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UN chief: Disarmament conf. failing in its objectives

GENEVA, Feb 26 (KUNA) -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on Monday for the reform of the Conference on Disarmament, saying that the current conference is failing in its meeting objectives.
In his opening speech to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, Guterres said: "For some time now, this Conference has not been able to function as intended. In fact, this Conference is failing in relation to its very objectives." "We're witnessing the proliferation of illicit small arms and light weapons and the use of explosive devices in populated areas," he warned.
He explained that this failure is due to a breakdown of global trust as geopolitical divisions relentless arms competition and the erosion of frameworks have led to a total impasse, reiterating his call for accelerating the implementation of all nuclear disarmament commitments.
Guterres proposed a "New Agenda for Peace", saying that "the Agenda places the tools of prevention and disarmament at the heart of the global peace and security architecture. It includes new strategies and approaches to deal with the nuclear chemical biological and autonomous weapons systems that threaten our future." He explained that the disarmament conference played an essential role in drafting the agreements that formed the backbone of the global disarmament agenda for many years such as the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the Conventions on Biological and Chemical Weapons and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.
Guterres warned "the nuclear shadow that loomed over humanity in the last century has returned with a vengeance", adding that the success of the treaty has not reduced the global risk.
"The nuclear risk has reached a fever pitch that is higher than it has been at any time since the depths of the Cold War," he added. (end) imk.mt