About the Author: Ellen Tauscher serves as the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security.
On Monday, Secretary Clinton delivered the opening U.S. statement at the Eighth Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference (NPT RevCon), reinforcing President Obama's goal of achieving the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.
“I represent a President and a country committed to a vision of a world without nuclear weapons and to taking the concrete steps necessary that will help us get there,” Secretary Clinton said. “I come to this conference with sincere and serious proposals to advance the fundamental aims of the NPT and strengthen the global nonproliferation regime.”
Ever since the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty entered into force in 1970, the Parties to the Treaty have gathered every five years to review its effectiveness and members' implementation of its provisions. We hope that the 2010 Review Conference will reaffirm the support of Parties for the Treaty, and also strengthen both the NPT and the broader nuclear nonproliferation regime.
At the conference, the United States delegation will hold a number of briefings for other delegations and non-proliferation NGOs on key NPT-related issues. The first of these, held at the United Nations on Wednesday, focused on our commitment to disarmament, which is one of the NPT's three central pillars. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs Dr. Michael Nacht and Under Secretary of Energy for Nuclear Security Thomas D'Agostino joined me in highlighting U.S. disarmament efforts.
I began the discussion with a review of the agenda for disarmament outlined by President Obama in Prague one year ago, and I discussed the concrete steps that the U.S. has been taking since then on this issue, such as signing the New START Treaty, releasing the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), and hosting the Nuclear Security Summit. From there, Assistant Secretary Nacht provided a more intensive explanation of the NPR, including reductions in the role and size of nuclear weapons in U.S. defense policy. Administrator D'Agostino then discussed reductions to our nuclear stockpile and how the Department of Energy Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration is leading U.S. efforts to dispose of excess fissile material. He also spoke about reductions in our nuclear weapons complex and how the NPR has affected our nuclear stockpile management.
After our official remarks, we were able to spend forty-five minutes answering a number of questions from the mixed audience of delegation members, NGO representatives and press. Those exchanges helped us to make clear how much effort the United States is making on the disarmament pillar of the NPT and to further explain our goals for this Review Conference. Questions ranged from detailed inquiries on our stockpile management techniques to our policies on nuclear weapons in Europe and how the United States intends to move forward on our efforts to increase peace and stability worldwide. Many of the questions focused on the recently-released NPR and prompted a more in-depth discussion of the conclusions, policies, and recommendations contained in that document. Unfortunately, there were many more questions than we had time to answer, but we look forward to additional discussions on how, by working together, we can achieve President Obama's goal of a world free of nuclear weapons.
This was a fantastic first event for our delegation, highlighting our important transparency and disarmament commitments, and we hope for continued engagement with the non-proliferation community throughout the course of the RevCon. The United States has made a strong effort, but there is still a lot of work to be done -- by all of the Treaty Parties.
Want to learn more?President Obama's Statement on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review ConferenceWatch Secretary Clinton's Opening RemarksVisit our NPT HomepageRead our NPT Disarmament One-PagerVisit the Department of Defense Nuclear Posture Review PageRead Department of Defense Release on Nuclear Stockpile TransparencyVisit the UN's Review Conference Website