All CISAC News Commentary January 10, 2022

Key nuclear treaty review plagued by COVID delays as distrust grows

Today’s security environment calls for a renewed commitment to nonproliferation. No country alone can reverse adverse developments in Iran and dissuade others from seeking nuclear arsenals. Effective nonproliferation efforts must be global. But distrust among NPT members may prevent the necessary coordination.
CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo
CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo speaking at the Seventh Ministerial Meeting on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) in 26 September 2014 - UN, New York. The Official CTBTO Photostream. Accessed via Wikimedia Commons.

The 10th Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference—a meeting normally held every five years—was intended to celebrate the cornerstone treaty’s 50th year. But United Nations officials postponed the April 2020 event due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Then, as coronavirus cases rose in October 2020, the United Nations delayed the conference again, setting August 2021 as the new target date. Enter the delta variant, which pushed the gathering back to January 2022. When the omicron variant emerged in late 2021, the NPT member states set a new target date for some time between August and September 2022.

Read the rest at the The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists