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.
Saving our planet, lifting people out of poverty, advancing economic growth... these are one and the same fight. We must connect the dots between climate change, water scarcity, energy shortages, global health, food security and women's empowerment. Solutions to one problem must be solutions for all.
Sustainable development is the pathway to the future we want for all. It offers a framework to generate economic growth, achieve social justice, exercise environmental stewardship and strengthen governance.
One of my earliest memories is walking up a muddy road into the mountains. It was raining. Behind me, my village was burning. When there was school, it was under a tree. Then the United Nations came. They fed me, my family, my community.
I have been very encouraged by President Obama's call to action on climate change both at his Inauguration and in the State of the Union Address. This is a global imperative. I also welcome President Obama's intention to pursue reductions in nuclear arsenals.
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.