Jeffrey LewisNuclear Disarmament

Ireland, Sweden and Canada, among other states addressing the CD, expressed concern about the “tendency for some Members of the [Non Proliferation] Treaty to stress its non-proliferation aspects to the neglect of the disarmament provisions of the NPT” in the words of the Irish Representative.

Two thoughts on the tendency of some members: 1. The United States has a treaty obligation to “pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a Treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.”

2. Meeting our “disarmament” obligation does not require immediate or unilateral nuclear disarmament, or even anything remotely dangerous; rather it merely requires good faith participation in the arms control agenda laid out in the Final Document of the 2000 NPT Review Conference, which established thirteen “practical steps” that defined a good faith effort, including ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and negotiation of a treaty to ban the production of fissile material.

Given the importance of the NPT, the upcoming review conference and the near universal agreement on the necessary steps, Canadian Foreign Minister Graham said he found the continuing deadlock in the CD “hard to understand.” I am also baffled by the United States/’ refusal to consent a work program in the CD, given that every one of the 13 measures are in our own best interest, independent of the linkage to NPT.

Graham also mentioned a joint UNIDIR/DFAIT seminar on “Safeguarding Space for All” to be held on March 25-26 in Geneva. I/’ll be there, assuming I finish my presentation today or tomorrow.