Philippines, Nigeria join nuclear nonproliferation framework

The Philippines and Nigeria joined an international framework for nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation Tuesday, pledging to work together with other member countries such as Japan and Australia.

The participation by the two countries in the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative was endorsed at the group's foreign ministerial meeting, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida told a press conference.

Kishida, who chaired the meeting, the seventh since 2010, said he welcomed the inclusion of the first member from Africa and the first member from Asia other than Japan, which came under U.S. nuclear attack in 1945. The number of NPDI member countries now totals 12.

"We hope to grow into a group that can show a bigger presence in the sector of nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation," said Kishida, a lawmaker from Hiroshima, one of the two Japanese cities hit by U.S. nuclear bombs.

Abel Ayoko, deputy permanent representative of Nigeria's U.N. mission, told the press conference the African country will "expand efforts to ensure the elimination of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction."

Jesus Domingo, assistance secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, said, "The Philippines has a long-standing commitment to nuclear disarmament and our Constitution calls for our territory to be free from nuclear weapons."