‘Bad actors’ can’t be allowed to have nuclear weapons: Nikki Haley

‘Bad actors’ can’t be allowed to have nuclear weapons: Nikki Haley

UNITED NATIONS: “Bad actors” cannot be allowed to have nuclear weapons at the cost of those trying to main­tain peace and safety, US envoy to the UN Nikki Haley has said as she voiced oppo­sition to a UN conference ne­gotiating a legally-binding instrument to prohibit such weapons.
“We would love to have a ban on nuclear weapons but in this day and time we can­not honestly say that we can protect our people by allow­ing the bad actors to have them and those of us who are good trying to keep the peace and safety not to have them,” Haley told reporters here.
She said the assembly “suddenly” wants to have a hearing to ban nuclear weapons and while “as a mother and daughter” she wants a world with no nu­clear weapons, one also has to be “realistic”.
“Is there anyone who believes that North Korea would agree to a ban on nu­clear weapons? So what you would see is that the General Assembly would go through, in good faith, trying to do something but North Korea would be the one cheering and all of us and the people we represent would be the ones at risk,” Haley, the first Indian-American to be el­evated to a cabinet position in the Trump administra­tion, said.
She said Washington be­lieves in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and had reduced its weapons by 85 per cent since the treaty went into place.
She added that while the US would want to see a world without nuclear weapons, the time for it is not today and it will defend its citizens as well as its friends and al­lies. “One day we will hope we no longer need nuclear weapons. But today, in this day and time, in the situa­tions that we are in, we un­fortunately don’t have the ability to do that,” she said.
About 40 countries, in­cluding India, are not par­ticipating in the General As­sembly session that will run until March 31. The UN said the conference represents the first multilateral nego­tiations on nuclear disarma­ment in more than 20 years.
As of 2016, it is estimated that more than 15,000 nu­clear warheads remain in global stockpiles.

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