İstanbul to host int’l nuclear non-proliferation meeting

June 12, 2012, Tuesday/ 17:48:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

İstanbul is preparing to host an upcoming foreign ministerial meeting of the international Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI), a global platform working towards achieving nuclear disarmament and fostering an international non-proliferation regime on Saturday.

The NPDI holds biennial foreign ministerial meetings, with one held in New York under the auspices of the UN and another hosted by one of the member states. The İstanbul meeting would follow a review conference (RevCon) of the NPDI’s Preparation Committee in Vienna last month, with an eye to realizing the 2015 principles of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), a global agreement ratified by the largest number of countries in comparison with any other arms limitation and disarmament agreement.

Attending foreign ministers are expected to discuss a report by Finnish diplomat Jaakko Laajava, who is serving as facilitator of this year’s meetings, released after the last RevCon, and share their ideas with Laajava at the end of the conference. Issues on agenda will be measures on nuclear transparency and accountability, enforcing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and NPT compliance.

The initiative was established by a group of 10 countries including Turkey, Germany, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, Holland, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Poland and Chile in late 2010 in order to promote principles like nuclear non-proliferation, disarmament and the right to peacefully use nuclear technology -- all included in the NPT.

Turkey is one of the countries currently spearheading diplomatic efforts on the nuclear issue between Iran and Western nations, hosting thus far two international talks between the P5+1 countries -- the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France) plus Germany -- and Iran. The latest conference was in mid-April, reviving diplomacy on the issue in the wake of a months-old row between Israel, the US and Iran, and debating a pre-emptive strike on Iran in case of its refusing to end its aspirations of obtaining nuclear weapons. Tehran maintains that its nuclear program is solely for the purpose of generating energy.

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