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Nuclear treaty conference likely to be delayed due to New York’s COVID surge

An international conference on a landmark Cold War-era nuclear treaty is poised to be postponed because coronavirus cases are surging in the host city of New York.

Already delayed multiple times because of the pandemic, the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference is supposed to start Jan. 4 at the United Nations’ headquarters, bringing delegations from around the world together to discuss the state of the 1970 pact.

But after the UN expressed concerns about the resurgent virus and said the world body couldn’t staff an in-person conference, participants were reluctant to proceed with the Jan. 4 date, says conference President-designate Gustavo Zlauvinen.

He says the event will be put off if no one objects by this evening.

“This is a regrettable decision, but the present circumstances do not leave us any other choice,” writes Zlauvinen, an Argentine diplomat and former International Atomic Energy Agency official.

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