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Hiroshima for Global Peace

Hiroshima Report 2019Towards the 2020 NPT Review Conference

Special Message by Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu (United Nations Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs)

It is a pleasure to provide this special message to the Hiroshima Report. This unique report acts as a watch dog, holding all States accountable for their commitments to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons.


The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is the centerpiece of global efforts towards this goal. By virtue of its verifiable non-proliferation obligations, legally-binding disarmament commitment and near-universal status it has become a load-bearing pillar of the international peace and security architecture.


As relationships between nuclear-armed States deteriorate, as dangerous rhetoric about the utility of nuclear weapons is used, as regional crises with proliferation dimensions and the emergence of new technologies increase nuclear risks, and as the web of instruments and agreements that prevented the Cold War from going hot is eroded, the NPT cannot afford to falter. In the current environment it must remain strong.


The Treaty’s Review Conference in 2020, marking the fiftieth anniversary of its entry into force, provides both a symbolic and practical opportunity to reaffirm the NPT’s centrality to our collective security and to strengthen it so that it remains fit for purpose to deal with the nuclear weapon-related challenges of the 21st Century.


The obstacles to securing a successful outcome in 2020 are well-known. They include divisions between nuclear-weapon States, diverging views on how to achieve and maintain a world without nuclear weapons, and progress on a Middle East Zone free of Nuclear Weapons and all other Weapons of Mass Destruction.


None of these is insurmountable but time is running short.


States parties must act now to stake the common ground that will yield success in 2020. They should consider new and innovative ways to achieve this desired outcome. One procedural innovation could be to include a high-level segment at the Review Conference that could result in a ministerial declaration recommitting all States parties to the NPT and the full implementation of their commitments across all three of the Treaty’s pillars.


States parties could also affirm that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. Maintaining the seventy decades old norm of the non-use of nuclear weapons should be every States parties’ highest priority.


Secretary-General Guterres has committed to facilitating the dialogue necessary to find a common path to the elimination of nuclear weapons. Between now and 2020, I strongly encourage States parties to take every opportunity to do so.

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