Remarks from UN Secretary-General António Guterres

United Nations Secretary General António Guterres offered the following remarks to the 2024 Annual Meeting of the Arms Control Association, June 7, 2024, in Washington, D.C. 


Unofficial Transcription 
***EMBARGOED UNTIL 10am ET, June 7 ***

Dear friends, for more than 50 years, the Arms Control Association has gathered experts and leaders around an issue of monumental importance, ending the madness of nuclear weapons.

Your team has it right, we need to move back from the nuclear brink.

Humanity is on a knife's edge, the risk of a nuclear weapon being used has reached heights not seen since the Cold War. States are engaged in a qualitative arms race. Technologies like artificial intelligence are multiplying the danger. Nuclear blackmail has reemerged with some recklessly threatening nuclear catastrophe.

Meanwhile, the regime designed to prevent the use, testing and proliferation of nuclear weapons is weakening.

Dear friends, we need disarmament now. This was the central message of my disarmament agenda launched in 2018. Disarmament and conflict prevention are also at the heart of the New Agenda for Peace to reform the global peace and security architectures.

All countries need to step up, but nuclear weapons states must lead the way.

  • They must resume dialogue and commit to preventing any use of a nuclear weapon. And they should agree that none will be the first to launch one.
  • They must reaffirm moratorium on nuclear testing, and they must accelerate the implementation of the disarmament commitments made under the Nonproliferation Treaty. All parties to the treaty must start collaborating now to ensure consensus at the Review Conference in 2026.
  • I also urge the United States and the Russian Federation to get back to the negotiating table, fully implement the New START treaty and agree on its successor.
  • Until these weapons are eliminated. All countries must agree that any decision on nuclear use is made by humans, not machines or algorithms. Finally, nuclear saber-rattling must stop.

The United Nations is proud to stand with groups like the Arms Control Association across these important efforts.

Let's continue working to achieve a secure and peaceful world every country wants.