|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Secretary-General, Addressing Pugwash Conference, Hails Founding Body’s Efforts
to Unite Scientists, Policymakers in Advancing Human Welfare Worldwide
Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message to the fifty-ninth Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs in Berlin today, 1 July:
Welcome, all of you, to the fifty-ninth Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs.
You meet at a time when the world faces great challenges. Yet however difficult they may be, I also see tremendous opportunities to advance the shared interests of humanity.
From climate change to infectious disease, from terrorism to hunger, from disaster preparedness to food security, from nuclear disarmament to conventional arms control – science and technology will have crucial roles to play. The United Nations needs your support and welcomes your continued engagement in our work.
I would like to thank the entire Pugwash Organization once again for over a half century of efforts to bring scientists and policymakers together to advance common interests in peace, security and human welfare worldwide. Your efforts were especially welcome during the cold war in helping to end the nuclear arms race, and they remain vital today as we continue to seek progress in nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
This effort is high among my priorities. I and my predecessors have been working to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction ever since 1946, when the General Assembly first adopted this goal for the United Nations. With active support from the Pugwash Organization, along with determined efforts throughout civil society and by concerned Member States, the potential for progress in these fields is considerable indeed.
Opportunities include the forthcoming NPT [Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons] review process, efforts to establish a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, international gatherings to strengthen nuclear safety and security, and a conference next year to negotiate an arms trade treaty.
When the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the 1995 Peace Prize to Joseph Rotblat and the Pugwash Organization, it expressed the hope that the award “will encourage world leaders to intensify their efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons”.
Please accept my best wishes for continued success and partnership in fulfilling this great and historic mission.
* *** *For information media • not an official record