The five-yearly renegotiation of the Non-Nuclear Proliferation Treaty will be staged at the UN throughout May. Established in 1970, this Treaty prohibited the signatories who had no nuclear weapons available then from getting such weapons but allowed them to develop a national nuclear program. In revenge, that same text demanded a progressive disarmament of the signatory nuclear powers (the United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom and France). Though the text led many States to abandon nuclear weapons, it is now in crisis. There are three nuclear powers that have not signed the treaty yet (India, Pakistan and Israel), and upon feeling threatened, North Korea relinquished it in order to be able to erect its own arsenal. The main problem currently hindering the success of such negotiations is that the US-British Coalition is developing its own nuclear arsenal thus violating the Treaty. Washington has established a new nuclear strategy by means of which it assumes the right to use this kind of weapons against countries that do not possess them, and it tends to weaken the traditional limit between nuclear and conventional weapons. According to The Independent, the United Kingdom has not lagged behind as Tony Blair secretly decided to manufacture a new generation of nuclear dissuasion weapons to replace the present British arsenal at a total cost of 10 000 million pounds (€ 15 000 million). Both countries could therefore wreck the negotiations.
On the other hand, Washington does not accept the resistance of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which refuses to condemn Iran thus depriving the US administration of the pretext it needs to attack Teheran. The Independent has published portions of the New York Conference opening speech delivered by IAEA Secretary General Mohamed El Baradei. Wishing to come out of the narrowing situation concerning disarmament and non proliferation, he recalled that the development of nuclear weapons is first of all a consequence of international tensions: if the international law is respected and a collective security system is established, it may be possible to reduce the number of weapons. Mohamed El Baradei posed then the only real and valid question: How can we fight proliferation in a world where international law and collective security are only empty words?

This situation has made little impact on the press. Discussions do not go beyond the opposition between the disarmament supporters and those who wish the U.S nuclear power.
On the International Herald Tribune, former U.S. president Jimmy Carter called his country to review its policy and take the same steps to disarmament that the U.S. tries to impose on others. Though he considers that the U.S. must be firm with Iran, he points out that the same policy must be followed as regards Israel to set an example in terms of disarmament. Also in this newspaper, the Foreign Ministers from seven countries that do not have nuclear weapons (Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa and Sweden) - members of the Coalition for a New Agenda - called for a reactivation of the Non Proliferation Treaty and insisted on the responsibility of the nuclear powers. The only one choice that can limit proliferation is to avoid the development of nuclear weapons by those States which already possess them. Congratulating themselves diplomatically on a call made by George W. Bush to respect the principles of the Treaty, the Ministers took him at his word and asked that he be heard.
On the Frankfurter Rundschau, German social-democrat parliament member Gert Weisskirchen explained about the policy adopted by the Governmental Red-Green Coalition to a public opinion traditionally hostile to the presence of atomic missiles in their country. The government opposes the presence of those missiles but does not protest or officially asks anything in order not to foil the negotiations on the Non Proliferation Treaty. Instead, Germans are asked to be patient. But, the argument is not sure to be convincing. Following the Greens’ enthusiasm for the bombing of Serbia, German electors have reason to doubt the sincerity of their pacifism and to interpret their current passivity as an approval, in practice, of what they condemn in theory.
U.S. scholar Noam Chomsky showed himself much more alarmed on the Khaleej Times and on El Periódico. He considers that, by developing its nuclear arsenal, Washington does nothing but undermining the international system of non-proliferation and worsening the risks for a nuclear conflict. He recalls that such possibility did not disappear with the end of the cold war.

For the hawks, the U.S disarmament is out of the question. The Non-Proliferation Treaty must prevent new competitors from emerging, which does not mean that the United States would stop developing their own arsenal, according to what is stated in the new 2002 U.S. nuclear doctrine. It is, of course, the hawks coordinator Franck Gaffney, who calls for an attack, from the Washington Times pages, against the negotiations within the UN. Gaffney defines such negotiations as a trap set by small States to lead the U.S. into disarmament. He then urges the Bush administration to reject any undertaking to the issue by making use of the North-Korean and Iranian threats.
Even subtler, CSIS President and former democrat undersecretary of Defense John J. Hamre referred to a possibility of commitment in the Washington Post: The United States must relinquish one part, already obsolete, of its armaments and entirely replace it with more effective, suitable and fewer weapons for the new strategies. This would allow Washington to accept, from the technical viewpoint, a numerical reduction of its nuclear weapons although Washington preserved, and even increased, its power. This is but an accounting trick that would not improve the collective security at all but would help keep up appearances in the final statement of the conference.

Apart from the conference, Bill Clinton’s and John Kerry’s former adviser Graham Allison extolled the Nunn-Lugar Program for the control of Russian nuclear installations in the eye of the Vremya Novostyey readers. In an effort to quiet them down, Allison said that the co-operation between Russia and the United States over the issue was perfect and did not affect the Russian sovereignty in the least. Balance is not due to this. While this program checks out the implementation of the Russian disarmament under perfect security conditions, Washington develops new weapons.