Ban Ki-moon speaks on disarmament at the 68th anniversary of Nagasaki bombing

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon gave a speech at the 68th Peace Memorial Ceremony on Friday, 68 years after the nuclear bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, and stressed the importance of global disarmament.

"As we solemnly remember those who perished, we also pay our respects to the hibakusha and their families who survived," Ban said. "I have been enormously impressed by their determined efforts to educate the world about the full humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons. Their efforts will help to ensure that these indiscriminate arms are never used again."

Ban said that disarmament is a global responsibility, as another nuclear war would affect every country. Ban argued that everyone has the ability to help in preventing another nuclear war by educating the youth on disarmament and non-proliferation.

"We may take a lead from the scholars and researchers at Nagasaki University who have studied this issue, and strengthen disarmament and non-proliferation education worldwide so a younger generation of emerging leaders, voters, and taxpayers can understand the vital need for policies to advance disarmament goals," Ban said.

Ban said local civil society organizations are at the best position to help teach the youth, but it is also the responsibility of national organizations to promote global nuclear disarmament. Ban said the nations with the largest stockpiles of nuclear weapons are the ones most responsible.

"I especially appeal to the States currently possessing nuclear weapons, particularly those with the largest nuclear arsenals, to agree on deep and verified reductions, stop developing new or modernized weapons, and accelerate their individual and collective efforts to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons," Ban said.

Ban ended his speech by telling the people of Nagasaki and others that support global nuclear disarmament that the U.N. will always fight to achieve this goal.

"Nuclear disarmament is one of the greatest legacies we can pass on to future generations, Ban said. "Let us rededicate ourselves today to realizing this vision."