UN chief calls for intensified global effort on nuclear disarmament

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

New York [United States], August 7 (ANI): With the presence of some 15,000 nuclear weapons on Earth, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged all States to intensify their efforts in the shared pursuit of a nuclear-weapons-free world. "Our dream of a world free of nuclear weapons remains far from reality," said Guterres in a message delivered on his behalf by High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu at an annual memorial held in Hiroshima, Japan, for the victims of the atomic bomb dropped on August 6, 1945 in the city. The states possessing nuclear weapons have a special responsibility to undertake concrete and irreversible steps in nuclear disarmament," Guterres stressed, warning against the continued presence of some 15,000 nuclear weapons and dangerous rhetoric regarding their use. He said that the world looks to Hiroshima, as the city built on "resilience and hope," which has come back from the tragic event 72 years ago, adding that the city's determination for peace is an inspiration to the world. On a positive note, Guterres highlighted a major development in 2017, in particular the adoption last month of the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons by UN Member States. This outcome was the result of a global campaign focused on the unconditional unacceptability of the use of nuclear weapons, the Secretary-General noted, acknowledging the invaluable contribution made by Hiroshima's message of peace and the heroic efforts of hibakushas or survivors of the atomic bombs. They have reminded the world of the devastating humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons, he said, expressing UN support for a global effort towards a world free of nuclear weapons. The United States had dropped nuclear bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945, respectively during the final stage of World War II. The two bombings, which killed at least 129,000 people, remain the only use of nuclear weapons for warfare in history. (ANI)