Young People’s Ideas, Energy, Creativity Needed to Spread Message ‘Nuclear Weapons Have No Place in Our World’, Secretary-General Tells Youth Leaders at Fund Launch

Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message, as delivered by Adedeji Ebo, Officer-in-Charge, Director and Deputy to the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, to the Virtual Launch of the Youth Leader Fund for a World Without Nuclear Weapons, today:

Today is an exciting day in our ongoing work to eliminate nuclear weapons.  You are the first group of young leaders to begin your journey as change-makers for nuclear disarmament.

Established by Japan, the Youth Leader Fund for a World Without Nuclear Weapons is an important initiative to ensure that young future leaders from around the world learn more about the tragic consequences of nuclear weapons.

The world is dangerously close to forgetting the terrifying lessons of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  Global norms against the use of these devices of destruction are being challenged by nuclear sabre-rattling.  Geopolitical tensions are rising, a new nuclear arms race looms and the risk of nuclear warfare has reached levels not seen since the Cold War.

This Fund recognizes that young people are critical to turning the tide.  Indeed, young people have been at the forefront of the disarmament and anti-nuclear-weapon movement for decades.  We need your ideas, energy and creativity to spread the message that nuclear weapons have no place in our world.

As young leaders and changemakers, the mantle falls to you to carry forward the timeless message of the survivors of the nuclear bombings in Japan, the hibakusha:  “No more Hiroshimas.  No more Nagasakis.”

Future generations are counting on you to help usher in a world of peace.  In the name of our common future — in the name of humanity — let’s spare no effort to rid the world of nuclear weapons, once and for all.

For information media. Not an official record.