A draft final document penned by the President of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference (Indonesian Libran Nuevas Cabactulan) has been circulating at the United Nations — and the internet — in the past 24 hours.
After a quick read through of the draft final document, it is clear that the core sticking points amongst States parties remain the same: disagreement over the voluntary vs. binding nature of the Additional Protocol, which would strengthen IAEA ability to oversee and inspect nuclear programs; the Mideast Nuclear Weapon Free Zone, for which a distinct conference in 2012 has been proposed and which Israel is being lobbied to attend; and the ever-present debate over a timeline for disarmament by the nuclear weapon states.
However, the draft document also makes clear how forcefully the Non-Aligned Movement states are seeking to delink non-proliferation from nuclear energy; the document text quite stridently defends their right to peacefully develop nuclear energy. Some interesting points are highlighted below:
33: “The Conference reaffirms that nothing in the Treaty should be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all States parties to the Treaty to develop research, production, and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in conformity with the non-proliferation obligations under the Treaty.”
And 34, which reaffirms the right of States parties to the Treaty to develop “nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, especially in the territories of non-nuclear-weapon States, with due consideration for the needs of the developing areas of the world.”
35 is also emphatic: “The Conference urges that in all activities designed to promote the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, preferential treatment be given to the non-nuclear-weapons States parties to the Treaty, taking the needs of developing countries, in particular, into account.”
On non-NPT states parties (103): “The Conference urges India and Pakistan to accede to the Non-Proliferation Treaty as non-nuclear weapon States and to place all their nuclear facilities under comprehensive Agency safeguards without conditions and promptly.”
Notably absent is any mention of Israel (although they are called out by name later).
On diplomacy: “The Conference emphasized that responses to concerns over compliance with any obligation under the Treaty by any State Party should be pursued by diplomatic means, in accordance with the provisions of the Treaty.”
Unsurprisingly, the text of the final document does not mention Iran by name, but does express concern “with cases of non-compliance of the Treaty by States parties, and calls on those States non-compliant to move promptly to full compliance with their obligations.”
On the Additional Protocol: point 25 “notes that the entry into force and implementation of additional protocols in non-nuclear weapons States is of vital importance for IAEA to be able to provide credible assurances about the exclusively peaceful nature of non-nuclear-weapon States’ nuclear programmes.”
On an unrelated note, it seems likely that the United Nations Security Council will wait until the Lebanese presidency of the UNSC is over, i.e. until June, to begin discussing the fourth round of sanctions against Iran. This saves face for Lebanon, and will also allow the NPT RevCon to get the attention it warrants during this last, closing week.