03 October 2016

Remarks at planting ceremony of the second-generation Hibakusha tree

Ban Ki-moon

It is a privilege to be part of this meaningful ceremony. Today, we plant a poignant gift from our partners, the Mayors for Peace and the City of Hiroshima.

This beautiful sapling is a symbol of resilience and of peace. It pays solemn respect to those who perished on 6 August 1945.

As this tree blossoms, it will also be a vivid reminder of how the hibakusha;– those brave survivors – have transformed their tragedy into a message of hope for the world.

I will never forget my meetings with the hibakusha, especially during my visit to Hiroshima in 2010. They have been through so much – but their faces shine with courage and fortitude. They have survived nuclear warfare, and they will let nothing stop their mission for peace.

By planting this tree we recognize their immense contribution to our shared campaign for a nuclear-weapon-free world.

There are divergent views on how to reach this goal but we all aspire to a world free of the shadow of nuclear weapons.

States with nuclear arsenals bear a special obligation to eliminate them. And I take this opportunity to remind all States of their responsibility to pursue nuclear disarmament as an urgent priority.

I also count on the citizens of the world, and especially young people, to propel their leaders to disarmament. It is my hope that future generations will see this symbolic tree and remember how the world united to create a safer, more secure, and nuclear-weapon-free future.

Let us all be inspired by the courageous hibakushato realize this vision.

Thank you.