World nuclear ban 'not realistic', says United States ambassador to UN

UN to kick off talks on global nuclear weapons ban

"We would all love to see the day when nuclear weapons were no longer needed", Haley said in a message on her Twitter account last week along with photographs of a meeting with like-minded ambassadors.

Speaking to reporters outside the General Assembly chamber where the meeting was taking place, she cited the danger posed by the worldwide outlaws who will not abide by any treaties or laws as a rationale for her country, France, Britain and the others to stay away from the negotiations on a legally binding treaty to ban all nuclear weapons.

"North Korea would be the one cheering, but all of us, and the people that we represent, would be at risk", Haley added.

On December 23, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution to convene negotiations on banning nuclear weapons, and decided the talks will take place in NY on March 25-31.

A worldwide nuclear ban is simply not "realistic", the United States ambassador to the UN has said, as almost 40 countries stayed away from talks on the subject. She added that while the USA would want to see a world without nuclear weapons, the time for it is not today and it will defend its citizens as well as its friends and allies.

"You are going to see nearly 40 countries that are not in the General Assembly today", Haley said on Monday. "But we have to be realistic", she told reporters.

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They say the threat of nuclear disaster is growing thanks to mounting tensions fanned by North Korea's nuclear weapons program and an unpredictable new administration in Washington.

Ambassador Matthew Rycroft of Great Britain said his country stayed away form the talks "because we do not believe that those negotiations will lead to effective progress on global nuclear disarmament". Backers of the proposed treaty say prohibiting nuclear weapons would be a powerful step toward eliminating them. Haley specifically cited North Korea and hinted at its ongoing missile and nuclear programs, which have resulted in new tests full in the face of United Nations sanctions and warnings.

Japan - the only country to have suffered in the atomic bombings of 1945 - also voted against the negotiations and said lack of consensus may undermine efforts of nuclear disarmament.

But his administration strongly encouraged North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies to vote against this year's United Nations negotiations, saying a ban would obstruct cooperation to respond to nuclear threats from adversaries.

"Efforts to make such a treaty without the involvement of nuclear weapon states will only deepen the schism and division" in the worldwide community, he said. "And now there are raised worries with the new U.S. president".

However, Fihn believes there is a "good chance" a treaty will be eventually adopted due to the successful experience from the past campaigns against cluster munitions and landmines.

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