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World Free of Nuclear Weapons Goes to 2010 RevCon

Posted by Jill Marie Parillo on May 12, 2009

Monday PrepCom chair, Ambassador Boniface G. Chidyausiku of Zimbabwe passed out his draft recommendations for the 2010 Review Conference. Using working papers submitted to the 3 PrepComs and outcomes from the 1995 and 2000 Review Conferences as guidance, he hoped to identify common goals of state parties that could gain consensus and strengthen NPT implementation.

About 40 working papers were officially submitted by state parties to the NPT PrepCom this year. The United States submitted one called, Progress Towards Nuclear Disarmament, which claimed "it is the policy of the United States that it will seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons." Having been mentioned in nearly every general statement and in several working papers (also in Australia's), the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons will likely be a topic that makes it into the NPT 2010 Review Conference agenda.

Iran made up a quarter of all submissions, with the submission of ten working papers to the PrepCom this year. Iran reminded state parties in its working papers, Implementation of Article VI and Establishment of a NWFZ in the ME that Iran was the first country in the Middle East region to initiate the idea in 1974 of the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East. Iran is not the only nation to submit working papers that recognized the importance of bringing Israel into a Nuclear Weapon Free Zone in the Middle East, so did: Mongolia, Syria, the New Agenda Coalition (Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa and Sweden), Egypt, Palestine, and Japan. This is clearly a big agenda item for the 2010 Review Conference.

The European Union (EU) submitted a working paper called the European Union and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). The paper said that the EU viewed the CTBT as an "instrument that is crucial to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. By verifiably banning nuclear-weapon-test explosions by all countries without exception and in all their aspects, CTBT will help in constraining the development of new types of nuclear weapons and thus make a key contribution to international peace and security." The United States also mentioned their goal to ratify the CTBT in their working paper, luckily CTBT seems to have made it on to the NPT RevCon agenda as well.

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