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  • Position : "Russia and Nuclear Nonproliferation" Program Director
  • Affiliation : PIR Center
  • Position : Special Advisor
  • Affiliation : PIR Center
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UN Secretary General launches disarmament agenda

25.05.2018

MOSCOW, MAY 25, 2018. PIR PRESS — “The disarmament agenda I am launching today goes beyond nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction. Disarmament concerns every country, and all weapons, from hand grenades to hydrogen bombs. Deadly weapons put us all at risk and leaders have a responsibility to minimize that risk. The paradox is that when each country pursues its own security without regard for others, we create global insecurity that threatens us all. Disarmament – including arms control, non-proliferation, prohibitions, restrictions, confidence-building and, where needed, elimination – is an essential tool to secure our world and our future,” Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General.

On May 24, 2018, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres launched a disarmament agenda in Geneva. In the 70-page document titled “Securing Our Common Future” he sets three priorities in the disarmament field: to save humanity by eliminating weapons of mass destruction, to save lives from use of conventional weapons, and to save future generations from emerging weapon technologies.

Dr. Vladimir A. Orlov, Member of the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters, Special Advisor to PIR Center, believes that “against the background of the U.S. unilateral withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – a key achievement of multilateral diplomacy, as well as the rejection of high-level negotiations with the DPRK, the role of the multilateral diplomacy mechanisms becomes even greater. It is notable that at the very moment when Donald Trump cancelled his summit with Kim Jong-un, Antonio Guterres unveiled the new disarmament agenda speaking before students in Geneva.”

In his speech, the UN chief shared his assessment of the current state of global security, expressed regret over the fact that the arms control agreements are now threatened as never before, and instead of pursuing further reduction of nuclear arsenals, governments are funding development of new weapons systems, which is perceived by many as a new arms race. He called upon states possessing nuclear weapons to reaffirm that nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought, which repeats the famous Soviet-U.S. declaration of 1985 which resulted from the Gorbachev-Reagan summit in Geneva.

However, nuclear weapons are not the only issue that concerns the UN Secretary-General: “The disarmament agenda I am launching today goes beyond nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction. Disarmament concerns every country, and all weapons, from hand grenades to hydrogen bombs. Deadly weapons put us all at risk and leaders have a responsibility to minimize that risk. The paradox is that when each country pursues its own security without regard for others, we create global insecurity that threatens us all. Disarmament – including arms control, non-proliferation, prohibitions, restrictions, confidence-building and, where needed, elimination – is an essential tool to secure our world and our future.”

In his blog entry (available in Russian), Adlan Margoev, the Director of PIR Center’s “Russia and Nuclear Nonproliferation” Program, explains the necessity and use of the new disarmament agenda: “One can hear those who doubt whether it was a timely decision by Antonio Guterres to present his disarmament agenda. International agreements are falling apart, new types of weapons are being developed, an atmosphere of mutual accusations reigns, in which the establishment of facts has become unattainable luxury. How can we talk about disarmament? The answer is simple: when everyone starts to disarm, the Secretary General's efforts will no longer be needed. Against the backdrop of the rapidly growing conflict in the world, it is time to talk about disarmament and take the situation in hand – as much and as soon as possible – because countries and people do need disarmament. The agenda is just the beginning.”

For questions related to PIR Center’s “Russia and Nuclear Nonproliferation” Program, you can contact the Program Director Adlan Margoev by phone +7 (495) 987 19 15 or via email margoev at pircenter.org.

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