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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Recent events in Iran, DPR of Korea should spur on work of UN nuclear review conference - Annan

13 May 2005 United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today that recent developments with the nuclear programmes in Iran and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) illustrated how important it was for parties currently in New York reviewing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to speed up their work.

Just back from visits to Moscow and Geneva, Mr. Annan told reporters on his way into UN Headquarters that recent events showed the importance of making progress at the 2005 Review Conference of State Parties to the NPT.

Countries are nearly halfway through their month-long session, emerging from a near two-week deadlock just 48 hours ago to announce that they had agreed on an agenda that will allow them to begin their work. The President of the Conference yesterday called this a "promising" but "very tiny first step," with much work ahead.

Today, Mr. Annan said he was concerned that it took two weeks to agree on an agenda, adding, "I hope they will accelerate their work."

Addressing the Iranian issue, he said it was not out of the question that talks between Iran and three European nations would continue, while for the DPRK, he hoped six-party talks – including China, Japan, Russia, the United States and the Republic of Korea – would succeed, calling them "the only game in town."

Mr. Annan also noted that the UN has been assisting the DPRK with humanitarian aid and also encouraging it to cooperate on the nuclear front.

Meanwhile, in other news from the NPT review, the Conference's General Committee, which handles questions of procedure, concluded its meeting yesterday afternoon with no agreement yet to recommend to the plenary session the allocation of items on the agenda to the three Main Committees. Intensive consultations continued this morning among the Main Committee chairs and regional groups.

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