Addressing an urgent need to ensure peace, Greenpeace has called on the 186 State Parties to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to commit to serious and effective negotiations of the Treaty which will lead to actual nuclear disarmament and effective nuclear non-proliferation measures. It is widely expected that the meeting, which will open for two weeks on April 26th at the United Nations in New York, will be greatly controversial with the possibility of complete failure.
While the NPT is at present the only treaty containing a legal
obligation on states to get rid of their nuclear weapons,
Greenpeace views the Treaty as also fundamentally flawed. Recent
disclosures on the proliferation of advanced European enrichment
technology to Pakistan, Iran and Libya, have 'shocked' institutions
such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The United
States is likely to push an aggressive policy at the Conference
against the proliferation of nuclear technology and materials to
certain states 'of concern', while continuing to support the civil
nuclear programs of their allies such as Japan.
"The U.S. in particular, needs to commit to the global treaty
banning nuclear testing, renounce plans to modernize their arsenal
and undertake real nuclear disarmament. There is no prospect of
this under the current Bush Administration. The predictions for
this conference are not good. At the end of two weeks unless there
is a dramatic change we will be further away from nuclear
disarmament and effective nuclear non-proliferation than ever
before," said Tom Clements of Greenpeace International.
In a communication to NPT states (1), Greenpeace has reminded
Governments that in 2000 at the NPT Review Conference they agreed
to the 13 steps on disarmament and non-proliferation (2). Four
years on, there has been no progress. The global ban on nuclear
testing is in limbo and further threatened by a possible U.S.
resumption of testing. In a number of states, nuclear weapons
modernization is being planned instead of disarmament. Meanwhile,
proliferation of civilian nuclear technology and materials has
continued, and negotiations of a treaty banning nuclear materials
that are essential to making nuclear bombs have not even begun.
The majority of NPT states rightly want to see nuclear
disarmament, but also support the principle of access to nuclear
technology and materials. The nuclear weapon states, particularly
the United States and the UK are likely to focus almost exclusively
on specific non-proliferation issues, to divert attention away from
their own nuclear weapons modernization in defiance of their legal
obligations under the NPT to disarm.
"The commitments under the NPT intended to be applied
universally and without discrimination have not succeeded. More
than fifty years ago at the start of the nuclear age it was known
that promoting nuclear technology and fissile materials would lead
to more states with nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapon states that
have modernized instead of disarming bear a large responsibility
for this failure, but so do those states that continue to support
the proliferation of civil nuclear technology," said Clements.
Notes: (1). Copy of the letter to foreign ministers at:http://www.greenpeace.org/multimedia/download/1/459018/0/NPT_letter.pdf(2). Available at http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/legal/npt/2000FD.pdf - see pages 14-15