The 2004 Executive Committee statement on the NPT reiterated its "grave and ongoing concern that certain policies and practices of nuclear weapon states undermine international progress towards nuclear disarmament", identifying NATO's continued nuclear-sharing policy and its assertion that nuclear weapons are "essential" to its security as areas of concern.
Considering the legacy of WCC advocacy for the abolition of nuclear weapons, and with this mandate from WCC governing bodies, the CCIA led a delegation of church leaders to three NATO capital and NATO headquarters (29 March - 1 April 2004) to address the problems with Alliance nuclear policy. The delegation's visit to non-nuclear NATO states was in support of two primary purposes:
- to encourage non-nuclear NATO states to be pro-active within the organization to bring its security doctrine and policies into conformity with the nuclear disarmament obligations undertaken through the NPT, and reaffirmed through the NPT's review process;
- to gather information on specific measures and initiatives taken or planned by states to meet their obligations under the NPT.
The purpose of the NPT is to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, while allowing the promotion of nuclear power and other industrial applications of radionuclides. The very premise of allowing promotion of nuclear power is a difficult issue and contentious among states for many reasons. WCC has challenged any promotion of nuclear power, and continues to advocate for total elimination of all nuclear weapons.
The NPT became international law in 1970, and is the only binding commitment to nuclear disarmament in a multilateral treaty on the part of the Nuclear Weapon States at the time of the signing in 1970 (USA, UK, USSR, France and China - the "Nuclear Five"). Since then, India, Israel and Pakistan have developed nuclear weapons, and they remain the only countries outside the treaty.
In 1995, a conference was convened (as stipulated in the treaty) in order to decide whether or not the treaty would be ocntinued, and it was decided to extend it indefinitely; at the 2000 Review Conference, all 187 governments, including the Nuclear Five, agreed to a 13-point action plan for the systematic and progressive disarmament of the world's nuclear weapons.
In 2004, only four years after that consensus text, many states are reneging on their promises, and are threatening to withdraw from the 13-point action plan.
The forthcoming 2005 NPT Review Conference will provide an opportunity to evaluate and reinvigorate nuclear disarmament commitments and efforts.