UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) — Costa Rica on Thursday called on the UN Security Council to “make good on the promise” for peace, saying that the 15-nation body “fails in its historic mission every day that it turns a blind eye to the rampant arms race.”
Addressing the UN Security Council Summit on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Nuclear Disarmament, which opened here on Thursday morning, Costa Rican President Oscar Arias said: “The world spends 3.5 billion dollars every day on weapons and soldiers. Each year, more than 42 billion dollars of conventional arms are sold to developing nations, where weak or nonexistent democracies are incapable of satisfying the most basic needs of their peoples.”
“Even in Latin America, which has never been more peaceful or more democratic, this year nearly 60 billion dollars will be assigned to military spending — this in a region with an average of seven years of schooling for its populations, and poverty that affects more than 200 million inhabitants,” he said.
Stating that the United Nations Charter was “founded on the promise that we would be able to sleep peacefully during the most abominable wars,” Arias stressed Article 26 of the UN Charter to “maintain international peace and security.”
The Thursday Council session was chaired by U.S. President Barack Obama, the first U.S. president to lead a Council meeting, where members unanimously passed a resolution, to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons for a safer world in compliance with the goals of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
“It doesn’t seem plausible to speak of a safer world, as long as the proliferation of another kind of weapons stays in its perennial position, second place on our international agenda,” said the president, also a Nobel Peace Prize laureate. “This Council fails in its historic mission every day that it turns a blind eye to the rampant arms race.”
Thanking Obama for the opportunity to discuss the issue, Arias stressed that “nevertheless, it does not seem plausible to discuss disarmament as long as existing agreements are not even being honored.”