Representatives of more than 150 nations convened at U.N. headquarters to seek ways to stop more countries from developing nuclear weapons, prevent terrorists from acquiring them, and get a renewed commitment from atomic powers -- especially the United States -- to significantly reduce their stockpiles.
But strong disagreements over priorities prevented substantive efforts to address the gaps between the world's nuclear haves and have-nots.
The United States tried to keep the focus on alleged nuclear threats from Iran and North Korea instead of its pledges to whittle down its own arsenal.
Iran, which contends that its atomic program is strictly for generating electricity, refused to discuss proposals to restrict access to nuclear fuel and objected to being singled out as a "proliferation concern." And Egypt joined Iran in demanding that the conference address Israel's nuclear status and declare the Middle East "a nuclear-free zone."
So, basically, it's a case of "we can have nuclear weapons, but you can't." That's serious hypocrisy, considering the U.S. has not ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (which Clinton signed in 1996).
The Bush administration's arrogance regarding the NPT includes re-writing history:
In this case, the publication's "rewriting of history," as one critic put it, also illustrates in black and white a dispute that has helped bog down the 188-nation conference reviewing the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
The brochure, slickly produced by the State Department and distributed to hundreds of delegates, lists milestones in arms control since the 1980s, while touting reductions in the U.S. nuclear arsenal. But the timeline omits a pivotal agreement, the 1996 treaty to ban nuclear tests, a pact negotiated by the Clinton administration and ratified by 121 nations but now rejected under President Bush.
Further along, the brochure skips over the year 2000 entirely, a snub of the treaty review conference that year, when the United States and other nuclear-weapons states committed to "13 practical steps" to achieve nuclear disarmament including activating the test-ban treaty, negotiating a pact to ban production of bomb material, and "unequivocally undertaking" to totally eliminate their arsenals.
(Click here to read the brochure.)
I think that brochure sums it up pretty well, don't you? I wonder if they really thought no one would notice the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty wasn't mentioned?
Hopefully they will make more progress at the IAEA meeting in September.