THE UNITED NATIONS - Paying tribute to the victims and survivors of the nuclear bombing of Nagasaki on 9 August 1945, Secretary-General António Guterres said in his message for the annual Nagasaki Peace Ceremony on Friday that the city “has emerged to become a beacon for global peace and understanding”.

“I was profoundly moved upon seeing this for myself when I travelled to Nagasaki last year to take part in this ceremony”, he said, adding that the “brave survivors” testimony “touched my heart” as did their devotion “to ensuring that the great tragedy that befell this city is never visited upon any other”.

In the face of rising tensions between nuclear armed States and the demise of existing arms control and disarmament treaties, the UN chief lamented that “the nuclear danger persists”.

“The international community must join forces to safeguard the security benefits that existing treaties bring to us all” he urged.

The “only true guarantee” against nuclear weapons is “their total elimination”, Mr. Guterres said, calling it the UN’s and his personal “highest disarmament priority”.

Calling youth the “future peacemakers of the world” and “the ultimate force for change to secure our common future”, the Secretary-General maintained that by carrying the message forward together, “we will achieve our shared goal of a world free of nuclear weapons”.