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The US "Atoms for peace" showcases in Geneva

August 8th, 1955
Radio Sottens/RTS
Les archives de la RTS

On December 8, 1953, US President Dwight Eisenhower delivered his famous speech "Atoms for Peace" to the UN General Assembly, opening atomic energy to international cooperation. After this speech, the UN became a prominent actor in promoting the peaceful uses of atomic energy around the world. The first step in building this new nuclear international order was the UN conference organized in Geneva in August 1955.

In August 1955, against the backdrop of the Cold War, Geneva hosted a conference on the future of atomic energy, where dozens of countries were represented, including the United States and the Soviet Union.

Opening on August 8, 1955, this conference gathered thousand delegates from the world of science in Geneva. In the sound archive presented here, found in the Swiss Radio Television collection, we can hear the opening speeches of several scientific and political figures, including Max Petitpierre, President of the Swiss Confederation, Dag Hammarskjöld, UN Secretary-General, Homi J. Bhabha, head of India’s Atomic Energy Commission and messages from Edgar Faure, President of the French Council of Ministers, Nikolai Bulganin, head of the Soviet government, Anthony Eden, British Prime Minister, Dwight Eisenhower, US President read by their heads of delegation. The Americans even brought in a reactor from Knoxville (Tennessee) in Geneva.

Despite continuing tensions between the superpowers, the initiative was hailed as a step towards safer use of atomic energy. A second international conference was held in Geneva in September 1958.

Sources :

-Doc Retro, Feuille d'Avis de Neuchâtel

-Perspective Monde, Université de Sherbrooke : perspective.usherbrooke.ca/bil...

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Aug 9th, 2023
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