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President Hu urges nuke-free world
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Chinese President Hu Jintao on Thursday made a five-point proposal for building a safer world for all through nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.

Chinese President Hu Jintao (Front) addresses the Summit on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Nuclear Disarmament at the United Nations headquarters in New York Sept. 24, 2009. The U.N. Security Council on Thursday unanimously adopted a resolution to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons in a bid to seek a safer world for all, and to create conditions for a world without nuclear weapons. [Ju Peng/Xinhua] 

During an address at the U.N. Security Council nuclear summit, Hu said "nuclear proliferation remains a pressing issue and nuclear disarmament a long and arduous task."

"To realize a safer world for all, we must first and foremost remove the threat of nuclear war," he said.

The Chinese president called for efforts be made in the following five areas:

First, to maintain global strategic balance and stability and vigorously advance nuclear disarmament:

All nuclear-weapon states should fulfill in good faith obligations under Article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), and publicly undertake to not seek permanent possession of nuclear weapons.

"Countries with the largest nuclear arsenals should continue to take the lead in making drastic and substantive reductions in their nuclear weapons," he said.

To attain the ultimate goal of complete and thorough nuclear disarmament, the international community should develop, at an appropriate time, a viable, long-term plan composed of phased actions, including the conclusion of a convention on the complete prohibition of nuclear weapons, he said.

Second, to abandon the nuclear deterrence policy based on first use and take credible steps to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons:

"All nuclear-weapon states should make an unequivocal commitment of unconditionally not using or threatening to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones, and conclude a legally-binding international instrument in this regard," Hu said.

In the meantime, nuclear states should negotiate and conclude a treaty on no-first-use of atomic weapons against one another.

Third, to consolidate the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and prevent the proliferation of nuclear arms.

"All countries should join the NPT and real efforts should be made to uphold and enhance its authority and effectiveness. The function of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in safeguards should be strengthened," Hu said.

All countries should strictly comply with non-proliferation obligations, refrain from double standards, and tighten and improve export controls to prevent proliferation.

Fourth, to fully respect the right of all countries to the peaceful use of nuclear energy and carry out active international cooperation:

"Developed countries should actively assist developing countries in developing and using nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. The IAEA should increase input to promote technical cooperation and assistance in nuclear power, nuclear safety and security, and nuclear technology application," Hu said.

The IAEA should increase input to promote technical cooperation and assistance in nuclear power, nuclear safety and security, and nuclear technology application.

And, fifth, to take strong measures to enhance nuclear security and reduce nuclear risks:

"Countries should act in strict observance of all international legal instruments governing nuclear security, take credible steps to ensure the security of their nuclear facilities and materials, and prevent the diversion of nuclear materials with effective means," he said.

The international community should intensify cooperation and combat nuclear terrorism through concerted efforts.

The Chinese leader reiterated his country's firm commitment to a nuclear strategy of self-defense.

"We have adhered to the policy of no-first-use of nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstance, and made the unequivocal commitment that we will unconditionally not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones," he said.

Hu also urged the international community to do the following to build a safer world:

-- Foster a peaceful and stable international environment, resolve international disputes through peaceful means, and increase the sense of security for all countries. Promote development, eradicate poverty, and remove the root causes of conflict and instability.

-- Fully respect and accommodate the legitimate and reasonable security concerns of all countries, refrain from pursuing one's own security at the expense of others, and ensure security for all through win-win cooperation.

-- Build state-to-state relations of mutual understanding and mutual trust, resolve differences and dispel misgivings, and conduct dialogues and cooperation on an equal footing.

-- Adhere to multilateralism. Consolidate the collective security system with the United Nations at its core and make the system more just and reasonable so that it can play a robust role in international security cooperation.

Hu was in New York for a series of U.N. meetings. He was scheduled to attend a financial summit of the Group of 20 in Pittsburgh on Thursday and Friday.

(Xinhua News Agency September 25, 2009)

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