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Promises, Compromises and a Tie-Breaker: NPT RevCon 2010 was an Otiose Event

A. Vinod Kumar was Associate Fellow at Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile.
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  • June 09, 2010

    The RevCon, after abundant manoeuvring and political one-upmanship, finalised quite ‘consensually’ a much diluted and defeatist document that promises to ensure that disarmament remains a dream and implicitly endorsed the endurance of nuclear weapons in the hands of a powerful few. Needless to say, the Final Document agreed upon by state parties is a disappointment when compared to the promising recommendations of the Main Committees (especially MC-I) during the early days of deliberations. Far from a 21st century version or a restructured NPT, the treaty will maintain a status quo outlook and could continue to be crisis-plagued by the same systemic issue of the past decade. The failure to incorporate punitive action against non-compliance and defection might encourage more states to cross the threshold and seek remedies outside the NPT framework. Counterproliferation mechanisms denoted by their military character, transcending the NPT ethos, will dominate the anti-proliferation landscape thus further eroding the utility of the NPT system. The recommended consultations and engagements among the NWS on disarmament will continue to be only for form, while even the promise of a Middle East NWFZ might remain a pipe-dream if Israel stays away from this reconciliation process.

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