Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of New York on Sunday ahead of a UN conference examining ways of stopping the spread of nuclear weapons around the world. Nearly 200 countries are taking part in the month-long meeting, which aims to strengthen a 35-year-old non-proliferation treaty, which was supposed to ultimately lead to nuclear weapons being scrapped. But that has not happened. The number of countries with nuclear weapons has increased.
Many protesters say the United States should lead the way by disarming first and pulling out of Iraq. Washington is expected to try and get other countries to condemn Iran and North Korea for pursuing their nuclear programmes. However many activists believe both the US and Russia are guilty of double standards since they are looking at ways of modernising their own nuclear weapons stockpiles.