JohnDuncanJohn Duncan is the UK Ambassador for Multilateral Arms Control and Disarmament. He comments regularly via Twitter and on his own Blog. The opinions expressed are his own. -

Those involved in multilateral arms control and disarmament face a challenging year.

The international community will come together in May at the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in New York to agree the way forward, twelve months on from President Barack Obama’s landmark speech in Prague about his ambition of a World Free of Nuclear Weapons.

But a successful outcome at the NPT RevCon as it is known, is only part of the task ahead in achieving a breakout from the decade of deadlock that has frustrated progress in both the nuclear and conventional weapons multilateral agenda:

In Geneva the Conference on Disarmament must renew its effort to begin negotiation of a Fissile Material Cut Off Treaty -  a new treaty to ban the production of the basic material that goes into nuclear weapons and which, together with the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty still awaiting ratification in the U.S. senate, is one of the two key practical steps needed to a draw line under the nuclear arms race. No new production and no testing will give confidence that we really are on the path towards a nuclear weapon free world.