World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Annan Urges World Leaders: Break Nuclear Deadlock

Annan Urges World Leaders to Break Nuclear Deadlock

New York, May 31 2005 4:00PM

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has challenged world leaders to “move beyond rhetoric” and break the years-long deadlock over how to tackle nuclear arms and their proliferation.

After the 2005 review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) ended last week without substantive agreement, the Secretary-General said in an opinion piece in yesterday’s International Herald Tribune that a vital opportunity was missed to repair “cracks” in each of the 35-year-old accord’s pillars – non-proliferation, disarmament and peaceful uses of nuclear technology.

“Regrettably, there are times when multilateral forums tend merely to reflect, rather than mend, deep rifts over how to confront the threats we face,” he writes. Despite the NPT’s near universal ratification – with 188 States parties -- the month-long review conference wrapped up last Friday at UN Headquarters in New York with little movement on substantive issues.

In his opening address to the conference, Mr. Annan warned that negotiations would stall if some delegates focused on some threats instead of addressing them all. A number of countries underscored proliferation as a grave danger, while others argued that existing nuclear arsenals imperil us. The spread of nuclear fuel-cycle technology posed an unacceptable proliferation threat to some, but others countered that access to peaceful uses of nuclear technology must not be compromised.

Despite the diplomatic stalemate, he says the conference’s failure to come to any agreement will not break the NPT-based regime. The vast majority of countries that are parties to the treaty recognize its enduring benefits. “But there are cracks in each of the treaty's pillars…and each of these cracks requires urgent repair,” Mr. Annan says.

He points out that since the review conference last met in 2000, North Korea has announced its withdrawal from the treaty and declared itself in possession of nuclear weapons. Libya has admitted that it worked for years on a clandestine nuclear weapons program. And the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has found undeclared uranium enrichment activity in Iran.

“Clearly, the NPT-based regime has not kept pace with the march of technology and globalization,” he writes, adding that whereas proliferation among countries was once considered the sole concern of the Treaty, revelations that the Pakistani nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan and others were extensively trafficking in nuclear technology and know-how exposed the vulnerability of the nonproliferation regime to non-State actors.

“When multilateral forums falter, leaders must lead,” Mr. Annan says, noting that countries will have a unique opportunity to renew their efforts in September, when more than 170 Heads of State and Government convene in New York to take decisions on UN reform and adopt a wide-ranging agenda to advance development, security and human rights.

“I challenge them to break the deadlock on the most pressing challenges in the field of nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament,” Mr. Annan writes. “If they fail to do so, their peoples will ask how, in today's world, they could not find common ground in the cause of diminishing the existential threat of nuclear weapons…solutions are within are reach; we must grasp them.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>

ALSO:

Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>

ALSO:

Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>

ALSO:

Camp Shut Down: Refugees Must Be Rescued From Manus

On 31st October 2017, the detention centre on Manus Island in which the Australian Government has been holding more than 700 refugees was closed, leaving those living there in a desperate situation. More>>

ALSO:

EARLIER:

Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>

ALSO: