AS GENERAL DEBATE BEGINS, NPT REVIEW CONFERENCE HEARS DIVERSE VIEWS ON NON-PROLIFERATION GOAL20000424
United States Says Move to Modify ABM Treaty Conducted In Open, With Care; China Calls Move Threat to Disarmament Efforts
As the general debate of the 2000 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) Review Conference began this afternoon, several speakers focused their attention on proposed measures to achieve total nuclear disarmament.
Underlining the need to strengthen the NPT regime, the representatives of Mexico (speaking on behalf of Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa and Sweden), New Zealand, South Africa and Ireland drew attention to the New Agenda which had been put forward by their countries and had now received wide support. Offering a realistic programme of action leading to achievement of a nuclear-weapon-free world, it was based on a new political commitment to be made by the five nuclear-weapon States parties to the total elimination of their nuclear weapons. It also envisioned an accelerated process of negotiations and other steps leading to nuclear disarmament. The New Agenda advocated coherence of approach, and the achievement of the common goal required action by all States, they said.
Abdul F. Minty, Deputy Director-General for Multilateral Affairs of South Africa, said that such an undertaking would provide the basis for greater confidence in the nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament regimes, which had been eroded by the new strategic doctrines for the use of nuclear weapons and for the lowering of the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons, as well as by the potential consequences of proposals to revise the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty. The New Agenda would also lay the foundation for a step-by-step process for reducing the threat of nuclear weapons, de-emphasizing their importance and leading to their elimination.
Brian Cowen, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ireland, said that without serious new steps to underpin its purposes and provisions, the NPT might wither away through complacency and neglect. Political determination was needed in that respect. The indefinite possession of nuclear weapons in the new millennium would be indefensible, as the International Court of Justice had concluded in 1996. The Treaty might not survive intact for another five years unless there was a fundamental change in approach by all players.
Conference of Parties to NPT - 1a - Press Release DC/2695 2nd Meeting (PM) 24 April 2000
Madeleine Albright, United States Secretary of State, said that the Treaty was doing its job. Far from any radical changes to its course, what was needed now was more hard work, good faith and patient political will from every country represented at the current gathering.
Addressing the allegations that President Clintons Administration was bent on sabotaging the ABM Treaty and strategic arms control, she said that if that were the case, the United States Government had surely gone about it in a strange way. The Administration had been acting in the open, with care and in consultation not only with Congress, but also with its allies and other countries, including the Russian Federation and China. The ABM Treaty had been amended before, and there was no reason why it could not be amended again to reflect new threats from third countries outside the strategic deterrence regime, she added.
The representative of China, however, stressed that development of the national ballistic missile defence system by one country was a threat that seriously undermined trust in the field of arms control. In fact, it was yet another way of unilateral nuclear armament, which would undermine the NPT and the United States-Russia nuclear disarmament efforts. The international community should pay close attention to the matter to preempt such dangerous developments.
Also speaking this afternoon were Ministers or ministerial spokesman of Algeria, Germany, Japan, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The representative of Portugal delivered a statement by the Foreign Minister of his country on behalf of the European Union and associated countries. The representative of Indonesia also made a statement.
The general debate will continue at 10 a.m. tomorrow, 25 April.
Conference of Parties to NPT - 3 - Press Release DC/2695 2nd Meeting (PM) 24 April 2000
Conference Work Programme
The 2000 Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), started its general debate this afternoon. The Conference, regarded as a pivotal moment for the Treaty, hinges on the perceptions by States Parties about whether the instrument meets their national and global security needs in a new security environment. (For background details see Press Release DC/2691 of 20 April.)
ANTONIO MONTEIRO (Portugal), speaking on behalf of the European Union, urgently called on the four States that had not yet adhered to the NPT, in particular the three that operated non-safeguarded nuclear facilities and had not renounced the nuclear weapons option, to take steps to become parties to the Treaty. The nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan ran counter to global efforts towards nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. The Union appealed to countries in South Asia to undertake all possible efforts to prevent a nuclear arms race, which would have further negative effects not only on stability and security in the region, but would also be detrimental to international efforts for non- proliferation and disarmament.
