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former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
ACA Welcomes NPT Review Consensus
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Statement by Daryl Kimball, Executive Director

For immediate release: May 28, 2010

Media contacts: Daryl G. Kimball, Executive Director, (202) 463-8270 x107

(Washington, D.C.) "The Arms Control Association (ACA) welcomes the 2010 nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference's success in agreeing to a consensus final document.  Overcoming multiple obstacles, the Conference succeeded in reaffirming the value of the NPT to international security, reiterating the commitments made by all States parties to strengthen the treaty at the 1995 and 2000 Review Conferences, and agreed to a modest but important forward-looking plan of action on disarmament, strengthening safeguards, and achieving universal adherence to NPT norms.

"The 2010 NPT Review Conference Final Statement encourages all states that have not done so to conclude and to bring into force additional protocols. The Conference also called for ratification of the CTBT 'with all expediency.' The Conference affirmed "that all States need to make special efforts to establish the necessary framework to achieve and maintain a world without nuclear weapons."

"The successes achieved at the conference were made possible by the leadership exhibited by the U.S. team and by the shift in U.S. nuclear weapons policy direction under President Obama over the past 15 months.

"The Conference also agreed to a practical and prudent approach to discuss the issues and conditions necessary to achieve a WMD-free zone in the Middle East. The NPT Review Conference agreed to hold a meeting among states in the region by 2012 and to name a facilitator for the meeting.

"Israel was engaged in arms control discussions with other states in the region in the 1990s. If Israel joins in the process again, the difference would be that Iran would also be in those discussions, and concerns about Iran's intentions would also be under the spotlight.

"While Iran was not specifically called out in the conference document, Iran's safeguards violations are well known and were indirectly criticized in the Final Statement. And of course, Iran remains on the hook for its safeguards violations and continued production of enriched uranium in violation of UNSC resolutions that call for it to suspend its uranium enrichment.

"Iran's unsuccessful efforts to sabotage the conference in the final hours effectively demonstrated it is outside the nonproliferation mainstream. In the coming weeks, leading states must continue their policy of pressure and engagement with Iran and North Korea to bring them into compliance with their NPT and safeguards obligations.

"The 2010 NPT RevCon is not the end of the process of strengthening and updating the global effort to curb the spread, prevent the use, and achieve the elimination of nuclear weapons. Rather, it is a step along the way, and the agreement on the Final Statement is important to maintaining momentum.

"In the coming months and years, key states will have to deliver on their promises to:

  • strengthen IAEA safeguards;
  • guard against treaty withdrawal;
  • bring Iran and North Korea into compliance with their NPT and safeguards obligations;
  • bring India and Pakistan into the nuclear weapons risk reduction and elimination process;
  • accelerate international cooperation on securing nuclear weapons usable material;
  • advance the verifiable nuclear arms reduction process, bringing the CTBT into force, negotiate a fissile material production cut off, further reduce the roles and missions of nuclear weapons, and create a framework for the verifiable elimination of all nuclear weapons."

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The Arms Control Association (ACA) is an independent, membership-based organization dedicated to providing authoritative information and practical policy solutions to address the dangers posed by the world's most dangerous weapons.  ACA publishes the monthly journal Arms Control Today.