NPT Dossier


PrepCom Review Conference

2004 - 2005

Ban The Bomb or Risk Self – Destruction

Can United Nations and International Community Meet The Challenge?

Vijay Mehta


[A fresh look at the tasks facing Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) for Prep-com 2004, review conference 2005 in New York and suggestions of actions and initiatives for accelerated moves towards nuclear disarmament]


  1. Challenges facing the NPT – El Baradei Head of the International Atomic Energy Agency

    Pages 2-3

  2. Nuclear Weapons responses to George Bush's Non-proliferation programme          a) World media
             b) Joseph Rotblat and Robert Hinde
             c) El Baradei Head of IAEA

Pages 3-5

  1. Role of United Nations

    Pages 5-7

  2. Role of International Community

    a) Reaching Critical Will
    NGO Committee on Disarmament in Geneva
    Mayors for peace
    Global Public Opinion
    Nuclear Awareness Project
    Abolition 2000 and Abolition 2000 Europe (Anglo-French initiative)
    Aldermaston 2004 – London to Aldermaston March 9-12 April
    Barcelona Forum 2004
    Declaration for a Nuclear free World
    A Treaties Day School
    Staying at home in UK or your country – how can you help with the NPT negotiations

    Pages 7-15

  3. Some bullet points coming out of discussions of various focus groups

    Pages 15-16 

  4. European Parliament debate on NPT and Nuclear Disarmament Resolution .
    Adjournment debate in UK Parliament

    Pages 16-26

1 Challenges facing the NPT – El Baradei Head of the International Atomic Energy Agency

The spread of nuclear technology and knowledge is out of the tube and we won't be able to put it back. The proliferation is on the rise and nuclear secrets and kits have been sold over the counter by the Pakistani rogue scientist Abdul Qadeer Kahn since the 1970's. We are not sure that besides Korea, Libya and Iran who else has the technology to blow us all out of extinction. The present development of new nuclear weapons, missile defences and plans to weaponise outer space by US is adding to the spread of nuclear proliferation.

Mohamed El Baradei Head of the International Atomic Energy Agency wrote in a article in New York Times that: "Today, however, there is a sophisticated worldwide network that can deliver systems for producing material usable in weapons. The demand clearly exists: countries remain interested in the illicit acquisition of weapons of mass destruction. If we sit idly by, this trend will continue. Countries that perceive themselves to be vulnerable can be expected to try to redress that vulnerability — and in some cases they will pursue clandestine weapons programmes. The supply network will grow, making it easier to acquire nuclear weapon expertise and materials. Eventually, inevitably, terrorists will gain access to such materials and technology,,if not actual weapons."

If the world does not change course, we risk self-destruction.

Common sense and recent experience make clear that the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty, which has served us well since 1970, must be tailored to fit 21st century realities. Without threatening national sovereignty, we can toughen the non proliferation regime.

The first step is to tighten controls over the export of nuclear material, for lesson the risk of nuclear non proliferation. The current system relies on a gentleman's agreement that is not only non binding, but also limited in its membership: it does not include many countries with growing industrial capacity. And even some members fail to control the exports of companies unaffiliated with government enterprise. .

We must universalize the export control system, remove these loopholes, and enact binding, treaty-based controls — while preserving the rights of all states to peaceful nuclear technology. We should also criminalize the acts of people who seek to assist others in proliferation.

In parallel, inspectors must be empowered. Much effort was recently expended — and rightly so in persuading Iran and Libya to give the International Atomic Energy Agency much broader rights of inspection. But the agency should have the right to conduct such inspections in all countries. Verification of Non Proliferation Treaty obligation requires more stringent measures, but to date, fewer than 20 per cent of the 191 United Nations members have approved a protocol allowing broader inspection rights. It should be in force far all countries. In addition, no country should be allowed to withdraw from the treaty. The treaty now allows any member to do so with three months' notice. Any nation invoking this escape clause is almost certainly a threat to international peace and security.

This provision of the treaty should be curtailed. At a minimum, withdrawal should prompt an automatic review by the United Nations Security Council. The international community must do a better job of controlling the risks of nuclear proliferation. Sensitive parts of the nuclear fuel cycle — the production of new fuel, the processing of weapon-usable material, the disposal of spent fuel and radioactive waste — would be less vulnerable to proliferation if brought under multinational control. Appropriate checks and balances could be used to preserve commercial competitiveness and assure a supply of nuclear material to legitimate would-be users. Towards this end, negotiations on the Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty must be revived. The treaty, which would put an end to the production of fissionable material for weapons, has been stalled in the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva for nearly eight years. For the material that already exists, including in some countries of the former Soviet Union, security measures must be strengthened.

