Do not hide behind utopian logic which says that until we have the perfect security environment, nuclear disarmament cannot proceed. This is old-think. This is the mentality of the Cold War era. We must face the realities of the 21st century. The Conference on Disarmament can be a driving force for building a safer world and a better future.
All nuclear material in weapons programmes must be subject one day to binding international verification.
The Millennium Development Goals were a pledge to uphold the principles of human dignity, equality and equity, and free the world from extreme poverty. The MDGs, with eight goals and a set of measurable time-bound targets, established a blueprint for tackling the most pressing development challenges of our time.
Border strengthening is effective, but not if done in isolation. We also need to give priority to establishing public institutions that deliver a sustained level of security and justice for citizens. Border security can never come at the expense of migrants' rights. Nor can it be used to legitimize inhumane treatment.
The burden for achieving disarmament cannot be borne by peace groups alone. Everybody, regardless of age, income, profession, gender or nationality, has a stake in this quest.
One of the main lessons I have learned the last five years as Secretary-General is that the United Nations cannot function properly without the support of the business community and civil society. We need to have tripartite support - the governments, the business communities and the civil society.
As a child growing up during the Korean War, I knew poverty. I studied by candlelight.
The catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons require that it be treated as a top priority. Disarmament will work better than any alternative in reducing the risk of use.
I was profoundly moved to be the first United Nations Secretary-General to attend the Peace Memorial Ceremony in Hiroshima. I also visited Nagasaki. Sadly, we know the terrible humanitarian consequences from the use of even one weapon. As long as such weapons exist, so, too, will the risks of use and proliferation.
The U.N.'s humanitarian agencies rely on charitable donations from the public as well as the generosity of governments to continue their lifesaving work in response to natural disasters, armed conflicts and other emergencies.
Freedom is a timeless value. The United Nations Charter calls for encouraging respect for fundamental freedoms. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights mentions freedom more than twenty times. All countries have committed to protecting individual freedoms on paper - but in practice, too many break their pledge.
I believe that the topic of chemical weapons is critically important for international peace and security, and I take note of the ongoing debate over what course of action should be taken by the international community. All those actions should be taken within the framework of the U.N. Charter, as a matter of principle.
The good name of the United Nations is one of its most valuable assets - but also one of its most vulnerable. The Charter calls on staff to uphold the highest levels of efficiency, competence and integrity, and I will seek to ensure to build a solid reputation for living up to that standard.
Grave security concerns can arise as a result of demographic trends, chronic poverty, economic inequality, environmental degradation, pandemic diseases, organized crime, repressive governance and other developments no state can control alone. Arms can't address such concerns.
Building sustainable cities - and a sustainable future - will need open dialogue among all branches of national, regional and local government. And it will need the engagement of all stakeholders - including the private sector and civil society, and especially the poor and marginalized.
One of the main lessons I have learned during my five years as Secretary-General is that broad partnerships are the key to solving broad challenges. When governments, the United Nations, businesses, philanthropies and civil society work hand-in-hand, we can achieve great things.
Women hold up more than half the sky and represent much of the world's unrealized potential. They are the educators. They raise the children. They hold families together and increasingly drive economies. They are natural leaders. We need their full engagement... in government, business and civil society.
People understand that nuclear weapons cannot be used without indiscriminate effects on civilian populations. Such weapons have no legitimate place in our world. Their elimination is both morally right and a practical necessity in protecting humanity.
Every day, we at the United Nations see the human toll of an absence of regulations or lax controls on the arms trade. We see it in the suffering of civilian populations trapped by armed conflict or pervasive crime. We see it in the killing and wounding of civilians - including children, the most vulnerable of all.
When I was six, the Korean War broke out, and all the classrooms were destroyed by war. We studied under the trees or in whatever buildings were left.