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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

NPT review conference approves final declaration

RIA Novosti


UNITED NATIONS, May 29 (RIA Novosti) - The 189 nations participating in the 2010 Review Conference on Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) have approved a final document towards nuclear disarmament, including the establishment of a nuclear weapon-free zone in the Middle East.

The 28-page final document was approved on Friday, the last day of the conference, which had lasted for almost a month since May 3.

The five nuclear powers - Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States - committed to speed up arms reductions, take other steps to diminish the role of nuclear weapons, and report back on progress by 2014.

"In implementing the unequivocal undertaking by the nuclear- weapon states to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals, the nuclear-weapon states commit to undertake further efforts to reduce and ultimately eliminate all types of nuclear weapons, deployed and non-deployed," the document said.

The declaration states that a conference "on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction" should be conveyed in 2012.

The document urges Israel, which has not signed the NPT and is believed to possess nuclear weapons, to sign the treaty and place "all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)."

The 189 nations called on North Korea, which has been under international sanctions since its first long-range ballistic missile test in 2006, to return "at an early date" to the six-party talks.

The talks, involving Russia, Japan, China, the United States, North and South Korea, stalled last April when Pyongyang pulled out of the negotiations in protest against the United Nations' condemnation of its missile tests.

North Korea should abandon "all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs," the document said.

"A strong spirit of compromise and cooperation has delivered a significant agreement to build a safer and more secure world," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement issued after the document was adopted.

The review conference on nuclear non-proliferation is convened every five years. Participants in the 2005 conference failed to approve a final document due to a number of disagreements on major issues.

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