UN chief pushes for successful NPT Review Conference

09:00, May 25, 2010      

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United Nations Secretary- general Ban Ki-moon on Monday urged state parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to ensure the success of the ongoing Review Conference, which ends on Friday.

"I urge delegations to be pragmatic, to abandon rhetoric and to look beyond narrow national interests," he told reporters during his monthly press conference. "There is too much at stake for the conference to end in failure as it did last time."

The month-long Review Conference, which occurs every five years, is aimed at strengthening the three pillars of the NPT: Disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

The last NPT Review Conference in 2005 was largely considered a failure when state parties failed to reach an agreement on a number of issues.

This time around, delegations have put forward many constructive proposals, said Ban. However, over the past few days, disagreements over the implementation of a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East and a clear timetable for disarmament have delayed progress.

"Now, we have reached a crucial stage," Ban said. "It is time for an agreement."

At the heart of the NPT, the five recognized nuclear weapon states -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- pledged to move toward disarmament. And, in return for not acquiring the atomic bomb, non-weapon states have been promised access to peaceful nuclear energy.

Source: Xinhua
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