Nuclear ambitions trump disarmament at UN meeting

Press release - 27 May, 2005
Greenpeace today condemned the lack of collective political will on the part of nearly 150 countries who failed to reach agreement on reducing the global arsenal of nuclear arms at the conclusion of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in New York.

"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."

Greenpeace calls on the heads of state attending the UN MillenniumReview Summit in September 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 remove USnuclear weapons from his country was a major positive to emerge fromthe conference.  

"While some countries are making the right noises and there have beenlots of good proposals on possible ways forward at the conference, theyhave been thwarted by countries clinging to their own nuclearaspirations," concluded Peden.

Other contacts: Michael Kessler, Greenpeace International Media Officer, +34 660 637 053 William Peden, Greenpeace International Nuclear Disarmament Researcher +1 6462 474 017

Exp. contact date: 2005-06-10 00:00:00