Curtains begin to close at NPT Conference

10:32, May 27, 2010      

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by Tracy Lee

As the Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) enters its final days, all eyes are focused on what will be conceived from a month long of labor pains.

"The last week is when the drama occurs and I don't want to preempt it, but suffice it to say, we're working hard with others to try and conclude this conference successfully and I'm hopeful that will be the case," Susan Rice, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, said here Tuesday.

On Friday, delegations are expected to announce a consensus agreement on strengthening the three pillars of the NPT: disarmament, non-proliferation and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

There is a sense of pressure in the halls here because the last NPT Review Conference in 2005 was largely considered a failure when state parties were unable to reach an agreement.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been pushing for a successful outcome, urging that "there is too much at stake for the conference to end in failure, as it did last time."

"We have reached a crucial stage," the secretary-general said. "It is time for an agreement."

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