Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Day Six at the NPT - Clusters all done

Day Six, the second week of the NPT PrepCom, and the delegates are making progress. Yesterday brought the end of discussion on Cluster Three, which is about peaceful uses of nuclear energy. There was also discussion around "other provisions of the Treaty, including Article X". This is about provisions for withdrawing from the NPT. Some delegations have called for measures making withdrawal from the Treaty more difficult, in order to strengthen the NPT. Progress through the speaker's list was so brisk that the meeting was adjourned more than 1 1/2 hours early in the afternoon session.

On the NGO calendar, an event was organised by Soka Gakkai International, and co-sponsored by ICAN, which brought together some leading minds in the area of "Nuclear Abolition and Human Security". We heard from Kazuo Tase, Head of the Human Security Unit at the UN, Dr Patricia Lewis, Deputy Director of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey Institute of International Studies, and Dr Kathleen Sullivan, Education Consultant to the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs. This stimulating session explored the links between nuclear abolition and human security. Human security is all about putting people first, which makes us more pragmatic and focuses our thinking on people-protection measures, as Patricia Lewis pointed out. We explored the idea of empowerment, and agreed that empowerment comes through participation and through listening as well as speaking and acting. Kathleen Sullivan led us through an exercise of speaking and listening which took us from thinking to feeling to action. During the general discussion I had a chance to share the work of the Nuclear Weapons Inheritance Project, which I believe uses a human security framework to work for nuclear abolition. 

Today will bring general discussion around the chair's recommendations for the RevCon next year, and I will update you as to the direction these discussions take.

Yours in Peace
Ruth Mitchell

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