Delivered by Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs
I am honoured to join you in commemorating the victims of the nuclear bombing of Nagasaki and paying respects to the Hibakusha and their families.
Just outside the halls of the United Nations General Assembly stands the charred and damaged statue of St. Agnes found in the ruins of Urakami Cathedral in Nagasaki in 1945. It serves as a permanent reminder of the horror and devastation of nuclear weapons.
Nagasaki – a city open to foreign trade for centuries and serving as the meeting ground for reformers and leaders to forge a better future for Japan — occupies a special place in the history of the country. Today, I pay tribute to the special contribution that Hibakusha from Nagasaki and Hiroshima have made to forging a better and safer future for our world.
Paths to a world free of nuclear weapons have faced many challenges in recent years — a twenty-year stalemate in multilateral disarmament negotiations, the expensive modernization of nuclear arsenals, and growing differences among countries about how to achieve the abolition of nuclear weapons.
I hope that the adoption in July of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons will give renewed momentum to achieve our shared goal.
I commend the people of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, led by the Hibakusha, in educating the international community about the devastating humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons. I appeal to all governments to follow your example and intensify their efforts to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons.
The United Nations stands ready to continue working with you to honour the victims of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, and to achieve a safer, better and more prosperous world for all.
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