UNODA representative says both disarmament and non-proliferation are needed for peace

Disarmament and non-proliferation are the two wheels of the bicycle that will move us closer to a world free from nuclear weapons, a U.N. Office for Disarmament Affairs representative said last week.

Virginia Gamba, the director of the U.N. Office for Disarmament Affairs, made the remarks during a briefing at a training program for Egyptian junior diplomats at the permanent mission of Egypt to the U.N. in New York. She said that both disarmament and stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction were both important for long-term peace and security.

"Disarmament is not an end in itself, but because of the many benefits for international peace and security that will accompany progress in this area," Gamba said. "While progress in disarmament is absolutely indispensable for the longterm success of non-proliferation efforts, it is of course equally true that the continued global spread of weapons of mass destruction will prevent the achievement of disarmament, largely as a result of the perpetuation and spread of what the secretary-general has called the 'contagious' doctrine of deterrence."

Gamba said deterrence and non-proliferation must be pursued at the same time. She said that security and peace should be viewed as benefits of disarmament, not the preconditions needed for it to happen.

"We believe strongly that progress in both disarmament and the regulation of armaments is absolutely essential for this fundamental goal to be achieved," Gamba said.