More countries back UN statement on nuclear disarmament

A joint statement on nuclear disarmament was delivered at a U.N. General Assembly committee meeting Monday, drawing support from more than 150 countries including Japan, the broadest international backing among the five similar documents issued so far at the United Nations.

The previous statement, unveiled a year ago, enlisted 125 countries as supporters including Japan, which joined for the first time.

This year’s Joint Statement on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons was backed by 151 countries, roughly 80 percent of the world body’s member states.

The high number could generate pressure on nuclear powers to consider disarmament in the run-up to the review conference for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons scheduled for April and May.

The statement, released at the assembly’s First Committee and almost identical to last year’s version, says, “It is in the interest of the very survival of humanity that nuclear weapons are never used again.”

Noting the “catastrophic effects” of a nuclear weapon detonation, be it by accident or design, the statement says, “The only way to guarantee that nuclear weapons will never be used again is through their total elimination.”

The statement also cited the third conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons scheduled for December in Vienna and urged states with or without nuclear arsenals to take part. “We firmly believe that it is in the interests of all States to participate in that Conference,” it said.

See full article here.