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UN Postpones Five-Year Review Of Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Due To Coronavirus

FILE: The United Nations building in New York
FILE: The United Nations building in New York

The United Nations has announced that a conference to review the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty has been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Some 191 states parties were expected to attend the conference that had been scheduled for April 27 through May 22 at UN headquarters in New York.

Participants meet every five years to review the treaty, considered the cornerstone of global efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the review conference will be rescheduled “as soon as the circumstances permit, but no later than April 2021.”

The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, completed 50 years ago, is credited with preventing the spread of nuclear weapons to dozens of nations.

As part of the treaty, nations without nuclear weapons committed not to acquire them. Countries already holding such weapons committed to move toward their elimination.

Every nation is a party to the treaty except India, Pakistan, and North Korea -- which hold nuclear weapons -- and Israel, which most experts suspect of being a nuclear power but which has never acknowledged it.

Based on reporting by AP