Nuclear-Armed Nations to Sit Out Humanitarian Meeting

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Global Security Newswire Staff
Feb. 12, 2014, 7:30 a.m.

The world’s re­cog­nized nuc­le­ar powers are ex­pec­ted to skip a meet­ing this week on the hu­man­it­ari­an con­sequences of po­ten­tial nuc­le­ar strikes, Ky­odo News re­ports.

“No nuc­le­ar weapon state, per­man­ent mem­ber of the U.N. Se­cur­ity Coun­cil … will par­ti­cip­ate,” Mex­ic­an Am­bas­sad­or to Ja­pan Claude Heller said on Wed­nes­day, one day be­fore the sched­uled start of the Second Con­fer­ence on the Hu­man­it­ari­an Im­pact of Nuc­le­ar Weapons in Na­yar­it, Mex­ico. “The in­form­a­tion that we have re­ceived is that there is right now no re­gis­tra­tion [of del­eg­ates] by the nuc­le­ar-weapons states.”

The Nuc­le­ar Non­pro­lif­er­a­tion Treaty ac­know­ledges the atom­ic ar­sen­als of five coun­tries, none of which took part in a sim­il­arly fo­cused meet­ing held last year in Oslo, Nor­way. Rep­res­ent­at­ives from 127 coun­tries joined that con­fer­ence, and even wider par­ti­cip­a­tion is an­ti­cip­ated at this week’s two-day gath­er­ing.

A re­buff from the re­cog­nized nuc­le­ar-armed na­tions — China, France, Rus­sia, the United King­dom and the United States — could height­en ten­sions between those coun­tries and non-nuc­le­ar weapons states, ac­cord­ing to Ky­odo. Mem­bers of the lat­ter group have led calls to move to­ward elim­in­at­ing atom­ic arms, and the nuc­le­ar powers may fear the hu­man­it­ari­an con­fer­ences could fo­ment dis­cus­sion of po­ten­tially ab­ol­ish­ing their stock­piles, the news agency said.

The non­pro­lif­er­a­tion ac­cord calls for “good faith” ef­forts by its sig­nat­or­ies to pur­sue even­tu­al nuc­le­ar dis­arm­a­ment.

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