11 August 2010

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

In Remarks at Korean Victims Monument, Secretary-General Says Lesson of Hiroshima

‘Everyone, Everywhere’ Has Common Duty to Seek Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

(Delayed in transmission.)

Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, at a monument to Korean victims and survivors in Hiroshima, 6 August:

I am, of course, a citizen of the Republic of Korea.

I come here today as a citizen of the world.

I join with you in remembering the 20,000 Korean victims of the atomic bomb on this date 65 years ago.

I grieve with you for those who perished here.

And I acknowledge with you the enormous hardships endured by all hibakusha — of all backgrounds.

The horror that occurred in this place ignored all distinctions of nationality; it recognized no difference between targets or people.

No one was spared.

And so the blast brought many lessons:

That nuclear weapons are a threat to all, even those far from where they might be deployed or used.

That the fallout lasts and lasts — for years and generations.

Most of all, that such destructive power must never be unleashed again.

This place teaches us that it is the common duty of everyone, everywhere, to seek their total elimination.

And so, the message of Hiroshima is anchored in our common humanity.

We come from places that fly different flags.  We carry different passports.  We are men and women, rich and poor, old and young.

Yet, we all hope for a better, safer world, today and for our children.

Nuclear disarmament is a pathway to that world.

It is a goal that unites Japanese, Koreans, and all the peoples of the United Nations.

Fellow citizens of the world, let this be our great common cause.

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For information media • not an official record