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Nuclear-armed states a target at Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference

April 27, 2015 - UNITED STATES

The nine nuclear-armed states can expect castigation at the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference at the United Nations: five years since the last NPT review conference, the nine remain focused on keeping their club small and not on disarmament.

The Hiroshima Statement, read by a representative from Japan, the authority on the perils of atomic warfare, will list disarmament demands from prominent non-nuclear states.

If the review conference ends on a positive note, it will be because the states have moved ahead on measures to safeguard nuclear stockpiles and prevent nuclear terrorism. The IAEA reports that more than 100 cases of trafficking and other events involving radioactive materials are recorded annually.

The Hiroshima Statement was issued in Apr 2014 at the Eighth Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative, to which Japan and 11 other non-nuclear weapons states belong. Tokyo will call on political leaders from around the world to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to observe the reality of atomic warfare and share a vision of a world free of nuclear weapons.

Despite widespread fears that the volatility in Syria, Ukraine and other regions could erupt into nuclear warfare, there is little prospect that the nuclear-armed club will be swayed by the Hiroshima Statement. NPT review conferences regularly see unanswered calls for a nuclear-free Middle East and calls for Israel to become a party to the NPT and place its clandestine arsenal under the inspection regime of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

2010 NPT Review Conference

The Hiroshima Statement (Japan Gov.)

Nuclear non-proliferation fact sheet and chronology (IAEA)

Seventy Years After Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Foreign Affairs 28 Aug 2014)

Date written/update: 2014-11-11