No frisson in talks over fission

The 2015 Review of the Non Proliferation Treaty is a process expected to be stormy and contentious due to a new set of geopolitical drivers. Yet again, it could leave the dream of nuclear disarmament unattained and the purpose of preventing proliferation defeated

The 2015 Review of the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) will take place in New York from April 27 to May 22 and the process is expected to be stormy and contentious. The event marks some significant anniversaries of conflict: the 100th — of the use of chemical weapons in Ypres, Belgium; the 70th — of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; and the 20th — of the indefinite extension of the NPT. A new set of geopolitical drivers will work the agendas of nuclear and non-nuclear members of the Treaty.

Coming into force in 1970, the Treaty has been subjected to numerous pulls and pressures which have left the dream of nuclear disarmament unattained and the purpose of preventing proliferation defeated. The last review, in 2010, followed the complete failure of the 2005 Review conference, as a consequence of serious disagreements which had emerged over a decade. The desire of non-nuclear states to see better progress on disarmament by the Nuclear Weapons States (NWS) will figure as before. The discourse on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons has given a new shape to the NPT debate.