can channel and focus their energies towards peace, reconciliation, rebuilding their city, lives and communities on basis of forgiveness and compassion for fellow human beings also an eloquent testimony to the abiding human spirit, zest for life and hope for the future. Peace to me is less about the absence of conflicts or wars and more about equity, social justice and human dignity, and a nuclear weapons free world would be a huge step forward in this regard. President Obama inspired the world with his speech in Prague last year when he shared his commitment to building such a world, and was awarded the Noble Peace Prize for having the courage to do so. Although back in 1985, both USA and USSR in fact publicly acknowledged that a nuclear war can never be won and must never be fought, the nuclear weapons arsenal continues to grow and, as of today, they are a staggering 5,000 times more potent than the ones dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. At a time when the global economy continues to be in the doldrums and fewer funds are available for development and fighting the challenge of poverty, deprivation and climate change, every year over $100 billion is spent on new nuclear weapons, which continue to be stockpiled. Nuclear weapons must be seen and regarded for what they are a moral affront as well as instruments of mass murder and global annihilation which puts all humanity and civilisation under a common threat of destruction. The only way forward thus lies in their total abolition and a world free of such weapons. The imperative of a nuclear weapons free world has been strongly articulated in the Declaration from the Summit by the Noble Laureates. We owe this as a minimum to all those who perished in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to the hundred odd surviving Hibakushas and most importantly to the next generation. As Nobel Peace Prize Laureates repeatedly pointed out during their deliberations in the Summit, the previous century was one of confrontation, conflicts, wars and bloodshed, and that approach has not solved our problems. The current century should thus be one of dialogue, compassion and reaching out to each other. For our new generation, let this be the challenge to take up and the trail to follow. Saber H. Chowdhury, MP, is Chair of Bangladesh Parliaments All Party Group on Climate Change and Environment, and First Vice President of Inter-Parliamentary Unions Committee on Peace and Security and Global Council Member of PNND. The Daily Star