27 July 2005

Secretary-General Welcomes Nuclear Non-Proliferation Initiative Announced by Seven Foreign Ministers

NEW YORK, 26 July (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General welcomes the recent initiative on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament led by the foreign ministers of Australia, Chile, Indonesia, Norway, Romania, South Africa and the United Kingdom.  He thanks the Foreign Minister of Norway, Jan Petersen, for spearheading this initiative.

The Secretary-General was deeply troubled by the failure of the Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), held earlier this year, to achieve substantive agreement to strengthen our collective security against the many nuclear threats to which all States and all peoples are vulnerable.

The agreement announced today by these seven ministers, who represent a diverse group of States, is deeply encouraging.  The political declaration they have adopted and the input for the 2005 World Summit they have submitted to the President of the General Assembly provide the basis, the Secretary-General expects, for a wide-ranging consensus.  The Secretary-General hopes that leaders will use the opportunity offered by the World Summit, and the added impetus which these seven foreign ministers have provided, to make bold commitments and address the pressing challenges to the nuclear non-proliferation regime.

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