AMMAN: Next month’s conference on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons will focus on deterrence and the long-term goal of eliminating atomic weapons, the US special representative for nuclear non-proliferation said on Tuesday.
“The treaty provides the framework and some momentum for the nuclear-weapons states to work on stabilizing their nuclear deterrence, relationships, and limiting or reducing nuclear stockpiles,” Adam M. Scheinman said in a press briefing attended by Arab News.
“The treaty gives the International Atomic Energy Agency the tools it needs to ensure that countries aren’t pursuing nuclear weapons contrary to their treaty obligations.”
The conference will take place on Aug. 1-26 after a two-year delay due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Scheinman described the “three pillars” of the treaty as disarmament, non-proliferation, and peaceful uses of nuclear technology.
The treaty entered into force in 1970, and 191 states have signed it. Scheinman said the US hopes to establish a consensus among signatories to advance the treaty’s goals.
He acknowledged, however, that the Russia-Ukraine conflict may impact the climate of deliberations, but expressed hope for “the right balance of ambition and realism and perhaps compromise.”
Scheinman said the non-proliferation regime has been successful in preventing the spread of nuclear weapons worldwide with the exception of a few countries such as North Korea and Iran.
Unlike North Korea, Iran has not reached the status of a nuclear state, but it does have a robust nuclear program that many fear could soon produce an atomic weapon.
The “vast majority” of countries abide by their treaty commitments, said Scheinman. “The Iran program was one that was uncovered over time, and of course we’ve sought a negotiated process to ensure that Iran remained in compliance with its obligations.”