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Under the 1 April Joint Statement by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and US President Barack Obama, the two countries will take concrete steps to fulfil their obligations under the UN-backed Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which forms the foundation of the world’s nuclear non-proliferation regime. In a statement issued today by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban said that their leadership is “vital to the process leading the achievement of a nuclear-weapon-free world.” Along with their commitment to this goal, the Secretary-General said other “significant undertakings” include the presidents’ pledge to realize reductions in their strategic offensive arsenals by replacing the current Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) with a new, legally binding pact. The statement noted that Mr. Ban is encouraged by the leaders’ efforts to overcome difference pertaining to missile defence deployment, welcoming their commitment to further strengthening the NPT, the global regime for the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and the means of delivery of these weapons. He also welcomed the leaders’ declaration of support for the Security Council resolution on preventing non-State actors from obtaining WMD-related materials and technologies. “The promotion of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, heightened efforts to make nuclear weapons and materials secure, and to combat nuclear terrorism will contribute to addressing important nuclear challenges,” he noted. As depository of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban-Treaty (CTBT), which outlaws all nuclear explosions and establishes a verification regime to monitor compliance, the Secretary-General said that he is “particularly pleased” by Mr. Obama’s confirmation that he will work towards US ratification of the pact, which Russia has already done. Mr. Ban has repeatedly appealed to the members of the Conference on Disarmament – the world’s only multilateral disarmament negotiating forum – to break their deadlock and move to the negotiations phase, including on a treaty banning the production of fissile material. The Conference has not been able to agree on a programme of work for 10 years. Therefore, the Russian and US leaders’ support for these negotiations is “most welcome,” the statement said. Yesterday, the head of the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said he believes the commitments by the two leaders will help move the world beyond the Cold War mentality. IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei said that the Joint Statement could also generate momentum towards the universal adherence to comprehensive safeguards agreements. 3 April 2009Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the commitments made by the leaders of Russia and the United States to accomplish nuclear disarmament and intensify nuclear non-proliferation efforts. read more


They particularly welcomed the upcoming meeting of a parliamentary committee, consisting of religious and political leaders from all communities, set up to discuss the issue. The envoys also visited the Sri Dalada Maligawa. They said that Sri Lankans know all too well the consequences of not addressing religious and ethnic hatred, and reiterated the importance of political, religious and community leaders taking the initiative to counter hate speech and racist stereotypes. The envoys emphasised that there must be no impunity for such crimes. (Colombo Gazette) During a frank and constructive exchange, the envoys emphasised the importance of starting a systematic dialogue with other religious leaders to avoid the recurrence of the recent violence. The Ambassadors met representatives of the Muslim community to discuss the recent communal violence, and its aftermath. They expressed their sympathies for the loss of life and the destruction of homes, mosques, and businesses.Addressing the media in Kandy, they noted that the violence in Kandy district underscores the need to redouble efforts to support national reconciliation. The Ambassador of the European Union, Tung-Laï Margue, the Ambassador of Romania, Dr. Victor Chiujdea, and Heinz Walker-Nederkoorn, the Ambassador of Switzerland visited Kandy district from 27-28 March 2018, the EU mission in Colombo said today.The Ambassadors paid their respects to the Chief Prelate of the Asigiriya Chapter, the Most. Ven. Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thero, and the Chief Prelate of the Malwatte Chapter, the Most Venerable Thibbotuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala. read more

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