|HOME | NEWS | HEADLINES
|April 22, 2000
Ask India, Pak to toe the line, NPT panel told
C K Arora in Washington
The United States wants the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference, beginning in New York on Monday, to call upon India and Pakistan to comply with United Nations Security Council resolution 1172, which asked them to take steps to de-escalate nuclear tensions.
The resolution, adopted immediately after the Indian and Pakistani tests in May 1998, sets forth a series of steps that the Security Council believes the two countries ought to take to de-escalate nuclear tensions and ultimately become parties to the NPT as non-nuclear weapons states.
"We believe it would be a very big mistake if the NPT parties met as a review conference for the first time in five years -- in a situation in which the Indian and Pakistani tests occurred -- and said nothing about them (the tests)," says Norman Wulf, special representative to the president for nuclear non-proliferation. He will represent the US at the month-long multinational conference.
In an interview with an official US publication, he said the production of fissile materials and ballistic missile development in those two countries was a matter of great concern.
He said President Clinton had characterised the India-Pakistan region as the most dangerous place in the world, and, "certainly, it's a view, I think, is widely shared.
"The fact that both have demonstrated a nuclear capability, the fact that both have refused thus far to halt production of fissile material, and the fact that both are engaged in testing ballistic missiles is an extremely unstable development and creates real concerns over time," Wulf said.
He hoped that the conference would produce, at the minimum, an agreement on goals for the next five years.
He acknowledged that US officials "expect this to be a difficult conference". That was true in light of some unrealistic expectations created at the last conference, in 1995, and "external factors",' like the crisis in the Balkans and tensions between India and Pakistan, that have slowed progress toward non-proliferation.
Asked about the key goals of the conference, Wulf said, "What we seek out of that conference is to demonstrate to the world community that the United States continues to implement its obligations under article six (of the NPT) -- the article that deals with nuclear disarmament -- and, if it is possible, to see if we can produce a consensual final document.
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will lead the US delegation to the opening session on Monday, the day the United States will release a report defending its position on nuclear disarmament, which is expected to come under attack from countries without nuclear weapons.
The conference is for the five-yearly review of the (NPT) which restricts nuclear weapons to the first five nuclear states on the understanding that they will negotiate in good faith on how to give them up.
India, Pakistan, Israel and Cuba are not party to the 1968 treaty subscribed by over 180 countries.
SINGLES | NEWSLINKS | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | GIFT SHOP | HOTEL BOOKINGS
AIR/RAIL | WEATHER | MILLENNIUM | BROADBAND | E-CARDS | EDUCATION
HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL | CONTESTS | FEEDBACK