Tony Blair and other leaders of nuclear states have been urged by anti-nuclear campaigners in Birmingham to use the 60th anniversary of the Hiroshima bomb to abolish nuclear weapons.
Campaigners, who gathered in the city over the weekend to commemorate those who died when an atom bomb was dropped on the Japanese city, said politicians had a "moral responsibility" to the world remove the threat.
The event, outside the city's science and technology museum at Millennium Point, was one of a number that were held around the country.
Hundreds of people met to back the theme for the day: "Hiroshima. Never Again."
Professor John Finney, a physicist at University College London and chairman of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Awareness Group, said: "If [the Prime Minister Tony] Blair wanted to leave something real for history, he could remove the nuclear threat."
With concern about countries like North Korea and Iran developing nuclear weapons, renewing or replacing Britain's submarine-based Trident system in the coming years would also send the wrong message, the academic added.
"If they decide to renew Trident, in effect that's going against what they signed up to in the nuclear proliferation treaty," said Prof Finney. "If we set up a new system it's inconsistent. How can you expect smaller states like Iran to think they don't need nuclear weapons if we think we need them?"
The Birmingham event, organised by the WMD Awareness Group, included Gospel and other music as well as a number of speakers, including the Rev Al Simpson, from the American Civil Rights movement.
A minute's silence was held while paper cranes, to be signed with messages of support, will be taken to Japan as part of an international youth peace delegation next week.
One speaker, retired Cambridge University Professor Robert Hinde, aged 81, served as an RAF pilot during the Second World War.
He visited Hiroshima last week and the Peace Museum set up at the epicentre of the blast that killed an estimated 140,000 people on August 6.
He said: "I thought I knew about war until I saw that museum.
"The Japanese are passionate about peace. They blame themselves as much as the Americans for starting the war. The peace museum is the most extraordinary experience in my life. It's so moving.
"When the Cold War finished, they thought it was over. They were wrong. The danger of nuclear war is greater than it's ever been."
Janet Bloomfield, from arts group Atomic Mirror - also part of the WMD Awareness Programme - read a "litany of remembrance for the nuclear age" at the event.
"This 60th anniversary year is a real opportunity for everyone to refocus their minds about what happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and what it means for everyone now," she said.
Mrs Bloomfield said nuclear states had a moral responsibility to the world to abandon their weapons, particular at a time of heightened threat from terrorism and the spectre of so-called "dirty bombs".
"I think the first thing political leaders should do when they get elected is go to Auschwitz and Hiroshima, to get a sense of perspective on the power they hold in their hands and the suffering they can cause."