U.N. TO KICK OFF
Threat of nuclear disaster growing due to N. Korea, Trump, say NGOs
MARJUN DJAFAR, Indonesian labourer
ORE than 100 countries are set to launch the first United Nations talks on a global nuclear weapons ban despite objections from major nuclear powers.
Some 123 UN members announced in October that they would launch the UN conference to negotiate a legally binding nuclear ban treaty, even as most of the world’s declared and undeclared nuclear powers voted against the talks.
Britain, France, Israel, Russia and the United States voted no, while China, India and Pakistan abstained.
Even Japan — the only country to have suffered atomic attacks, in 1945 — voted against the talks, saying the lack of consensus over the negotiations could undermine progress on effective nuclear disarmament.
The countries leading the effort include Austria, Ireland, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa and Sweden. Hundreds of non-governmental organisations back their efforts.
TUESDAY, MARCH 28, 2017 Opposition supporters at a rally in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on Sunday. Thousands demonstrated across the country to protest against corruption, defying bans on rallies called by Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, who was arrested along with scores of others.