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On the outcome of the 2015 NPT Review Conference

12.08.2015

MOSCOW, August 11, 2015. PIR PRESS – “The main issues being debated at the RevCons remain unchanged – but the sides appear increasingly unwilling to compromise or to search for a consensus. The state parties that are unhappy with the state of the NPT review process are looking for short and straight paths to their goals, especially in the area of disarmament. There is a growing temptation to move the discussion on the most contentious issues to the UN General Assembly or to some ad hoc body, where decisions would be taken by a majority rather than unanimously. That would enable the majority of the states to ram through their own agenda, ignoring the position of the dissenting states” - "Russia and Nuclear Nonproliferation" Program Director Andrey Baklitskiy.

“The paragraphs of Final Document on Article VI mentioned catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any potential use of nuclear weapons. The nuclear-weapon states were to report about the state of their arsenals and their disarmament activities in 2017 and 2019. The reports were to be made available to all NPT members. Finally, the NPT Review Conference gave the UN General Assembly a recommendation to establish an open-ended working group on the implementation of Article VI of the NPT; the group was to make decisions by a consensus. As for the WMD-free zone in the Middle East, the draft of the Final Document asked the UN secretary-general to convene a conference no later than March 1, 2016, with all decisions on preparations and on the agenda of the conference to be taken by a consensus. At the same time, the tight deadline and the proposal to strip the United States of its veto on convening the conference obviously ran counter to the Israeli position. That proved fatal for the 2015 Final Document” – says "Russia and Nuclear Nonproliferation" Program Director Andrey Baklitskiy.

To understand what the failure of the 2015 RevCon means for the nuclear nonproliferation regime, let us look at the broader context of that failure. First, there is nothing unprecedented or even unusual about an NPT Review Conference ending without a Final Document. Second, the key differences that are being discussed in the framework of the NPT review process have not really changed ever since the treaty was signed. Third, the world has already seen a confrontation between two nuclear superpowers – yet the nuclear nonproliferation regime was left relatively unscathed.

“All that being said, however, there are several worrying trends gaining momentum in the NPT review process. The main issues being debated at the RevCons remain unchanged – but the sides appear increasingly unwilling to compromise or to search for a consensus. The state parties that are unhappy with the state of the NPT review process are looking for short and straight paths to their goals, especially in the area of disarmament. There is a growing temptation to move the discussion on the most contentious issues to the UN General Assembly or to some ad hoc body, where decisions would be taken by a majority rather than unanimously. That would enable the majority of the states to ram through their own agenda, ignoring the position of the dissenting states” - comments Andrey Baklitskiy.

The article “Outcome of the 2015 NPT Review Conference: what awaits the nuclear nonproliferation regime” was published in Security Index journal No. 2 (113) Summer 2015; its full text is available on the PIR Center’s website (in Russian).

PIR Center researches the NPT review process within "the Future of the NPT: shaping Russia’s position" project.

Detailed information on publications and advertising in Security Index journal is available by e-mail: editor (at) percenter.org, by phone: +7 (495) 987-19-15 or by fax: +7 (495) 987-19-14.

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