Amid a deepening strategic alignment between the Russian Federation and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, numerous speakers observed that Moscow’s veto of the Panel of Experts’ mandate renewal served as a cover-up for its unlawful arms transfers from Pyongyang, while others warned about the establishment of the Washington, D.C.-Tokyo-Seoul military alliance in the Asia-Pacific region.


Urging a return to nuclear diplomacy, senior UN and Government officials briefing the Security Council today called on the United States and Iran to reanimate dialogue towards reimplementing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran’s nuclear programme — while the Plan’s erstwhile participants traded charges and sparred over the parameters of any such return to engagement.


Following are UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ remarks, as delivered by Under-Secretary-General Izumi Nakamitsu, to the Fourth Conference to Review Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects, in New York today:


While renewed cooperation between Syrian authorities and the Declaration Assessment Team of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has borne positive results, the United Nations’ disarmament chief told the Security Council today that further cooperation is needed, as Council members debated whether the organ should continue to meet on this file despite slow progress in its resolution.