Source: AUN News
The Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the NPT came to a close late on Friday after four weeks of intensive negotiations at UN Headquarters in New York due to Russia’s objection to wording about its authority over Ukrainian nuclear installations.
According to a statement from the UN’s Stéphane Dujarric, the Secretary-General expressed sadness that nations were unable to agree on a “substantive solution” and to take advantage of the chance to improve the treaty, which has been in effect for 52 years and advance its objectives.
The UN chief welcomed the parties’ sincere and substantive engagement and the Conference’s recognition of the NPT as the “cornerstone” of the world’s disarmament and non-proliferation regime. Still, he regretted that it could not address the urgent issues endangering the collective security of all nations.
“Urgent and firm action is required due to the tense international environment and the increased possibility of nuclear weapons being accidentally deployed or miscalculated.
To defuse tensions, lower the risk of nuclear war, and permanently end the nuclear threat, the Secretary-General appeals to all States. Mr Dujarric said this in a statement.
The United Nations continues to emphasise the elimination of nuclear weapons, and the Secretary-General is still steadfastly dedicated to this goal.
Delay and annoyance
The NPT, which went into effect in March 1970, is the first legally enforceable agreement to the objective of nuclear weapon stockpiling states disarming.
One hundred ninety-one nations have ratified the Treaty, structured on three pillars: disarmament, non-proliferation, and the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
Every five years, review conferences take place. While COVID-19 had to be postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2015 session similarly ended without an outcome document.
President of the Review Conference, Ambassador Gustavo Zlauvinen of Argentina, expressed his “frustration” over the fact that parties did not unanimously endorse a conclusion document.
“Shadow” war in Ukraine
Even before the hearings began, Mr Zlauvinen claimed that he was aware that the chances were “abysmal” due to the opposing viewpoints on various topics, such as previous security pledges.
At a news conference on Friday night, he added, “But the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February has heightened those tensions, and we knew that the war in Ukraine was going to cast a shadow on the Review Conference.”
He claimed that due to last-minute negotiations, particularly with the Russian delegation, which was unable to approve the text “unless significant changes were to be introduced in the language about the situation of the Ukrainian nuclear facilities under Russian control,” the final plenary meeting was postponed and then suspended for several hours.
Other delegates were not amenable to this language, Mr Zlauvinen attempted to gauge.
He thought the Review Conference had been “important” overall. The absence of an outcome document had no bearing on the delegations’ discussions of very complicated subjects.
He added that we had a movie playing for four weeks, but we weren’t allowed to take a picture of it. Therefore, the absence of the image does not imply that the movie did not exist.
Boost your efforts: the UN disarmament chief
Izumi Nakamitsu, the UN’s High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, also spoke to the media.
She shared the Secretary-disappointment Generals with the result.
“Of course, the final draught was not a flawless document. We were all aware of that. However, the overwhelming majority of States parties believed that it would still be in the best interests of the global community, she said.
Therefore, our current challenge is to start from here and, if you will redouble our efforts to ensure that the steps towards nuclear disarmament will be revitalised.
Ms Nakamitsu emphasised that despite the Conference coming to a close without a unanimous decision for the second time, the NPT will not immediately collapse or be harmed.
“However, I believe we need to take steps to stop this decline in confidence and faith in the NPT regime. We must turn this frustration around, she urged.
And for that to happen, we must ensure that there will be severe and meaningful interactions between nuclear weapon states and non-nuclear weapon states, as well as—and this is crucial—among atomic weapon states themselves.
Analysis by: Advocacy Unified Network