Nuclear teaty review ends in failure

Feature story - 27 May, 2005
All the kings horses and all the kings men failed to reach agreement on reducing nuclear arms at the conclusion of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in New York. Now it's up to you and me.

Greenpeace volunteers project peace messages on to the bow of the USS Blue Ridge, command ship of the US 7th Fleet.

"Governments attending the four week conference have failed to seizethe opportunity of reducing the nuclear threat,

putting their ownnuclear self-interests before the desire for disarmament

," saidGreenpeace International's Disarmament specialist William Peden at theconference.

"This meeting needed to strengthen the treaty and send a strong signalon disarmament and on proliferation of nuclear weapons," Peden said."It has failed to do that and as a result the world is a far moredangerous place."

The spectre of nuclear weapons in North Korea and Israel, USintransigence on disarmament and its imminent threat of a return tonuclear testing, controversy over Iran, and concerns over nuclearweapons usable plutonium production programs in Japan and othercountries reprocessing all played a part in the collective failure ofthe conference.

“The conference gridlock only emphasises the need to bolster thedisarmament side of the process,”

Peden said. "Unless and until we getrid of all nuclear weapons, other countries are going to want them -and that's the destructive dynamic we are witnessing."

So what's next? Heads of state attending the UN Millennium ReviewSummit in September need to act on the challenge laid down by UNSecretary General Kofi Annan, in his opening speech to the conference,to take disarmament seriously.

The proposal by  German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer to removeUS nuclear weapons from Germany

was a major positive to emerge fromthe conference, and we think all European countries that host USnuclear weapons should follow suit.

Let's start with Turkey, which has 90 nuclear weapons

.  Borderingon Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Russia, the nuclear weapons there pose a realrisk to regional security, and ought to be removed.

  72 percent of theTurkish people want Turkey to be nuclear-free

. Why not send a note tothe Prime Minister asking him to follow the will of his people? We've written the letter for you, all you need to do is fill in yourname and address and click send.  And with the push of button,you're a peace activist.  Try it now!

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