Russia blocks final declaration of UN nuclear treaty review conference
New York, New York - Russia has blocked the joint final declaration of the tenth UN conference to review the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which ended in New York on Friday.
"To my deep regret, this conference was not able to reach consensus," the chairperson of the meeting, Gustavo Zlauvinen, said after the meeting ended.
At the four-week conference, some states and non-governmental organizations had hoped to establish binding deadlines for the dismantling of nuclear weapons worldwide.
The Russian delegate said that his country disagreed with five sections of the final draft, though he did not give further details, and claimed that the Russian stance was supported by other countries too.
However, following the Russian statement, delegates from dozens of countries said that they had agreed with the statement and expressed disappointment that no agreement could ultimately be reached.
Another Russian representative complained that other participants had used the conference to settle accounts with Russia over the war against Ukraine instead of working for nuclear disarmament.
UN review conference aims at nuclear disarmament
The Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty 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 nuclear disarmament.
However, critics complain that the five official nuclear powers – the US, China, the UK, France, and Russia – are subject to different rules than the signatories without nuclear weapons.
India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea also possess nuclear weapons, according to the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), but are not signatories to the treaty.
Worldwide, there were about 12,700 nuclear warheads in 2022, according to FAS. That is only a fraction of the estimated 70,300 weapons at the height of the Cold War in 1986.
Cover photo: Collage: ED JONES / AFP & TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP