Hiroshima, Japan

06 August 2016

Secretary-General's Message to Peace Memorial Ceremony

[Delivered by Kim Won-soo, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs]

I am honoured to convey my deepest respect to all those taking part in this solemn Peace Memorial Ceremony. I commend you for gathering to remember the victims of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, the first use of nuclear weapons in war.

I will never forget my own visit to your city in 2010 and the honour of taking part in the Peace Memorial Ceremony. I was moved and inspired by your determination to ensure that such a tragedy will never happen again. That visit reinforced my resolve to advance the efforts of the United Nations to work for a world free of nuclear weapons.

In Hiroshima, I saw a memorial to tragedy, but also a city of resilience and hope. The people of Hiroshima are striving to be defined not by the city that was destroyed, but by the world they are seeking to build.

That spirit is exemplified in the Hibakusha. They have turned their tragedy into a rallying cry for humanity. They have shared their stories so the horror experienced by Hiroshima will never be forgotten. They have become true champions of peace and a better world.

Today, the world needs the Hibakusha spirit more than ever. Global tensions are rising. Progress on nuclear disarmament is hard to find.

At this sober memorial, I ask all states to heed the message of the Hibakusha and overcome their differences to galvanise global will for disarmament.

This is essential to peaceful cooperation. Those States with nuclear weapons have a special responsibility to prevent another Hiroshima. They must honour their commitments and lead the way to dialogue. I also call on all states to find common ground through inclusive dialogue.

The bombing of Hiroshima shows that nuclear weapons do not discriminate between gender, age, religion, ideology or nationality.

Let us keep striving together for a safer and more secure future and a better world for all.

You can count on me to continue spreading your message: No more Hiroshimas. No more Nagasakis. Never again.