Political declarations and other initiatives
The XIII Conference of Heads of State or Government of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) was held in Kuala Lumpur on 24 to 25 February. In the Final Document of the Conference,1
the Heads of State or Government reiterated their long-standing principled positions on disarmament and international security. They expressed their strong concern at the growing resort to unilateralism and strongly underlined that multilateralism, in accordance with the United Nations Charter, provided the only sustainable method of addressing disarmament and international security issues. They remained deeply concerned at strategic defence doctrines that set out rationales for the use of nuclear weapons and also expressed serious concern that the development of new types of nuclear weapons was being considered. The Heads of State or Government further reiterated deep concern over the slow pace of progress towards nuclear disarmament, which remained their highest priority, and that reductions in deployment and in operational status could not substitute for irreversible cuts in, and the total elimination of, nuclear weapons. They also reaffirmed that the total elimination of nuclear weapons was the only absolute guarantee against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons. They reiterated their conviction that pending the total elimination of nuclear weapons, efforts for the conclusion of a universal, unconditional and legally-binding instrument on security assurances to non-nuclear-weapon States should be pursued as a matter of priority by the members of the NAM.
On 24 July, the Foreign Ministers of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) issued a Political Declaration on Prevention of Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Their Means of Delivery.2
The Foreign Ministers emphasized the importance of continuing efforts on disarmament and prevention of proliferation of WMD in accordance with relevant international conventions, and stressed the importance of preventing terrorists from acquiring or developing them. The Ministers further reaffirmed their support for the NPT as the cornerstone of the international regime for nuclear non-proliferation and the essential foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament; called for the earliest entry into force of the CTBT; stressed the importance of universal adherence to, and of full compliance with, IAEA safeguards agreements and, where applicable, their additional protocols; and expressed determination to continue to promote the universality and full implementation of both the Biological and Chemical Weapons Conventions. The Ministers further took note of the launch of the HCOC in November 2002, while recognizing the need for a comprehensive approach towards missiles, in a balanced and non-discriminatory manner. They also expressed resolve to promote dialogue and cooperation on non-proliferation, disarmament and the peaceful uses of nuclear, biological and chemical technologies between the two regions and among the States within the regions so as to counter the threat posed by WMD proliferation and their delivery means in the regions.
At its Annual Security Review Conference in Evian on 25 and 26 June, the G-8 reiterated their commitment to the action plan agreed at the 2002 summit at Kananaskis on a Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction. The Conference3
reviewed the progress of implementation of the action plan, and reconfirmed the Partnership's goals of, inter alia
, raising up to 20 billion US dollars over 10 years; developing and initiating specific projects; fully implementing the guidelines; and opening the initiative to new States. In addition, an action plan on Capacity-Building Against Terrorism was adopted and a counter-terrorism action group was created in support of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee. In relation to this, the Conference decided to improve the security of radioactive materials through reinforcing and complementing the IAEA's activities, as well as through ensuring the unavailability of radioactive sources to terrorists. Among the actions envisioned were: to identify elements of the IAEA Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources that were of the greatest relevance to preventing terrorists from gaining access to highly radioactive sources; to consider developing recommendations on how those elements could be applied at the national level; and, in conjunction with the IAEA, to convene an international conference in 2005 in France to discuss further, and raise awareness of, the radioactive source problem and to assess progress in implementing the findings of the 2003 International Conference on Security of Radioactive Sources.
The Foreign Ministers of the New Agenda Coalition issued a joint statement4
on 23 September expressing, inter alia
, their deep concern at the lack of progress to date in the implementation of the "13 steps" on nuclear disarmament agreed to at the 2000 NPT Review Conference. The Ministers also stressed that the recent international debate on weapons of mass destruction had highlighted that the sole guarantee against the use of any WMD anywhere was their total elimination and the assurance that they would never be used or produced again. They reiterated their deep concern at emerging approaches to broaden the role of nuclear weapons as part of security strategies, including rationalizations for the development and use of new types of nuclear weapons. They urged the international community to intensify its efforts to achieve universal adherence to the NPT and underlined the significance of the current NPT review process to assess progress in the implementation of nuclear disarmament and to consider actions needed to that end. The Ministers also highlighted that multilateralism must remain at the forefront of all international security efforts.
