Nuclear weapons can be eliminated: NPT PrepCom begins at U.N. headquarters

by Noritaka Egusa, Editor/Senior Staff Writer

On the morning of May 4, the third Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) for the 2010 Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference began at U.N. headquarters in New York. About 190 NPT member nations will exchange views on the international state of nuclear weapons, including nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, during the meeting which runs to May 15.

At the opening ceremony, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke to the participants and expressed his hopes for a successful gathering. The member nations then began a general discussion, chaired by Boniface Guwa Chidyausiku, Zimbabwe’s ambassador to the U.N.

The NPT Review Conference is held every five years. In the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in the U.S. and the Iraq War, the previous NPT Review Conference in 2005 produced no substantive agreement. The focus of the third PrepCom for the 2010 NPT Review Conference is on how much consensus can be built among the member nations to pursue nuclear abolition, encouraged by the arrival of the new U.S. administration of Barack Obama, who has pledged to work toward “a world without nuclear weapons.”

On the afternoon of May 5, a session with non-governmental organizations will be held. Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba, who also serves as president of Mayors for Peace, will attend the session and call on government representatives of the member nations to adopt the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol at the 2010 NPT Review Conference as a step toward bringing about the elimination of nuclear weapons by 2020.

(Originally published on May 5, 2009)

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