Disarmament must remain at top of global agenda, Ban Ki-moon says

Disarmament must remain at top of global agenda, Ban Ki-moon says

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for energetic efforts to achieve disarmament, pointing out that weapons of mass destruction pose a “very real threat” to all of humanity.

“Developments in science and technology are raising hopes that new innovations could contribute to improving the quality of life of people throughout the world,” Mr. Ban said in a message yesterday to the 57th Pugwash Conference, held in Bari, Italy.

“But at the same time, developments in various fields of weaponry remind us of the potential devastation from the use of weapons of mass destruction, and the very real threat they pose to all of humanity.”

Pointing out that not only States but others could potentially acquire WMDs, he declared that “disarmament must remain at the top of our agenda.”

Mr. Ban praised the Pugwash Conference, which for decades has served to promote constructive dialogue on sensitive matters of international security, bringing together “influential scientists and public leaders from throughout the world, even from countries that do not necessarily enjoy friendly relations with each other.”

He said the UN has been working practically since its inception “with crucial civil society partners like Pugwash” towards the objective of ridding the world of all WMDs.

“We have much in common. We share a global approach to promoting disarmament and non-proliferation issues. We pursue similar aims of dialogue, peace, and security,” he said, voicing hope that participants would be able to identify specific contributions that the international community and the UN can make towards advancing their shared goals.