2 August 2010

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

Citizens Groups around World ‘Joining Hands in Common Cause’ to Eliminate Nuclear

Weapons, Says Secretary-General, in Message to Hiroshima Meeting


Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message to the World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs, held in Hiroshima, 2 to 9 August:

It gives me pleasure to convey my greetings to the 2010 World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs.

Your efforts have contributed to a wave of support for global nuclear disarmament — a wave as large and as beautiful as the Great Wave depicted long ago by Japan’s great artist, Hokusai.

Indeed, three important nuclear disarmament petitions organized by groups based in Japan have been brought to the United Nations this year.  Gensuikyo, working with many other groups in Japan and worldwide, presented a petition with well over 6 million signatures.  The petition presented by the Japanese Trade Union Confederation, Gensuikin and Kakkin also had more than 6 million signatures.  And 2 million young people signed the Soka Gakkai International petition calling for a nuclear weapons convention.  I commend all involved for their hard work in pursuit of this great cause. 

Together, these petitions symbolize a growing commitment by citizens around the world to achieve the elimination of nuclear weapons.  I am impressed not just by the numbers of people who are joining this global campaign, but by their diversity — with so many countries and cultures, people at all income levels, and young and old alike joining hands in common cause.

Your annual conference serves many important public interests.  It inspires the world to remember the tragic loss of life at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.  It reminds us of the hardships of the hibakusha and the need to help them in coping with the long-term effects of those bombings.  It provides a forum for mobilizing international efforts for global nuclear disarmament.  And it helps identify ways to promote disarmament education among young people.

Thank you for your dedication.  For my part, I will continue my work for nuclear disarmament, including through my presence at this year’s Peace Memorial Ceremony, my five-point plan and wide-ranging diplomatic efforts at the United Nations.  I look forward to working with you to advance this agenda, which is of such great important for the future well-being of all humankind.  Please accept my best wishes for a successful conference.

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For information media • not an official record