Published: Tue, March 28, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

India not participating in United Nations negotiations on banning nuclear weapons

This week at the United Nations in NY, a new series of negotiations on the nuclear weapons ban treaty will begin.

"In this day and age we can't say honestly that we can protect our people by allowing the bad actors to have them", Haley told reporters outside the General Assembly chamber where the meeting on the negotiations was taking place. They have collectively said that the threat of a nuclear disaster is increasing due to North Korea's nuclear programme and an unpredictable government in Washington.

Even with the major nuclear powers boycotting the debate, a treaty would oblige them to revisit their policies sooner or later - even if, like Russian Federation and the United States, they're now modernizing their nuclear weapons arsenal.

Some 123 United Nations members announced in October that they would launch the United Nations conference to negotiate a legally binding nuclear ban treaty, even as most of the world's declared and undeclared nuclear powers voted against the talks.

More than 100 countries on Monday launched the first United Nations talks aimed at achieving a legally binding ban on atomic weapons, as Washington led an worldwide boycott of a process it deems unrealistic. The first round of talks, March 27 to 31, is expected to focus on the goal, content and format of the treaty, led by Austria and Mexico underlining the "inhumane nature of nuclear weapons".

"We all believe in the nonproliferation treaty, we all want to move forward", Haley said.

"But we have to be realistic", she added.

"The broad decision of nuclear-weapon states not to engage with this disarmament movement is a symptom of deteriorating relations between the nuclear haves and have nots", said UNA-UK.

U.K. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said negotiations for the ban wouldn't lead to "effective progress to global nuclear disarmament", and instead there should be a "step-by-step approach".

Japan - the only country to have suffered in the atomic bombings of 1945 - also voted against the negotiations and said lack of consensus may undermine efforts of nuclear disarmament.

"The best way to achieve the goal of global nuclear disarmament is through gradual multilateral disarmament, negotiated using a step-by-step approach and within existing worldwide frameworks", Rycroft added.

Then-president Barack Obama announced a drive in 2009 to reduce the role of nuclear weapons and eventually eliminate them.

US President Donald Trump has tweeted the US must "greatly strengthen and expand" its nuclear capability until such weapons were outlawed.

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons supports the talks.

However, with experience from the campaigns against cluster munitions and landmines, Fihn believes there's a "good chance" a treaty will be adopted, if not necessarily after the first phase of negotiations, which will end in July.

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