Nagasaki, Japan

10 August 2012

Secretary-General's message to Global Forum on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Education [Delivered by Ms. Angela Kane, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs]

I thank the Government of Japan and the United Nations University for co-sponsoring this important conference.  I commend your focus on disarmament and non-proliferation education and on promoting cooperation with civil society to achieve a world without nuclear weapons.

I fully share your vision.  Two years ago, I attended the Peace Memorial Ceremony commemorating the 65th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and visited Nagasaki too.  I count these among my most memorable and moving experiences.  I met many survivors -- the Hibakusha.  Hearing their stories of suffering and endurance strengthened my resolve that we must do everything in our power to permanently end the nuclear threat.

Cooperation among Member States, international organizations and civil society is essential to ridding the world of nuclear weapons.  Since the adoption of the United Nations study on disarmament and non-proliferation education in 2002, I have issued five reports on the topic.  Each year, I have received an increasing number of substantive contributions from all stakeholders, and I am impressed by the diversity of activities being undertaken in this field.  Disarmament and non-proliferation are included in the training of diplomats.  They feature at conferences and seminars at universities and research centres.  And books, documentaries and other presentations on these issues are reaching wider public audiences, often facilitated by the creative use of social media.

I am heartened that much is being done, but I am convinced that we can do much more.  Your deliberations and recommendations can be a catalyst for bringing disarmament and non-proliferation education to every school –and every student -- around the world.  I look forward to continuing our efforts toward that essential goal, and I wish you a very successful meeting.