Russia blocks final document on UN nuclear weapons conference

United Nations in New York

The treaty, which came into force in 1970, has so far been ratified by 191 countries.

(Photo: AP)

New York Due to a blockade by Russia, the tenth UN conference to review the non-proliferation treaty ended without a joint final declaration. “To my deepest regret, this conference was not able to reach an agreement,” said Gustavo Zlauvinen, chairman of the meeting in New York that ended on Friday. At the four-week conference, some states and non-governmental organizations wanted to achieve binding deadlines for the reduction of nuclear weapons worldwide.

The Russian representative explained that his country disagreed with five sections of the draft agreement – he did not give details – and that some other countries stand with Russia. After his statement, representatives of dozens of other participating countries stated that they agreed with the letter. They were disappointed that no agreement was reached. On the other hand, another representative of Russia complained that other participants had used the conference to settle accounts with Russia because of the war against Ukraine, instead of campaigning for nuclear disarmament. The NPT Review Conference began on August 1 in New York.

The treaty, which came into force in 1970, has so far been ratified by 191 countries worldwide. Its goal is the disarmament of nuclear weapons. However, critics complain that different rules apply to the five official nuclear powers USA, China, Great Britain, France and Russia than to the signatories without nuclear weapons.

According to the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea also have nuclear weapons, but are not among the contracting states. According to the FAS, there were around 12,700 nuclear warheads worldwide at the end of 2022. That’s just a fraction of the estimated 70,300 weapons at the height of nuclear armament during the Cold War in 1986.

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