The New York conference is intended to specify a timetable for all the main nuclear powers - China, France, Russia, the UK and the US - to abandon their nuclear weapon stockpiles. Delegates will also discuss ways to curb the production of weapons-grade fissile material and promote nuclear non-proliferation among the other states. But many countries have accused the nuclear powers of trying to protect the current status quo. Kofi Annan, secretary general of the United Nations, reminded delegates that the threat of nuclear war remained "a very real, and very terrifying possibility."