UNA-UK delegation visits Beijing to discuss nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation

A delegation from the United Nations Association of the United Kingdom recently met with representatives of the United Nations Association of China in Beijing to discuss nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation.

The delegation, led by Peace and Security Programmes Manager James Kearney, also met with representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Beijing's community of non-governmental organizations and local universities. Former U.K. Ambassador to North Korea John Everard, Mark Fitzpatrick of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Andrea Berger of the Royal United Services Institute and Dr. Nicole Horsburg from Oxford University joined Kearney on the visit.

The event opened on Oct. 25 with a round table discussion on the challenges of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation worldwide. The round table, organized by UNA China and the Chinese Arms Control and Disarmament Association, focused on the entry into force of the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty, nuclear security, fighting proliferation and moving towards a world free of nuclear weapons.

Experts at the event discussed the challenges facing the 2015 Non-proliferation Treaty Review Conference, including tension between nuclear and non-nuclear weapon states and falling short of the Middle East Nuclear Weapons Free Zone initiative. They also discussed the threat North Korea poses to regional stability and security.

There was a consensus among participants in the round table discussion that full ratification of the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty is vital to non-proliferation.

"A comprehensive ban on nuclear tests is an indispensable step on the road to a nuclear-weapon-free world," Kearney said, in the words of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. "And it is the only fitting response to the hopes of those people who have suffered most from the production, testing and use of these weapons."