Political declarations and other initiatives
The XIV Ministerial Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) was held in Durban, South Africa, on 17-19 August 2004. In the Final Document of the Conference,1
the Ministers reaffirmed and reiterated the long-standing principled NAM positions on disarmament and international security. They expressed their strong concern at the growing resort to unilateralism and unilaterally imposed prescriptions. In this context, they strongly underlined and affirmed that multilateralism and multilaterally agreed solutions, in accordance with the United Nations Charter, provided the only sustainable method of addressing disarmament and international security. The Ministers remained deeply concerned at strategic defence doctrines that set out rationales for the use of nuclear weapons, and, in the context of the Nuclear Posture Review undertaken by the United States, they expressed serious concern that the development of new types of nuclear weapons were being considered. They reiterated that the provision for the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons against NNWS contravened the security assurances provided by the NWS. They also reiterated deep concern over the slow pace of progress towards nuclear disarmament which remained their highest priority, and again called for an international conference, at the earliest possible date, with the objective of arriving at an agreement on a phased programme for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons within a specified timeframe.
On 9 June, during its 30th Summit on Sea Island, Georgia, (8-10 June), the G82
announced an Action Plan on Non-Proliferation. The Group reaffirmed their commitment to fulfill their arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation commitments, called on all States that had not already done so to subscribe to the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation, and expressed strong support for Security Council resolution 1540. The Group also called on all States to implement that resolution promptly and fully, adding that they were prepared to assist them in so doing. The Action Plan on Non-Proliferation included new actions to reduce the risk of nuclear weapons proliferation and the acquisition of nuclear materials and technology by terrorists, such as efforts to amend the Nuclear Suppliers Group guidelines and outreach efforts toward the goal of universal adherence to IAEA comprehensive safeguards and the Additional Protocol. The G8 also stated that it would work to establish a special committee of the IAEA Board of Governors responsible for preparing a comprehensive plan for strengthened safeguards and verification. The Action Plan further stated that the G8 would continue efforts to build effective PSI partnerships, would cooperate to defeat proliferation networks and would coordinate enforcement efforts where appropriate. The G8 recommitted themselves to the Global Partnership Against Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction announced in 2002. In addition, the G8 expressed serious concerns over the DPRK's announced withdrawal from the NPT, stated that they strongly supported the Six-Party Process and urged the DPRK to dismantle all of its nuclear weapons-related programmes. The G8 remained united in their determination to see the proliferation implications of Iran's nuclear programme resolved and welcomed Libya's decision to rid itself of WMD and longer-range missiles.
On 26 June 2004, the United States and the European Union issued a declaration3
at the US-EU Summit in Shannon, Ireland, in which they reiterated their belief that the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction was a major threat to international peace and security. The parties were disturbed by Iran's recent announcement of its intention to resume manufacturing and assembly of centrifuges and urged Iran to rethink its decision. It also called for the complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantlement of DPRK's nuclear programme. The statement listed joint actions aimed at preventing, containing and reversing proliferation, including urging all States to fully implement Security Council resolution 1540, establishing new measures in accordance with the G8 Action Plan for Non-Proliferation, working together to strengthen and universalize disarmament and non-proliferation treaties and regimes that ban WMD and related delivery systems, preserving the integrity of the NPT, enhancing the coordination of efforts to promote radioactive source security, and amending the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials to cover domestic transport, storage and use of nuclear material for peaceful purposes. The declaration also praised Libya's abandonment of its WMD programme and pledged assistance to Libya in implementing its non-proliferation commitments.
At the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit in Istanbul, the Heads of State and Government of the member countries of the North Atlantic Alliance issued two official documents on 28 June. Firstly, a declaration on "Our security in a new era",4
renewing NATO's commitment to collective defence and welcoming seven new members. The Declaration stated that NATO was transforming its military capabilities in order to adapt to the changing strategic environment and that the new command structure, the NATO Response Force, and the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Defence battalion were progressing. The second document was the Istanbul Summit Communiqué,5
which noted, that NATO members had agreed on an enhanced set of measures to prevent WMD from being acquired by terrorists. The Communiqué further stressed the importance of all States abiding by, and fully implementing, their arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation commitments, and of strengthening existing international arms control and disarmament accords and multilateral non-proliferation and export control regimes. The Alliance also expressed strong support for Security Council resolution 1540.
