GENEVA: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday said here that he is preparing a new initiative aimed at giving greater impetus and direction to the global disarmament agenda.
Addressing the High-Level Segment of the Conference on Disarmament on Monday, Guterres said that his new initiative will help restoring the role of disarmament as an integral component of the work to maintain international peace and security.
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"I believe we can build a new vision for disarmament to address today's priorities: conflict prevention, upholding humanitarian principles, promoting sustainable development and dealing with future threats," he noted.
The UN chief said that he has asked his high representative for disarmament affairs to reach out to a broad spectrum of actors to develop this initiative further, including all partners within the UN system, leading experts, member states and civil society.
"Disarmament and arms control are top priorities for me. And they are central to the system for international security agreed in the United Nations Charter," he told the conference.
"We need further disarmament and arms control measures as a sound basis for global peace," he added, stating there is great and justified anxiety around the world about the threat of nuclear war.
Guterres told the conference that at the global level, "we must work together towards forging a new momentum on eliminating nuclear weapons."
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"We have seen some positive developments over recent weeks, but this is not enough," he said, adding that the world needs lasting improvements, based on the central objective of the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and sustainable peace in the region.
According to UN, there are still some 150,000 nuclear weapons in the world, and global military expenditures are still largely the 1.5 trillion US dollars per year.