Russia prevents adoption of a text at the UN on nuclear disarmament
Steph Deschamps / August 27, 2022
Russia on Friday blocked the adoption of a joint statement at the end of the four-week U.N. review conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), denouncing political language.191 countries that signed the NPT, which aims to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, promote complete disarmament and foster cooperation for the peaceful use of nuclear energy, had been meeting at U.N. headquarters in New York since August 1. But despite a month of negotiations and a final session postponed for several hours on Friday, the conference is not in a position to reach an agreement, said conference chairman Gustavo Zlauvinen of Argentina, after Russia intervened.
While decisions are taken by consensus, the Russian representative, Igor Vishnevetsky, denounced the lack of balance in the final draft text of over 30 pages. Our delegation has a key objection to some paragraphs that are blatantly political, he said, repeating several times that Russia was not the only country to have objections to the text in general. According to sources close to the negotiations, Russia particularly objected to the paragraphs concerning the Ukrainian nuclear power plant in Zaporizhia, occupied by the Russian military. The last text on the table, seen by AFP, stressed a great concern about military activities around Ukrainian power plants, including Zaporizhia, the loss of control by Ukraine of these sites and the significant impact on security.
Other sensitive issues for some states were also under discussion during the four weeks, including Iran's nuclear program and North Korea's nuclear tests. At the last review conference in 2015, the parties were also unable to reach agreement on substantive issues.