Draft recommendations for the NPT Review Conference are issued by the PrepCom chairman

by Michiko Tanaka, Staff Writer

New York – On May 7, during the third session of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) for the 2015 Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), now taking place at United Nations Headquarters in New York, Chairman Enrique Roman-Morey, from Peru, circulated among the representatives of the member states a draft paper with recommendations for the agenda and the procedures for the next Review Conference. The draft recommendations, based on the views of the member states, include elaboration of a legally-binding framework to control nuclear weapons and other proposals.

The recommendations are comprised of five major areas such as “nuclear disarmament,” “nuclear non-proliferation,” and “the peaceful use of nuclear energy.” With regard to nuclear disarmament, the recommendations made by the member states stress that the international community is incapable of addressing the catastrophic humanitarian consequences resulting from the use of nuclear weapons and demand further consideration of the devastating impact that would extend to all humankind. Referring to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s proposal for nuclear disarmament, the recommendations call for negotiation for a legally-binding framework to achieve a world without nuclear weapons.

Furthermore, the draft recommendations urge the 2015 Review Conference to take stock of the national reports and working papers submitted by the nuclear weapon states and consider the next steps for the full implementation of their disarmament obligations. As a practical step for nuclear disarmament, the recommendations say that the member states should effect the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

With regard to “regional issues,” the draft recommendations touch upon the postponed 2012 Conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction and recommend that the conference be held this year as soon as agreement is reached. The recommendations also call upon North Korea to refrain from conducting a fourth nuclear test, abandon all nuclear programs, and return to the NPT at an early date.

On May 7, Chairman Roman-Morey said he wants the PrepCom to overcome differing opinion and produce a consensus report for the Review Conference. This may be difficult, he added, but possible if there is political will. He will seek to have the recommendations finalized by May 9, the last day of the PrepCom meeting.

(Originally published on May 9, 2014)