The United States says it will boycott the United Nations negotiations aimed at creating a nuclear weapons ban treaty, as some 120 countries are participating in the talks on the subject.
US Ambassador Nikki Haley told reporters at UN headquarters in New York City on Monday that a worldwide nuclear ban was simply not "realistic."
"There is nothing I want more for my family than a world with no nuclear weapons. But we have to be realistic. Is there anyone that believes that North Korea would agree to a ban on nuclear weapons?" Haley said.
The four-day meeting is aimed at creating a consensus on a nuclear weapons ban treaty. Over the next four days, countries which are opposed to nuclear proliferation will be discussing the purpose, content and format of the treaty.
Haley said that Britain and France were also among about 40 countries that would not join the talks starting at the UN General Assembly in New York on Monday.
"You are going to see almost 40 countries that are not in the General Assembly today," she said.
"In this day and time we can't honestly that say we can protect our people by allowing the bad actors to have them and those of us that are good trying to keep peace and safety, not to have them,” she added.
Many nations, including Japan which suffered atomic attacks by the US in 1945, will join the conference. More than 120 others endorsed a plan for “a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination" and encouraged others to participate.
Haley said that the countries not joining the negotiations are instead committed to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology.
In addition, British Representative to the United Nations Matthew Rycroft said that his country was also “not attending the negotiations on a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons because we do not believe that those negotiations will lead to effective progress on global nuclear disarmament."
Meanwhile, French Deputy Representative to the United Nations Alexis Lamek said the security conditions were not appropriate for a legally binding nuclear ban.
"In the current perilous context, considering in particular the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, our countries continue to rely on nuclear deterrence for security and stability," Lamek said.