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The 2010 NPT Review Conference: lackluster progress
After a month of tough negotiations, the eighth NPT Review Conference concluded on Friday 28 May with an agreement welcomed unanimously by the 189 member-states to the Treaty. The final declaration restates the vital role of the NPT as the cornerstone of the non-proliferation regime. It has also revived the importance of the International Atomic Energy Agency after a period of exacerbated critics.

The negotiations into the three main committees (disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful use of nuclear energy) have been conducted from the beginning with the same and unique goal: make significant progress during a positive era for the disarmament and non-proliferation issues. However the realpolitik has overtaken the statement of principles. Thus the five permanent states of the UN security council (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United-States) slowed down the adoption of deadlines about their disarmament process. At the same time the states of Non-aligned movement defended their inalienable right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and their right to withdraw from the Treaty.
The project for the implementation of a nuclear weapons free zone in the Middle-East has revived the preoccupations about the peace process in this region. The agreement about the organization of an international Summit on this issue in 2012 has been tarnished by the Israeli announcement not to take part to it. Furthermore the lack of debates on the Iranian nuclear issue also contributed to minimize the success of the conference.
The high level of expectations from the NPT Review Conference has been foiled partly because of the lack of concrete steps from the nuclear weapons states on the disarmament issues. Nevertheless the 64 actions agreed in the final declaration shall be viewed as the basis to work for the next meetings and especially about the 2015 NPT Review Conference.

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