Of course, a fundamental part of the non proliferation bargain is the commitment of the five nuclear states recognized under the Non Proliferation Treaty — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States—to move towards disarmament. Recent agreements between Russia and the United States are commendable, but they should be verifiable and irreversible. A clear road map for nuclear disarmament should be established — starting with a major reduction in the 30,000 nuclear warheads still in existence, and bringing into force the long-awaited Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

If the global community is serious about bringing nuclear proliferation to a halt, these measures and others should be considered at the Non Proliferation Treaty review conference next year. We must also begin to address the root causes of insecurity. In areas of long-standing conflict like West Asia, South Asia and the 'Korean Peninsula, the pursuit of weapons of mass destruction — while never justified — can be expected as long as we fail to introduce alternatives that redress the security deficit. We must abandon the unworkable notion that it is morally reprehensible for some countries to pursue weapons of mass destruction yet morally acceptable for others to rely on them for security — and indeed to continue to refine their .capacities and postulate plans for their use. Similarly, we must abandon the traditional approach of defining security in terms of boundaries — city walls, border patrols, racial and religious groupings. The global community has become irreversibly interdependent, with the constant movement of people, ideas, goods and resources. In such a world, we must combat terrorism with an infectious security culture that crosses borders — an inclusive approach to security based on solidarity and the value of human life. In such a world, weapons of mass destruction have no place."

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  1. Nuclear Weapons responses to George Bush's Non-proliferation programme

New York Times

Editorial, February 16

"The initiatives set forth last week were all timely and useful and deserve international support. But they do not go far enough."President George Bush called for tighter export controls by the leading nuclear supplier nations, strengthened intelligence and law enforcement against rogue proliferators, and expanded efforts to eliminate or secure nuclear bomb fuel left over from abandoned weapons programmes. What he failed to do was put America's weight behind a sustained effort to revise and strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT ) and persuade the handful of countries (India, Pakistan,Israel and North Korea outside the treaty to join. Also disappointing was his failure to propose increased American financing for the expanded bomb fuel elimination programme

"Mr Bush refuses to recognise that established nuclear powers like the United States undermine anti-proliferation efforts when they talk about developing new nuclear weapons for possible use against non-nuclear states."

Boston Globe

Editorial, February 16

"Mr Bush's... speech to the National Defense University ... left some key questions unanswered...

"One of Mr Bush's proposals is to expand the Nunn-Lugar Act of 1991 — meant to pay for the dismantling of nuclear weapons and the employment of weapons scientists in the dissolved Soviet Union — to other countries, such as Libya... Mr Bush, however, cut the funding for the current Nunn-Lugar programme in the budget he submitted to Congress ...Cooperation to halt nuclear proliferation means that all states have to devalue nuclear weapons. So Mr Bush should terminate his $3bn [£1.6bn] programme to develop small bunker-busting nuclear weapons."


Editorial, February 13

"The appalling example of Abdul Qadeer Khan, the scientist who masterminded Pakistan's bomb and then, with despicable greed, sold the secrets to other rogue regimes, underlines the dangers of perverted technicians willing to merchandise mass destruction..."International efforts and treaties to stop the spread of such weapons are failing, and the world must join forces to criminalise nuclear trafficking and plug the loopholes in the enforcement system. The proposals... go to the heart of the matter. There is no justification for anyone to sell equipment to a country seeking to enrich or reprocess nuclear fuel for the first time. Iran has shown that civilian nuclear programmes can easily mask a determination to make weapons... Mr Bush has moved more swiftly and more deftly on the proliferation threat than his critics will admit."

Straits Times

Editorial, Singapore, February 16

"Mr Bush's decision some years ago not to sign the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty, as well as his recent decision to develop a new class of battlefield nuclear weapons, will not augment US credibility on proliferation issues. Washington cannot \vith its left hand interdict proliferation networks like Dr Khan's, and, with its right, refurbish and expand its own nuclear arsenal... The feasibility of Mr Bush's plan depends crucially on international cooperation, which he is not 1 going to get unless he pursues a multilateral foreign policy."

Japan Times

Editorial, February 16

"The failure of the nuclear weapons states to live up to their part of the NPT fatally undermines the entire non-proliferation regime. As long as they cling to their arsenals — and continue to update and modernise them — they reinforce the notion that such weapons have utility and are worth pursuing. Moreover, their inaction confirms the belief that the NPT is a hypocritical agreement that perpetuates nuclear apartheid. That mentality erodes the legitimacy of the NPT and under scores Japan's commitment to nuclear disarmament."

Jerusalem Post

Editorial, February 15

"Iran has neither stopped developing a bomb nor lying about its nuclear programme ... Last week, the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] announced that it has discovered plans for a P2 uranium enrichment facility ... Part of the problem here is a loophole in the non-proliferation regime that Iran is playing to the hilt. That regime does not prohibit members from enriching uranium... Mr Bush proposed closing precisely this loophole... This standard should be employed in the case of Iran immediately, outside of any timetable for renegotiating the non-proliferation regime as a whole."

