Nuclear-Armed Nations to Sit Out Humanitarian Meeting

The world's recognized nuclear powers are expected to skip a meeting this week on the humanitarian consequences of potential nuclear strikes, Kyodo News reports.

"No nuclear weapon state, permanent member of the U.N. Security Council ... will participate," Mexican Ambassador to Japan Claude Heller said on Wednesday, one day before the scheduled start of the Second Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons in Nayarit, Mexico. "The information that we have received is that there is right now no registration [of delegates] by the nuclear-weapons states."

The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty acknowledges the atomic arsenals of five countries, none of which took part in a similarly focused meeting held last year in Oslo, Norway. Representatives from 127 countries joined that conference, and even wider participation is anticipated at this week's two-day gathering.

A rebuff from the recognized nuclear-armed nations -- China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States -- could heighten tensions between those countries and non-nuclear weapons states, according to Kyodo. Members of the latter group have led calls to move toward eliminating atomic arms, and the nuclear powers may fear the humanitarian conferences could foment discussion of potentially abolishing their stockpiles, the news agency said.

The nonproliferation accord calls for "good faith" efforts by its signatories to pursue eventual nuclear disarmament.

Feb. 12, 2014
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The world's recognized nuclear powers are expected to skip a meeting this week on the humanitarian consequences of potential nuclear strikes, Kyodo News reports.