New Article on the Impact of the Nuclear Weapon Prohibition Treaty on IAEA Safeguards

NTI Counselor John Carlson has published a
critique of the nuclear weapon prohibition treaty’s impact on IAEA
safeguards, “The nuclear weapon prohibition treaty – a safeguards debacle,” in VERTIC’s Trust & Verify

In the article, Carlson points out that successive
Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)
 review conferences have
recognized that nuclear disarmament will require safeguards that are both
rigorous and universal – specifically, making comprehensive
safeguards and additional protocols (AP) universal.
In concluding the nuclear
weapon prohibition treaty, however, the negotiating states have contradicted the
review conference decisions (which they had all supported), and have failed to
require a universal high safeguards standard, says Carlson. Rather, the treaty
sets different standards depending on whether a
party has an AP when the treaty enters into force. A party without an AP is not
required to conclude one. This approach not only damages the treaty itself, but
also the prospects for disarmament and potentially the
NPT. Carlson argues that a prohibition treaty that does not require a rigorous
and universal safeguards standard will fail to provide the confidence needed
for disarmament to proceed and to be sustained.

“In view of this major defect in the
treaty,” Carlson notes, “it is essential for all NPT parties to make every
effort to ensure that states currently without APs conclude one before the
treaty enters into force. In particular nuclear suppliers should require the AP
as a condition of supply, there is no excuse for not doing so.
It is
time for the AP holdouts to put aside political games and recognise that their
national interest – including the achievement of nuclear disarmament – is best
served by a strong non-proliferation regime, of which the AP is a key element.”

Read the full article here.

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