Ukrainian leader, addressing UN, calls for security assurances for non-nuclear States

21 September 2011

The President of Ukraine today told the General Assembly that the world should move towards gradual and irreversible nuclear disarmament and called for legally binding international security assurances to protect non-nuclear States.

“I urge the leaders of other States to consciously follow the example of Ukraine and its real actions to promote disarmament and non-proliferation,” the country’s President, Viktor Yanukovych, told the Assembly’s annual general debate in New York.

He noted that the awareness of the scale of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster had prompted Ukraine to convene an international conference on the safe and innovative use of nuclear energy to mark the 25th anniversary of the accident in April this year.

Mr. Yanukovych urged States to pay greater attention to climate change and environmental protection, and called for the creation of an effective international mechanism mandated to protect the environment.

Such a mechanism would take the form of an “environmental constitution” to guide States on environmental issues and identify “compulsory principles” of sustainable development.

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