Kofi Annan calls nuclear weapon states to disarm
Annan fears world paralysis on nuclear arms threat
For Mother Earth welcomes the message of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan calling for the nuclear weapon states to disarm their nuclear arsenals as the only solution to counter further proliferation. The message of Kofi Annan follows similar appeals by former IAEA boss Hans Blix and today's IAEA chief ElBaradei.
"We are asleep at the controls of a fast-moving aircraft. Unless we wake up and take control, the outcome is all too predictable," Annan said. "Mutually assured paralysis" has replaced "mutually assured destruction" as the greatest nuclear threat as world leaders fail to act decisively to promote disarmament and stem proliferation, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan warned on Tuesday November 28th.
While governments are coming together to address many global threats, "the one area where there is a total lack of any common strategy is the one that may well present the greatest danger of all -- the area of nuclear weapons," Annan said in a lecture at Princeton University.
As his second five-year term as U.N. leader nears an end, Annan said world leaders have been unable to agree on strong new steps against nuclear arms because of a stalemate between those more concerned that nuclear powers reduce their stockpiles and those more worried about the spread of weapons.
South Korean Ban Ki-Moon takes over Jan. 1 as U.N. chief.
"Efforts are needed to achieve both disarmament and nonproliferation. Yet each side waits for the other to move," Annan said.
The nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which entered into force in 1970, has fallen on hard times in recent years.
North Korea says it developed nuclear weapons while it was a member, and then dropped out. Iran says the pact guarantees its right to enrich uranium even as Western powers accuse it of using a civilian nuclear program as a cover for making bombs.
India and Pakistan have openly boasted of producing atomic bombs without joining the pact while Israel, another country that shuns the treaty, refuses to say whether it is a nuclear power, as widely believed.
At the same time, many nonnuclear states accuse the big powers -- the United States, Britain, China, France and Russia -- of refusing to get rid of the nuclear weapons they already have, as they say the treaty requires.
Annan urged the major powers to develop concrete plans, with specific timetables, for further disarmament. And he warned the nonnuclear states against using a lack of progress on disarmament as an excuse for not addressing the dangers of proliferation.
"We cannot choose between nonproliferation and disarmament, We must tackle both tasks with the urgency they demand," he said.
29 Nov 2006 02:01:03 GMT
Friends of the Earth Flanders & Brussels (formerly For Mother Earth) is a member of Friends of the Earth International