On 31 May, the President of the United States during a visit to Krakow, Poland, announced the Proliferation Security Initiative as an attempt to enhance and expand efforts to prevent the flow of WMD, their delivery systems and related materials to and from States and non-State actors of proliferation concern, consistent with national legal authorities and relevant international law and frameworks. As proposed,5
the PSI consists of partnerships of States employing their national capabilities to develop a range of legal, diplomatic, economic, military and other tools to interdict shipments of such items. Initially, eleven States participated as Core States6
and they met five times during 2003. During their meeting in Paris from 3 to 4 September, they agreed on a Statement of Interdiction Principles that called on all States concerned with the threat of proliferation of WMD, inter alia
, to undertake effective measures for interdicting the transfer or transport of WMD, their delivery systems, and related materials to and from States and non-State actors of proliferation concern; to adopt procedures for rapid exchange of information concerning suspected proliferation activity; and to review and work to strengthen relevant national and international legal frameworks where necessary to accomplish these objectives.
On 1 June, the Presidents of the United States and the Russian Federation issued a Joint Statement7
where they reaffirmed their new strategic partnership initially declared on 24 May 2002. The Presidents pledged to intensify efforts to confront the global threats of terrorism, and the proliferation of WMD and their means of delivery. They also declared their intention to advance concrete joint projects in the area of missile defence designed to help deepen relations between the two States.
At the European Council in Brussels, in December, the European Union adopted a Strategy against Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction. The Strategy is contained within the overall framework of the European Security Strategy which was also adopted at the same meeting. The Strategy underlines the EU's commitment to multilateralism as the cornerstone of its strategy for combating WMD proliferation. In the Strategy, the EU gives particular focus to universalizing further the key disarmament and non-proliferation treaties; enhancing political, financial and technical support for agencies in charge of verification; and promoting regional security arrangements. The EU also reaffirms its commitment to strong national and internationally-coordinated export controls. The Strategy stresses that the EU must use all its instruments to prevent, deter, halt, and eliminate proliferation of concern worldwide and that when political and diplomatic measures fail, coercive measures under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter could be envisioned. It further notes the need to strengthen the role of the United Nations Security Council as the final arbiter on the consequence of non-compliance. The Strategy also notes the EU's intention to consider the utilization of UNMOVIC's expertise in inspection and verification, for example by setting up a roster of experts.
In December, the Government of China published a White Paper on its non-proliferation policy, the first on the subject. The Paper provides a comprehensive description of China's implementation of its non-proliferation measures at the international and national levels. The Paper reflects China's opposition to the proliferation of all kinds of weapons of mass destruction, as well as to unilateralism and double standards, and recommends that great importance should be attached to the role of the United Nations. It underscores China's national position that a right to science and technology for peaceful purposes should be subject to full compliance with the non-proliferation goal, and the need to prevent any State from engaging in proliferation under the pretext of peaceful utilization. The Paper also stresses that the export control mechanisms in China have changed from an administrative control of import and export to a law-based control. This export control system includes an export registration system, a licensing system, an end-user and end-use certification, a list control method, a principle of non-proliferation-oriented examination and approval, a "catch-all" principle, as well as penalties. The Paper further stresses that the control lists used in China in all WMD fields cover virtually all the materials and technologies included in the control lists of the Zangger Committee, the NSG, the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the Australia Group, and that the scope of the list used for missiles is generally the same as that of the MTCR.
The United Kingdom published a Defence White Paper in December. The Paper reaffirms the necessity for the United Kingdom to retain a minimum nuclear deterrent capability, currently represented by Trident, as a result of continuing risks from the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the certainty that a number of other States will retain substantial nuclear arsenals. The Paper further states that decisions on whether to replace Trident are likely to be required after the next general election. It also states that the United Kingdom, in addition to cooperating with the United States on missile defence, will continue to examine with NATO allies strategic issues relating to missile defence to inform future policy decisions. In relation to this, the Paper takes note of studies made looking across the four pillars of theatre ballistic missile defence - deterrence, counterforce, active defence and passive defence - that have scoped the extent of the capability gap in this area and identified potential solutions. The Paper also notes with interest the NATO feasibility study that is examining an active layered ballistic missile defence capability.
Available from www.namkl.org.my [accessed 18 August 2004].
http://europa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/asem/min_other_meeting/chair5.pdf (see Annex I) [accessed 18 August 2004].
www.g8.fr [accessed 18 August 2004].
A/C.1/58/4, (8 October 2003).
Available from www.state.gov/t/us/rm/33046.htm [accessed 18 August 2004].
Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom and United States.
Available from www.whitehouse.gov [accessed 18 August 2004].