The United States and Britain surprised many as they joined the Vienna Conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, as the two nations had long boycotted such meetings on disarmament.
The US in particular said they saw a chance for useful dialogue at the conference, though they would not engage in any discussion on actually reducing their massive nuclear arsenal.
That didn’t sit well with a lot of attendees, who pressed the two nations to stop giving lip service and start doing something to shrink the number of nuclear arms on the planet.
UN disarmament chief Angela Kane was the most direct about the issue, saying that nations without nuclear arms are increasingly frustrated that disarmament talks aren’t happening, and that the weapons having states “don’t really see the NPT as an obligation to disarm.”
The US response was typical of this, with the State Department conceding the US has too many nuclear arms, but providing no indication that they’d even consider reducing that number.