‘Compelling case’ for urgency around global disarmament: UN

Published: Jan 22, 2019, 12:50 pm IST

(UNI) Michael Møller, head of the UN in Geneva, has warned delegates to the Conference on Disarmament that cyber-security challenges, and the existence of new weapons systems and technologies, are not being sufficiently addressed or reflected in current arms control regimes.

Mr Møller, who acts as the Secretary-General of the Conference, was speaking at the opening of the first 2019 meeting of the Geneva-based Conference, which, although it is the only multilateral forum for disarmament negotiations, has been deadlocked for over 20 years, the last arms control agreement successfully negotiated by the body was the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, in 1996.

The UN Geneva chief said that the realities of today make a compelling case for a renewed sense of urgency, and a collective commitment and determination in pursuing disarmament. He warned that the nuclear threat remains high: nuclear programmes continue to be pursued, and nuclear arsenals enhanced, and that military and security expenditures have reached record levels. Despite these, and other risks, multilateralism is “under fire at the time we need it most,” and “meaningful dialogue on the right approach to a host of disarmament issues continues to elude us.

2019 marks the 40th anniversary of the Conference on Disarmament, described by Mr Møller as an occasion to “recall why these mechanisms, with their regulations and rules of procedures and (spoken and unspoken) codes of conduct, were established.” They are important, he continued, because they provide a neutral place for dialogue, where different positions can be acknowledged and transcended.

 

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