U.N. meet to review treaty singles out non-members

In a departure from tradition of not singling out countries by name, the United Nations has asked India, Pakistan and Israel to join NPT and CTBT without further delay and pre-conditions.

The U.N.'s call to the three countries to join nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) came at the end of the month-long 2010 NPT review conference here on Friday.

The conference also decided on scheduling a meeting in 2012 to discuss the creation of a Middle East (West Asia) Nuclear Free Zone.

While it was expected that the names would be dropped in favour of a general statement calling for the universality of the NPT, the final document produced at the conference specifically called on India, Pakistan and Israel to accede to the treaty without further delay and pre-conditions.

“The conference remains convinced that universal adherence to the treaty can achieve this goal [of non-proliferation] and it calls upon all states not parties to the Treaty, India, Israel and Pakistan to accede to it without further delay and without conditions,” said the final document said.

The 189 delegates to the conference also called on the “three states, operating unsafeguarded nuclear facilities to reverse clearly and urgently any policies to pursue any nuclear weapon development or deployment and to refrain from any action which would undermine regional peace and security”, it said.

The NPT Review Conference is held every five years to assess the progress in reaching the goals set out in the 1970 treaty to disarm and stop the spread of nuclear weapons. India, Pakistan and Israel did not attend.

The U.S. took exception to the fact that Israel had been singled out in the text — a key demand of the Arab states.

U.S. President Barack Obama welcomed the accord but “strongly” opposed singling Israel out over talks on a nuclear weapons-free West Asia. “We strongly oppose efforts to single out Israel, and will oppose actions that jeopardise Israel's national security.

“The greatest threat to proliferation in the Middle East, and to the NPT, is Iran's failure to live up to its NPT obligations,” said Mr. Obama.

Iran's IAEA representative Ali Asghar Soltanieh, who attended the conference at the United Nations, welcomed the move. “It is a step forward in creating a world without atomic weapons,” he told the official IRNA news agency.

Keywords: NPTIndiaPakistanIsraelUNCTBT

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