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The 8th NPT Review Conference has unanimously adopted a final declaration
Media Release from ACDN

Published 29 May 2010

The diplomatic delegations of the 189 States-Parties of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), who had been meeting in New York at the UN Headquarters since May 3, 2010, ended their conference on Friday, May 28 by adopting a 28-page consensus document, after four weeks of intense negotiations.

The five nuclear-weapon states - the United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France and China - pledged to "accelerate progress on the steps leading to nuclear disarmament, " to "reduce the role and importance of nuclear weapons," and to "maintain their unequivocal commitment to achieve the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals. "

The document calls on the UN Secretary-General and the authors of the 1995 resolution on the Middle East to convene a conference in 2012 "where all states in the Middle East will be invited, with a view to establishing a zone free of nuclear weapons and all weapons of mass destruction. "

Israel, which is one of three unofficial nuclear states (along with India and Pakistan) that never signed the NPT, and is the only state in the Middle East to possess nuclear weapons, but does not officially admit this, is specifically designated as needing to take part in this conference, and is invited forthwith to "submit all its nuclear facilities to security monitoring by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)." The delegation of the United States acceded at the last moment to requests of Arab and nonaligned states that Israel be named in the document.

North Korea, which withdrew from the NPT after acquiring nuclear weapons, is called to return to the negotiating table. Iran, suspected of trying to obtain nuclear weapons, is not specifically accused.

This result was possible only through mutual concessions. It contrasts with that of the previous NPT Review Conference, in 2005, which concluded without being able to adopt a common text.

Admittedly, the NGOs and those non-nuclear states who wanted to see the nuclear states commit now to a process leading to a nuclear weaponsconvention with a timeline for implementation have reason to be disappointed .

Overall, however, as the President of the Conference, Ambassador of the Philippines said, the document is "carefully balanced to reflect the demands of all parties" and its adoption should "allow the seeds of hope planted throughout the conference bear fruit. "

The text reaffirms the right of all states to have access to nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. It encourages the spread of nuclear technology and fissile materials under tighter control of the IAEA (but without obligation to sign any "additional protocols"). It therefore attempts the dubious wager that a reduction in the number of nuclear weapons in the coming years can occur at the same time as an increase in the number of nuclear power reactors.

This piece of news is really bad for the NGOs that are concerned about the risks of diversion to military purposes, the risks of terrorist attacks and major accidents of the Chernobyl type, and the continuing effects of discharges of radioactive waste on health, the environment and human existence for present and future generations. In their eyes, the "third pillar" of the NPT (civilian nuclear technology, the first two being with disarmament and non-proliferation) should be destroyed to make way for renewable energy and energy sobriety.

Let us recall that, globally, nuclear power produces barely 3% of total energy consumption, and that in 50 years uranium deposits will be almost all exhausted, while plutonium 239 waste will still retain half its radioactivity after 24,400 years, and uranium 238 waste has a half-life of 4.5 billion years.

The closing of the 2010 Review Conference on Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) is held at the UN headquarters in New York, the United States, May 28, 2010. The 2010 Review Conference on Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) concluded here on Friday with a final document toward nuclear disarmament approved.

UNITED NATIONS, May 28 (Xinhua/Zhu Wei) — The 2010 Review Conference on Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) reached consensus and approved a final document toward nuclear disarmament here Friday afternoon.

The final document, approved by 189 member nations of the treaty after month-long meeting since May 3, have agreed on measures toward disarmament and the establishment of a nuclear weapon-free zone in the Middle East.

This was the first agreement in a decade on the 40-year-old NPT, which has set the global agenda for preventing countries from developing nuclear weapons.

The 28-page final document said the five recognized nuclear- weapon states - Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States - commit to "accelerate concrete progress on the steps leading to nuclear disarmament," take steps to "further diminish the role and significance of nuclear weapons" and report back on progress by 2014.

"In implementing the unequivocal undertaking by the nuclear- weapon states to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals, the nuclear-weapon states commit to undertake further efforts to reduce and ultimately eliminate all types of nuclear weapons, deployed and non-deployed" through various agreements, the document said.

The final document also called to the UN Secretary-General and co-sponsors of the 1995 Middle East Resolution to convene a conference in 2012, "to be attended by all states of the Middle East, on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction."

It called on Israel to sign the NPT and to place "all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)."

The document also urged the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to return "at an early date" to the six-party talks and to carry out obligations under the talks, which include China, the United States, Russia, the Republic of Korea and Japan as well.

Those obligations include the "complete and verifiable abandonment of all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs."

The NPT conference chairman, Philippine Ambassador Libran Cabactulan, said at the closing ceremony that the revised draft declaration was "carefully balanced" to reflect demands by all parties.

He said adoption of the declaration would allow "all the seeds of hope planted throughout the conference would bear fruit."

Egyptian Ambassador to the UN Maged Abdelaziz said on behalf of the 118-nation Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) that the NAM considered the document "an important step forward towards the realization of the goals and objectives" of the treaty.

On the issue of the Middle East nuclear-weapon free zone, he said the NAM countries intend to engage constructively with all concerned parties to implement the practical steps adopted in the final document.

"The road ahead is not easy but it’s the only way forward," said Abdelaziz.

The review conference is convened every five years to review and advance the objectives of the NPT, under which nations without nuclear weapons committed not to acquire them; those with them committed to move toward their elimination; and all endorsed everyone’s right to develop peaceful nuclear energy.

The last conference in 2005 was largely considered a failure as members were unable to agree on a number of issues nor produce a final document.

After the adoption of the final document, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement, welcoming the "successful outcome" of the conference.

"A strong spirit of compromise and cooperation has delivered a significant agreement to build a safer and more secure world," said Ban.

ACDN’s NOTE: According to Global security Newswire, "The U.S. delegation reportedly accepted overnight the draft conference document’s reference to Israel in the proposed section on steps toward implementing a WMD ban in the Middle East...

"The decision by the U.S. government to allow Israel to be named in this regard was done with a little help from its friends," said Mark Hibbs, a senior associate at the Bonn office of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, in New York for the conference. "Several European and Western delegations pleaded with the United States to name Israel in the interest of assuring a final document that would be approved by consensus, and the U.S. overnight agreed to it.

"(...) As of early afternoon [on Friday], it appeared that Iran was holding up the proceedings and threatening to block consensus on the conference statement, according to sources here. Iranian delegates were said to be conferring with members of the Nonaligned Movement in behind-closed-door meetings in the lead-up to a final, three-hour conference session in the General Assembly chamber beginning at 3 p.m. today.

"It’s up to Iran to decide whether the conference will succeed or fail," Hibbs told GSN.

"I’m optimistic," said Deepti Choubey, deputy director of Carnegie’s Nuclear Policy Program. "It’s changing now by the hour, but the current mood amongst key nonaligned countries, Western states and some members of the P-5 [nuclear-weapon states] is cautiously optimistic."

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