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Nagasaki is ‘a global inspiration’ for peace, UN chief says marking 73rd anniversary of atomic bombing

The survivors of the atomic bombings, known in Japanese as the hibakusha, have become global “leaders for peace and disarmament”, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at Thursday’s Nagasaki Peace Memorial Ceremony in Japan, commemorating the 73rd anniversary of that devastating day.

“Nagasaki is not just an international city with a long and fascinating history. It is a global inspiration for all those who seek to create a safer and more secure world,” Mr. Guterres said.

“I am humbled”, he told those assembled, “to be here with you to commemorate the women, men and children killed by the nuclear attack on Nagasaki on 9 August 1945,” he said conveying his “deepest respect and condolences to everyone here today, and to all the victims and survivors of the atomic bombs”.

Calling the city “a beacon of hope and strength, and a monument to the resilience of its people,” the UN chief underscored that while the atomic bomb killed and injured tens of thousands, it “could not crush your spirit”.

“From the other side of the apocalypse, the hibakusha have raised their voices on behalf of the entire human family. We must listen,” he asserted. “There can be no more Hiroshimas, no more Nagasakis, and so no more hibakusha.”

Mr. Guterres noted that 73 years on, fear of nuclear war still prevails, as States are spending vast sums to modernize their nuclear weapon arsenals.

“More than $1.7 trillion was spent in 2017 on arms and armies — the highest level since the end of the cold war and around 80 times the amount needed for global humanitarian aid,” the Secretary-General pointed out.

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THE SECRETARY-GENERAL’S REMARKS AT THE PEACE MEMORIAL CEREMONY 

Nagasaki, Japan, 9 August 2018 [AS DELIVERED]

Nagasaki no minasama, konnichi wa. [Hello, everyone.]

Minasama-ni ome-ni kakarete, kouei desu. [It is an honour to meet you.]

I am humbled, as Secretary-General of the United Nations, to be here with you to commemorate the women, men and children killed by the nuclear attack on Nagasaki on 9 August 1945.

I convey my deepest respect and condolences to everyone here today, and to all the victims and survivors of the atomic bombs. It is a great personal pleasure to be here in Nagasaki.

My country, Portugal, has deep political, cultural and religious ties with this city, going back nearly five centuries.

But Nagasaki is not just an international city with a long and fascinating history. It is a global inspiration for all those who seek to create a safer and more secure world.

This city, your city, is a beacon of hope and strength, and a monument to the resilience of its people. The atomic bomb that killed and injured tens of thousands of people in the immediate aftermath of the blast, and in the years and decades that followed, could not crush your spirit.

The survivors of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, the Hibakusha, have become leaders for peace and disarmament here in Japan and around the world. They are defined not by the cities that were destroyed, but by the peace that the world needs and they seek to build.

From the other side of the apocalypse, the Hibakusha have raised their voices on behalf of the entire human family. We must listen.

There can be no more Hiroshimas, no more Nagasakis, and so no more Hibakusha.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, and dear children, Sadly, 73 years on, fears of nuclear war are still with us. Millions of people, including here in Japan, live in a shadow cast by the dread of unthinkable carnage. States in possession of nuclear weapons are spending vast sums to modernize their arsenals.

More than $1.7 trillion dollars was spent in 2017 on arms and armies – the highest level since the end of the Cold War and around 80 times the amount needed for global humanitarian aid. Meanwhile, disarmament processes have slowed and even come to a halt. Many states demonstrated their frustration by adopting the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons last year. Let us also recognize the persistent peril of other deadly weapons.

Chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction, and those being developed for cyberwarfare, pose a grave threat. And conflicts fought with conventional weapons are lasting longer and are becoming more deadly for civilians. There is an urgent need for disarmament of all kinds, but especially nuclear disarmament. This is the backdrop of the global disarmament initiative that I launched in May.

Disarmament is a driving force for maintaining international peace and security. It is a tool for ensuring national security. It helps to uphold the principles of humanity, promote sustainable development and protect civilians.

My agenda for disarmament is based on concrete measures that will lower the risk of nuclear annihilation, prevent conflict of all kinds, and reduce the suffering that the proliferation and use of arms causes to civilians.

