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  Library Treaties Non-Proliferation Treaty, Review Conference, April 24, 2000

The 2000 Review Conference on the
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
(April 24-May 19, 2000)

Press Release
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom

News Release 24th April, 2000

Nations Demand Speed-Up of Nuclear Disarmament -- NGOs Call for Immediate Dealerting

As the month-long Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference opened at the

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See Also
2000 NPT Index

United Nations on Monday, Mexico, New Zealand, Ireland, Sweden, South Africa and Brazil warned that the disarmament process had stalled.

New Zealand stated that nuclear doctrines were "still embedded" among the nuclear states, and that they remained, "too tentative" when they described nuclear disarmament as an "ultimate" goal.

Mexico stressed that the NPT requires the "total elimination of nuclear weapons" and that such a requirement was reinforced by the unanimous conclusion of the World Court. Mexico warned that the present "critical moment" for the NPT "may be our last and best opportunity" to achieve the goals of the treaty.

Ireland expressed concern that "there has not been an adequate response to the new opportunities to achieve the treaty's goal of a world free of nuclear weapons." Ireland also expressed regret "that there has been too much complacency on the part of public opinion."

When US American Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, spoke, she claimed that the US remained committed to a world free of nuclear weapons and that she was convinced that the US would ratify the CTBT. She did not say when. The US, she claimed, had "dismantled 60% of its nuclear weapons." She dismissed concerns that a proposed US ballistic missile defense (BMN) would undermine the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, saying that the AMB had been amended in the past and there was no good reason that it could not be amended again.

Speaking earlier at a UN News Conference hosted by Reaching Critical Will, New Zealand Disarmament Minster, Matt Robson, described using space for military purposes as "abhorrent". He said that the US plans to amend the AMB would threaten disarmament. New Zealand, he said, wanted to "wipe nuclear weapons off the face of the earth". In this, he stated, New Zealand expressed the wish of the vast majority of humanity.

Speaking at the same news conference, energy expert Arjun Makhijani, called for immediate dealerting of all 5000 nuclear weapons still on hair-trigger alert. According to Makhijani, this could be accomplished in a few days.

On Monday evening, demonstrators calling for nuclear disarmament gathered outside the New York Sheraton Hotel where President Clinton and Vice President Gore were attending a fundraiser. Tomorrow morning thousands of demonstrators are expected to rally outside the United Nations, calling for all nations to abide by the NPT obligation for total nuclear disarmament.

Felicity Hill, Director, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, United Nations Office
777 UN Plaza, New York, NY 10017, USA , Ph: 1 212 682 1265 , Fax: 1 212 286 8211
email: flick@igc.apc.org , web: www.wilpf.int.ch www.reachingcriticalwill.org