UN calls for efforts to address growing nuclear threatsListen /
Tensions over nuclear threats by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and Iran's nuclear programme dominated Monday's opening of the second preparatory conference of the parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in Geneva.
The European Union condemned the DPRK's repeated threats of use of force and urged the country to abandon all its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes in line with UN Security Council resolutions.
The United States delegation said Iran's nuclear programme was a threat to the integrity of the non-proliferation regime, adding that the country must be held accountable for its violations of the treaty.
Speaking at the start of the conference, the Head of the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, Angela Kane, urged member states to create an enabling environment that will help to address nuclear threats posed by the DPRK and Iran.
"This will help in addressing challenges from these specific cases because it would signal a resolve to move away from nuclear weapons and to de-legitimize not just their use but their very existence. In this sense, disarmament and non-proliferation are not alternatives and they are also not to be pursued sequentially. The whole raison d'être of this review process is to focus on implementation of commitments relating to the treaty's three pillars: nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy. What is most needed now in NPT arenas is to revive a sense of forward progress, however slow, however difficult it may be."
The meeting in Geneva is in preparation of the 2015 NPT Review Conference.
The nuclear non-proliferation treaty came into force in 1970 with the aim of preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and technology and to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
So far, 189 parties have joined the treaty, including the five nuclear weapon states: the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and China.
Patrick Maigua, United Nations Radio, Geneva.