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French Expert on Reducing the Nuclear Threat

Posted by Jill Marie Parillo on June 3, 2009

Today at the conference, we had an intervention by Camille Grand, Director of the Foundation pour la Recherche Strategic (a leading French Security thinktank).  Camille Grand said that nations in the past accepted deep cuts and drastic down-sizing of their nuclear arsenals, because they believed their security situation was improving. In Asia, a region where the security situation is worsening, Grand pointed out that nuclear weapon arsenals are growing.  This is one of the greatest challenges to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) regime at the moment.

Grand laid out other challenges the regime faces:

  • We face more cases of non-compliance in the regime (Iraq in the past, North Korea, Iran).
  • Lack of political will to develop or use verification tools. For example, the additional protocol is not moving forward, which limits work by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
  • Original bargains (nonproliferation and disarmament/access to technology) are under debate- if technology becomes available to everyone, do threats increase?

Grand also offered ways to strengthen the NPT regime and overcome these weaknesses:

  • Recreation of a nonproliferation consensus at the 2010 NPT conference.  In particular addressing the nonproliferation challenges and rebalancing. nonproliferation and disarmament priorities.
  • Address the non proliferation challenges of the nuclear energy renaissance.
  • Strengthen the regime by using regime tools, like the IAEA additional protocol.
  • Address missile proliferation seriously.
  • Implement follow on agreements for nuclear disarmament treaties, in particular the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces and the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I).

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