7 August 2009

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

world without nuclear weapons, though distant, ‘is no longer a dream’, says

Secretary-General in message to conference of ‘mayors for peace’

Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message to the General Conference of “Mayors for Peace” in Nagasaki, Japan, today, 7 August:

I am pleased to send greetings to the Seventh General Conference of Mayors for Peace.  I salute Mayor Akiba of Hiroshima and Mayor Taue of Nagasaki as well as their predecessors for collectively advancing this valuable initiative over more than a quarter of a century.

Thanks to Mayors for Peace, millions of people around the world have been informed about the catastrophic effects of the 1945 nuclear attacks.  You have also raised public awareness about the dangers that cities, in particular, would face if these destructive weapons were ever used again.

I am grateful for your advocacy because I share your vision of a world free of nuclear weapons.  While we remain far from this goal, that is no reason to despair.  As outlined in the five-point plan I issued last year, there are practical and realistic steps the international community can take to make this vision a reality.

Global awareness of the need for progress in nuclear disarmament is greater than it has been in many years.  This support is broad-based.  To build on this momentum, next month’s observance of the International Day of Peace will seek to mobilize the world to advance the disarmament and non-proliferation agenda.

I am encouraged by the commitment shown by many world leaders, and by your own efforts to promote a global ban on nuclear weapons by 2020.  A world without nuclear weapons may be distant, but it is no longer just a dream.  I look forward to continuing to work with Governments and global citizens to realize this shared vision.  Please accept my best wishes for a successful conference.

* *** *

For information media • not an official record