This paper, written for a September 2011 seminar hosted by the Geneva Center for Security Policy, analyzes developments since the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Action Plan was adopted by concensus at the 2010 NPT Review conference. The seminar included participants from the Permanent Missions to the Conference on Disarmament, academia, and non-governmental organizations.
An excerpt from the text, pg. 1:
"The first thing to keep in mind is that the previous Review Conference, in 2005, was a major failure. It was not the first review conference not to end up with a final document. The 1980, 1990 had failed to produce a final document agreed upon by consensus and even the historically successful 1995 review and extension conference ended up with a document which replaced the word consensus with the recognition that “a majority exists”. However, the 2005 Review Conference was widely perceived as “the biggest failure in the history of this Treaty.” Since then, the two North Korean nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009, the concerns about the Iranian nuclear program, the Syrian site of Al Kibar as well as the suspicions over the Burmese nuclear activities have fueled and renewed fears about further spread of nuclear weapons and, even, a possible collapse of the non-proliferation regime. It is true that Iran and Syria related issues have rarely been discussed during the 2010 Review Conference. However, the memory of a historical failure combined with several proliferation concerns and a de facto new nuclear weapon state – North Korea –, which status under the NPT is still open for discussion, has led to consider that “failure was never an option”, as one representative stated at the closing of the conference."