P5 to Meet in Paris on Nuclear Transparency

Tom Z. Collina

China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States plan to meet in Paris to discuss nuclear transparency issues and ways to verify additional arms reductions, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance Rose Gottemoeller said Feb. 16 at a nuclear policy conference in Arlington, Va. Gottemoeller’s comments added some detail to an earlier announcement by France that it would host “the first follow-up meeting of the 2010 NPT [Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty] Review Conference with the 5 nuclear powers recognized by the NPT.” The five nuclear-weapon states also are the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, known as the P5.

The agenda for the meeting, which could take place in June, is currently under negotiation, but would be similar to that of a previous meeting, held Sept. 3-4, 2009, in London, called the “P5 Conference on Confidence Building Measures Towards Nuclear Disarmament,” Gottemoeller said. According to a P5 statement issued after the September event, the group discussed issues relating to “confidence-building, verification and compliance challenges.” Gottemoeller said French officials are interested in having a nongovernmental event alongside the Paris meeting, providing an opportunity for a “public-private dialogue to take place.