The following is a full text of a message from U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, delivered on August 9, 2022 by U.N. Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu.
On this day, four years ago, I had the privilege of visiting the hallowed ground of your city.
I was humbled by the sheer devastation caused by a single weapon of mass destruction. I was forcefully reminded that this can never happen again.
I was inspired by the courage of the Hibakusha, who continue their brave crusade despite their unimaginable losses.
Their message of peace and nuclear disarmament is as powerful as ever. I pledge to do everything in my power to make sure it continues to be heard, everywhere.
The use of nuclear weapons against Hiroshima and Nagasaki caused a humanitarian catastrophe unique in history.
It was the dawn of a new era in which humanity could bring about its own extinction.
The threat of nuclear devastation has haunted humanity for 77 years.
The prospect of nuclear conflict has been brought back into the realm of possibility today.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine reminds us that we are just minutes from a possible annihilation.
Threats of nuclear war demonstrate that these are weapons of brinkmanship and coercion.
We hear false claims that nuclear weapons provide security.
Nuclear weapons can never achieve true security. It is achieved through dialogue, negotiation, mutual respect, and commitment to international law.
A world free of nuclear weapons is a sign that true security means ending the nuclear threat.
Many states have supported nuclear disarmament by signing and ratifying the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
As a global community, we need to strengthen the taboo against nuclear weapons, lower the global number of nuclear weapons and take urgent steps to reduce the risk of nuclear cataclysm.
The Nuclear Disarmament regime is governed by the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
I urge the parties to the treaty, currently meeting in New York, to take the opportunity to set the world back on the path to sanity.
In these times of high tensions and low levels of trust, we should draw on the lessons of Nagasaki.
Disarmament, reconciliation and the pursuit of peace are the only way forward for all our sakes.