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.

What We're Following See More »
SHE’LL HAVE A ROLE WITH CLINTON CAMP
Wasserman Schultz to Resign at Week’s End
4 hours ago
THE LATEST

"After hours of private talks," Debbie Wasserman Schultz agreed to step down as chair of the Democratic National Committee after the convention ends. In the wake of the convention intrigue, Hillary Clinton announced she's making Wasserman Schultz "the honorary chair of her campaign's 50-state program."

Source:
MARCIA FUDGE TO PRESIDE
Wasserman Schultz Stripped of Convention Duties
13 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz "will not have a major speaking role or preside over daily convention proceedings this week," and is under increasing pressure to resign. The DNC Rules Committee on Saturday named Ohio Democratic Rep. Marcia Fudge as "permanent chair of the convention." At issue: internal DNC emails leaked by Wikileaks that show how "the DNC favored Clinton during the primary and tried to take down Bernie Sanders by questioning his religion."

Source:
EARLY BUMP FOR TRUMP?
New Round of Polls Show a Tight Race
2 days ago
THE LATEST
  • A Rasmussen Reports poll shows Donald Trump ahead of Hillary Clinton, 43%-42%, the fourth week in a row he's led the poll (one of the few poll in which he's led consistently of late).
  • A Reuters/Ipsos survey shows Clinton leading 40%-36%. In a four-way race, she maintains her four-point lead, 39%-35%, with Gary Johnson and Jill Stein pulling 7% and 3%, respectively.
  • And the LA Times/USC daily tracking poll shows a dead heat, with Trump ahead by about half a percentage point.
BELLWETHER?
Candidates Deadlocked in Ohio
3 days ago
THE LATEST
17-POINT EDGE AMONG MILLENNIALS
Clinton Dominates Among Younger Voters
3 days ago
THE DETAILS

In an election between two candidates around 70 years of age, millennials strongly prefer one over the other. Hillary Clinton has a 47%-30% edge among votes 18 to 29. She also leads 46%-36% among voters aged 30 to 44.

Source:
×