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UN launches second round of nuclear ban talks

Proponents hopeful for final text of treaty by early July

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A U.S. Air Force missile maintenance team removes the upper section of an intercontinental ballistic missile with a nuclear warhead at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana.   © Reuters

UNITED NATIONS -- Delegates from more than 80 countries kicked off a second and possibly final round of negotiations Thursday on an international treaty to ban nuclear weapons, seeking to adopt a final text by the July 7 end of the conference.

"As we enter this final phase of the conference, I am confident that with the necessary political will, we can achieve the goal" to complete, "as soon as possible, a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons leading toward their total elimination," said Elayne Whyte Gomez, chair of the conference, as the meeting began.

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