Financial Times

Editorial, February'13

"Mr Bush... has learnt from the past year. A year ago his officials were busy disparaging the IAEA for the failure of its inspectors to find a nuclear weapons programme in Iraq. Now that the US acknowledges there was no such failure because there was no such programme, Mr Bush has chosen to bolster the IAEA ... "But the civil nuclear industry will have to subsume its own interests to the greater good. However much the world needs nuclear power, especially as a carbon-free source of energy to help stem climate change, it has an even more immediate interest in stemming the spread of atomic bombs. And Mr Bush's proposals make a useful contribution to that goal."

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Nuclear powers and disarmament

From Professor Sir Joseph Rotblat FRS (President Emeritus of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs), and Professor Robert A. Hinde FRS (Chairman of the British Pugwash Group, The Times 13th of February 2004

Sir, Your call for the world to "act to halt nuclear proliferation" (leading article, February 13) is timely and urgent.

You rightly praise the proposals from President George W. Bush to curb the acquisition of nuclear materials by some countries, but you do not comment on the fundamental aspect of the problem.

Dr Mohamed ElBaradei, the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), hit the nail on the head when he pointed out that the onus is on the established nuclear powers to lead the way in nuclear disarmament You described this as unhelpful, but it is the case. As long as some states, including the most powerful one, believe that their security demands the possession of nuclear weapons, how can we deny such security to other states which consider themselves to be vulnerable?

Again you rightly say that "the yardstick by which a country will be judged will be not only democracy and human rights, but adherence to nuclear pledges and protocols". The relevant treaty is the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which all five nuclear powers, ie, the US, Russia, France, China and the UK, have signed and ratified. In mentioning the NPT in his speech, President Bush appears to note one aspect of it: to

prevent new countries from acquiring nuclear weapons; however, under Article VI of the NPT, the existing nuclear powers committed themselves to proceed, in good faith, to the elimination of their nuclear arsenals. This commitment was reaffirmed "unequivocally" at the NPT Review Conference in 2000.

The elimination of nuclear weapons, and the establishment of a safeguard regime to prevent the clandestine acquisition of nuclear weapons, present extremely difficult problems, but they will never be solved unless an effort is made to tackle them. The body set up to do this, the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, is prevented from doing its job by the continued refusal by the nuclear powers to put it on its agenda.

Unless this issue is given high priority it is inevitable that other nations will seek security in keeping or acquiring nuclear weapons and eventually terrorist groups too will acquire nuclear weapons.  

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The head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency today called for the urgent strengthening of the world's non-proliferation regime to ensure that nuclear materials and even weapons are not acquired by terrorists.

Mohamed ElBaradei, Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), <"">said the existing rules and safeguards are not tough enough to deal with modern realities and the world risks "self-destruction" unless it updates them.

Speaking at the IAEA's headquarters in Vienna, Mr. ElBaradei said he welcomed proposals unveiled yesterday by President George W. Bush of the United States to introduce such measures as tighter controls over the export of nuclear materials and protocols allowing broader inspection rights.

"I have the same concern and sense of urgency expressed by President Bush to shore up the non-proliferation regime and international security system," he said.

Urging the international community to get together to quickly lay out appropriate reforms, Mr. ElBaradei said the IAEA needs more authority to conduct inspections, nuclear exports must be controlled more strictly and there must be accelerated moves towards nuclear disarmament.

Mr. ElBaradei elaborated on his proposals for improving and strengthening the non-proliferation regime in an opinion article published in The New York Times today.

"If the world does not change course, we risk self-destruction," he warned in the article.

Mr. ElBaradei said there is currently not enough of a penalty for countries that withdraw from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. He suggested an automatic review of the country's move by the UN Security Council as a minimum.

Mr. ElBaradei also suggested that the five States recognized under the treaty as nuclear powers - China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the US - must make verifiable and irreversible moves towards disarmament. This would include bringing into force the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
For more details go to UN News Centre at

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Role of UN

During its nearly 60 years of existence UN through its work comprising more then two dozen organizations has some remarkable successes to its credit in peacekeeping operations. It has helped people rebuild countries from ruins of war. UN has maintained peace and order in such diverse places as Namibia, El Salvador, Cambodia, Mozambique, Cyprus and Kashmir, over 30 years in difficult circumstances.

The primary function of United Nations and central part of its mandate for which it was established is to maintain International Peace and Security as is enshrined in its charter. It full fills that function through its various agencies i.e. UN peace keeping operations, office of Disarmament affairs, conference on Disarmament (CD), The International Atomic Agency (IAEA). These agencies have the responsibility of general principles of co-operation in the maintenance of International Peace and Security, including the principles governing disarmament treaties and regulation of armaments. Some of UN achievements have been the treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons 1968 (NPT), Anti-Personnel Landmine treaty 1997, the chemical weapons convention 1992, Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty 1996 and many multilateral and bilateral agreements including creation of nuclear weapon free zones. The IAEA plays a prominent role in peaceful uses of atomic energy and at preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons by its International Inspectorate team and its verification measures.

