SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- The United States and Britain participated for the first time on Monday in an international conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, encountering pressure to further eliminate their atomic arsenals.
Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz described the attendance of two of the five permanent UN Security Council members as a ‘first success’ of the conference and stressed on shifting from words to action.
Under the 1970 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the five recognized countries possessing atomic bomb agreed to work towards eliminating their bombs, while those without nuclear bombs guaranteed not to run after them. A treaty review conference is scheduled for 2015.
Critics say the emphasis was more on meeting the non-proliferation objectives, than getting the five major powers to fulfill their part of the deal.
US under-secretary of state for arms control Rose Gottemoeller said that in the process of nuclear weapon elimination, US atomic arsenal has been cut by 85 percent from its Cold War heights to 4,800 weapons. “There are still too many and we know it”, she stressed
UN disarmament Chief Angela Kane pointed to enragement by countries without nuclear bombs and said they claimed that disarmament talks were not happening and recognized nuclear weapon states didn’t take it seriously to commit their obligations with respect to disarmament.
Among the countries attending the Vienna talks are Pakistan and India, which both are nuclear weapon states not signing the NPT. Iran also took part in Vienna talks. The Israeli regime, which has the Middle East’s only nuclear arsenal and has not signed the NPT, did not attend the event.