The agenda makes clear that nuclear weapons undermine global, national and human security. The total elimination of nuclear weapons remains the highest disarmament priority of the United Nations.

Here in Nagasaki, I call on all countries to commit to nuclear disarmament and to start making visible progress as a matter of urgency.

Nuclear-weapon States have a special responsibility to lead. Let Nagasaki and Hiroshima remind us to put peace first every day; to work on conflict prevention and resolution, reconciliation and dialogue, and to tackle the roots of conflict and violence.

Peace is not an abstract concept and it does not come about by chance.

Peace is tangible, and it can be built by hard work, solidarity, compassion and respect. Out of the horror of the atomic bomb, we can reach a deeper understanding of our irreducible bonds of responsibility to each other.

Let us all commit to making Nagasaki the last place on earth to suffer nuclear devastation.

I will work with you to that end.

Thank you.

Arigato gozaimasu

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UN chief launches new disarmament agenda ‘to secure our world and our future’

“The United Nations was created with the goal of eliminating war as an instrument of foreign policy,” Secretary-General António Guterres said, unveiling his new agenda, entitled, Securing Our Common Future, at the University of Geneva, in Switzerland.

“But seven decades on, our world is as dangerous as it has ever been,” he warned.

“Disarmament prevents and ends violence. Disarmament supports sustainable development. And disarmament is true to our values and principles,” he explained.

The launch comes at a time when “arms control has been in the news every day, sometimes in relation to Iran and Syria, sometimes the Korean Peninsula,” said the UN chief.

The new Agenda focuses on three priorities – weapons of mass destruction, conventional weapons, and new battlefield technologies.

First, he stressed that disarmament of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons could “save humanity,” noting that some 15,000 nuclear weapons remain stockpiled around the world and hundreds are ready to be launched within minutes.

“We are one mechanical, electronic or human error away from a catastrophe that could eradicate entire cities from the map,” he warned.

Mr. Guterres said the States that possess nuclear weapons have the primary responsibility for avoiding catastrophe. In that regard, he appealed to Russia and the US to resolve their dispute over the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty; to extend the New START treaty on strategic offensive arms, which is due to expire in just three years; and to take new steps towards reducing nuclear stockpiles.

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Haiti: UN determined to support authorities in strengthening rule of law

Ms. Keita, who took up her post last September, traveled to Haiti from 5 to 9 February to support the efforts of the new UN Mission for the Support of Justice in Haiti (MINUJUSTH), to discuss the Mission’s mandate with the Haitian Government and other partners, and to ensure that human rights are at the heart of the country’s sustainable development agenda.

Established in October 2017, MINUJUSTH succeeded a previous UN peacekeeping mission, known as MINUSTAH, with a smaller mandate from the Security Council, focused on helping the Haitian Government strengthen its rule-of-law institutions.

In an interview with UN News, Ms. Keita said that the Security Council has given the Mission a brief two-year timeframe, starting in April 2018, to help Haiti overcome “systemic problems” and “to ensure that fundamental progress is taking place in the justice sector, the judiciary, security and human rights.” She added that all interlocutors in Haiti agreed that the judiciary was the weakest of the three branches of Government.

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UN chief issues 'red alert,' urges world to come together in 2018 to tackle pressing challenges

In his message on the New Year, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres is called for unity among the global community to tackle overwhelming challenges and defend values shared by all.

“On New Year's Day 2018, I am not issuing an appeal. I am issuing an alert – a red alert for our world,”

said the Secretary-General.“As we begin 2018, I call for unity. […] We can settle conflicts, overcome hatred and defend shared values.But we can only do that together,” he expressed. Recalling that last year he urged that 2017 be a year for peace, the UN chief noted that unfortunately – in fundamental ways, the world went in reverse.Perils, including deepening conflicts and new dangers emerged, and global concerns over nuclear weapons reached the highest since the Cold War, he added.

At the same time, impacts of climate change worsened at an alarming rate, inequalities grew and there were horrific violations of human rights.“Nationalism and xenophobia are on the rise,” said Mr. Guterres.Underscoring his belief that the world can be made more safe and secure, conflicts can be settled, hatred can be overcome and shared values defended, he emphasized that unity is indispensable to achieving these goals.“Unity is the path.

