Agence France Presse reported remarks of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, speaking in Seoul:
Some say nuclear disarmament is utopian… I say the illusion is that nuclear weapons provide security,”Ban said . . .
Stressing the inability of nuclear weapons to defend against the threats of crime, terror and disease, the secretary general argued that their inherently destabilising presence was unwarranted in the post-Cold War era.
How, then, do we explain that… amidst a global financial crisis, the nuclear-weapon states seem intent on modernising their arsenals for decades to come?
And more broadly, how can we justify global military spending that last year was twice as much in a day as the UN spent on all its activities the whole year?” he said.
Agence France Presse, Express Tribune [Pakistan], 2012.10.29.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, California. He began by recalling that in early in his tenure he had launched a five-point plan on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. In todays remarks he would review achievement and challenges. Excerpts (partially reformatted
I will focus on five linked and mutually reinforcing points – accountability; the rule of law; partnerships; the role of the Security Council; and education. ... As I look at the disarmament landscape, my feelings are mixed.
nuclear disarmament progress is off track. Delay comes with a high price tag. The longer we procrastinate, the greater the risk that these weapons will be used, will proliferate or be acquired by terrorists. But our aim must be more than keeping the deadliest of weapons from “falling into the wrong hands”. There are no right hands for wrong weapons. This brings me to my first point: accountability. Each Member State needs to uphold its commitments. ...
*#147; Deferring nuclear disarmament indefinitely pending the satisfaction of an endlessly growing list of preconditions can lead only to a world full of nuclear weapons. I want to stress the special responsibility of the nuclear-armed States. I also encourage nuclear-weapon-States to come up with a bold set of measures to promote transparency of their nuclear arsenals.
Member States also need to reinvigorate the international disarmament machinery. When I spoke to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva I said plainly that the very credibility of the body is at risk. The Conferences record of achievement is overshadowed by inertia that has now lasted for more than a decade. That must change. Another year of stalemate in the Conference on Disarmament is simply unacceptable. The Conference should start long-overdue negotiations on a fissile material treaty as a priority. It should also start deliberations on a nuclear weapons convention, a legal security assurance for non-nuclear weapon States against nuclear threats, and the prevention of an arms race in outer space.
• Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. . James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey Institute of International Studies, Monterey, California. http://www.un.org/apps/news/infocus/sgspeeches/statments_full.asp?statID=1749#.UQVQBqUmQoQ 2013.01.18.
• Ban Ki-moon, The United Nations and Security in a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World, as delivered, New York. http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2008/sgsm11881.doc.htm 2008.10.24.