Arms negotiators failed to start talks on Jan. 19 on cutting nuclear weapons when Pakistan blocked the adoption of the 2010 agenda for the U.N.-sponsored Conference on Disarmament. The conference, the world's sole multinational negotiating forum for disarmament, spent much of 2009 stuck on procedural wrangles raised by Pakistan after breaking a 12-year deadlock to agree a program of work. The impasse suggested 2010 would be another year of halting progress. Pakistan, which tested a nuclear weapon in 1998, is wary of the proposed focus in the program on limiting the production of fissile material, which would put it at a disadvantage against longer-standing nuclear powers such as India. It therefore has an interest in delaying the start of substantive talks, diplomats say. (Reuters)

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