UN disarmament chief speaks ahead of 1st meeting of nuclear arms ban treaty

The UN disarmament chief says the first meeting of state parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons should focus on reaffirming that the use of such weapons must be prevented.

UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Nakamitsu Izumi, spoke to NHK ahead of the opening of the meeting.

Nakamitsu said that amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, it is important to reaffirm the principle that the use of nuclear weapons must never be allowed.

She added that one of the major goals is to focus, once again, on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons and defend the principle of non-use.

Nakamitsu referred to the participation of Japanese atomic bomb survivors, or hibakusha.

She said only hibakusha can convey precisely the devastating humanitarian impact of the use of nuclear weapons as historical facts. She expressed hope that they will issue a realistic and strong message.

Nakamitsu also said global nuclear disarmament is not so simple as to be achieved under the prohibition treaty alone.

She said various tools must be used to ultimately realize the abolition of nuclear weapons. She mentioned other frameworks, including the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which calls for nuclear states to work toward nuclear disarmament.

A review conference of the NPT is scheduled to be held in New York in August.

Nakamitsu said she hopes that awareness of the international community will be raised through the first meeting of nuclear arms ban treaty, urging the nuclear states, and advancing nuclear disarmament as soon as possible.