Dangerous Rhetoric on Use of Nuclear Weapons Further Exacerbates Global Challenges, Secretary-General Tells Hiroshima Peace Ceremony

SG/SM/18634-DC/3727
6 August 2017

Dangerous Rhetoric on Use of Nuclear Weapons Further Exacerbates Global Challenges, Secretary-General Tells Hiroshima Peace Ceremony

Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message to the Peace Ceremony in Hiroshima, Japan, today:

It is a profound honour to pay my deep respects to the victims of the atomic bomb and to the Hibakusha and the city of Hiroshima for your fortitude and example.

In 1946, when eminent personalities were invited to share their ideas for rebuilding Hiroshima, the distinguished Hibakusha novelist Yōko Ōta said her vision was “to interweave dream and reality in harmony and enrich citizens’ lives”.  As the world looks to Hiroshima today, we see a city built on resilience and hope.  Your determination for peace is an inspiration to the world.

We live in challenging times.  The continued presence of some 15,000 nuclear weapons — along with dangerous rhetoric regarding their use — exacerbates these threats.

Despite negative trends, there has been a major development in 2017.  Last month, Member States of the United Nations adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.  This measure is the result of a global campaign focused on the unacceptability of the use of nuclear weapons under any circumstances.  Hiroshima’s message of peace and the heroic efforts of Hibakushas have reminded the world of the devastating humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons and have served as an invaluable part of this global campaign.

Yet, our dream of a world free of nuclear weapons remains far from reality.  The States possessing nuclear weapons have a special responsibility to undertake concrete and irreversible steps in nuclear disarmament.  There are many paths to a nuclear-weapon-free world.  I appeal to all States to intensify their efforts to contribute to the shared vision in their own ways.

A global vision requires a global effort — and I thank the people of Hiroshima for continuing to spread your message of peace and hope.  The United Nations stands with you in our shared pursuit of a world free of nuclear weapons.

For information media. Not an official record.