UNODA's Kane gives statement on nuclear disarmament

Angela Kane, the high representative of the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, gave a statement to the Mayors for Peace on Saturday while in Hiroshima, Japan.

Kane began by noting how quickly Mayors for Peace has grown and helped to take action against nuclear weapons. She also said that being in Hiroshima is an honor and shows why it is important to stand up for nuclear disarmament.

"Of course, your interest as mayors in nuclear disarmament extends far beyond the avoidance of nuclear war," Kane said. "You are also trying to meet the social and economic needs of your people. You keep hearing that funding is not sufficient to meet these needs. Yet when considering the trillions of dollars that have been spent world wide on nuclear weapons, and the estimated additional trillion that is expected to be spent in the coming decade, such a claim only begs the question: have we not better uses for such funds in meeting human needs?"

Kane said that just a small amount of the money spent on nuclear arms could fund the Millennium Development Goals and help improve the cities of the world.

"Almost 20,000 nuclear weapons reportedly still remain-though the exact number is unknown given the lack of transparency over these various stockpiles," Kane said. "While it is true that large reductions have been declared, they have not been verified. Today, all possessor states have robust, well-funded, long-term programs underway to modernize their warheads or their delivery systems."

Kane indicated that there is still a lot of nuclear disarmament work to be done and praised the people and organizations working towards disarmament.

"You, the members of Mayors for Peace, have certainly had to confront your own critics of your stance on nuclear disarmament," Kane said. "Yet you have fought on, expanded your numbers, reached out to new cities, helped to mobilize a younger generation, stimulated media attention, and your views are no doubt reaching national governments around the world."