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.

“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.

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.

“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.

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”.

“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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