Peace activists hold banners and signs while standing on the sidewalk in front of the Consulate General of Japan in New York Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Long Road to Nuclear Disarmament

With Donald Trump in favor of abandoning the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the world has been reminded once again how fragile the nuclear non-proliferation regime is. For this reason, it is more important than ever that the international community upholds existing treaty obligations, starting with the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

CANBERRA – This is crunch time for the global nuclear order. By May 12, US President Donald Trump must decide whether to recertify the Iran nuclear deal or reimpose sanctions. Only a few weeks later, he is expected to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for a summit that will have implications for that country’s nuclear program.

With Trump surrounded by hawkish advisers – like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton – the odds are good that efforts to denuclearize will suffer setbacks before the month is out. For this reason, it is more important than ever that the international community upholds existing treaty obligations, starting with the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). But to do that, tough conversations must be had.

Multilateral agreements are always prone to gaps in application; the international non-proliferation regime is no different. For example, while neither Israel nor India have signed the NPT, both states are considered responsible members of the nuclear-weapons club. Israel has never been sanctioned for its bomb, and India has a waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers Group, as well as several civil nuclear agreements with the United States, Australia, Canada, and Japan.

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