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Apr 28, 2015

Nuclear Nonproliferation in the Spotlight


The United Nations has begun its
 Review Conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The Conference has been held every five years since the Treaty went into effect in 1970 to assess the implementation of the Treaty and make recommendations on ways to further strengthen it.   

The NPT is a landmark international treaty whose aim is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and to further the goal of achieving nuclear and general disarmament. 

The 2015 NPT Conference is being held at UN Headquarters in New York from April 27 to May 22.
  All but five countries in the world are signers of the Treaty, widely regarded as the most successful -- and the most widely adhered to -- international arms control agreement. 

The 2015 Review Conference
 plans to consider a number of key issues: promoting and strengthening non-proliferation safeguards; nuclear energy safety and security; regional disarmament and non-proliferation; measures to further strengthen the review process; larger issues of nuclear disarmament; and expanding public involvement and disarmament education. 

For a brief, reliable summary of the challenges faced in the 2015 NPT Review Conference, 
see "Background and Key Resources on the 2015 NPT Reviewat: http://www.armscontrol.org/  
See also: http://fas.org/nuke/control/npt/
For UN and US perspectives on the NPT treaty, nonproliferation, and the 2015 Review Conference (as well as an overview essay from wikipedia), see:
UN:  http://www.un.org/en/conf/npt/2015/    
US:  http://www.state.gov/t/isn/npt/
wiki:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_on_the_Non-Proliferation_of_Nuclear_Weapons
Lutheran Peace Fellowship, the NPT Review Conference, and subsequent work:
t LPF”s Director was a speaker at the 1995 NPT Review Conference, where we got an inside view of this important process.  Our work on the NPT was one in a series of high level leadership roles LPF has played in global and US peace issues, and supporting Lutheran involvement:
t Our leadership and resources were key to helping Lutherans gather more petition signatures for a global landmines ban than any other denomination or secular group in the US.  LPF’s landmines worship resource was mailed to every ELCA pastor and leader.  The Campaign to Ban Landmines, of which LPF is part, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997.
t LPF played a key role in gaining ratification of the Chemical Weapons Treaty in the U.S. Senate in 1997. (One congressional staff member said it may not have been ratified without our contribution!)
t In 1998-99, LPF’s resolution supporting the UN Decade for Peace was approved by 31 synods (a record number) and the Churchwide Assembly.  The ELCA set up an Inter-Unit Task Force including LPF that met monthly for 10 years to encourage nonviolence education and resources.  LPF’s director was named the US delegate to UN Decade meetings in India to plan what grew into the largest peace education effort in UN history.  
t Nonviolence education became LPF's focus for the Decade and beyond. We led 100s of workshops and forums, and over 70 in-depth leadership trainings around the country. . .  
t In 2008, we reach a dramatic milestone: a million people have used LPF computer activities and leaders guides on budget priorities, hunger, biblical peacemaking, and nonviolence!  
ð In 2015, LPF work on those issues is again growing. We're happy to help you stimulate educational efforts and to find and share information about activity in your area. Send us an email or give us a call. . .