Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Day Seven at the NPT

After this morning's government briefing by the Canadian Ambassador, Marius Grinius, general discussions began on the Chair's draft recommendations for the 2010 RevCon. A number of countries raised points, some of them procedural and others more substantive. Many countries like Australia and Canada raised concerns about specific points but this was balanced with a recognition of the need for progress. Other countries had more significant concerns, such as the US who have an impending nuclear posture review and for whom it seems that the level of detail in the draft recommendations is premature. From about 12 noon today 

The lunchtime NGO session was on the Operational Status of Nuclear Weapon Systems, and the panel included Ambassadors from Chile, who chaired, Switzerland, and New Zealand. Many excellent points were raised, including the observation that Candidate Obama spoke of de-alerting, but President Obama has yet to do so. Up to date technical details and analysis were provided by John Hallam of People for Nuclear Disarmament, Steven Starr of Physicians for Social Responsibility, and Geoffrey Forden, from MIT. Dr Forden's entire presentation has been made available online and is entitled Dangers Inherent to Nuclear Arsenals

Finally, today saw the beginning of simulated negotiations on a Nuclear Weapons Convention. This excercise, run by the International Network of Engineers and Scientists Against Proliferation and the Technical University of Darmstadt, involves 30 students who take the roles of members of an enlarged Security Council, and it is very interesting to observe how it is proceeding. ICAN's very own Dimity Hawkins chaired this morning's session and the Chilean Ambassador is chairing this afternoon. 

Over the last few days the Swedish IPPNW (SLMK) delegates have been leaving, but reinforcements have arrived in the form of the Norwegians. And we look forward to more of our US based members from Physicians for Social Responsibility arriving over in the next day or two. 

Yours from the feverish simulated negotiations of a nuclear weapons convention
Ruth Mitchell

1 comment:

Kevin Elder said...

Keep up the good work, Ruth!