NEW YORK – Weapons of mass destruction and disarmament form one of the gravest challenges facing the world. One of my priorities as United Nations Secretary-General is to promote global public goods and remedies to challenges that do not respect borders. A world free of nuclear weapons is a global public good of the highest order.
My interest in this subject stems partly from personal experience. My homeland, South Korea, has suffered the ravages of conventional war and faced threats from nuclear weapons and other WMD. But, of course, such threats are not unique to Asia.
Despite a longstanding taboo against using nuclear weapons, disarmament remains only an aspiration. So, is a taboo merely on the use of such weapons sufficient?
States make the key decisions where nuclear weapons are concerned. But the UN has important roles to play. We provide a central forum in which states can agree on norms to serve their common interests. We analyze, educate, and advocate in the pursuit of agreed goals.