UN to kick off conference to review non-proliferation treaty (4)

10:52, May 01, 2010      

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The secretary-general stated in an opinion column in Wednesday' s International Herald Tribune that he hopes the forum will build on recent international momentum on disarmament, including the Russian-United States agreement earlier this month on slashing nuclear arsenals.

"If ever there were a time for the world's people to demand change, to demand action beyond the cautious half measures of the past, it is now," he said.

The president-elect said that consultations he has held with States parties indicate that the treaty's universality and the lack of institutional support for the NPT compared to other pacts will be among the key priorities for discussion at the forum.

The forum should serve as "a marketplace of ideas," he said. " The best ideas or the right ideas must prevail."

On the issue of universal adherence to the NPT, he said that it is not enough to have non-parties to the pact, including India, Pakistan and Israel, sign on. Countries such as the United States and Russia, must take further measures beyond their recent agreement on stockpiles, he said.

"If we are true to the real objective" of eliminating nuclear weapons, "something concrete must be done in this regard," he said.

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