General and complete disarmament — or gradual elimination of weapons of mass destruction — is one of the goals set by the United Nations. Its immediate objectives are to eliminate the danger of war, particularly nuclear war, and to implement measures to halt and reverse the arms race.

The UN Disarmament machinery works in New York and Geneva through General Assembly First Committee, Disarmament commission, conference on Disarmament and Department for Disarmament all playing pivotal role in preparatory committee and review conferences of NPT. IAEA supervises peaceful uses of nuclear energy and controls spread of nuclear proliferation.

The Weapons of Mass Destruction is the branch of Department for Disarmament Affairs and provides substantive support for the activities of the United Nations in the area of weapons of mass destruction (nuclear, chemical and biological weapons), including the threat of use of weapons of mass destruction in terrorist acts, as well as missiles. The Branch follows closely all developments and trends with regard to weapons of mass destruction in all their aspects in order to keep the Secretary-General fully informed and to provide information to Member States and the international community. The Branch supports, and participates in, multilateral efforts to strengthen the international norm on disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and, in this connection, it cooperates with relevant intergovernmental organizations and specialized agencies of the United Nations system, in particular the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO PrepCom).

The main players in the Arms control and Disarmament issues are Intergovernmental Organisations, the Diplomatic Disarmament community and Governmental Ministries. These work along NGO's and Civil society. There is intense activity of different types that is conferences, fringe meetings and research projects, along with the daily meetings of the Disarmament committee. They all trying to influence the outcome of the NPT.

On the subject of research, United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) deserves a special mention. The Institutes activities transcend diverse perspectives: from global diplomacy to regional and local dimensions, and from the human focus to the international outlook. This breadth of scope has led the group to branch out its activities into three areas: global security and disarmament, regional security and disarmament and human security and disarmament. Global security and disarmament covers international arms control agreements and their implementation as well as questions on international security, missiles and weapons of mass destruction. Regional security and disarmament develops themes linked to conflict concentrated in specific areas of the globe, such as promoting civil society participation in West African disarmament dialogues. Finally, human security and disarmament explores the complex interrelations between disarmament, human rights and development. Anti-personnel mines, small arms and peace-building issues feature prominently in this area.

However the recent exposure of proliferation in Pakistan, Lybia and Iran is a challenge for United Nations and the International Community who need to see that non nuclear states do not acquire Weapons of Mass Destruction by having access to enrichment and reprocessing capabilities. A complete transparency and accountability need to be maintained in the present frightening political climate for the progress in non-proliferation and disarmament of weapons of mass Destruction can take place which will minimise the risk of these weapons falling into the hands of terrorists.

We need to examine the role of members states of United Nations to see why after agreeing to the Non-nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT) they are not abiding by it. The Nuclear Weapon States regard disarmament as a non-issue and they feel no obligation to go forward in implementing the legally binding goals of NPT. Its a case of more promises and no intention to honour them.

NPT is still the corner stone and the only binding commitment in a multilateral treaty to the goal of general and total disarmament by nuclear-weapons states. Opened for signature in 1968, the Treaty entered into force in 1970. On 11 May 1995, the Treaty was extended indefinitely. 188 states have joined the NPT, including the five Nuclear-Weapon States. More countries have ratified the NPT than any other arms disarmament agreement. The NPT is essentially a nuclear disarmament treaty. Its central pillar, Article VI, obliges its signatories "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". The International Court of Justice has stated unequivocally that the achievement of global nuclear disarmament is a legal obligation on all states.

Every five years the NPT states meet for a Review Conference. The next one will take place in May 2005. In the intervening years there are Preparatory Committee Meetings (PrepComs). The next PrepCom will be in Spring 2004.

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 NPT and Role of International Community

(Initiatives, events, campaigns and actions)

There are 100's of initiatives around the world to ban nuclear weapons and for the successful implementation of NPT. Here are a few of them

a) This is the first in a series of regular updates from Reaching Critical Will on the NPT Preparatory Committee meeting in New York on April 26- May 7, 2004.
In this NPT News Advisory:

1. Invitation to the 2004 NPT PrepCom

2. NGO Registration

3. What can we hope to achieve?

4. NGO Statements to the delegates

5. Housing Options for NGO representatives

6. News in Review: the daily NGO newsletter

7.What can I do if I can't go to New York?

8. Women's Caucus at the NPT

9. Links for more information

Reaching Critical Will has recently updated and re-organized NPT page at:, which contains all official documents from past NPT meetings, background on the treaty and the issues at stake in 2004, NGO analysis, reports, and presentations to the PrepCom and more.

General E-News Advisory

April 7, 2004

HTML edition* 

This news advisory includes brief updates on various international disarmament machinery, including:

 1) The United Nations Disarmament Commission Postpones 2004 Session

2) NGOs and the Security Council Draft Resolution on Non-Proliferation

3) New Conference on Disarmament resource from Reaching Critical Will 

4) "Contextualizing the NPT," a Report for Non-Nuclear Weapon States Party to the NPT

5) NGO Morning Strategy Sessions at the NPT Rescheduled 

As always, we welcome your comments, questions, or concerns.  This and all other news advisories are archived on our site.

