Five nuclear weapons states pledge to stop their ‘further spread’

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Five global nuclear powers pledged in a joint statement to prevent the further spread of nuclear weapons and work to avoid a nuclear war ahead of a treaty review conference.

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“We affirm that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought,” the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, known as the P5, said in a statement on Monday.

“As nuclear use would have far-reaching consequences, we also affirm that nuclear weapons—for as long as they continue to exist—should serve defensive purposes, deter aggression, and prevent war,” they added.

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The joint statement came ahead of a review conference for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

The five countries are recognised under the treaty as nuclear-weapon states but must work to pursue negotiations on nuclear disarmament and must not transfer any nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices to others.

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“We underline our desire to work with all states to create a security environment more conducive to progress on disarmament with the ultimate goal of a world without nuclear weapons with undiminished security for all,” the joint statement added.

It also comes as talks have started in Vienna to bring parties back to the JCPOA — also known as the Iran Nuclear Deal — after the US withdrew from the agreement in 2018.

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The deal’s goal is to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.

Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), cited environmentalist Greta Thunberg, calling the P5 statement mere “blah, blah, blah”.

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“They write this ‘nice’ statement but doing exactly the opposite in reality. They’re in a nuclear arms race, expanding nuclear arsenals, spending billions on modernising & constantly prepared to start a nuclear war,” Fihn tweeted.

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