Nagasaki, Japan

09 August 2013

Secretary-General's message to the Peace Memorial Ceremony

Today, people around the world join the citizens of Nagasaki in commemorating the many thousands who died when this city became the victim of a nuclear attack 68 years ago.

As we solemnly remember those who perished, we also pay our respects to the hibakusha and their families who survived.  I have been enormously impressed by their determined efforts to educate the world about the full humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons.  Their efforts will help to ensure that these indiscriminate arms are never used again.

We must eliminate all nuclear weapons in order to eliminate the grave risk they pose to our world.  This will require persistent efforts by all countries and peoples. 
A nuclear war would affect everyone, and all have a stake in preventing this nightmare.

We may take a lead from the scholars and researchers at Nagasaki University who have studied this issue, and strengthen disarmament and non-proliferation education worldwide so a younger generation of emerging leaders, voters, and taxpayers can understand the vital need for policies to advance disarmament goals.

I count on civil society groups worldwide to help inform the general public about the benefits of disarmament and the terrible risks of failing to achieve it.  I also call for diplomatic coalitions of States to intensify their efforts to advance the global nuclear disarmament agenda.

I especially appeal to the States currently possessing nuclear weapons, particularly those with the largest nuclear arsenals, to agree on deep and verified reductions, stop developing new or modernized weapons, and accelerate their individual and collective efforts to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons.

To the citizens of Nagasaki and likeminded people around the world, I assure you that you that the United Nations will be relentless in pursuing this goal. 
Nuclear disarmament is one of the greatest legacies we can pass on to future generations.  Let us rededicate ourselves today to realizing this vision.