UN session seeks to kick-start stalled nuke talks

UNITED NATIONS  — UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged world governments on Friday to end the "long inertia" at the Geneva disarmament talks and free up much of the money spent on arms for use alleviating hunger, disease and other ills in impoverished nations.

A new coalition of nuclear-activist nations, meanwhile, said that moving quickly in Geneva on a treaty to shut down all production of uranium and plutonium for atomic bombs is an "essential step" toward global nuclear disarmament.

Negotiations for the long-proposed Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty, currently blocked by Pakistan at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, should instead "be pursued with vigor and determination," said the 10-nation group, led by Japan and Australia and including Germany, Canada and Mexico.