‘Nuclear Threat is back in Focus’- UN Chief in Tokyo – Press Conference (8 August 2022)

United Nations– Aug 8, 2022

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres held a press conference at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo on 8 August 2022.

“Good morning distinguished members of the media,

It’s a great pleasure to be back in Japan, and I thank the government and the Japanese people for your very warm welcome.

Saturday’s peace ceremony in Hiroshima was an unforgettable and moving experience. The dedication of the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to the cause of peace, and the dignity and resilience of the hibakusha, are an example and a lesson for all of humanity.

I intended to go to Hiroshima for the 75th anniversary of the horrendous explosion. Unfortunately, COVID-19 did not allow me. I had gone to Nagasaki one year before, and I have to tell you that whenI came to Hiroshima and Nagasaki as a citizen of the world in the 1980s, this had a profound influence in my political career in my country, and later in my actions in international affairs.

I’d like to underline that in Hiroshima I made two concrete asks. First, ask the nuclear armed countries to commit to no first use of nuclear weapons and ask nuclear armed countries, never to use or threaten non-nuclear armed countries with the use of nuclear weapons, with full transparency in relation to their arsenals. I hope these asks will be taken seriously because we are witnessing a radicalization in the geopolitical situation that makes the risk of a nuclear war again, something we cannot completely forget.

I also want to express my deep condolences, remembering former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, whom I met several times and was a true believer in multilateralism and a staunch partner of the United Nations. I was deeply shocked and saddened by his killing.

Mr. Abe leaves a legacy of strengthened relations with the United Nations, and I would once again like to convey our condolences to the Government, the people of Japan and his family on his passing.

Japan is a pillar of the multilateral system, and the third largest financial contributor to the United Nations.

But Japan’s support goes far beyond funding. I commend Japan’s solidarity and help in response to the war in Ukraine; its strong commitment to Universal Health Coverage; its leadership on disaster risk reduction; and its contributions to United Nations peacekeeping.
Japan’s global leadership extends to an increasing advocacy for peace, human security and disarmament.

At a time when geopolitical tensions are rising and the nuclear threat is back in focus, Japan’s strong and consistent voice on peace is more important than ever.

My talks with Prime Minister Kishida in Hiroshima confirmed this. We covered many aspects of the serious global challenges we face today, including the situation also on the Korean Peninsula.

This mission I am undertaking is centered on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. It takes place when the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference is taking place in New York.

I came to Hiroshima paying tribute to the victims, paying tribute to the hibakusha, paying tribute to the people of Hiroshima, and I will be going to Mongolia and the Republic of Korea. Mongolia has been an important interlocutor of the UN in relation to the situation in the DPRK and the Republic of Korea. Considering that the denuclearization – full denuclearization, verifiable and irreversible of the Korean Peninsula remains a major objective together with the success of the JCPOA to avoid the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

As you know, I have repeatedly advocated for and welcomed the reopening and strengthening of communication channels to reduce tensions, and I hope the parties will resume dialogue and build on earlier agreements.

I would also like to express my total solidarity on the issue of abductees, a historical injustice that is completely unacceptable in today’s world.

Recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is being hampered at the global and national levels by growing inequalities between developed and developing countries, between north and south, and by discrimination against women and minorities of all kinds.

I count on Japan’s efforts to reduce these unjust inequalities, and to support inclusive, resilient, sustainable economies and societies, based on the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.

I also urge Japan to support efforts at the global level to reform the financial architecture that is failing developing countries. We need solidarity to create a more just and equitable global financial system that works for everyone. (…)”

Full Remarks: https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/p

Full Remarks: https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/p…

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