Top UN disarmament official addresses NPT meeting

Top UN disarmament official addresses NPT meeting

A top UN official has called on both nuclear and non-nuclear nations to contribute to global efforts toward nuclear disarmament.

Izumi Nakamitsu, the new UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, made her comments on Monday to a preparatory committee reviewing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The committee session took place during the 2020 NPT Review Conference which opened last Tuesday at the UN Office in Vienna.

It was Nakamitsu's inaugural address to the committee after becoming the first Japanese woman to serve as head of a UN office for disarmament one week earlier.

Nakamitsu voiced opposition to the widespread view that the international community must wait for the right international environment before it can expect progress on nuclear disarmament. She said that such an argument misses the central role that nuclear arms play in fueling the deterioration of the international security situation.

Nakamitsu also stressed that the NPT's disarmament obligation is shared by countries that possess nuclear arms as well as non-nuclear nations, with all states facing a duty to make a contribution.

She added that new NPT review talks should be seen as a major opportunity for constructive and pragmatic re-engagement by all the parties.

Nuclear and non-nuclear nations remain divided over a proposed treaty that would legally ban nuclear arms.