 1) The UNDC Postpones 2004 Session

 On Monday, April 5, the United Nations Disarmament Commission convened in New York, as scheduled.  Yet despite months of diplomatic wrangling over the substantive agenda items, the major players- the US, the UK, and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM)- remain deadlocked and the session is now postponed.  

 In his opening statement as Chair, Georgia's Ambassador Revaz Adamia urged Members to "seek inspiration" from past achievements of the Commission, such as Nuclear Weapon Free Zones and conventional arms control measures.  He stressed the need for revitalized efforts in the face of new challenges to the international disarmament regime, including "new concepts of deadly weaponry," threats of terrorism, and "the readiness or willingness of some Member States to comply" with existing obligations. 

 Under-Secretary-General Nobuyasu Abe, too, delivered a short intervention, in which he reminded States that "the work of this Commission has been shaped by the political will of its members" and called for "increased joint efforts to strengthen the multilateral system of international peace and security." 

 Ms. Philomena Murnaghan, Deputy Permanent Representative of Ireland, was elected Vice-Chair of the Commission. 

 The First Special Session of the General Assembly on Disarmament (SSOD I), provided the mandate for the United Nations Disarmament Commission as the world's only universal forum for deliberating substantive disarmament issues.  Years later, it was decided that the UNDC would focus only on a few substantive issues over a three year cycle, in order to facilitate in-depth discussions on these matters most important to international peace and security.  The Commission is then to make consensus-based recommendations to the General Assembly. 

 In 2000, the Commission adopted an agenda that covered 1) Nuclear disarmament; and 2) Confidence-building measures (CBMs) in Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW).   Completely divided on the issues, Member States chose to postpone the 2002 session, in order to provide more time for reaching consensus.  By the close of the third and final year of this cycle, the UNDC adjourned in 2003 without having reached consensus.  

 For the 2004 session, the NAM States wished to continue deliberations on the two previous items.  The United States, which drafted a 2003 GA resolution (58/126) on the issue of First Committee reform, wished for the Commission to deliberate the non-substantive issue of UNDC reform.  Finally, the United Kingdom, a bit less adamantly, proposed an agenda that would cover nuclear verification and best practices in SALW. 

 Indonesia, speaking on behalf of the NAM, stated that they "remain hopeful" that continued deliberations will result in the agreement on agenda items that take into consideration the concerns of all delegations.  Both the UK and the US refrained from making an official statement to the Commission. 

 The informal consultations on the agenda continued immediately after the Chair suspended the session on Monday and will continue throughout the three few weeks. 

 2) NGOs and the Security Council Draft Resolution on Nonproliferation

 After months of intensive debate amongst the P5, a new draft resolution on nonproliferation was made public on March 24.  The draft resolution, as it currently stands, fails to acknowledge the indivisible relationship between non-proliferation and disarmament. If this resolution is passed as is, it would further contribute to the dangerous de-linkage between these two, incontrovertibly interdependent goals.

NGOs based in New York sent a memorandum, along with recommendations for draft language on the resolution, to the Security Council and other states, emphasizing the need for full consultation with all interested states, and with civil society, including through an open session and an informal ("Arria formula") civil society briefing.

 Abolition 2000, a network of over 2000 disarmament NGOs, is conducting a major grassroots mobilization, urging civil society to contact the Security Council and their Ministries of Foreign Affairs to demand an open session of the Security Council as they debate this unprecedented SC resolution.

Click here to read the letter of appeal that was sent out by the Abolition Global Council, the International Steering Committee of Abolition 2000.

Click here to read the article from the UN Wire.

Click here to read the statements delivered by John Burroughs and Susi Snyder at the UN Correspondents Association Press Club Press Briefing on March 31, 2004.

For more information, contact either Susi Snyder, WILPF UN Director, or John Burroughs, Executive Director of Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy.

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 3) New CD Resource from Reaching Critical Will

 Now that the Conference on Disarmament has adjourned its first session of 2004, we have compiled a Summary of Statements by Topic, that is now available on our website. 

 This resource makes it easy for CD watchers to see where each State stands on the pertinent issue facing the Geneva body.  We have listed every reference by Member States made to the following topics:

 Fissile Material Cut Off Treaty
Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space
Subsidiary Body on Nuclear Disarmament
Negative Security Assurances
A5 Agenda

This list will be updated at the close of each session.  We hope this will prove to be a useful resource.

