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António Guterres (UN Secretary-General) on the commemoration of the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons - General Assembly's High-level plenary meeting
2 Oct 2020 -  Opening remarks by António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations on the General Assembly's High-level plenary meeting to commemorate and promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.
"(...)Nuclear disarmament has been a priority of the United Nations since the very beginning of the Organization’s existence.
Yet 75 years since the founding of the United Nations and since the horrific bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the world continues to live in the shadow of nuclear catastrophe.
Some States view nuclear weapons as vital to their national security and survival.
But the elimination of nuclear weapons is vital to something beyond the fate of any single state: the survival of life on this planet.
Unfortunately, progress towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons has stalled and is at risk of backsliding.
Growing distrust and tension between the States that possess nuclear weapons have increased nuclear risks.
Programmes to modernize arsenals threaten a qualitative nuclear arms race, based not on numbers but faster, stealthier and more accurate weapons. The opportunity cost of spending money on such ill-conceived upgrades is simply staggering.
The only treaty constraining the size of the world’s largest nuclear arsenals is set to expire early next year, raising the alarming possibility of a return to unconstrained strategic competition.
For this reason, it is imperative that the Russian Federation and the United States of America extend, without delay, the “New START” Treaty for the maximum duration of five years.
For the sake of all of our security, the world must return to a common path towards nuclear disarmament(...)" - António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations [Excerpt].
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