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UN advisory board recommends measures to reduce risk of nuclear war

UN advisory board recommends measures to reduce risk of nuclear war

A United Nations advisory board has forwarded seven recommendations to the General Assembly on ways of reducing the risk of nuclear war.

At its 36th and 37th sessions held this year in New York and Geneva, the Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters agreed that a wide-ranging global dialogue on cooperative security was necessary to address the problem, and that preliminary political and technical measures were needed to prepare for the convening of such a conference.

The Board also recommended de-alerting nuclear weapons, reviewing nuclear doctrines, further reducing tactical nuclear weapons as an integral part of the nuclear arms reduction and disarmament process, enhancing security at a global and a regional level by promoting increased transparency of all nuclear weapons programmes, and creating a climate for implementing nuclear disarmament measures.

Programmes of education and training on the dangers of nuclear weapons were also seen as important in fostering an informed world public opinion that would be able to exercise a positive influence on the political will to eliminate nuclear weapons.

Other measures, which received varying degrees of support from the Board, included preventing the further proliferation of nuclear weapons, banning the use of nuclear weapons, changing military doctrines to "no first use" of nuclear weapons, withdrawing all nuclear weapons deployed abroad back to their owner's territory, and eliminating all but a very small stock of reserve warheads.

Measures such as keeping nuclear submarines deployed in a mode that would make the firing of nuclear ballistic missiles from close range on depressed trajectories more difficult, shaping communication practices so as to make immediate strikes difficult or impossible, and removing essential parts from launchers or nuclear warheads (such as batteries, fuel, connection cables and computers) also received some support from the Advisory Board.