Ban Ki Moon calls for end to UN disarmament stalemate
GENEVA (AFP) - United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki Moon on Tuesday called for the UN Conference on Disarmament to end years of stalemate over Pakistan's reluctance to discuss a ban on the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons.
Mr Ban stressed the importance of the conference, which due to a consensus requirement has been deadlocked for four years because Pakistan has refused to allow talks to get started towards a treaty banning further production of fissile material.
"It is essential to end this continued stalemate to avoid jeopardising the credibility of the conference and the machinery of disarmament," Mr Ban said in a statement that was read out by the top UN official in Geneva, Mr Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, at the first of the conference's public sessions this year.
"The world today remains over-armed. Peace is under-funded. We cannot afford to lose yet another year," he added, urging the conference to "resume your primary task of negotiating multilateral disarmament treaties".