GENEVA: Russia on Saturday blocked the adoption of a joint declaration by a United Nations conference on nuclear disarmament. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which is reviewed by its 191 signatories every five years, aims to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.
Russia objected to a draft text citing grave concern over military activities around Ukraine’s nuclear plants, in particular Zaporizhzhia. Participants in the last review in 2015 also failed to reach an agreement. The 2022 meeting, which had been due in 2020, was delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The failure to agree on a joint declaration followed a four-week conference in New York. Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong said she was deeply disappointed at the lack of agreement.
The US representative, Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins, said the US regrets this outcome, and even more so on Russia’s actions that led us here on Saturday. The Non-Proliferation Treaty, backed by 190 countries in 1970, commits signatory countries including the US, Russia, France the UK and China to reducing their stockpiles and bars others from acquiring nuclear weapons.