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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Nuclear proliferation threatens not just some states but all, Annan says on treaty's 35th anniversary

4 March 2005 ? It is imperative to recognize that nuclear proliferation threatens not just some states but all, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today in a statement marking on the 35th anniversary of the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

"Thus all States Parties should agree to necessary measures for more credible verification and enforcement for the NPT," he declared.

"Given the grave perils that nuclear proliferation poses for all states, the NPT has been a true cornerstone of global security," he said, noting that the pact, which with 188 States Parties is the most universally supported international treaty, has defied gloomy predictions that today there would be between 15 and 50 nuclear weapon states.

But today the NPT confronts profound challenges to its effectiveness and credibility, he added, stressing that at the NPT Review Conference in May these challenges will test the commitment of all countries to the treaty's three pillars - non-proliferation, disarmament and peaceful uses of nuclear technology.

"Progress in both disarmament and non-proliferation will be essential, and neither should be held hostage to the other," he said.

"Recent efforts by nuclear weapon states towards disarmament should be recognized, yet the unique status of these States also entails unique responsibility. They should do even more to inspire confidence in their commitments," he added.

"And while the right to peaceful uses of nuclear technology should be preserved, States Parties should agree to exercise this right in conformity with non-proliferation obligations, and with due regard for current challenges to the NPT," he declared.

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