UN Secretary-General António Guterres [official profile] on Thursday revealed [press release] a new agenda for nuclear disarmament.
Guterres’ agenda [text, PDF] has three prongs. First, he urged the disarmament of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. Part of the agenda reads, “[t]he Secretary-General remains fully committed to working for the total elimination of nuclear weapons and
he calls on Member States to revitalize their pursuit of this goal without delay.” Guterres plans to accomplish this goal by inter-state dialogue and changing international norms to make nuclear weapons unacceptable.
Second, Guterres says that the UN needs to focus on the disarmament of conventional weapons as well as weapons of mass destruction. He says that branches of the United Nations will work together to minimize the loss of civilian lives in conflicts where conventional weapons are involved.
The third prong of the agenda focuses on technological weapons. Guterres says that the UN Institute for Disarmament Research will study the risks of new weapons. Guterres also says, “[a]ll States have an individual responsibility to determine whether or not the use of new weapons they study, develop, acquire or adopt would be prohibited under international law, in some or all circumstances.”
“The existential threat that nuclear weapons pose to humanity must motivate us to accomplish new and decisive action leading to their total elimination,” says Guterres.
Last July the UN adopted [JURIST report] the first ever multilateral legally binding treaty on nuclear disarmament.