The 21st U.N. Conference on Disarmament Issues was held last week in the Sea of Japan coastal city of Niigata, attended by about 90 people from 21 countries, mainly government officials and researchers who exchanged opinions as individuals. In a positive development, they agreed that the international community should steadily move toward the abolition of nuclear weapons despite many difficulties ahead.

Apparently, U.S. President Barack Obama’s speech in April in Prague has breathed new life into global efforts for the abolition of nuclear weapons. The participants agreed that the international community should grasp the opportunity to cooperate for nuclear disarmament. They also agreed on the importance of strengthening the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty regime as a foundation for nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation. Mr. Obama said the global community “must stand together for the right of people everywhere in the world to live free from fear (of nuclear weapons) in the 21st century.”

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