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Volkan Bozkir (General Assembly President) 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 Volkan Bozkir, President of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, on the General Assembly's High-level plenary meeting to commemorate and promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.
" (...) Seventy-five years ago, the horrific consequences of nuclear weapons were made undoubtably clear.
Up to 226,000 people lost their lives when these devastating weapons were used on Japan.
This United Nations was born out of the devastation of those years. And this General Assembly was clearly committed to nuclear disarmament from its inception: the very first resolution passed in 1946 aimed to achieve global nuclear disarmament.
Nuclear weapons continue to pose a grave threat to international peace and security.
The only sure way to eliminate this threat is to eliminate the weapons themselves. There is no alternative.
It is therefore unfortunate that the architecture developed over decades to support the goals of disarmament and enhance security is under significant strain with rising global tensions.
Parties have withdrawn from nuclear-related agreements and others are set to expire. Some Member states have threatened to restart nuclear testing.
Amid such challenges to the non‑proliferation architecture, we must ensure efforts are focused on returning to the common goal of a world free of nuclear weapons through practical realisable goals and comensurate actions.
In this regard, I would like to draw your attention to the tools that are available to help us reach this goal.
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons that was adopted in 2017 is first multilateral legally binding instrument for nuclear disarmament to have been negotiated in 20 years.
The Secretary-General’s Agenda for Disarmament seeks to engage stakeholders in innovative discussions so as to bring disarmament back to the heart of our common efforts for peace and security.
Ladies and gentelmen,
This year also marks the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which has been the cornerstone of the global disarmament and non-proliferation regime.
At the 2020 NPT Review Conference to be held next year, States Parties will take stock of the progress made in the implementation of the Treaty since 2015 and explore ways to further the progress made thus far.
All States Parties need to make the most of this opportunity to renew their commitments and engage in inclusive dialogue to take practical steps in nuclear disarmament.
Nuclear disarmament must remain a priority to all of us (...)" - Volkan Bozkir, President of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly [Excerpt].
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