Disarmament can play an important role in ending existing conflicts and preventing the outbreak of new strife, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said today, pledging to actively pursue the abolition of all weapons of mass destruction and the strict regulation of conventional weapons.
“I am committed to achieving a world free of nuclear weapons,” the Secretary-General declared in a video message to the Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament, which opened the first segment of its three-part 2017 session yesterday.
Recalling that upon taking office he had described a world of new and old conflicts woven in a complex, interconnected web, Mr. Guterres said today that those conflicts have precipitated gross violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.
As such, while disarmament can play an important role in ending existing conflicts and preventing the outbreak of new strife, disarmament and arms control processes provide the breathing space for confidence to be built, stability to be strengthened and trust to be established.
“This was true during the Cold War and it is true now,” continued the UN chief, stressing that the need for breathing space is more urgent than ever as global tensions are rising, “sabres have been rattled and dangerous words spoken about the use of nuclear weapons.”
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