Humanity at ‘Moment of Great Peril’, Secretary-General Tells Eminent Persons Group for Nuclear-Weapon-Free World, Urging Solutions to Bridge Divides, Cool Rhetoric

Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message for the first meeting of the International Group of Eminent Persons for a World without Nuclear Weapons, in Hiroshima today:

Greetings to the International Group of Eminent Persons for a World Without Nuclear Weapons.  I congratulate Japan for this important initiative.

This inaugural meeting arrives at a moment of great peril.  Despite the devastating lessons of Hiroshima, Nagasaki and the cold war, nuclear weapons remain a clear and present danger.  These doomsday devices are routinely being used as tools of coercion.

Not since the darkest days of the cold war have we heard such clear threats about their use.  We are one mistake, one miscalculation, one misunderstanding away from blundering into oblivion.

We need your wisdom to help walk us back from the edge.  We need your experience to generate solutions that will bridge divides, cool the rhetoric and set us on a course to a world free of nuclear weapons.

Your venue should inspire your mission.  As I have witnessed personally, Hiroshima is a living symbol of the tragedy of nuclear weapons and the hope for peace.  None embody this spirit more than the brave hibakusha.  We must heed their calls for an end to the nuclear threat.

I wish you the best in your endeavours as we strive to meet this essential goal.

For information media. Not an official record.