UN Secretary-General launches multimedia disarmament campaign in marking 100-day countdown to international day of peace

15.06.2009 - New York - Pía Figueroa

The end of the cold war helped lift the burden of nuclear catastrophe from a generation that had lived under its cloud since the end of the Second World War. Nonetheless, the threat persists, as recent events attest. 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.

This alarming outlook is counterbalanced by a new momentum on the part of world leaders to address the issue of nuclear weapons. The United States and the Russian Federation have signaled a new commitment to cut their nuclear arsenals. Furthermore, the Conference on Disarmament, which includes all States with nuclear arms, has recently broken a decade-long deadlock and agreed to work to resolve some of the key issues related to disarmament and non-proliferation.

We must build on this momentum. To that end, I am launching the WMD-WeMustDisarm! 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. Between now and 21 September, we will issue 100 reasons to disarm, via Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, email, text message, radio and from friend to friend. Celebrities will also help us spread the message. And finally, as we observe the International Day of Peace with world leaders gathered in New York for the sixty-fourth session of the United Nations General Assembly, I will proclaim one strong, simple message: We must disarm!

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