I have attended an interesting conference this week on the future of non-proliferation and weapons control, hosted in Germany. I was there as a journalist of course but it was interesting both from a professional viewpoint as well as from the viewpoint as a student of this course.
The conference was designed as an opportunity for NGOs and academics to discuss non-proliferation with representatives from the German government as well as the United Nations. This was all within the context of the recent warnings that the world is standing before a new atomic age, if indeed a new arms race has not already begun and the eight-point plan put forward by Kissinger et al earlier in the year.
One of the interesting questions posed was the extent to which steps taken by the U.S. and Russia recently, not to mention the UK, to modernise their nuclear weapons arsenals were a blow to the NPT at a time when it is being used to rein in North Korea's military usage of the weapons. The steps by the nuclear nations are sending the wrong message, commentators * in Germany say, especially when one could engage Iran using the same means.
* i hope you appreciate the source!