The 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non- Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) has ended without reaching agreement on key provisions stipulated in the Treaty.
The Conference, which lasted for nearly a month, aimed at evaluating the implementation of the Treaty’s provision since 2010, with the view to identifying means through which progress can be made.
At the outset, the President of the Conference, Ambassador Taous Feroukhi of Algeria, had urged the delegates to demonstrate maximum flexibility in order to ensure the successful outcome of the Conference.
She pointed out that it was in the interest of the global community to create a safer world free from nuclear weapons which, according to her, have caused great suffering for the humanity.
According to a dispatch from the Permanent Mission of Liberia to the United Nations, Feroukhi acknowledged the peaceful uses of nuclear energy in the fields of medicine and agriculture but warned against its use to destroy lives.
Presenting a statement on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), States Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, of which Liberia is a member, the Foreign Minister of Iran, Dr. Javad Zarif reaffirmed NAM’s position on the need to rid the world of threats and the use of nuclear weapons against any state or group of states.
He said the Group of Non-Aligned States Parties to the Treaty was cognizant of the role of the Treaty as essential foundation for the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime. In this regard, promoting international assistance in support of the inalienable right of its States Parties to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy was of paramount interest.
During the Conference, intense negotiations were made in a bid to arrive at an outcome document reflective of the relevant issues raised in the general debate deemed important to delegates.
These included but not limited to the call for the full implementation of all the three pillars of the Treaty, namely, Nuclear Disarmament, Non-Proliferation, and the Peaceful uses.
On these, the Non-Nuclear Weapons States and the Nuclear Weapons States could arrive at a consensus language. Similarly, the issues of Humanitarian Impacts of the use of nuclear weapons which received a greater attention from over 100 nations including Liberia did not meet the support of nuclear weapons States.
In a Statement issued at the end of the Conference, the Group of States that signed the pledge in support of the Humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons expressed concern over the lack of political will on the part of the nuclear weapons States to honor the pledge signed onto by the significant numbers of Member States.
“At this Conference we have witnessed a clear shifting of the parameters, the focus , the tone and the balance of the discussion and of the engagement of all countries of the Treaty on Nuclear Weapons. Non- Nuclear Weapons States are today more empowered to demand their security concerns to be taken in consideration on an equal basis.
It is in the interest of the very survival of humanity that nuclear weapons are never used again under any circumstances”. The Group asserted.
The issues of the universalization of the Treaty, the declaration of the Middle East as Nuclear Free Zones as well as convening a stakeholder Conference on that region with specific date in sight were among the issues that did not command consensus.
The Treaty is often reviewed after 5 years circle. The last Review Conference was held in 2010. The failure of the 2015 Review Conference to produce tangible outcome, has left a dark cloud hanging on the future of the Treaty.