Urging world to disarm, Ban kicks off countdown to UN Day

13 June 2009

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today launched the “WMD-WeMustDisarm” campaign, beginning the 100-day countdown to the 2009 United Nations International Day of Peace, which this year focuses on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

Over the next 100 days leading up to the International Day, observed annually on 21 September, Mr. Ban and others will raise awareness of the need to eliminate nuclear weapons by issuing a daily message, via Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, email and radio, urging the world to disarm.

The Secretary-General is taking the lead by issuing the first 10 'tweets' of the campaign.

“Over the next 100 days, the United Nations and our partners around the world will work to raise awareness of the true costs and dangers of nuclear weapons,” Mr. Ban said in a message to mark the start of the countdown.

“Unless we vigorously work for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, we will continue to face threats from existing nuclear weapons, as well as additional risks that more States, even terrorists, might acquire and deploy such weapons, potentially annihilating millions of people,” he stated.

Joining him in promoting the campaign is UN Messenger of Peace and Academy Award-winning actor and producer Michael Douglas, who has championed the cause of disarmament for the UN since 1998.

Also supporting the campaign is Rainn Wilson, featured actor in the American television comedy, “The Office,” who has more than 800,000 followers on Twitter.

The International Day of Peace was established by the Assembly in 1981 as a day of global ceasefire and non-violence.

“As we observe the International Day of Peace with world leaders gathered in New York for the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly, I will proclaim one strong, simple message: We Must Disarm!,” stated the Secretary-General.


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