Our future depends on it,” said the Secretary-General, urging leaders everywhere to resolve in the New Year to: “Narrow the gaps. Bridge the divides. Rebuild trust by bringing people together around common goals.”

[ originally posted on UN News Centre ] 


 Full text of the message

Dear friends around the world, Happy New Year.

When I took office one year ago, I appealed for 2017 to be a year for peace.

Unfortunately – in fundamental ways, the world has gone in reverse.

On New Year’s Day 2018, I am not issuing an appeal. I am issuing an alert -- a red alert for our world. Conflicts have deepened and new dangers have emerged. Global anxieties about nuclear weapons are the highest since the Cold War.

Climate change is moving faster than we are. Inequalities are growing. We see horrific violations of human rights. Nationalism and xenophobia are on the rise.

As we begin 2018, I call for unity. I truly believe we can make our world more safe and secure. We can settle conflicts, overcome hatred and defend shared values. But we can only do that together.

I urge leaders everywhere to make this New Year’s resolution: Narrow the gaps. Bridge the divides. Rebuild trust by bringing people together around common goals.

Unity is the path. Our future depends on it.

I wish you peace and health in 2018.

Thank you. Shokran. Xie Xie. Merci. Spasiba. Gracias. Obrigado.

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UN Secretary-General condemns DPR Korea's underground nuclear test

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has condemned today's underground nuclear test by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) as “yet another serious breach of the country's international obligations.”

According to a statement issued by a UN spokesperson, the Secretary-General also said that DPRK's action undermined international non-proliferation and disarmament efforts and is also profoundly destabilizing for regional security.

“The Secretary-General reiterates his call on the DPRK leadership to cease such acts and to comply fully with its international obligations under relevant Security Council resolutions,” the statement said, noting that Mr. Guterres remains in contact with all parties concerned.

Also today, the head of the UN atomic agency has said that the nuclear test is “an extremely regrettable act.”

“This new test, which follows the two tests last year and is the sixth since 2006, is in complete disregard of the repeated demands of the international community,” said Yukiya Amano, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in a statement.

[ read the full story ]


 

 

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Haiti has chance to solidify stability before UN mission’s drawdown, Security Council told

18 July 2017 – With three months left before the current United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti transitions to a smaller one, a UN envoy stressed today that the Caribbean country faces the “window of opportunity” to solidify stability, following recent elections.

“Haiti has remained on the path of stabilization and democratic consolidation,” the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Sandra Honoré, told the UN Security Council today.

“Looking ahead, for the country to make full use of the window of opportunity that emerged following the electoral process, additional measures will be needed to consolidate the security and stabilization gains of the past few years, create greater social and political cohesion and truly reinforce State institutions so that they can meet the needs of the Haitian people,” the Special Representative added.

Ms. Honoré noted that political space has opened up for the new Government to start addressing the many challenges facing the country, using this unique opportunity to tackle the root causes of instability, poverty, exclusion and impunity.

“Since then, initial steps aimed at overcoming longstanding problems in the areas of governance, rule of law and socio-economic development have been taken,” she said.

Those steps include a flagship development programme, the “caravan of change” in five of Haiti’s 10 departments, and the launch of legislative review to improve the investment climate, reinforce governance structures and restore State institutions.

However, it is “troubling” that the third branch of power – the judiciary – has not been brought to full functioning, she said, urging that key positions must be filled without further delay.

[testimonial author="Sandra Honore" Title="Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH)" avatar="../images/2017/honoreicon.png" icon="icon"] “Ultimately, Haiti’s security, political, social and development agenda can only be shaped by the national authorities and the Haitian people themselves;" [/testimonial]

The senior UN official also repeated her calls to modernize the penal system: “Without a properly functioning justice system, the Haitian National Police cannot effectively deliver security for all Haitian citizens and the domestic and international investments in the national police force will not develop to their full potential.”


She underscored the vital importance of inclusive national dialogue to forge a common vision for progress and articulate an institutional reform agenda.

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UN Security Council sees hope for reform after Haiti visit.

