UN Chief Calls for Global Nuclear Disarmament

It is totally unacceptable for states in possession of nuclear weapons to admit the possibility of a nuclear war, António Guterres said on Saturday in Japan at a ceremony marking the 77th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

“Nuclear weapons are nonsense. Three-quarters of a century later, we must ask what we’ve learned from the mushroom cloud that swelled above this city in 1945,” he urged during the solemn event at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park attended by dozens of people, including hibakusha, young peace activists, Japan’s Prime Minister and other local authorities.

The UN Secretary-General warned that a new arms race is picking up speed and world leaders are enhancing stockpiles at a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars with almost 13,000 nuclear weapons currently held in arsenals around the world.

“Crises with grave nuclear undertones are spreading fast — from the Middle East to the Korean peninsula, to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine… Humanity is playing with a loaded gun,” he underlined.

Guterres called the current Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in New York a ‘sign of hope’.

“Today, from this sacred space, I call on this Treaty’s members to work urgently to eliminate the stockpiles that threaten our future, to strengthen dialogue, diplomacy and negotiation, and to support my disarmament agenda by eliminating these devices of destruction,” he emphasized.

He further underscored that countries with nuclear weapons must commit to the “no first use” of them, and assure other states that they will not use –or threaten to use—nuclear weapons against them.

“We must keep the horrors of Hiroshima in view at all times, recognizing there is only one solution to the nuclear threat: not to have nuclear weapons at all,” the UN chief stated.

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