U.N. TO KICK OFF

Threat of nu­clear disas­ter grow­ing due to N. Korea, Trump, say NGOs

New Straits Times - - World -

NEW YORK

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.

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