A major address delivered by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon


james martin institute non proliferation

News of a major address delivered by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in January was sent by two readers some time ago, but – as the content is not time-sensitive – no harm has been done by the delay in reporting it.

The Institute, based in the United States, is devoted to combating the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

ban ki moonBan Ki-Moon mentioned with approval the work of several organisations and the main points from this long address were summarised by Jenny Maxwell in a WMCND newsletter:

* Nuclear disarmament progress is off track.

* World leaders have become too focussed on the spread of nuclear weapons instead of their dismantling. There are no right hands for wrong weapons.

* Nuclear deterrence is not a solution to international peace and stability. It is an obstacle.

* I want to stress the special responsibility of the nuclear-armed States.

* The world spends more on the military in one month than it does on development all year, and four hours of military spending is equal to the total budgets of all international disarmament and non-proliferation organisations combined.

* Non-governmental organisations such as the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, the Global Zero movement and many other groups are making significant contributions.

He ended by saying:

“The world was lucky that the nuclear arms build-up that followed did not result in a global nuclear catastrophe. Yet the nuclear sword remains — as does that slender thread. But so, too, does that plea for abolition — an appeal rooted in the threats posed by weapons of mass destruction and the unrestrained global competition for more, and more potent, weaponry. So I will add my own appeal to you today. Focus your minds not on clever ways to strengthen the thread. Focus instead on how to remove the sword. This is the true challenge for disarmament and non-proliferation”.


The address was videoed and may be seen here: http://new.livestream.com/miis/unsg


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