Noting that India had in place export controls of nuclear weapon-related material and technology, he called on Pakistan to express the same readiness to play a positive role in that field. The intent of the Union was to help build consensus on substantive issues at the Conference. The Union thus strongly supported the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) through ratification without delay and without conditions, in particular by the 44 States whose ratification was required for the instrument to enter into force. The Union also underlined support for efforts to establish the CTBTs verification regime in a timely and effective manner. It further underlined the need for the provision of adequate financial support to enable the CTBT international monitoring system.
He said the Union also called on all States that had not yet done so to stop the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. International cooperation to develop research, production and the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes should be facilitated in accordance with the NPT. The establishment of an appropriate system of export controls should not be regarded as a hindrance but as an essential element of further close cooperation in the use of nuclear energy, while at the same time generating confidence between suppliers, recipient States and the international community that such energy was being used only for peaceful purposes.
ROSARIO GREEN, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mexico, speaking on behalf of Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa and Sweden, said that the period under review had not delivered systematic efforts on the part of the nuclear-weapon States. The Treaty was under stress, and in that context, the seven States on whose behalf she was speaking had put forward a New Agenda, which was to put in place a flexible and realistic programme for the implementation of the Treaty. The agenda contained a requirement for the five nuclear-weapon States to commit themselves to total elimination of their nuclear arsenals as a basic premise for future progress, and to engage in negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament.
Adherence to the NPT by all but four States was a testament to the extent of international commitment to a nuclear-weapon free world, she continued. The challenges to the Treaty included the fact that several non-State parties, as well as other States, had demonstrated non-compliance with the Treaty. Apart from completion of negotiations on the CTBT, nothing had been achieved on the multilateral front. Complacency and indifference threatened the Treaty. International action needed to be taken to rectify the situation, but instead the world was hearing renewed statements of nuclear doctrine, and new attempts were being made to justify the existence of nuclear weapons.
The review process should help develop nuclear disarmament objectives on the basis of the Treaty, she said. The New Agenda advocated coherence of approach; and the achievement of the common goal required action by all States. Acknowledging the primary responsibility of the Russian Federation and the United States, which should set the tone, she welcomed the ratification of the Treaty on Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (START II) by the Russian Federation, and urged the United States to complete its own ratification procedures. Greater transparency should facilitate the process of nuclear weapon elimination.
Nuclear-weapon States should take steps to lessen the possibility of unleashing nuclear weapons, whether intentionally or not. Steps should include commitment to non-first use of nuclear weapons, particularly against non-nuclear- weapon States, and provision of legally binding security assurances to non-nuclear- weapon States. The parallel conclusion of multilaterally negotiated instruments to guarantee confidence was important, as was the urgent completion of negotiations on the fissile material cut-off treaty. She also called for a moratorium by nuclear- weapon States on the production of all such materials, and appealed to non-party States to halt their production.
Nuclear-weapon-free zones were another aspect of the non-proliferation regime, and their number should be increased, she said. The New Agenda for a nuclear-weapon-free world should be strengthened. The Review Conference must address the non-party States and encourage their accession to the Treaty and compliance with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards. The Conference might be the last and best opportunity to uphold the Treaty, and failure to act now would make nuclear weapons acceptable.
ABDEL MAJID FASIA, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Algeria, said that since the indefinite extension of the NPT, major developments had occurred. While there was a larger area of the world now covered by nuclear- weapon-free zones, there was also a return to nuclear doctrines, as was the case in South Asia. Much remained to be done to achieve general and complete disarmament. The non-proliferation regime still had serious imperfections, which must be corrected if events similar to those that took place in South Asia were to be prevented from recurring. While the NPT had blocked horizontal accumulation, frenetic vertical accumulation had instead taken place in the shadow of the Treaty. Furthermore, many obstacles continued to face developing countries that wanted to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
He said that despite intrinsic imbalances in the present Treaty, it was still a masterpiece in the building of collective security, and it must remain so. We must reaffirm the letter and spirit of previous commitments at this conference so that we can move ahead and identify all that we can see and feasibly do, he said. It was also urgent to undertake negotiations for a conclusion to a convention on fissile materials. In that regard, he reminded delegations that in 1999 Algeria had proposed the establishment of ad hoc committees to address that issue and disarmament. There was also need for a satisfactory formula for providing guarantees to non-nuclear States. Security guarantees must be deterrent enough to be credible.
