Four prominent US public figures [former Secretaries of State George Shultz and Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry, and former Senator Sam Nunn] issued a statement calling for US leadership in bringing an end to nuclear weapons. They wrote, in part:
Reassertion of the vision of a world free of nuclear weapons and practical measures toward achieving that goal would be, and would be perceived as, a bold initiative consistent with America's moral heritage. The effort could have a profoundly positive impact on the security of future generations. Without the bold vision, the actions will not be perceived as fair or urgent. Without the actions, the vision will not be perceived as realistic or possible.
We endorse setting the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons and working energetically on the actions required to achieve that goal ...
George P. Shultz, William J. Perry, Henry A. Kissinger, and Sam Nunn, The Wall Street Journal, A World Free of Nuclear Weapons. 2007.01.04.
Michael Crowley, The Stuff Sam Nunns Nightmares Are Made Of. The New York Times Magazine, 2007.02.25.
North Korea and the other countries in the Six Party Talks agreed to a package which would lead to staged, reciprocal measures—largely subject to further negotiations—including closure of North Koreas nuclear reactor at Yongbyon. [But cf. entry for 2005.09.19]
David Sanger, Outside Pressures Broke Korean Deadlock, The New York Times. 2007.02.14.
• Joint statement following Six-Party Talks on North Koreas nuclear weapons program, as released by the Peoples Republic of China. Washington Post, 2007.02.13.
The 2007 NPT Preparatory Committee meeting opened in Vienna. [For conclusion see entry for 2007.05.11]
Rebecca Johnson, Will They? Wont They? . Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy. 2007.05.01.
The 2007 NPT Prep Com, meeting 30 April - 11 May, concluded. A summary of positions, in the form of Chair Yukiyo Amanos Chairs Paper, was attached as a working paper to the Procedural Report, a device which accommodated reservations of some parties. [Detailed accounts of disagreements within the Prep Com are reported by Rebecca Johnson and available at the Acronym NPT site.]
Rebecca Johnson, NPT PrepCom Finally Adopts Its Report. Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy. 2007.05.11.
2007 NPT Prep Com Chairs Paper. [Unofficial text via the Acronym Insitute.] 2007.05.11.
2007 Carnegie International Nonproliferation Conference
The 2007 Carnegie International Nonproliferation Conference met in Washington, DC. The first plenary session was titled A World Free of Nuclear Weapons,, and the luncheon keynote by then British Foreign Secretary Margaret Becket, addressing that theme, A World Free of Nuclear Weapons? Becket said:
What we need is both vision – a scenario for a world free of nuclear weapons –
and action – progressive steps to reduce warhead numbers and to limit the role of nuclear
weapons in security policy. These two strands are separate, but they are mutually
reinforcing. Both are necessary. Both at the moment are too weak.
Let me start with the vision because perhaps that’s the harder case to make. After
all, we all signed up to the goal of the eventual abolition of nuclear weapons back in
1968. So what does simply restating that goal achieve today? More I think than you
might imagine because -- and I’ll be blunt -- there are – I was going to say some, I think
many – who are in danger of losing faith in the possibility of ever reaching that goal.
That would, I think, be a grave mistake.
The judgment we made 40 years ago that the eventual abolition of nuclear weapons was in all of our interests is just as true today as it was then. For more than 60 years, good management and good fortune have meant that nuclear arsenals have not been used, but we cannot rely just on history to repeat itself.
It would be a grave mistake for another reason, too. It underestimates the power
that commitment and vision can have in driving action.
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
2007 Carnegie International Nonproliferation Conference. Sessions, many by video, audio, and transcript. 2007.06.25-26.
Margaret Becket, A World Free of Nuclear Weapons? 2007.06.25.
The United States and India released the text of a proposed nuclear cooperation agreement. Critics charge that the agreement, which must obtain further approvals to enter into effect, rewards India despite Indias choice to remain outside the NPT framework. The agreements effect could be, they say, to free domestic Indian supply of fissile material from its civil sector to its nuclear weapon program. The Arms Control Association released an assessment titled A Bad Deal Gets Worse, which outlines the steps ahead:
Several more difficult hurdles must be cleared before Congress formally considers the agreement. First, India and the IAEA must negotiate and the IAEA Board of Governors must approve an Indian-IAEA safeguards agreement. Then, the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group must approve by consensus changes to its guidelines that currently restrict trade with non-nuclear-weapon states, such as India, that do not accept safeguards on all their nuclear activities. The rotating chair of the NSG is currently held by South Africa. The NSG is due to hold a "consultative group" meeting in Vienna this autumn. Germany will take over the chair when the NSG meets for its full Plenary session in the spring of 2008.
Agreement for Cooperation Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of India Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy (123 Agreement). Full text [pdf]. Full text [.html]. 2007.08.03.
Daryl Kimball and Fred McGoldrick, U.S. Indian Nuclear Agreement: A Bad Deal Gets Worse. Arms Control Association. 2007.08.03.