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'Work towards nuclear disarmament'

world Updated: Mar 06, 2010 16:52 IST

Governments slated to meet in May to review the implementation of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) should advance the goal of full nuclear disarmament, said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

The NPT, which entered into force 40 years ago on Friday, has remained the cornerstone of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. Peaceful use of nuclear energy is also part of the treaty.

Members, who meet every five years to review the pact, will gather May 3-28 for the session.

"The NPT also commits the nuclear-weapon states to nuclear disarmament," Ban said in a statement Friday. "Today there is growing support from governments and civil society for achieving this goal."

"I would like to underscore the importance of a successful review conference," Ban said.

Ban praised the US and Russia for their efforts in concluding a successor to the Treaty on the Limitation and Reduction of Strategic Offensive Arms (START).

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which monitors implementation of NPT, has worked out comprehensive safeguards agreements, which are in force for 163 non-nuclear-weapon states that are parties to the NPT. The IAEA's Additional Protocol is being observed by 94 states, which oblige them to follow rules of transparency and confidence-building measures in security matters.

In a separate event, US President Barack Obama is holding a nuclear security summit April 12-13 in Washington to discuss disarmament issues. Forty-three leaders have been invited.