11 October 2011

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

Secretary-General, in Video Message to Kazakhstan Conference, Lauds Ongoing


Efforts to Meet Urgent Need for Nuclear-Weapon-Free World


This is the text of a video message by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the International Conference on a World Free of Nuclear Weapons, being held in Astana, Kazakhstan, on 11-13 October:

Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Distinguished Ministers, Excellencies, Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me begin by thanking President Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan. This meeting is another example of his global leadership on nuclear disarmament.

Excellencies and distinguished participants, I will never forget my visit to Semipalatinsk last year. For decades, it was an epicentre of the cold war. Thanks to your courageous decision 20 years ago, Semipalatinsk has become a powerful symbol of hope. Hope for a permanent end to all nuclear testing. Hope for a world free of nuclear weapons.

Three years ago, I launched a five-point plan on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Momentum is building around the world. Governments and civil society groups are working in common cause. We must continue.

We all know the terrible danger of nuclear weapons. And we also know that the way to get rid of the threat is to get rid of the weapons. Progress depends on global cooperation. That is why this meeting, and your continued engagement, is critical. Keep it up. I assure you of my full support. And together, let us move from ground zero to global zero a world free of nuclear weapons for all of our children and all of our tomorrows.

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For information media • not an official record