Posts tagged with npt

NPT RevCon ends with a consensus Final Document

by Alicia Godsberg

The NPT Review Conference ended last Friday with the adoption by consensus of a Final Document that includes both a review of commitments and a forward looking action plan for nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and the promotion of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.  In the early part of last week it was unclear if consensus would be reached, as states entered last-minute negotiations over contentious issues.  While the consensus document represents a real achievement and is a relief after the failure of the last Review Conference in 2005 to produce a similar document, much of the language in the action plan has been watered down from previous versions and documents, leaving the world to wait until the next review in 2015 to see how far these initial steps will take the global community toward fulfilling the Treaty’s goals. Continue Reading →

2010 RevCon begins

by Alicia Godsberg

Today marked the opening of the 8th Review Conference to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons at the United Nations.  The general debate began today and will continue through Thursday, with an NGO presentation to the delegates this Friday to end the week.  Today’s plenary provided a few revelations from the U.S. and Indonesia that could impact the rest of the RevCon and the nuclear  nonproliferation and disarmament regime in general… Continue Reading →

Documentary “Paths to Zero” Premiering at the NPT RevCon

by: Alicia Godsberg

On Tuesday May 11 FAS will be premiering our documentary, “Paths to Zero,” at the United Nations during the 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT RevCon).  The screening will be part of FAS’s official UN Office of Disarmament Affairs side event for the RevCon, which will be held from 10 am – 12 pm in Conference Room A of the North Building.  To attend, you must be registered for the RevCon, but after the Conference FAS will be screening Paths to Zero in Washington, DC and we will be uploading the video to our website.

The world’s combined stockpile of nuclear weapons remains at a high and frightening level – over 24,000 – despite being two decades past the end of the Cold War. In the documentary film Paths to Zero, Federation of American Scientists Vice President Dr. Ivan Oelrich explains the history of how the nuclear-armed world got to this point, and how we can begin to move down a global path to zero nuclear weapons.

The Big Picture – what is really at stake with the START follow-on Treaty

by Alicia Godsberg

There is cause for cautious optimism after Presidents Obama and Medvedev signed their START follow-on Joint Understanding in Moscow last Monday – the goal of completing a legally binding bilateral nuclear disarmament agreement with verification measures is preferable to letting START expire without an agreement or without one that keeps some sort of verification protocol.  The Joint Understanding leaves some familiar questions open, such as the lack of definition of a “strategic offensive weapon” and what to do about the thousands of nuclear warheads in reserve or awaiting dismantlement.  But so far few analysts on either side of the nuclear debate have been talking about the big picture, what for the vast majority of the world (and therefore our own national security) is really at stake here – the viability of the nonproliferation regime itself. Continue Reading →

NPT 40 Years Later and Beyond

On July 1, 1968 the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) was opened for signature, codifying for the first time a legally binding obligation to achieve nuclear disarmament. This year marks the 40th anniversary of this historic arms control treaty, to which every state in the United Nations except three has been a party (India, Pakistan, and Israel have never been signatories – North Korea withdrew from the Treaty in 2003).

Much has been written about whether the NPT regime is failing, in need of revision, or simply outdated. The NPT regime faces many challenges: nuclear weapons now enjoy a prominent place in the security policies of nuclear weapon states and new plans have been designed for their use including preemptive and preventive actions; materials and technology obtained from the civilian nuclear cooperation promoted by the Treaty could be used to manufacture nuclear bombs; a black market in nuclear technology and materials has been discovered; and the global rise in energy demand has put nuclear energy into the mix of solutions to this emerging crisis, despite the proliferation risks associated with advanced fuel cycle technology. Some voices counter that, with very few exceptions, the principles of the Treaty have prevented the widespread proliferation of nuclear weapons envisaged in the 1960’s by President Kennedy. One thing is clear: renewed commitment from the highest levels of government will be necessary to achieve the goals of the NPT and enable the processes and norms associated with the Treaty to peacefully navigate through the challenges it is facing and maintain its relevance for the future. Continue Reading →