New York

20 September 2017

The Secretary-General's remarks at signing ceremony for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons [as delivered]

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
It is an honour to oversee this historic treaty’s opening for signature – the first multilateral disarmament treaty in more than two decades. 
 
I congratulate all States that negotiated the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. I salute your commitment to the cause of nuclear disarmament and to our planet’s safety and security. 
 
Civil society played a vital role in bringing the Treaty to fruition.
 
The heroic survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki -- the Hibakusha -- continue to remind us of the devastating humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons.
 
Their testimony has provided moving and moral impetus for the negotiation of this Treaty.
 
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is the product of increasing concerns over the risk posed by the continued existence of nuclear weapons, including the catastrophic humanitarian and environmental consequences of their use.  
 
The Treaty is an important step towards the universally-held goal of a world free of nuclear weapons. It is my hope that it will reinvigorate global efforts to achieve it.
 
Today we rightfully celebrate a milestone.  Now we must continue along the hard road towards the elimination of nuclear arsenals.
 
This will require dialogue, bridge-building and practical steps.
 
There remain some fifteen thousand nuclear weapons in existence. We cannot allow these doomsday weapons to endanger our world and our children’s future.
 
I look forward to working with you in fulfilling that shared vision.
 
Thank you.
Excellencies, Distinguished delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
I now declare the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons open for signing.