He said attention must be given to the legitimate right of developing countries to have access to nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Action must also be taken to encourage the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones in areas of conflict, since they were confidence-building measures. Algeria was deeply concerned with the absence of progress in the Middle East. He drew attention to the unsafeguarded nuclear facilities of Israel, and stressed that the Middle East should no longer be dealt with selectively, as that was damaging to the universality of the NPT. A subsidiary body should be established to address that region, and the implementation of various related resolutions.
BRIAN COWEN, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ireland, said that the Review Conference was beginning with some particularly positive developments, including Russias ratification of START II. He urged the United States to complete its ratification procedures as soon as possible, so that full effective implementation of the Treaty could proceed. Another important event was the adoption last Friday of the legislation required for Russian ratification of the CTBT.
Towards a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World: the Need for a New Agenda, which had been put forward by Ireland and six other countries, had now been co-sponsored by no fewer than 60 States, he said. The New Agenda proposed a realistic programme of action leading to achievement of a nuclear-weapon-free world. It was based on a new political commitment, to be made by the five nuclear-weapon States parties, to the total elimination of their nuclear weapons. They should also engage in an accelerated process of negotiations and take other steps leading to nuclear disarmament.
A fundamental objective of Irelands foreign policy was to uphold the NPT and its regime, he said. Without serious new steps to underpin its purposes and provisions, the Treaty might wither away through complacency and neglect. Political determination was needed in that respect. The indefinite possession of nuclear weapons in the new millennium would be indefensible, as the International Court of Justice had concluded in 1996. The Treaty might not survive intact for another five years unless there was a fundamental change in approach by all players.
Three non-States parties - India, Pakistan and Israel - had continued to disregard the very norms which 187 nations had made their own. By implementing their reciprocal Treaty obligations, States parties to the NPT denied legitimacy to any State embarking on nuclear weapons proliferation. It was now necessary to overcome interminable arguments about the retention of nuclear weapons to respond to every new perceived threat to security. What we are addressing here are the thousands of nuclear weapons that threaten an Armageddon, intentionally, or by accident, he said. The Review Conference could be the last chance to put in place a programme leading to the achievement of the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world, which would require changes in existing nuclear weapon policies.
The conclusion of the cut-off treaty banning the production of fissile materials was an important preliminary step in the NPT scheme of nuclear disarmament, he said. The NPT States parties should not allow the pace of negotiations to be set by the three States that remained outside the international consensus on the matter. Ireland was committed to the early resumption of negotiations on a cut-off treaty in the Conference on Disarmament. He also wondered if it would be possible for the five nuclear-weapon States to negotiate the text of a draft treaty in an effort to accelerate the early application of a cut-off treaty. Other core provisions of the NPT involved application of safeguards and peaceful use of nuclear energy. Ratification legislation had just been moved in the Irish Parliament in respect of the Additional Protocol.
ABDUL F. MINTY, Deputy Director-General for Multilateral Affairs of South Africa, said that besides the disappointed expectations and unfulfilled undertakings within the NPT regime since 1995, many had been critical of failures and delays in implementing fully the Treaty's disarmament provisions through the total elimination of nuclear arsenals; the provision of effective security assurances to the non-nuclear-weapon States; and the unencumbered transfer of peaceful nuclear technology. However, there had been positive developments, especially in the context of the continued fulfillment of non-proliferation obligations by the vast majority of non-nuclear-weapon States.
While welcoming and encouraging bilateral nuclear arms reductions between the United States and the Russian Federation, and unilateral steps by individual nuclear-weapon States, it was important not to confuse arms reduction with nuclear disarmament, he said. A commitment to nuclear arms reduction -- which involved a strategic balance of power and the removal of excessive cold war nuclear destruction capacity -- did not necessarily translate into a commitment to nuclear disarmament and to a vision of a nuclear-weapon-free world. As a first step on the latter path, the nuclear-weapon States should unequivocally undertake to eliminate their nuclear arsenals, to engage in an accelerated negotiation process and to take steps leading to nuclear disarmament.
He said that such an undertaking would provide the basis for greater confidence in the nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament regimes. That confidence had been eroded by the development of new strategic doctrines for the use of nuclear weapons and the potential consequences of proposals to revise the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty and of new strategic doctrines which lowered the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons. Such an undertaking would also lay the foundation for a step-by-step process to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons, de-emphasize their importance and lead to their elimination.
