The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Talks to ban nuclear materials need a fresh start

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, By Paul Meyer, September 25, 2018, If grades in disarmament diplomacy were given out for perseverance, then Canada would surely merit an “A” for its efforts on behalf of the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty, or FMCT. Forging this treaty, which would ban the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons, has been a supposed goal of the international community for over half a century. In that time, though, negotiations to bring the treaty about never even started, suggesting that the FMCT is one of those worthy goals that are periodically affirmed without any serious effort to realize them. And though Canada has traditionally led efforts to move forward on the treaty, the Canadian-led group most recently charged with supporting future negotiations has submitted a report that deserves a failing grade.

This is unfortunate, because the FMCT, if it ever happens, could have a major impact on reducing nuclear proliferation. The problem is that the 25-member preparatory group asked to facilitate the task of future negotiators has recommended that “the negotiation of a treaty … begin without delay in the Conference on Disarmament.” This is not a realistic solution, as anyone familiar with the Conference on Disarmament knows it does not act “without delay” on anything. It simply does not get things done. To initiate work on the FMCT will require its liberation from this diplomatic dungeon……..

To initiate work on the FMCT will require it to be freed from the constraints of the Conference on Disarmament and granted a fresh start under the authority of a diplomatic body not subject to the veto of any one state. This might be best achieved via a UN General Assembly resolution. Alternatively, a group of concerned states—such as the five official nuclear weapon states under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, or some other group that possesses fissile material—could undertake ad hoc negotiations.

Until the political will can be generated for such concrete action, the disarmament community should avoid exercises in treading water like the recent FMCT preparatory group. However well-intended, they only provide an illusion of progress, and further erode the credibility of the global nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime.


September 26, 2018 - Posted by | Canada, weapons and war

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: