A delegation from UNA-UK led by Peace and Security Programmes Manager, James Kearney, spent three days in Beijing recently to meet with representatives of the United Nations Association of China (UNA China), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Beijing’s NGO community and local universities.
Organised as part of the organisation’s Towards Zero nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation programme, the 5-person delegation was also composed of John Everard, former UK Ambassador to North Korea; Mark Fitzpatrick, International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS); Andrea Berger, Royal United Services Institute (RUSI); and Dr Nicola Horsburgh, Oxford University.
On 25 October, the UNA-UK delegation were delighted to take part in a nuclear-issues focused round-table organised by UNA China and the Chinese Arms Control and Disarmament Association (CACDA), and which featured the following sessions: towards a nuclear weapons-free world; countering proliferation; towards full ratification of the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT); and nuclear security: Netherlands 2014 and beyond.
During open and productive discussion, participants highlighted the challenges facing the international community ahead of the 2015 Non-proliferation Treaty Review Conference, particularly given the lack of progress on the proposed Middle East Nuclear Weapons Free Zone and on-going tensions between nuclear and non-nuclear weapon states.
Attention was also drawn to a global consensus on non-proliferation, but that one state – North Korea – represented an on-going challenge to stability in the region.There was overwhelming agreement regarding the fundamental importance of the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty, and that ratification by the United States had the potential to encourage ratification by other states, including China.
In his talk to delegates, James Kearney reiterated the words Ban Ki-moon himself stated to the Eighth Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, that, “a comprehensive ban on nuclear tests is an indispensable step on the road to a nuclear-weapon-free world. And it is the only fitting response to the hopes of those people who have suffered most from the production, testing and use of these weapons”.
For more information on UNA-UK’s Towards Zero programme, contact James Kearney, UNA-UK Peace and Security Programmes Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 020 7766 3446.
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