Opening day of the NPT PrepCom May 4

 In anti-nuclear movement, Nuclear Weapons, Peace Action, weapons proliferation

NPT Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) May 4, 2009

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon called the 2005 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference represented a “disarmament depression”, with the failure of the NPT Review Conference to agree on any substantive issues. He applauded the US and Russia for working for nuclear weapons cuts. On Iran and North Korea, he is  generally optimistic. Mr. Ban mentioned Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty ratification and Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty as priorities. Urged compromise and flexibility, new multi-lateralism. Nuclear weapons will never bring us security.
Zimbabwe — PrepCom chair. 77 NGO’s are here. Palestine is here as an observer, as are some regional orgs (Arab League, CTBT organization, Nuclear Weapons Convention organization and others).
May 3-28, 2010 are recommended dates for the Review Conference next year (postponing it a week). Non-Aligned Movement nominated ambassador from the Philippines will preside over the Rev Con.
First govt. speaker is from Cuba on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (somewhat significant that NAM is privileged to open the conference, yes?), mentioned Article VI and suggested there needs to be a subsidiary committee dedicated to pursuing nuclear disarmament, also a committee to establish security assurances. Three pillars of NPT – non-proliferation, disarmament and nuclear power – must be abided by in a non-discriminatory manner.  NAM promotes NWFZ’s in regions around the world. Promotes NWFZ in the Middle East.
Concern about nuclear materials agreement between US and India, violates Article III of the treaty (which India is not a party to but of course the US is), especially that fissionable materials could be transferred to unsafeguarded facilities. Article X regarding withdrawal from the treaty, should be governed by international treaty law.
The NGO sessions have been very good, and our colleagues in the peace movements in Japan, Britain, France and Germany share our optimism about pushing the Obama Administration to not only reduce nuclear weapons but to work together to encourage Obama to initiate negotiations on eliminating nuclear weapons in the context of the run-up to next year’s NPT Review Conference. We’ll be meeting Wednesday to strategize on ways to cooperate over the next year.

Kevin Martin
Executive Director, Peace Action

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