For information only – not an official document

2 March 2023

The Secretary-General

Message for the International Day for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Awareness

5 March 2023

On this first-ever International Day for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Awareness, the global community gathers around a fundamental conviction.

Nuclear, chemical, biological, and unpredictable autonomous and other indiscriminate weapon systems have no place in our world.

Yet today, these and other threats continue to menace humanity, with record levels of military spending, rising mistrust, and geopolitical tensions that, left unchecked, could spiral into even greater conflict.

In particular, the number of nuclear weapons held in stockpiles around the world remains at around 13,000 — more than enough to destroy our planet many times over at a time when risk of use is at its highest since the Cold War.

On this important day, I call on all partners — from governments and academia, to media, civil society groups, industry, and young people — to turn up the volume on this collective emergency and raise awareness about the critical importance of disarmament and non-proliferation to humanity’s future.

I also urge leaders to take steps to strengthen the global disarmament and non-proliferation regime — including the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons — and support a New Agenda for Peace with a reinvigorated vision for disarmament.

Disarmament and non-proliferation are investments in peace.

They are investments in our future.

Let’s end these threats before they end us.

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