(Washington, D.C.): The Washington-based Arms Control Association (ACA) has published a 50-page comprehensive guide on "Major Proposals to Strengthen the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty," which is now available online. The report, which is co-written by ACA research fellow Claire Applegarth and Reaching Critical Will project director Rhianna Tyson, describes key government proposals in 14 areas relating to the global nuclear nonproliferation system and analyzes the positions of major states and blocs on the proposals.
The report provides an a summary of significant proposals on the eve of the May 2-27 nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference at UN headquarters in New York. The conference will bring together representatives from over 180 governments to review implementation of and compliance with their mutual obligations and commitments under the 1968 treaty.
The NPT codifies one of the most important international security bargains of all time: states without nuclear weapons pledge not to acquire them, while nuclear-armed states commit to eventually give them up. At the same time, the NPT allows for the peaceful use of nuclear technology under strict and verifiable control.
The NPT has made the world safer by significantly raising the political costs of developing nuclear weapons. It has also created a global consensus against the acquisition, modernization, trade, and use of nuclear weapons.
Yet today, 35 years after the treaty entered into force, the nonproliferation regime is under serious strain. The NPT is not broken, but it must be strengthened if past successes are to be preserved and if today's and future proliferation threats are to be rolled back. The future viability and success of the NPT depends on universal compliance with tighter rules to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, more effective regional security strategies, and renewed progress toward fulfillment of the nuclear-weapon states' NPT disarmament obligations.
"Our study, 'Major Proposals to Strengthen the NPT,' demonstrates that there is widespread agreement among world leaders that the nonproliferation system must be reinforced, but it is also clear that there are significant differences as to how to achieve that goal," said report co-author and Herbert Scoville Peace Fellow Claire Applegarth.
"The 2005 NPT Review Conference is a vital opportunity for the United States and the international community to recommit to the treaty's goals and agree to a comprehensive and balanced program of action on nonproliferation and disarmament. It is an opportunity that we cannot afford to squander," noted Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association and co-chair of the Campaign to Strengthen the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
The full copy of the report is available in PDF format at <http://www.armscontrol.org/pdf/NPTRevConf2005_MajorProposals.pdf> Further information about the 2005 NPT Review Conference is available through the Web site of the Campaign to Strengthen the NPT <http://www.NPT2005.org>. For daily updates and statements from the NPT Review Conference, visit the Web site of Reaching Critical Will, a project of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, and Campaign partner <http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/legal/npt/nptindex1.html>. To sign up for further alerts on the NPT, see ACA's Web site <http://www.armscontrol.org>
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The Campaign to Strengthen the NPT is a joint effort of the Arms Control Association and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and is designed to provide the public, journalists, and policymakers with the latest and best information about the NPT, the challenges it faces, and leading proposals to make it stronger and more effective.