Experts monitoring a U.N. gathering that convened Thursday to discuss atomic-weapons elimination said they expected the event to reveal tensions that have long divided nuclear-armed nations from much of the world.
None of the five countries with recognized nuclear arsenals originally supported convening the one-day High-level Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament in New York. An independent U.N. think tank, though, has held out hope that Thursday’s forum could focus new attention on international initiatives to eliminate nuclear arms, and possibly build momentum behind efforts to revive the Conference on Disarmament — the world’s only permanent disarmament forum — from political stasis.
“In substance, everybody’s aware that nothing much will happen” at the event, said Marc Finaud, a senior resident fellow with the U.N. Institute for Disarmament Research. The meeting is “not a framework for negotiation,” and would consist largely of “a series of monologues” by diplomats and spokespeople for nongovernmental groups, he said in a Tuesday telephone interview.
British diplomat Guy Pollard last year voiced puzzlement over how the planned gathering could advance the goals of 3-year-old “road map” backed by signatories to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. That pact only recognizes the nuclear arsenals of the United Kingdom and four other countries: China, France, Russia, and the United States.
The “P-5” nations made plans to attend, though, when an outcry ensued over their decision to boycott nuclear-abolition working-group talks held over the summer, Finaud said.
“The P-5 actually realized that maybe it was not a good policy to be absent from the room” after seeing “frustration” mount over their decision earlier this year, according to Finaud, who was scheduled to speak at a side discussion on making the most of Thursday’s main meeting.
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon opened Thursday’s meeting with a plea for nonproliferation-treaty holdouts to sign onto the pact. India, Pakistan and North Korea have nuclear-weapons programs outside the nonproliferation regime, and joining under its current language would require them to give up those arms. The same could apply to Israel, a non-signatory that has neither confirmed nor denied possessing an atomic arsenal.
The U.N. chief also urged Iran to answer long-standing questions about its nuclear program. Iranian negotiators are due on Friday to join new talks aimed at clearing the way for international investigators to examine whether Tehran once took scientific steps tied to nuclear-arms development.
What We're Following See More »
"According to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, the first national post-debate survey, 43 percent of registered voters said the Democratic candidate won, compared with 26 percent who opted for the Republican Party’s standard bearer. Her 6-point lead over Trump among likely voters is unchanged from our previous survey: Clinton still leads Trump 42 percent to 36 percent in the race for the White House, with Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson taking 9 percent of the vote."
After a lighthearted beginning, Donald Trump's appearance at the Al Smith charity dinner in New York "took a tough turn as the crowd repeatedly booed the GOP nominee for his sharp-edged jokes about his rival Hillary Clinton."
Evan McMullin came out on top in a Emerson College poll of Utah with 31% of the vote. Donald Trump came in second with 27%, while Hillary Clinton took third with 24%. Gary Johnson received 5% of the vote in the survey.
A new Quinnipiac University poll finds Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump by seven percentage points, 47%-40%. Trump’s “lead among men and white voters all but” vanished from the university’s early October poll. A new PPRI/Brookings survey shows a much bigger lead, with Clinton up 51%-36%. And an IBD/TIPP poll leans the other way, showing a virtual dead heat, with Trump taking 41% of the vote to Clinton’s 40% in a four-way matchup.