Letter from the UN Secretary-General

2 November 2012

I welcome the “Paper Cranes Project”, an initiative launched by the Hiroshima Youth Committee of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. This project deserves recognition and support from advocates of nuclear disarmament throughout the world. It features a noble goal: to promote the negotiation of a nuclear weapons convention, a key part of my five-point nuclear disarmament proposal.

It has chosen a creative way to advance this goal, featuring the delivery of 1,000 folded paper cranes – a global symbol of peace and disarmament – to all the world’s leaders. It reinforces the views that have been expressed by representatives of over 140 countries in support of concluding a nuclear weapons convention. It has succeeded in engaging young people in the City of Hiroshima by giving them a personal role in the promotion of the global nuclear disarmament. And I hope it will inspire additional efforts by young people everywhere who understand how important it is to grow up in a world without such horrible weapons.

Ancient Japanese tradition holds that anyone who folds 1,000 paper cranes will be granted a wish. My wish is that the dream of a nuclear-weapon-free world will become a reality in time to benefit those who folded those cranes. Achieving this goal will require both enlightened leadership from government leaders and from an active and informed public.  These cranes have a role to play in strengthening both of these foundations of disarmament. They are therefore much more than a symbol; they are a call to action.

For all these reasons, I salute the Hiroshima Youth Committee and all their partners in the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons for working with such commitment and creativity in pursuit of our shared goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.

Ban Ki-moon

United Nations Secretary-General

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