U.N. Disarmament Gathering Highlights Nuclear Tensions

Diane Barnes, Global Security Newswire
See more stories about...
Diane Barnes, Global Security Newswire
Sept. 26, 2013, 10:02 a.m.

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.

MOST READ
What We're Following See More »
BACKING OUT ON BERNIE
Trump Won’t Debate Sanders After All
3 days ago
THE LATEST

Trump, in a statement: “Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher. ... I will wait to debate the first place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton, or whoever it may be.”

AKNOWLEDGING THE INEVITABLE
UAW: Time to Unite Behind Hillary
4 days ago
THE DETAILS

"It's about time for unity," said UAW President Dennis Williams. "We're endorsing Hillary Clinton. She's gotten 3 million more votes than Bernie, a million more votes than Donald Trump. She's our nominee." He called Sanders "a great friend of the UAW" while saying Trump "does not support the economic security of UAW families." Some 28 percent of UAW members indicated their support for Trump in an internal survey.

Source:
AP KEEPING COUNT
Trump Clinches Enough Delegates for the Nomination
4 days ago
THE LATEST

"Donald Trump on Thursday reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and sets the stage for a bitter fall campaign. Trump was put over the top in the Associated Press delegate count by a small number of the party's unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the convention."

Source:
TRUMP FLOATED IDEA ON JIMMY KIMMEL’S SHOW
Trump/Sanders Debate Before California Primary?
4 days ago
THE LATEST
CAMPAIGNS INJECTED NEW AD MONEY
California: It’s Not Over Yet
4 days ago
THE LATEST

"Clinton and Bernie Sanders "are now devoting additional money to television advertising. A day after Sanders announced a new ad buy of less than $2 million in the state, Clinton announced her own television campaign. Ads featuring actor Morgan Freeman as well as labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta will air beginning on Fridayin Fresno, Sacramento, and Los Angeles media markets. Some ads will also target Latino voters and Asian American voters. The total value of the buy is about six figures according to the Clinton campaign." Meanwhile, a new poll shows Sanders within the margin of error, trailing Clinton 44%-46%.

Source:
×