While the CD takes a break, be sure to stay updated with other disarmament fora by subscribing to RCW's other email news services, including the News in Review, the daily newsletter published during the NPT.  Subscribe today by sending an email to:   To receive the weekly reports on the CD, send an email to:, or check out the archived updates.  For a full description of all of RCW's email services, see:


4) "Contextualizing the NPT," a Report for Non-Nuclear Weapon States Party to the NPT

In collaboration with the Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy and the Western States' Legal Foundation, Reaching Critical Will has published a report, "Contextualizing the NPT," in preparation for the NPT PrepCom, April 26- May 7.  The report, which outlines various challenges facing the treaty and recommends ways of moving forward on key issues, is available in PDF and with an accompanying PowerPoint presentation.  Both are available on the web for a limited time.  

5) NGO Morning Strategy Session Re-Scheduled

Throughout the PrepCom, the Abolition 2000 network will be holding a daily Strategy Session for NGOs at 8 AM, in the Grumman Room 10th floor, of the UNCC at 777 UN Plaza.   Following each day's strategy session, we will be reconvening at 9 AM in Conference Room A for a briefing by delegates at the PrepCom. 

For more information on these strategy sessions, contact Emma McGregor-Mento, the Abolition 2000 coordinator. 

For a full listing of all of the events planned for this year's PrepCom, see the Events Calendar, also available in a printable format

Rhianna Tyson
Project Associate
Reaching Critical Will
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, UN Office
777 UN Plaza
6th Floor
New York, NY 10017
phone: (212) 682-1265
fax: (212) 286-8211

This is a message from Reaching Critical Will's General E-News service. 
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*The General E-News service is no longer available in plain text format.  Other subscriptions, including the First Committee Monitor and the News in Review will continue to be available in plain text, as well as PDF.  We apologize for the inconvenience. 

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b) NGO Committee on Disarmament in Geneva

International Peace Bureau with other International NGO's join together for keeping the nuclear bargain and full spectrum compliance with the NPT.

Its aim, purpose and themes are as follows:

* To bring together the diplomatic, NGO and academic communities in Geneva around crucial topics in the nuclear disarmament debate
* To consider some key issues that the 2004 NPT PrepComm (May, New York) will address (many of the likely participants being based in Geneva)
* To focus discussion on the main threats to the NPT, and to how to tackle these
* To ensure that the dangers to the NPT from the doctrines of counter proliferation and pre-emptive attack, as well as from technological development of new types of nuclear weapons ("vertical proliferation") are given as much attention as the threats from "horizontal proliferation" (break-out from the NPT : new nuclear weapons states)
* To help the NPT states contribute to resolving the challenges to the future of the Conference on Disarmament (CD) 2004. CD Session starting in January 2004)

To identify areas for future action by all players

Our aim is to link the issue of compliance by both Nuclear Weapons States (NWS) and Non-Nuclear Weapons States (NNWS). The future of the Treaty is under threat from proliferation in at least three regions, while at the same time its most powerful state parties are conducting a form of unilateral policing -- by threatening 'pre-emptive' strikes against the proliferators while developing a new generation of nuclear weaponry themselves. The topic offers an opportunity to explore in more depth the type of proposals that were made during the first two 'In Defence of the NPT' workshops, organised by the Committee earlier this year. These proposals also include efforts to tackle the impasse in the CD.
IPB Website:


The General Assembly of the Global Anti-War Movement meeting at the World Social Forum (WSF) in Mumbai, India. Called on the world to fill the streets on March 20 to demand an end to the occupation of Iraq. The Assembly began with an assessment of the current political situation, followed by reports from various activists involved in various anti-war movements around the world. Reports were also made by many anti-war campaigns such as the World Tribunal on Iraq, the "Close the US bases" campaign, the Campaign for Disarmament, the Occupation Watch Center, the Caravans to Iraq and the Civil Missions to Palestine. It ended with a session dedicated to strategizing on ways forward and common campaigns to be supported. Envisioned to be the biggest and most representative meeting of the anti-war movement since the invasion, the Assembly was a collective effort by anti-war coalitions spanning all continents of the globe. The Assembly had participants and endorsers from the largest anti-war coalitions around the world including the European Coalitions which organised the massive marches on February 15th last year, Stop the War Coalition in the UK, United For Peace and Justice and ANSWER in the US, the Anti-War Coalition in South Africa and the Asian Peace Alliance, as well as various social movements, trade unions and farmer and peasant groups such as the CUT in Brasil, the Social Movements Network and Via Campesina. Competing with the lively drumming of nearby cultural performers, the dust and noise from the constant flow of passing demonstrations and the general chaos of the WSF, the Assembly discussed, debated and strategized on the ways forward to globalising the resistance and ending the occupation of Iraq.
The Assembly ended with the call for an International Day of Action on March 20, the anniversary of the attack on Iraq. It calls for all movements in all continents to organize mass protests on that day to demand the end of the occupation of Iraq. Different countries will organise protests of different
scales and forms; the important point is to mark the anniversary across the world. Resistance in Iraq and around the world is growing daily and March 20 will be the day when the global resistance tells not only Bush but all the occupation troops and warmongers that the movement will not rest until
the occupation of Iraq and Palestine and the "war against terror" is ended.

