ANI Photo | “Conference on Disarmament not functioning as intended”: UN chief calls for implementation of nuclear commitments

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres highlighted that the Conference on Disarmament is failing in its objectives and called on the countries to accelerate the implementation of all nuclear disarmament commitments.
The UN Secretary-General was addressing the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva on Monday.
Addressing the conference, Guterres said, “For many years, these bodies played an essential role in drafting the agreements that form the backbone of the global disarmament agenda: The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons; The Conventions on Biological and Chemical Weapons; and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.”
He acknowledged that the victories for peace were “hard-fought and hard-won,” but added that these were not “miracles.”
“They happened because countries recognized that the key to disarmament could be found in cooperation for mutual benefit — not competition for mutual destruction,” he said.
The UN Secy General highlighted that the Conference has not been able to function as intended and is failing in its objectives, leading to the fall of global trust.
“Geopolitical divides, relentless arms competition, and the erosion of frameworks have created a total deadlock. We’re witnessing the proliferation of illicit small arms and light weapons, and the use of explosive devices in populated areas,” Guterres said.
He added, “Militaries are developing terrifying new applications of new and emerging technologies — including artificial intelligence and autonomous weapons systems. An arms race in outer space has moved from speculation to real possibility — a prospect with potentially catastrophic consequences.”
Guterres added that the failure of the Conference on Disarmament failing in its objectives has contributed to a growing sense of “cynicism” about multilateral solutions.
“It calls for reforming the UN bodies and institutions that underpin the global peace, security and disarmament regimes — from the United Nations Security Council to this very Conference. And I commend you for discussing the revitalization of this Conference this week,” he added.
The UN Chief also said that a ‘nuclear shadow’ that loomed over humanity last century has returned with a vengeance and the nuclear risk is highest since the cold war.
“Some statements regularly imply that they are fully prepared to unleash nuclear hell — an outrageous threat that the world must condemn with clarity and force. And the vital norms and standards against the proliferation, testing and use of nuclear weapons are being eroded” he said.
He added that the “frustration of a majority of states” at the slow pace of disarmament led to the negotiation of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
“I repeat my call to accelerate the implementation of all nuclear disarmament commitments, including under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and to bring the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty into force. The world must no longer be held hostage by these devices of death,” Guterres said.
He added, “We are calling for a new intergovernmental process, under the General Assembly, to develop reforms to disarmament bodies, including the Conference. We hope this could lead to a fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament.” (ANI)

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