On 11 February 2004, the United States President announced a set of new measures to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction.6
They included: (1) expanding the focus and law enforcement cooperation of PSI participants and other willing States; (2) passage of a Security Council resolution on non-proliferation of WMD;7
(3) expanding cooperation and support for non-proliferation efforts such as the Nunn-Lugar legislation and the G8 Global Partnership; (4) a proposal that members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group refuse to sell uranium enrichment or reprocessing equipment or technology to any State that did not already possess full-scale, functioning enrichment or reprocessing plants; (5) a proposal that only States that had signed the IAEA Additional Protocol be allowed to import equipment for their civilian nuclear programmes; (6) creation of a special committee of the IAEA Board which would focus intensively on safeguards and verification; and (7) a proposal that no State under investigation for proliferation violations be allowed to serve on the IAEA Board of Governors or on the new special committee.
The Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI) was announced by United States Secretary of Energy on 26 May at a meeting with IAEA senior officials in Vienna. The initiative aims to minimize as quickly as possible the amount of nuclear material available that could be used for nuclear weapons. It also seeks to put into place mechanisms to ensure that nuclear and radiological materials and related equipment, wherever they may be in the world, are not used for malicious purposes. Under the GTRI initiative, the United States would work with the IAEA and other partners to: repatriate all Russian-origin fresh high enriched uranium (HEU) fuel and all its spent fuel; repatriate all U.S.-origin research reactor spent fuel under its existing programme from locations around the world; work to convert the cores of civilian research reactors that use HEU to use low enriched uranium (LEU) fuel throughout the world; work to identify other nuclear and radiological materials and related equipment that are not yet covered by existing threat reduction efforts; and rapidly address the most vulnerable facilities first.
On 14 June 2004, the United States President submitted to Congress the text of an amendment to the Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for Cooperation on the Uses of Atomic Energy for Mutual Defense Purposes of 3 July 1958.
At its Thirty-Fourth Regular Session in Quito, Ecuador, from 6-8 June 2004, the General Assembly of the Organization of American States adopted a resolution on "Inter-American Support for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty,8
and a resolution on "Consolidation of the Regime Established by the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (Treaty of Tlatelolco)".9
An independent commission on WMD10
was launched by the Government of Sweden in Stockholm, on 16 December 2003, with Hans Blix, the former head of UNMOVIC and the IAEA, as Chairman and 14 Commissioners representing a broad and relevant geographical and political base.11
The WMD Commission was tasked with developing realistic proposals for the greatest possible reduction of the dangers of those weapons, including both short-term and long-term approaches and both non-proliferation and disarmament aspects. The Commission's mandate includes the proliferation and possession of nuclear, biological, chemical and radiological weapons and their means of delivery as well as terrorism-related issues and ways of preventing the acquisition and use of those weapons. The Commission received a wide range of expert studies,12
and it held three international meetings in 2004. Its final report will be presented to the United Nations Secretary-General and the international community in early 2006.
Available from http://www.nam.gov.za/media.
The G8 members are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom, and United States. In addition, the European Union participates and is represented by the president of the European Council and the President of the European Commission.
Available from http://www.nato.int/docu/press.htm.
Available from http://www.state.gov/t/np/rls/rm/.
For discussion of SC resolution 1540, see relevant section above.
AG/RES. 2008 (XXXIV-O/04), 8 June 2004, available from http://www.oas.org/XXXIVGA/english.
AG/RES. 2009 (XXXIV-O/04), 8 June 2004, available from http://www.oas.org/XXXIVGA/english.
For The Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission, see http://www.wmd commission.org.
The Commissioners are Hans Blix, Dewi Fortuna Anwar, Alexei G Arbatov, Marcos de Azambuja, Alyson Bailes, Thérèse Delpech, Jayantha Dhanapala, Gareth Evans, Patricia Lewis, Masashi Nishihara, William J. Perry, Vasantha Raghavan, Cheikh Sylla, Prince El Hassan bin Talal, and Pan, Zhenqiang.