The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Conference, which has been meeting in New York to review progress of the Treaty for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, has reached its final day with no consensus. Reports suggest that US delegates tried to "manipulate" the agenda to focus on nuclear non-proliferation in Iran and North Korea, whilst refusing to discuss their own nuclear disarmament commitments under the Treaty and the last two Review Conferences.
Jenny Jones, Green AM who was also the Mayor of London's representative at the conference, comments : "Essentially, the Conference failed because no country will stomach being bullied by the US on nuclear non-proliferation, when - at the same time - the US Congress is agreeing funds to expand their nuclear weapons research and development budget."
"The US undermined the fundamental prerequisite of non-proliferation - the goal of disarmament - by failing to implement even 1 of the 13 steps towards disarmament that they agreed to at the 2000 NPT review conference."
"The NPT is based on cooperation. US hypocrisy and intransigence has sabotaged the trust-based nature of the non-proliferation regime at exactly the time when it is most needed."
Jenny Jones has also slammed the Britain for facilitating the conference breakdown, by urging other countries to accept the US position and focus on the "non-proliferation" agenda.
"British diplomats were instrumental in upsetting the delicate balance of the conference, by accepting the Americans' exclusive focus on Iran and North Korea."
She adds : "Britain's credibility, that played such a positive role in reaching agreement at the last Review Conference, now lies in tatters because of its willingness to assist the US in sabotaging the conference."
Jenny Jones has warned the Government not to jeopardise its credibility in future nuclear non-proliferation negotiations, by retaining and expanding its own nuclear programme which breaches the NPT.
She comments: "It is extremely hypocritical and dangerous for Britain to retain nuclear weapons, plan to reopen the THORP reprocessing plant, and expand our nuclear power programme, whilst our negotiators are trying to persuade Iran to drop its nuclear ambitions."
"The Government must claw back some credibilty by scrapping the MDA, drop any plans to replace the nuclear Trident, and refuse to expand our own nuclear energy programme."
"Only a total lack of political will to disarm could have delivered a performance so flagrantly riddled with hypocrisy from the US."
"Seeing the way the US and Britain attach importance to their nuclear weapons how can we expect other countries not to harbour their own nuclear ambitions?"
Posted on 31st May 2005
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