Major world powers protest U.N. talks to ban nuclear weapons
United Nations, Mar. 28 (ANI): Dozens of members states including the United States on Monday boycotted United Nations talks for a treaty that would ban nuclear weapons saying the time was not right to outlaw nuclear arms.
"There is nothing I want more for my family than a world with no nuclear weapons. But we have to be realistic. Is there anyone who thinks that North Korea would ban nuclear weapons?" The New York Times reported U.S Ambassador Nikki R. Haley as saying to reports outside the General Assembly as the talks were getting underway.
The talks, supported by more than 120 countries, were first announced in October and are led by Austria, Brazil, Ireland, Mexico, South Africa and Sweden.
Last October, Britain, France, Israel, Russia and US all voted against the UN's proposal to create a legally binding treaty banning nuclear weapons. The remaining nuclear powers – China, India and Pakistan – all abstained and also intend to boycott the talks. More than 30 other countries have announced plans to skip the negotiations, including Japan, the only country to have suffered a nuclear attack, in 1945.
The talks come against the backdrop of increasing worries over the intentions of a reclusive North Korea, which has tested nuclear weapons and missiles that could conceivably carry them.
According to the New York Times, Haley and Ambassador Matthew Rycroft of Britain emphasized that their countries had vastly reduced the size of their nuclear arsenals since the height of the Cold War.
Rycroft said his country was not participating in the talks "because we do not believe that those negotiations will lead to effective progress on global nuclear disarmament."
If a sufficient number of countries were to ratify a nuclear weapons ban, supporters contend, it would create political and moral pressure on holdouts, including the big nuclear powers. (ANI)