Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message on the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, observed on 26 September.
UNITED NATIONS. 15 September 2023 (IDN | UN) — The International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons reminds us that a peaceful future depends on ending the nuclear threat.
Geopolitical mistrust and competition have spiked the nuclear risk to cold war levels. Meanwhile, hard-won progress over many decades to prevent the use, spread and testing of nuclear weapons is being undone.
On this important Day, we reaffirm our commitment to a world free of nuclear weapons and the humanitarian catastrophe their use would unleash.
This means nuclear-weapon States leading the way by meeting their disarmament obligations, and committing to never use nuclear weapons under any circumstances.
It means strengthening the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime, including through the Treaties on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
It means all countries that have not yet ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty to do so without delay, and for those States that possess nuclear weapons to ensure a moratorium on all nuclear testing.
It means taking into account the evolving nuclear order, and addressing the blurring lines between strategic and conventional weapons and the nexus with new and emerging technologies.
Above all, it means deploying the timeless tools of dialogue, diplomacy and negotiation to ease tensions and end the nuclear threat. The recently launched policy brief on a New Agenda for Peace calls on Member States to urgently recommit to this important cause.
The only way to eliminate the nuclear risk is to eliminate nuclear weapons. Let’s work together to banish these devices of destruction to the history books, once and for all. [IDN-InDepthNews]
Photo: Sculpture depicting St. George slaying the dragon. The dragon is created from fragments of Soviet SS-20 and United States Pershing nuclear missiles. Credit: UN Photo | Milton Grant
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