Ukraine stresses nuclear non-proliferation at UN general debate

15:48, September 24, 2010      

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  Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych addresses the general debate of the 65th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, the United States, Sept. 23, 2010. (Xinhua/Shen Hong)

  Viktor Yanukovych, president of the Ukraine, told the UN General Assembly here Thursday that encouraging nuclear non-proliferation should be one of the UN's highest priorities.

  "The experience of recent decades shows that nuclear weapons do not always increase security," Yanukovych said. "Moreover, the countries that try to acquire nuclear weapons may be exposed to the impact of new risks and become more vulnerable."

  Yanukovych's statements came at the annual general debate held at the assembly. The theme of this year's debate was reaffirming the central role of the UN in global governance.

  "In 1994 we were the first in the world to voluntarily give up the third most powerful nuclear arsenal," Yanukovych said of his country. "Sixteen years have passed but that decision of Ukraine had not lost its importance."

  He said Ukraine made a further commitment to disarmament this year when it announced it would rid itself of all of its uranium stocks.

  "Against the backdrop of environmental, financial, economic, and energy challenges, peaceful use of nuclear energy is becoming increasingly crucial," Yanukovych said. "The states that possess nuclear technologies bear a huge responsibility to their own people, neighbors, and all mankind."

  Yanukovych applauded the participation of the UN in an upcoming high-level international conference to be held in Ukraine in April 2011 to observe the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl incident.

  "The forum should assess progress in restoration and normalization of life in the affected regions and discuss nuclear safety issues," he said.

Source: Xinhua


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