Nagasaki, Japan

05 August 2010

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's remarks at memorial for Korean atomic-bomb victims

It is a great honour for me to visit this memorial.

Tomorrow I will visit its sister monument in Hiroshima.

Two thousand Koreans perished here. Twenty thousand in Hiroshima.

As a Korean, I am deeply grateful to the cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima for erecting these moving tributes.

As Secretary-General of the United Nations, as a global citizen, I see them as a powerful testament to the unity of all the world's peoples in the face of disaster –whether this one 65 years ago, or those we face today.

The nuclear threat is real, across this region and around the world.

Thousands of nuclear weapons remain on alert.

More states are seeking to acquire nuclear weapons.

Terrorists covet their deadly power.

All peoples must work together to eliminate them.

The movement spearheaded by the mayors of Nagasaki and Hiroshima has shown true leadership in promoting nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

A world free of nuclear weapons would be the most fitting way to honour the memory of all who perished here on 9 August 1945.

This great cause is one of my top priorities –for the people of Japan, for the people of Korea, for all of us, everywhere in the world.

Thank you.