New START has global implications: US official

New START has global implications: US official

Rose Gottemoeller, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Verification, Compliance and Implementation, said the United States and Russia which control over 90 per cent of the world's nuclear arsenal, are looked upon by the world for leadership in securing atomic material and preventing spread of weapons.

"The New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) is not just about Washington and Moscow. It is about the entire world community," she said.

"While the treaty is bilateral, it has big implications for global security... Thus, the new Treaty sets the stage for engaging other powers in fulfilling the goals of the NPT," she said in her remarks at the Arms Control Association's annual meeting.

At the upcoming NPT Review Conference, beginning in New York next month, she said the US looks to reaffirm each party's commitment to that treaty and to strengthen its three pillars: non-proliferation, disarmament, and peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

"In addition, we want to discourage abuses of the treaty withdrawal provision and ensure there is a strong focus on NPT compliance. That said, the Review Conference is not an end in itself, but a milestone toward enhancing the non-proliferation regime worldwide," she said.

On the issue of ratification of the Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty - FMCT -- an important agenda of the Obama administration, Gottemoeller said it would not be an easy task.

"Ratifying the CTBT will not be an easy task, but we will work closely with the Senate, the public and key stakeholders to achieve this goal.

Achieving a verifiable FMCT is an essential condition for a world free of nuclear weapons, she said, adding, if the international community is serious about drawing down, the US must constrain the ability to build up.

"We are working hard to keep the United Nations' Conference on Disarmament - the CD - focused on this goal," the State Department official said.

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