On Hiroshima Day, Annan urges world to do more for nuclear disarmament

6 August 2003

Commemorating the 58th anniversary of the world’s first atomic bomb attack, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called on the international community to accelerate nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, especially with the new “major concern” that such weapons could fall into the hands of terrorists.

“Although some would say it is an achievement that no nuclear weapon has been used since 1945, tens of thousands of such weapons – the exact number is unknown – remain in arsenals around the world,” Mr. Annan said in a message to the Peace Memorial Ceremony in Hiroshima, Japan.

“The progress made after the end of the Cold War in reducing those arsenals must be accelerated and solidified,” he added. “Moreover, other worrisome trends have emerged in recent years, such as the acquisition of nuclear weapons by non-nuclear States, and efforts to modernize existing arsenals and to create new types of nuclear weapons. The possibility that nuclear weapons or radiological bombs could fall into the hands of terrorists has also become a major concern.”

Stressing that the international community must do more to demonstrate the seriousness of its commitment to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, Mr. Annan concluded: “On this day of remembrance, let us all, governments and citizens alike, reaffirm our pledge to bring closer the day when people everywhere will be free to live their lives in peace, without fear of annihilation by the world’s most horrible weapons.”

 

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