5 Mai 2017
May 3, 2017
A preparatory meeting for the 2020 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference opened on Tuesday at the UN Office in Vienna.
The delegates are sharply divided over a review of the NPT.
More than 100 non-nuclear countries have been negotiating since March to institute a new agreement that would legally ban the development, possession and use of nuclear arms.
But nuclear powers and their allies strongly oppose such a move, saying it ignores the reality of the international situation.
The Austrian representative said the delegates at NPT conferences have been repeating the same points again and again without making any progress. He said a prohibition treaty would strengthen the NPT. Austria has been taking the initiative in the negotiations for a new agreement.
The US representative said it is important to abide by the NPT, which limits the possession of nuclear weapons, and to remove the threat of North Korea's nuclear development. The delegate argued for a realistic approach toward nuclear disarmament within the NPT framework. He indirectly criticized the proposed agreement, saying abandoning consensus might yield an illusion of progress, but not its reality, and even that illusion would quickly dissipate.
The preparatory meeting will continue through May 12th.apan will invite experts to a meeting on nuclear disarmament it will hold this year.
Japan calls for nuclear nonproliferation efforts
Japan's Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida has called on nuclear powers and non-nuclear powers to work together toward a world without nuclear arms.
Kishida made the appeal at a preparatory meeting of the 2020 conference to review the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in Vienna on Tuesday. He became Japan's first foreign minister to attend the meeting where most countries are represented by working-level officials.
Kishida said North Korea's nuclear and missile development is posing a real threat to the international community. He said it is a challenge to the disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation regime.
He called on North Korea to abandon its nuclear and missile programs and return to the NPT regime as soon as possible.
He suggested that the effort toward a nuclear-free world should be carried out in a realistic manner by involving both nuclear powers and non-nuclear powers. He said the severe security environment should be taken into account, including the situation in North Korea.
He also suggested that a legal framework for a world without nuclear arms should be introduced after nuclear weapons are reduced to low levels. He said the NPT framework serves as the basis for such an approach.
Kishida also expressed Japan's resolve to lead efforts to abolish nuclear weapons. He said Japan will invite experts to a meeting on nuclear disarmament it will hold this year.
THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
VIENNA--Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said May 2 that Japan is prepared to serve as a “bridge” between nuclear and non-nuclear powers to push forward disarmament.
Kishida, the first Japanese foreign minister to speak before the preparatory committee for the 2020 review conference of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, added that participation of nuclear powers in discussions would be essential.
He said Japan would host a meeting of experts from both nuclear and non-nuclear nations before the end of the year to establish an “eminent persons group” to discuss nuclear disarmament.
Negotiations at the United Nations on a nuclear weapons ban treaty started without the presence of any nuclear power.
“(That) deepens the gap between nuclear and non-nuclear-weapon states,” Kishida said.
At the same time, he explained the Japanese position of working for early implementation of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and negotiations toward a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT). Kishida said such action would “limit both qualitative and quantitative improvements of nuclear forces.”
However, the stance of the United States under President Donald Trump appears to be moving toward improving its nuclear arsenal.
His predecessor, Barack Obama, tried to work toward a nuclear-free world and have the United States ratify the CTBT. That stance has taken a major shift under Trump.
Speaking at an April 28 news conference at the United Nations Office in Geneva, Robert Wood, the U.S. ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament, said Washington was undertaking a comprehensive review regarding the CTBT and FMCT, indicating the United States would take a major step back from the position under the Obama administration.
(This article was written by Ichiro Matsuo and Shohei Sasagawa.)