UN: Officials Urge Renewed Efforts for Nuclear Weapon Free World

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By Sunny Peter | September 27, 2013 2:44 PM EST

The United Nations Secretary-General and General Assembly President urged Member-States to take renewed steps to rid the world of nuclear weapons. At the first high-level meeting on the subject, held by the UN General Assembly, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the world cannot ignore the very tangible benefits disarmament would bring for all humankind. The UN General Assembly President argued that in the Post-2015 development agenda, lesser resources directed towards stockpiling of weapons will translate into more resources available for development.

"Some might complain that nuclear disarmament is little more than a dream. But that ignores the very tangible benefits disarmament would bring for all humankind," Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his address to the delegates.

"Its success would strengthen international peace and security. It would free up vast and much-needed resources for social and economic development. It would advance the rule of law. It would spare the environment and help keep nuclear materials from terrorist or extremist groups. And it would remove a layer of fear that clouds all of human existence."

In particular, the Secretary-General appealed to nuclear-weapon States to intensify their efforts to cooperate with the international community and move towards disarmament.

He also called upon North Korea to demonstrate its commitment towards verifiable de-nucleariation and urged Iran to fulfil its pledge to enhance the transparency of its nuclear programme.

The Secretary-General also called upon countries that had not signed Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as well as the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), to do so.

The President of the General Assembly, John Ashe in his statement, reminded States of the link between the post-2015 development agenda and nuclear disarmament, emphasizing that less resources to weapons stockpiles translates into more resources for development.

"As we put time, resources and energy into maintaining and expanding this ever increasing weaponry complex, we divert resources from education, healthcare, poverty reduction, and the overall goal to move towards more sustainable development," he said.

He also urged Member-States to devote part of the resources made available by the implementation of disarmament and arms limitation agreements to economic and social development.

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