Anti-nuclear club pushes for global disarmament

22nd September 2011, Comments 0 comments

A group of countries calling for nuclear disarmament met Wednesday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly to continue a push for a world free of atomic weapons.

The members of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI) pledged to "utilize diplomatic opportunities" to urge all states to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), set up in 1996 to ban all nuclear explosions worldwide.

"Nuclear weapons are a real and clear danger to the world," Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said after the talks.

The initiative also includes Canada, Chile, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. None of the countries has nuclear weapons of their own.

The members vowed to contribute to nuclear disarmament transparency by proposing a draft form which would allow the five official nuclear powers -- the US, China, France, Britain and Russia -- to report their nuclear arsenal to the UN nuclear watchdog IAEA.

"We are looking forward to a response from the nuclear weapon states," Rudd said, stressing nuclear states had a responsibility to draft a reporting form.

The NPDI also expressed concern at the deadlock in the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva on the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT).

The anti-nuclear club underscored its support for a Canadian bid to introduce a resolution in the UN General Assembly urging the immediate start of negotiations on the treaty, which have been stalled for 15 years.

The treaty, which would ban the production of new nuclear bomb-making material, is widely regarded as a key building block in stemming the spread of atomic weapons.

© 2011 AFP

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