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US proposes nuclear resolution at UN

Press Trust of India  |  United Nations 

The United States today circulated a draft resolution in the UN calling for stepped up efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and freeze nuclear testing and wants it to be adopted by world leaders at a meeting later this month chaired by President Barack Obama.

The draft, obtained by The Associated Press, does not mention any country by name but it reaffirms previous Security Council resolutions that imposed sanctions on Iran and North Korea for their nuclear activities. It does not call for any new sanctions.

Another provision apparently aimed at Iran and North Korea, "deplores" the current major challenges to nuclear nonproliferation that the council has determined to be threats to international peace and security. It "demands that the parties concerned comply fully with their obligations under the relevant Security Council resolutions."

The United States, which holds the Security Council presidency this month, chose nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear disarmament as the topic for a high-level council meeting to be held September 24 on the sidelines of the annual ministerial meeting of the UN General Assembly.

The draft resolution was circulated today to the 14 other council members, and council experts immediately began discussions.

A diplomat familiar with the negotiations said the five veto-wielding council nations -- the US, Russia, China, Britain and France -- agreed on most provisions before the draft was circulated, but China objected to including the resolutions related to North Korea.

Obama had earlier called for the slashing of US and Russian nuclear arsenals, adoption of the treaty banning all nuclear tests, and talks on a new treaty that "verifiably" ends the production of fissile materials used to make atomic weapons.

The resolution welcomes the US-Russia negotiations, calls on all countries to refrain from conducting nuclear tests and join the test ban treaty, and urges the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva to negotiate a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other explosive devices "as soon as possible."

In its opening paragraph, the draft states that the Security Council is committed "to seek a safer world for all and to create the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons" in accordance with the goals of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

The draft calls on all countries that are not parties to join the treaty "to achieve its universality at an early date, and in any case to adhere to its terms."

The major countries that are not members are India and Pakistan, which have conducted nuclear tests, and Israel which is believed to have a nuclear arsenal.

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First Published: Sat, September 12 2009. 14:52 IST