2 February 2010

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

World Free of Nuclear Weapons ‘Tangible Goal That Can, and Must, Be Achieved’,


Says Secretary-General, in Message to ‘Global Zero’ Summit


Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s video message to the Global Zero World Summit in Paris, 2 February:

I am delighted to add my voice to yours.

I send my very best wishes to all the experts, activists, students, and leaders who have come together to make this event possible. 

Though the tragedy in Haiti has prevented me from joining you, I am with you in spirit.

You have my wholehearted support for your efforts to achieve global nuclear disarmament. 

This goal has been a longstanding dream of mine.  It is also a strategic priority for the United Nations.

Nuclear weapons threaten our security.  And every dollar spent on weapons is one less spent on schools, life-saving medicine, or research into life-affirming technologies.

I salute Global Zero for mobilizing so many people.  You know that joined hands can achieve much more than clenched fists.

You are proving that a small group of committed supporters can change the world.

There are encouraging signs that leaders are listening.

The Russian Federation and the United States are showing a renewed commitment to reach new agreements limiting nuclear weapons.

The Security Council summit last September has generated further momentum.

Your efforts are a crucial part of this bigger picture.  You are helping to create real public pressure for change.

The Summit on Nuclear Security in Washington is just two months away.  The NPT Review Conference follows in May.  There is a need for action at these sessions -- meaningful steps that move us forward.

To all of you in Paris, and to people everywhere yearning for a safer, better world, I say this:

Global Zero is not just a slogan -- it is a tangible goal that can and must be achieved.

A world free of nuclear weapons can be ours.  Let us make it happen.

Thank you all for your dedication and hard work.

* *** *

For information media • not an official record