They also renewed their call on all nuclear powers to take credible steps towards disarmament, acknowledging the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).
Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders and former President of Ireland, said:
“I welcome the agreement by Presidents Putin and Biden to extend New START for five years, which helps to halt several years of alarming deterioration of international arms control frameworks. This must only be the first step, and should be followed by serious bilateral negotiations between the US and Russian Governments to further strengthen arms control and reduce the risks of nuclear conflict.
“The extension of New START, set alongside the recent entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), provides hope that 2021 can be a year of renewed momentum towards our common goal of a world without nuclear weapons. However, this will only be possible if the nuclear states give the highest priority to making tangible progress on disarmament ahead of the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference later this year. They must also take seriously the fact that the majority of countries around the world support the comprehensive nuclear weapons ban enshrined in the TPNW, and will be expecting concrete action on disarmament from the nuclear states.”