Vienna, 30 April 2010 - "As a pillar of the global non-proliferation regime, today more than ever the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty represents an indispensable instrument of global security policy. In view of the positive developments in recent times, in particular since President Obama’s memorable speech last year in Prague, there is for the first time an opportunity for a new dynamism and real progress in nuclear disarmament“, said Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger in connection with the Review Conference for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which begins on Monday. The Review Conference, at which Foreign Minister Spindelegger will participate, is scheduled to take place in New York between 3 and 28 May. Spindelegger added, however, that one should remain realistic, since the stagnation in a series of areas is now presenting a mixed picture: As Spindelegger explained, there are still an incomprehensibly large number of nuclear weapons, essential treaties are not yet in force, and there is still too much guilelessness in connection with the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
Representatives from 189 contracting states meet every five years to evaluate and to improve the effectiveness and validity of the NPT. The importance of the conference is also reflected in the number of government representatives present at the event: Apart from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, more than 25 ministers will attend the conference.
Spindelegger: „The objectives of this conference are in the very own interest of the entire international community. All states are called upon to choose the path of dialogue so as to contribute together to increasing global security. To achieve this, it will be necessary to bring about a lasting improvement in the implementation of the NPT.“ For Austria, it is essential that the aim of a nuclear-free world receives the unconditional backing of all states. „Austria is not only committed to the aim of a nuclear-free world. We also demand that the peaceful use of nuclear energy is carried out under the strictest conditions of security and non-proliferation. It is not only necessary to comply with the existing obligations, but also to establish efficient control mechanisms“, stressed the Foreign Minister.
Despite the current positive environment, Spindelegger warns against too much optimism: „A large divide still remains between the recognized nuclear weapons states and the rest of the contracting states. The recent disarmament initiatives by the United States and Russia have provided positive impulses. At the end of the day, however, all nuclear weapons states will have to make their contribution. At the same time, Iran must take clear steps to regain the trust of the international community. Iran must seize this opportunity at the NPT Review Conference“.
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