This is an ideal opportunity for supporters of NPT to go to the march with banners of ban the bomb and tell the world and their Governments that they should get rid of Weapons of Mass Destruction and comply with the NPT Treaty Obligations to which they have signed.

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  1. Mayors for peace

it is an a emergency campaign to ban nuclear weapons by 2020

The 2020 Campaign intends to:

1. Mobilize at least 500 NGO representatives to attend the PrepCom 2004 and 1000 for 2005 review conference, and lead the lobbying effort in pursuit of nuclear abolition.

2. Mobilize at least a dozen mayors of major cities to attend the 2004 PrepCom and 100 mayors assist the NGO lobbying effort.

3. Organize thousands to be in New York during the conference for a mass street demonstration on May 1 and massive media outreach to express the will of the people.

4. Encourage all supporting mayors and NGO representatives to begin lobbying national governments at every opportunity.

  1. Encourage nations that are not parties to the NPT to join and work toward nuclear abolition.

Mayors for Peace:

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d) Global Public Opinion

Peace movements are planing a large demonstration May 1st at the same time of PrepCom 2004 and hope to mobilise 1 million people to be in central park and streets of New York during the review conference 2005 to express the will of the people. An informed and active Global Public Opinion remains the most potent force available in this great struggle. Whatever the political structures of a country, politicians do have to listen to what the people are saying. Public opinion as an increasingly active force remain the best hope for the future.

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e) Nuclear Awareness Project

it is a project to explore the general public's awareness and understanding of the nuclear weapons issue. The report conducted by Pugwash, Greenpeace and supported by INLAP has important information highlights of which are as follows:

In order to explore the general publics awareness and understanding of the nuclear weapons issue, the Nuclear Weapons Awareness Project worked through Topline to carry out public opinion research in April 2003 during the period of the Iraq War.

The results of focus group discussions, along with research into previous surveys on the issue of public opinion and nuclear weapons provided the following important information:

• The overall awareness and knowledge of basic nuclear weapons issues was higher among men who were in general opposed to disarmament, whereas women and younger people were less informed and less defined in their opinions, but more receptive to arguments for nuclear disarmament.

• Nuclear weapons were primarily perceived to be bombs that caused huge destruction. None had heard of the term mini-nukes but understood them to mean smaller weapons that were less destructive and had an effect on a smaller area. Initially, this made some feel reassured that they were less awful than current nuclear weapons but on reflection they felt that they were worse because it would be easier for countries to justify using them.

• There was a general perception that the threat of nuclear war had receded after the end of the Cold War. Anti-nuclear weapons campaigns were felt to also have receded into the background.

• There was a perception that the world had changed after September 11, and that the threat (nuclear or otherwise) from terrorists and rogue states was now much greater.

• There was a strong perception that there was a new threat in the world after Sept 11, now reinforced by the conflict in Iraq. Although nuclear weapons were mentioned as part of the Iraq conflict (blurred with chemical/biological weapons) these were not felt to be a direct threat to the UK. However, there were concerns that it might become so. This new threat was perceived to be a considerable change from the days of the Cold War with Russia and America in deadlock. Respondents over 30, especially over 50, were highly aware of this change.

• There was a feeling that the general publics voice was not listened to. For example the marches against the war that some of the respondents supported had made no impact on the decision to go to war with Iraq.

• Respondents perceived a breakdown in unity of international collaborative institutions such as the UN and EU and a lack of power and influence against the autonomous actions of a maverick USA which had initiated the Iraq conflict against the wishes of the world. The general view was that America would do what it wanted, the UK would follow and the rest of the world would be powerless to change this. There was felt to be a lack of trust and hope in the world at the moment to make changes for the better in areas such as nuclear disarmament.

• People were surprised at the small number of states that did possess nuclear weapons, and were not very aware of the major treaties (NPT, CTBT, ABM) to control proliferation. A small minority of respondents were able to cite the full list of nuclear countries. The majority were able to cite: Russia, America, the UK, France and possibly China as these were perceived to be major powers. Others mentioned were North Korea, Pakistan and India. Iraq was also mentioned in the context of the current crisis. When prompted with a list of nuclear weapon states respondents were surprised by the presence of Israel and also the high numbers of nuclear weapons held. This was felt to be very high in comparison to the amount of damage just one bomb could do.

• There was very limited awareness of the NPT and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. However,there was recollection that the US and Russia had agreed to some disarmament but no-one knew if this had actually happened.

• The majority saw a future with more nuclear weapons not less - with new and more dangerous countries obtaining them. This was felt to be in order to be on a par with the superpowers and to threaten them.

• On prompting with a list of countries who had decided not to follow their nuclear programmes or had dismantled them. The response among many was positive and offered hope but the more skeptical men stated that these countries were not major world players.

• On discussing whether global nuclear disarmament was possible, most felt the following elements had to be in place:

the right world leaders ready to take the initiative;

trust and hope;

most countries acting together.

