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

 

Elimination of nuclear weapons ‘only real way’ to allay fear

Progress made in reducing the danger posed by nuclear arsenals has not only come to a halt, “it is going in reverse”, and any use of a nuclear weapon in the future would ignite “a humanitarian catastrophe.”

Secretary-General António Guterres surveyed the state of the disarmament debate during a high-level meeting of the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly on Thursday, coinciding with the commemoration of the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

“A qualitative nuclear arms race is underway”,' he warned, and rising tensions, mistrust between nuclear-armed States, and muddy rhetoric about the utility of nuclear weapons are some of the factors to blame.

Although atomic weapons have only been used twice, by the United States in 1945, around 14,500 remain in the world today, with over 2,000 nuclear tests conducted to date according to the UN’s disarmament wing (UNODA) .

“The elimination of nuclear weapons has been the United Nations’ highest disarmament priority from day one,” Mr. Guterres said in his opening remarks. “We strive for a world free of nuclear weapons because we know these weapons pose a unique and potentially existential threat to our planet.”

Born at a time of heightened distrust, the United Nations must do everything to ensure that the tragedy suffered by the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki never happens again, President of the General Assembly, Tijanai Mihammad-Bande reminded delegates in attendance.

Remembering such devastation “makes it crucial” that everything that can be done, is done, to ensure this moment in history “was the last time such weapons are deployed,” he said. “‘Never again,’ must remain our main refrain” he urged.

Last year the Secretary-General launched a new disarmament agenda with a clear implementation plan; a complement to the cornerstone Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) which entered into force in 1970, with a total of 191 States joining - more than any other arms limitation agreement.

The UN’s disarmament plan supports a number of other treaties with the aim of exterminating nuclear proliferation and testing, including the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), and the Comprehensive Nuclear-test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).

The Secretary-General urged all State Parties to collaborate at the upcoming 2020 Review of the NPT to further ensure its fundamental goals are met.

“Failure to do so will only further undermine the regime,'' he warned.

“Nuclear weapons present an unacceptable danger to humanity. Let us not forget that the only real way to eliminate the threat of nuclear weapons is to eliminate nuclear weapons themselves,” Mr. Guterres maintained.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Climate Strike: At UN, Youth Activists Press For Bold Action

This first-ever UN Youth Climate Summit follows Friday’s global ‘climate strike’, which saw millions of young people from across the globe walk out of school and jam streets in major cities, from New York to New Delhi and Santiago to San Francisco. More>>

ALSO:

Pacific: Tongan PM 'Akilisi Pohiva Dies, Aged 78

A constant thorn in the side of the monarchy and nobility, Mr Pohiva's lifelong battle for representation had seen him fired from the public service and charged with sedition... More>>

ALSO:

Untied Kingdom: UK PM Moves To Suspend Parliament In Weeks Before Brexit

The Prime Minister has briefed Cabinet colleagues that the government will bring forward an ambitious new legislative programme for MPs’ approval, and that the current parliamentary session will be brought to an end. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Hong Kong Protest Movement

The pro-democracy protests enjoy huge support among Hong Kong’s youth, partly because the democratic systems currently at risk have only a limited time span. More>>

ALSO: