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Major powers skip UN talks to ban nuclear weapons

[ March 29, 2017 ]

New York: The United States, the United Kingdom, and France are among nearly 40 countries that are not taking part in a series of UN talks in New York for the "total elimination" of nuclear weapons.
The US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley was joined Monday morning by her UK counterpart Matthew Rycroft and French Deputy Ambassador Alexis Lamek in a stakeout at the UN headquarters in New York City.

"You are going to see almost 40 countries that are not in the General Assembly today,” Haley said.
“In this day and time, we cannot honestly say that we can protect our people by allowing the bad actors to have them and those of us that are good -- trying to keep peace and safety -- not to have them.”
She said the countries skipping the talks would instead reaffirm commitment to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which has been in force since 1970.
Rycroft said the UK was not attending the negotiations "because we do not believe that those negotiations will lead to effective progress on global nuclear disarmament.”
Last week, the White House said President Donald Trump's administration would conduct an examination of whether a world free of nuclear weapons was "a realistic goal.” The US is upgrading its military nuclear capabilities as part of a program authorized by former President Barack Obama. The program forecasts expenditures to the tune of $1 trillion over the next three decades.