Experts Say

The problem with suppressing controversy in the Non-Proliferation Treaty

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
May 19, 2017
By Andrea Berger

If there were only three words that delegates used to informally describe the atmosphere at the 11-day long 2017 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Preparatory Committee meeting in Vienna, they were “business-like,” “efficient,” and “vanilla.” While they may sound like faint praise, they mark no small accomplishment; from May 2 to May 12, the Dutch chair, Henk Cor van der Kwast, skillfully guided countries through an agenda comprised of ordinarily testy subjects. The plenary room saw surprisingly little debate on disarmament initiatives and on the call for the Middle East to be a zone that is free of weapons of mass destruction.
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