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Competing interests sank disarmament efforts: UN chief

UN chief Ban Ki-moon complains that despite growing public sentiment supporting disarmament, competing interests at governmental levels torpedoed the most recent negotiations

Ahram Online , Tuesday 28 Aug 2012
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. (Photo: Reuters)

Competing interests prevented agreement on a much-needed treaty for regulating international arms trade and nuclear disarmament, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated in a press release on Sunday. 

"Nuclear disarmament efforts remained stalled, despite strong growing global popular sentiment in support of this cause," Ki-moon said.

Negotiations ran during the anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan, hoping that the memory would make for integrity and good faith.

The UN chief pointed out that national budget priorities, massive military spending and new investments in modernising nuclear weapons have left the world over-armed.

The report mentioned that global military spending in 2011exceeded $1.7 trillion – more than $4.6 billion a day, which alone is almost twice the UN’s budget for an entire year. This largesse includes billions more for modernising nuclear arsenals decades into the future.

"This level of military spending is hard to explain in a post-Cold War world and amidst a global financial crisis. Economists would call this an 'opportunity cost.' I call it 'human opportunities lost.'" Ki-moon slammed country's militarisation tendencies.

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