• There was a willingness to consider a nuclear weapons-free Europe but unilateral nuclear disarmament by the UK was for the most part dismissed as an unfeasible option.

• The major barrier to people's support of nuclear disarmament was the climate of fear and instability with the ever present threat of rogue states (including the US) and terrorists, and the loose technology floating around.

• The major driver towards a nuclear weapons-free world was the idea of it as an epic challenge for the human race in the 21st century to prevent our species from self destruction.

• Public opinion on specific issues relating to reducing the threat of nuclear weapons was much more positive and malleable than on the issue of overall nuclear disarmament.

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f) Abolition 2000 and Abolition 2000 Europe (Anglo-French initiative)

Abolition 2000, a network of over 2000 disarmament NGOs, is conducting a major grassroots mobilization, urging civil society to contact the Security Council and their Ministries of Foreign Affairs to demand an open session of the Security Council as they debate this unprecedented SC resolution. It is a coalition of European NGO's committed to global Abolition of nuclear weapons. It aims to educate and enlist the help of members of European Parliament (MEP's) to consider what could be done on a European level to further full implementation of NPT and Europe's participation in review conference of NPT of 2005.

Abolition 2000 Network –,

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g) Aldermaston 2004 – London to Aldermaston March 9-12 April

AWE Aldermaston already builds and maintains Britain's nuclear warheads for four Trident submarines and over 50 years of radioactive discharges have left a legacy of cancer-causing plutonium and uranium in the environment.

In 1958 people marched to Aldermatson because of the fear of nuclear war. That fear is still here. In 2004 we march to put pressure the government to stop new developments at Aldermaston, to withdraw support from the US unlawful policy of pre-emptive wars and stop to comply with the NPT.

CND website:

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h) Barcelona Forum 2004

A Dialogue for people who want peace

From June 23 to 27,2004, Forum Barcelona 2004, the Peace Foundation and the International Peace Bureau host the Dialogue "Towards a World Without Violence", a space at the service of individuals, groups and movements working for peace around the world.

The gathering aims to be the largest international congress organized by the peace movement since the Hague Conference of 1999. Don't let it pass you by!

Towards a World Without Violence

Violence, in the many forms that it takes, is all too present in our world. It generates suffering now and leads inevitably to more violence in the future.

Building a world free of violence is a formidable challenge and must be a top priority for governments, social movements and individuals. This Dialogue seeks to draw together ideas and generate proposals that will make such a world possible.

Five key themes

A range of formats-including meetings, round tables, seminars, cultural events, interviews and dialogue-will be used to take a closer look at the following issues:

  1. The prevention and non-violent resolution of armed conflicts

    Moving from an analysis of the causes and contexts of conflict to an exploration of nonviolent approaches to control and transformation. The experience of those pursuing peace in violent contexts will play a central role in this process.

  2. The economy and preparation for war

Wars don't just happen: there are a series of factors that facilitate military conflict (including the arms trade and the influence of the military industry). The advocates of peace must be aware of these factors and know how to respond to them.

3. Disarmament

Light arms, weapons of mass destruction, antipersonnel mines... All perpetuate the same insecurity. An ambitious agenda needs to be developed to monitor, reduce and eliminate these threats.

4. Extending peace education programs throughout the world

All institutions involved in generating values (including schools, non formal education and the media) have a crucial role to play in overcoming the culture of violence and establishing a peace culture

5. The concept of human security

Which concept of security and as defined by which set of priorities? How do such choices contribute to shaping our world? Moving from military defense towards human security.

International Peace Bureau (IPB):

Fundacio per la Pau:

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i) Declaration for a Nuclear free World

The idea for this project is for individuals to sign for a Declaration for a Nuclear Free World. These Declarations will be prominently displayed in New York in 2005 when the world leaders gather at United Nations to review their treaty obligations. For further details see:

World Court Project:

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j) A Treaties Day School

The school helps in lobbying at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty preparatory in 2004 and the review conference in 2005, as well as the lobby of Parliament organised by United Nations Association.

CCND: Http://


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k) Staying at home in UK or your country – how can you help with the NPT negotiations

The following resources are available at the CND website to launch a "No New Nukes" programme to raise public awareness about NPT issue and put pressure on the government.

a) No New Nukes - Campaign Briefing

b) Attracting local media – Press Briefing 1

c) Writing a press release – Press Briefing 2

d) Interviewing technique – Press Briefing 3

e) How to lobby your MP – Parliamentary Briefing

f) Nuclear Circus Comes to Townville – Press Release, photo opportunity

CND Website:

  1. For total and general Disarmament and for a peaceful and non-violent world

we need to work on the following long term goals

a) A global system to abolish war and strengthen peaceful means of conflict resolution

Movement of Abolition of War website:

b) Global spread of education for peacemaking and peace building

Hague Agenda for Peace website:

  1. International Peace Bureau website: