Washington: Five of the major powers of the globe took a pledge never to fight a nuclear war and reduce risks that could spark such a conflict, The Guardian reports.
The US, Russia, China, the UK and France- the five nuclear-weapon states recognised by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) of 1968 and the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council- signed the pledge according to a joined statement on Monday.
The nations said they affirm that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought, aligning with Ronald Reagan-Gorbachev declaration at a 1985 summit in Geneva. The powers wish to work with the global nations in creating a secure environment and progress on disarmament, the statement said.
The statement by the five powers, also known as P5 or N5, was released parallel to the five-yearly review conference of the NPT. But the conference is postponed after the surge in Omicron, and it is under discussion on whether it should be conducted virtually.
The NPT was formed with non-nuclear states pledging not to acquire such weapons and nuclear states promising to disarm theirs. But the latest review conference is expected to trigger disputes as disarmament is not progressing on one hand while the five powers are refurbishing their nuclear arsenal on the other. Also, Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea, who are not under NPT, are keeping their nuclear arsenal intact. Further, as the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran collapsed, the risk of nuclear armament in the Middle East is rising.
However, the joint statement is a positive development at a time when Russia brews invasion plans over Ukraine and China ready to use military troops over Taiwan. These are taking a toll on both the state's ties with the West.
But, China welcomed the joint statement and said it would increase mutual trust, and competition among the powers will be replaced with cooperation. But France, though it signed the pledge, expressed concerns and said that as long as nuclear weapons exist, they should serve for defence purposes and prevent war or aggression.