30 June 2017 – Haiti has a window of opportunity to implement reforms necessary to bring the Caribbean country onto a path of stability and development, the United Nations Security Council President said today.

Recounting the Council’s recent visit to Haiti, Ambassador Sacha Sergio Llorentty Soliz of Bolivia, which holds the presidency for the month of June, pointed to opportunities to cement positive change in the country.

“Haiti is at political crossroads. The window of opportunity is open to promote the reforms the country needs to respond to challenges,” he said. These include strengthening the rule of law, reforming the security sector, providing basic services, and creating jobs.

Mr. Llorentty led the Security Council mission to Haiti from 22 to 24 June, to get a first-hand look at how the UN could best contribute to stability and development in the country.

[ read the full story ]


Quick look at MINUSTAH

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Youth around the world speak up for a world free of nuclear weapons

  • 30 June 2017 |
  • Published in Youth
Around 100 young people from 54 countries are raising their voices and harnessing social media to help mobilize support for a world free of nuclear weapons, and advance the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).

Youth are among the 1,000 participants at this week’s Science and Technology 2017 Conference, held in Vienna, Austria, which provides a forum for scientists around the world to exchange knowledge and share advances in monitoring and verification technologies of relevance to the CTBT, which prohibits nuclear explosions anywhere in the world.
The young people listened to presentations from scientists around the world specializing in technologies for detecting nuclear events and committed to using social media and blogs to encourage others to push for the Treaty's entry into force.

For the CTBT, adopted by the General Assembly in September 1996, to enter into force, ratification is required from the so-called Annex II countries. Of these, China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, and the US have yet to ratify.

[ read the full story ]


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    Caribbean region becomes free of highly enriched uranium

 October 2015 – The United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today announced that Jamaica completed the conversion of its research reactor to low enriched uranium this month, decreasing proliferation risks and making the   Caribbean region completely free of highly enriched uranium. 

 

 

 

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Youth around the world speak up for a world free of nuclear weapons

  • 30 June 2017 |
  • Published in Youth
Around 100 young people from 54 countries are raising their voices and harnessing social media to help mobilize support for a world free of nuclear weapons, and advance the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).

Youth are among the 1,000 participants at this week’s Science and Technology 2017 Conference, held in Vienna, Austria, which provides a forum for scientists around the world to exchange knowledge and share advances in monitoring and verification technologies of relevance to the CTBT, which prohibits nuclear explosions anywhere in the world.
The young people listened to presentations from scientists around the world specializing in technologies for detecting nuclear events and committed to using social media and blogs to encourage others to push for the Treaty's entry into force.

For the CTBT, adopted by the General Assembly in September 1996, to enter into force, ratification is required from the so-called Annex II countries. Of these, China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, and the US have yet to ratify.

[ read the full story ]


 More stories:

    Caribbean region becomes free of highly enriched uranium

 October 2015 – The United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today announced that Jamaica completed the conversion of its research reactor to low enriched uranium this month, decreasing proliferation risks and making the   Caribbean region completely free of highly enriched uranium. 

 

 

 

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UN in Colombia strongly condemns bombing

United Nations entities based in Colombia have strongly condemned Saturday's terrorist attack at a shopping centre in the capital, Bogota, and underscored that they “remain determined” to support the country and its peace process.

“The UN in Colombia regrets and repudiates this act of violence and reiterates that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes a threat to peace and security,” read a statement (in Spanish) issued by the UN Country Team over the weekend.

[testimonial author="UN System in Colombia"  title="United Nations" avatar="../images/2017/onu-logo-2SM.jp"  icon="icon" ]

We remain determined to continue to support Colombians and their government in their efforts to build sustainable and lasting peace in the country”

[/testimonial]

At least three people (one French citizen and two Colombians) were killed and another nine wounded in the terrorist attack that struck the Andino shopping centre, located in Bogota's Chapinero district.

The blast occurred at around 5 pm local time (GMT -5:00) on a busy Saturday, with many people shopping for Father's Day, the next day.
In the UNCT statement, the agencies also expressed their condolences to the families of the victims as well as to the people and Government of Colombia and of France and wished for a speedy recovery of those injured.

(originally posted on UN News Centre)

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