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Guterres hails joint statement by nuclear-weapon states

 
United Nations, Jan 4 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has welcomed the five nuclear-weapon states' joint statement on the prevention of nuclear war and avoidance of arms races, his spokesman said.

On Monday, the leaders of China, France, Russia, the UK, and the US issued the joint statement which said that they "consider the avoidance of war between Nuclear-Weapon States and the reduction of strategic risks as our foremost responsibilities".

"We affirm that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. 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.

"We believe strongly that the further spread of such weapons must be prevented," the statement added.

Regarding Guterres' response, his spokesman Stephane Dujarric said: "The Secretary-General appreciates the recognition by the nuclear-weapon States of their need to comply with their bilateral and multilateral non-proliferation, disarmament, and arms control agreements and commitments, including their binding obligations under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons related to nuclear disarmament.

"He is encouraged by the nuclear-weapon States' commitment to pursue measures to prevent nuclear war, consistent with his long-standing call for dialogue and cooperation to this end. He looks forward to further details about future initiatives.

"The Secretary-General takes the opportunity to restate what he has said repeatedly: the only way to eliminate all nuclear risks is to eliminate all nuclear weapons. He reiterates his willingness to work with the nuclear-weapon States and all Member States to achieve this goal as soon as possible."

--IANS
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