Outcome of the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty

Friday, August 26th was the completion of the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty Review. It did not provide much opportunity for civil society to join the multiple conversations on nuclear weapons.  It was a tense month, and the outcome was incomplete in many ways. A lengthy document was submitted by France on behalf of 55 countries, which included the U.S. Their statement condemned Russia’s war against Ukraine and criticized its nuclear threat and its hope to take over Ukraine’s nuclear power plants.

The statement stated several condemnations:

  • The ongoing war is a major concern for every State Party to the Treaty
  • The 55 countries reaffirm their unwavering support to the legitimate and sovereign Ukrainian authorities.
  • The restatement of their strongest condemnation of the ongoing unproved and unjustifiable war of aggression
  • The reaffirmation of their commitment to the NPT as the cornerstone of the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy
  • They deplored the dangerous nuclear rhetoric by Russia
  • Their deep concern that the Russian Federation is undermining international peace, security and stability.
  • They condemned the abhorrent actions that have had an effect on Ukraine’s control over its nuclear facilities as well as nuclear energy for peaceful purposes
  • They are alarmed by the significantly raising risk of accident or incident of Ukraine
  • They recognize and raise the heroic efforts of the Ukrainian staff  who continuously work to ensure nuclear safety in Ukraine.
  • They demand that Russia immediately withdraw its armed forces from Ukraine.
  • They remain steadfast in our solidarity with Ukraine.

The outcome of this month-long deliberation by most of the member states is a risky one. All the states that have nuclear weapons equals 93% of all countries in the world.
Together Russia and the U.S. own approximately 13,150 nuclear weapons. And it appears that all nuclear states are modernizing and upgrading all their plants.

The states that possess nuclear weapons have no intention of downsizing their arsenals. And so still offer a threat to the world.

We support the (IAEA) International Atomic Energy Agency at the U. N. and their seven pillars of the (NPT) Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty. 

The seven pillars are:

  1. The physical integrity of the facilities – whether it is the reactors, fuel ponds, or radioactive waste stores – must be maintained.
  2. All safety and security systems and equipment must be fully functional at all times.
  3. The operating staff must be able to fulfill their safety and security duties and have the capacity to make decisions free of undue pressure.
  4. There must be a secure off-site power supply from the grid for all nuclear sites.
  5. There must be uninterrupted logistical supply chains and transportation to and from the sites.
  6. There must be effective on-site and off-site radiation monitoring systems and emergency preparedness and response measures.
  7. There must be reliable communications with the regulator and others.

Director-General William D. Magwood, IV commented, “It is essential that nuclear facilities be operated and managed safely and securely under all conditions. We appreciate the work of our colleagues at the IAEA to uphold these standards under even the very challenging circumstances that we have seen over the last week.”

To review the treaty please click here.

The future of the world is in the hands of very few.  Let us pray for the conversion of these countries that maintain nuclear weapons that one day they will lay down their weapons of mass destruction for the safety of all.  May Peace Prevail.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet during her press conference on 25 August © OHCHR

This is another historic week in Geneva.  The High Commissioner Michele Blanchet finishes her mandate as of 31 August. The commissioner identified several issues that she has confronted in her four years and what is still needed to be dealt with in this fragile world. If you have time please read her parting words. She stressed the triple critical issues facing us now: ‘pollution, climate change and biodiversity loss that must be centered in human rights, including the rights to participation, access to information and justice, and by addressing the disproportionate impact of environmental harms on the most marginalized and disadvantaged.’