This level of support for the Canadian proposal needs to be seen, though, in the context of its explicit readiness both to offer the CD a further year to resolve the deadlock before the GGE meets as well as to ensure that the Conference will overtake the latter as soon as the CD agrees to negotiate a ban on the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons.
For those states that are ready to engage directly in the issues rather than merely in how to prioritise the treatment of them, new avenues have clearly opened up. For nuclear disarmament, 2013 offers a packed programme with an OEWG, a high level meeting and a NPT PrepCom in the offing, as well as a conference scheduled for March in Oslo on the humanitarian impact of a nuclear detonation. Whether or not the CD – bending to the winds of change – manages to wrest back the initiative in 2013 and forestall the convening of the GGE on fissile material in 2014 remains to be seen.
This is a guest post by Tim Caughley, Resident Senior Fellow at UNIDIR.