NEW YORK – Izumi Nakamitsu, the new U.N. undersecretary-general and high representative for disarmament affairs, said Thursday she will throw her full support behind negotiations to ban nuclear weapons. In an interview, Nakamitsu, 53, said she will pay official visits to Hiroshima and Nagasaki this summer, if invited, with the aim of making an international appeal for disarmament from the atom-bombed Japanese cities. Nakamitsu, who assumed the new posts on Monday, gave her blessing to the view held by non-nuclear countries in favor of an international treaty to outlaw nuclear weapons that a disarmament accord would complement the regime of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. She also said it is "critically important" to make a success of an NPT review conference to be held in 2020. Unlike the U.N.-backed talks on a nuclear weapons ban treaty, which began in March, the NPT review process involves major nuclear powers. Nakamitsu said she hopes Japan, the only country in the world to have suffered nuclear attacks, will serve as a bridge between nuclear and non-nuclear nations.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres led off reactions from around the world Thursday, saying he is "deeply concerned" by the cancellation of next month's planned summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Guterres told an audience at the University of Geneva that he is urging the parties to keep working "to find a path to the peaceful and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula." U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters in New York later: "The secretary-general always remains available to all parties to help facilitate the process." Guterres' comments came as he laid out his disarmament agenda, warning that nuclear agreements between states are threatened like never before. He said nuclear powers must do more to promote disarmament, putting a particular onus on Russia and the U.S. to remedy a world "going backwards" in this area since right after the Cold War.
NEW YORK – U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres will travel to Nagasaki to attend the annual commemoration of the atomic bombing of the city, the United Nations said Tuesday. It will be the first time for a U.N. secretary-general to attend the Aug. 9 anniversary. In 2010, Guterres' predecessor, Ban Ki-moon, became the first U.N. chief to attend the event marking the Hiroshima atomic bombing. Nagasaki was the second city to be targeted in 1945, only three days after Hiroshima. The atomic bombings took place late in World War II and heralded the start of the nuclear age.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is considering attending the annual commemoration of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, according to diplomatic sources. It would be the first time for a U.N. secretary-general to attend the Aug. 9 anniversary. In 2010 Guterres' predecessor, Ban Ki Moon, became the first U.N. chief to attend the event marking the Hiroshima atomic bombing. The annual commemorations in the two cities are attended by the prime minister and other leading politicians. Nagasaki was the second city to be targeted in 1945, only three days after the city of Hiroshima.
VIENNA – Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui has called on U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres to take part in a peace conference to be held in Nagasaki in August. Matsui made the request in a Monday meeting with Izumi Nakamitsu, the new U.N. undersecretary general and high representative for disarmament affairs, handing over a letter written jointly with Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue. Matsui, president of the nongovernmental organization Mayors for Peace, said he told Nakamitsu that many citizens, including survivors of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, hope for progress in the negotiations to ban nuclear weapons. Mayors for Peace, an organization seeking nuclear disarmament and world peace, involves about 7,300 cities in 162 countries and regions. It is scheduled to convene a general conference in Nagasaki on Aug. 7-10.