As the only weapons with potentially existential consequences, nuclear weapons pose a grave threat to international, national and human security. The only sure way to eliminate the threat posed by nuclear weapons is to eliminate the weapons themselves.
Regrettably, the global security environment has deteriorated, making progress in nuclear disarmament more difficult yet also more important. In truth, verifiable and enforceable efforts to reduce the dangers posed by nuclear weapons bolster regional and international stability, build confidence, and facilitate peace.
For all these reasons, I launched my disarmament agenda in May of this year. The Agenda recognizes that progress towards the shared goal of a world free of nuclear weapons remains uneven – efforts have stalled and, in some cases, may be going backwards.
That is why I have called for the resumption of sincere, substantive and results-oriented dialogue towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons, as well as the implementation of existing commitments.
States possessing nuclear weapons have a responsibility to lead. The United States and the Russian Federation – by far the largest possessors of nuclear weapons – had made enormous progress in the reduction of their nuclear arsenals. I appeal to both governments to re-engage in the dialogue necessary to maintain their historic track record of bilateral arsenal reductions.
It is equally important that all States possessing nuclear weapons reinforce the norm against nuclear use. All States should also work with nuclear-weapon States to bridge divides and seek a return to a common path toward the elimination of nuclear weapons.
I pledge my own personal support and that of the UN system in any and every way.