NPT draft makes compromise on disarmament dates

11:08, May 22, 2010      

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A draft agreement circulated on Friday at the review conference of the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT) calls on the United Nations General Assembly to take up the issue of disarmament if the Conference on Disarmament fails to make headway by the end of 2011.

"If the discussions in the Conference on Disarmament do not commence before the end of the 2011 session of the Conference on Disarmament, the 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly is encouraged to examine how discussions should be pursued," said the document drafted by a subsidiary committee of the ongoing NPT Review Conference, which is scheduled to conclude next Friday.

This version of a disarmament action plan appears to be a compromise between two previous NPT conference drafts, but sparked a fierce debate here among nations seeking stronger wording.

The first draft called on atomic-weapon states to meet no later than 2011 to discuss how to move forward on nuclear disarmament, after which time UN Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon would convene an international conference some time in 2014 to make further progress.

A subsequent draft of the document simply said that the Geneva- based "Conference on Disarmament should immediately establish an appropriate subsidiary body ... to reduce nuclear weapons with the ultimate goal of their elimination."

The negotiations will continue in the coming days with the hope of a consensus outcome on May 28.

At the heart of the NPT, the five original nuclear weapon states -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- pledged to move toward disarmament. And, in return for not acquiring the atomic bomb, non-weapon states have been promised access to peaceful nuclear energy.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:燕勐)

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