Five global nuclear powers pledge to prevent atomic weapons spreading and to ensure a nuclear war is never fought, in a rare joint statement ahead of a review of a key nuclear treaty later this year.
“We believe strongly that the further spread of such weapons must be prevented,” say permanent UN Security Council members China, France, Russia, the UK and United States.
“We affirm that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. As nuclear use would have far-reaching consequences, we also affirm that nuclear weapons—for as long as they continue to exist—should serve defensive purposes, deter aggression, and prevent war. We believe strongly that the further spread of such weapons must be prevented,” they added.
The five powers reaffirm the importance of addressing nuclear threats and emphasize the importance of preserving and complying with our bilateral and multilateral non-proliferation, disarmament, and arms control agreements and commitments. “We remain committed to our Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) obligations, including our Article VI obligation “to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.”
The countries pledge to maintain and further strengthen their national measures to prevent unauthorized or unintended use of nuclear weapons and reiterate the validity of their previous statements on de-targeting, reaffirming that none of our nuclear weapons are targeted at each other or at any other State.
“We underline our desire to work with all states to create a security environment more conducive to progress on disarmament with the ultimate goal of a world without nuclear weapons with undiminished security for all. We intend to continue seeking bilateral and multilateral diplomatic approaches to avoid military confrontations, strengthen stability and predictability, increase mutual understanding and confidence, and prevent an arms race that would benefit none and endanger all. We are resolved to pursue constructive dialogue with mutual respect and acknowledgment of each other’s security interests and concerns,” the statement reads.