The 2005 Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty Review Conference began today at UN headquarters in New York. This conference will last through the month of May with the hope of bringing the 1970 treaty up to date.
Don't bet your retirement on that getting done.
In the midst of dramatic nuclear tension in recent days (which is garnering little to no press from the mainstream-media) from the likes of North Korea and Iran, I would not expect a lot of dramatic improvements...especially in light of whom our President has chosen to represent the U.S. in this conference: Stephen Rademaker, a close ally of John Bolton - the Bush-nominated UN ambassador and outspoken UN opponent (yes, that's correct).
The timing of this conference is apropos considering that, at the pointed questioning of Senator Hillary Clinton, the Defense Intelligence Agency Director admitted before a committe last week that North Korea has the capacity not only to produce a nuclear weapon, but also missle and launch capacity. Wow...and yet we invaded Iraq? Right. In addition, Iran is now threatening to walk out of talks with European powers over the advancement of their nuclear programs. Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the UN, opened the conference today appropriately calling for dramatic reduction in nuclear arsenal's of the US and Russia. That would be a small price to pay - and would give the US much more credibility in dealing with N. Korea, Iran, and other rogue nations.
The 1970 non-prolif treaty was a monument, unfortunately times have passed it by. There are too many loopholes allowing the procurement of "non-military" nuclear technologies, which invariably lead to development of weapons of mass destruction. And we're not just talking about Iran and North Korea here - other nations are on the road, including Brazil and other nations more often viewed as "peaceful." Let's hope that the 188 nations that sit down together keep their eyes on the big-picture, as doubtful as that may be.
More from Jurist Paper Chase, Democracy Arsenal, and CNN.