Sunday, May 30, 2010

NPT nuclear weapons agreement: Hiroshima and Nagasaki flabbergasted

UNITED NATIONS fruitful negotiations, the first in ten years or revision, over the future of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) ended with 189 nations affirming their commitment to eliminating all nuclear weapons and setting a new 2012 deadline for holding a regional conference to eliminate unconventional weapons from the Middle East.

Tensions over the content of the final document after a month of negotiations went down to the wire, with diplomats portraying the last few days as a poker game with the United States and Iran each trying to call the other’s bluff so that one might be blamed for the failure of the conference to reach consensus.

Also in the end, the United States accepted the reference to Israel in the final document, in the section on the Middle East, which basically repeats a previously stated position that Israel should join the 40 year old nonproliferation treaty.

The Israeli government has never confirmed the widespread consensus that it holds at least 100 nuclear missiles. It rejected the agreement quoting the 189 nations' decision as "biased" . The NPT document emphasizes the need for countries to respect treaty guidelines for keeping their nuclear programs open to international inspection and suffering the consequences if they do not. In a letter made public Wednesday, May 6, Yukiya Amano, Director General of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), urged members of the organization to reflect on how to convince Israel to sign the Treaty Non-Proliferation Treaty.

In a speech after the document was adopted, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, the Iranian envoy, listed at least nine ways in which Iran thought the document was weak. A proposed 2025 deadline for the elimination of all nuclear weapons had been scuttled by the nuclear weapons states, he noted, as had a proposal for a legally binding commitment from states with nuclear weapons not to use them against those without.

Although the document singles out North Korea by name, for example, saying its nuclear program constitutes a threat to “peace and security,” it was not as strong as the condemnation initially proposed. Aside from Israel, the document also calls on India and Pakistan, both holding nuclear weapons but not nonproliferation treaty members, to join it. While rejecting a deadline, for the first time the main five nuclear weapons states accepted vague language referring to a new, stronger international convention on eliminating nuclear weapons, and the idea of a “timeline” was introduced.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki ask for specific timelines

The bombing of Nagasaki took place Aug 9, 1945, three days after Hiroshima was hit. Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba said it is regrettable that the NPT review conference, which ended Friday after adopting a final document, failed to incorporate in the text "specific timelines for starting nuclear disarmament negotiations."

Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the two Japanese cities attacked with atomic bombs by the United States during World War II, expressed disappointment Saturday at the content of a final document adopted at the latest nuclear nonproliferation conference, saying the text has been watered down due to nuclear powers’ resistance to taking significant disarmament steps.

Sakue Shimohira, 75, who survived the bombing of Nagasaki: "I regret that the discussions lost (initial) momentum, but I won’t allow myself to be discouraged by this." Shimohira, who made a speech during the just-ended U.N. conference reviewing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in New York: ‘‘I hope young people will act to make Nagasaki the last place to have been attacked by nuclear arms.’’ Whole report

I found this document on the web and this is an extract from a film and the vision of hell on earth. Audience, beware! Some scenes do not fit all viewers.

Sources: Wire news services, NY Times, Nel Observateur,
Haaretz, Huffington Post, Afrique en ligne, Mainichi daily news,
Reporter's notes.

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