Atomic bomb survivors from Hiroshima and Nagasaki joined anti-nuclear activists in New York Thursday where they voiced their concerns ahead of a General Assembly meeting that will vote on whether to ban nuclear weapons.

The resolution, to be voted on in the coming weeks, has the potential to break a decades-long stalemate over the legality of nuclear weapons. It sets out to establish a mandate in 2017 on a "legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading toward their total elimination," and has given aging atomic bomb survivors a renewed sense of optimism.

"I watch these deliberations with hope in my heart — hope that we stand at the threshold of abolishing nuclear weapons," Takaaki Morikawa said at a panel discussion at the headquarters of the U.N.