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AT THE HIROSHIMA PEACE MEMORIAL

Hiroshima, Japan, 28 October 2010

Distinguished Special Communicators for a World without Nuclear Weapons,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am deeply moved to be here with you today. Hiroshima and Nagasaki are two names that stridently resonate in the conscience of world humanity.

I express my profound compassion to the victims and to their families. So many lives lost, so many destinies broken.

I wish that we would not have such tragic memories about your two cities. We cannot change what has happened. We can, however, prevent it from ever happening again.

I pay tribute to your courage and to your commitment for peace. I thank you for denouncing the horrors of nuclear weapons and for promoting a world free of weapons of mass destruction.

Over the recent past, we have seen some new positive developments in the field of disarmament. Since last year, important bilateral and multilateral negotiations have come to a successful conclusion.

The new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) on the reduction of nuclear weapons by the United States and the Russian Federation was a major step. It is my hope that this agreement can expeditiously enter into force and that all other nuclear weapon states will also commit themselves to reducing their nuclear arsenals.

The positive outcome of the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference at the United Nations is a clear recommitment by the international community to multilateralism.

It is my firm belief that the problems the world is facing today cannot be solved by any country alone. We need effective and inclusive multilateral efforts; we need a strong United Nations Organization that can take a leadership role in the field of disarmament and non-proliferation. I fully support Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon in his endeavor to progress in this field and to revitalize the work of the Conference on Disarmament, the single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum which brings all nuclear-weapon states and states not parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty together. It is crucial that the Conference is able to overcome its current deadlock; negotiations on the different aspects of the disarmament and non-proliferation agenda, including those on a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty, should start as soon as possible.

We must strengthen our efforts to reach the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons. Disarmament is indeed among the most important and noble goals of the United Nations and we should spare no effort to succeed. It is a vital contribution to promoting peace, security and prosperity for humanity and building a brighter future for our children and grandchildren.

I express my deepest appreciation to the Japanese government for being at the forefront of the international effort for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

I commend Prime Minister Kan for his decision to appoint special communicators for a world without nuclear weapons.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is our moral duty to ensure that the human cost, the devastation and the suffering of survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are never repeated, and that from this tragedy we learn lessons that will help us create a better, safer world.

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