If the world failed to establish the imperative for eliminating nuclear weapons, he said, it would never be liberated from the unspeakable destruction and human suffering those weapons could cause. In that context also, as Chair of the Movement of Non-Aligned States, South Africa recalled the Movement's positions on nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear testing. The Movement and associated countries had prepared a substantive working paper representing a clear demonstration of the expectations of a vast majority of the world's peoples.
Non-nuclear-weapon States parties to the Treaty benefited potentially in two important ways, he said. The threat of further proliferation of nuclear weapons was constrained, and article IV of the Treaty promised the promotion of nuclear energy for peaceful uses and of the transfer of technology, materials and equipment. The use of nuclear energy in health, agriculture and industry had the potential of improving the situation of countless numbers of people.
MADELEINE K. ALBRIGHT, Secretary of State, United States, said her country believed that the NPT was doing its job. Far from any radical changes to its course, what was needed now was more hard work, good faith and patient political will from every country represented at the current Conference. There was little doubt about the Treatys success in fostering peaceful uses of the atom. Countries were working together to treat cancer, improve infant health, meet power needs, increase food production and stretch scarce supplies of clean water. More substantial questions had been raised, however, about the Treatys ability to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. The India and Pakistan tests of May 1998 were a serious challenge to the global non-proliferation regime. The worlds response to those tests, however, revealed the strength and resilience of the NPT and the global norm it had established.
In the Security Council and elsewhere, she continued, the international community spoke with single clear voice because the Treaty had transformed the acquiring of nuclear-weapon capability from an act of national pride to a cause for national concern. There was no provison in the Treaty for new nuclear-weapon States; nor would there be one. We want the tide of history to keep running in the Treatys direction - towards the elimination of nuclear weapons, not their spread. President Clinton had worked tirelessly to achieve peace between Israel and its neighbours. So while the United States did not oppose the focus in this years Conference on universal adherence in the Middle East, it believed that it should be fair and balanced within the region, as with other serious issues outside the region. The Russian Dumas recent action on START II also undercut the claim that the bilateral strategic arms reduction process had no future.
She went on to say that if the Clinton Administration was bent on sabotaging the ABM Treaty and strategic arms control, it had surely gone about it in a strange way. It had done so in the open, with care, and in consultation, not only with Congress, but after extensive discussions with United States allies and other countries, including the Russian Federation and China. The ABM Treaty had been amended before, and there was no reason why it could not be amended again to reflect new threats from third countries outside the strategic deterrence regime. Under START II, both the United States and the Russian Federation had committed to reduce deployed strategic warheads by some two thirds from cold war levels. And we agreed in 1997 to a START III framework that would cut those arsenals by 80 per cent from those peaks, she said .
She added that President Clinton had appointed General John Shalikashvili, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to help advise the United States on how best to respond to Senators concerns about the CTBT, so that we can build support for its eventual ratification. She stressed that like President Clifton, she was convinced that the United States would ratify the CTBT.
SHA ZUKANG, Director-General of the Department of Arms Control and Disarmament of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, said that even though the cold war was over, hegemonism and power politics still manifested themselves in the world, sometimes under the guise of humanitarian intervention. That was a violation of the principles of international relations, and it posed a threat to peace. The development of the ballistic missile defence system by one country was a threat that seriously undermined trust in the field of arms control. There was a grave concern for the future of the non-proliferation regime and nuclear disarmament process under present conditions.
All States parties must ensure the success of the Review Conference, he continued. While non-proliferation was one of the major goals of the international community, it was regrettable that nuclear explosives in India and Pakistan had cast a dark shadow on the non-proliferation regime. He urged the two countries to honour their commitments and fully implement relevant resolutions in that regard.
Further efforts needed to be taken to ensure a global security environment to prevent nuclear proliferation, he continued. Effective ways of ensuring national security would eliminate the motive of some countries to obtain weapons of mass destruction. Unilateralism was not conducive to nuclear disarmament. Also, without cooperation, no country could reach the goal of non-proliferation by relying only on its own power and the power of its allies.
Nuclear States must fulfil their obligations in nuclear disarmament, he said. The United States and Russia should be the leaders in nuclear disarmament, and he welcomed the ratification of START II by Russia and looked forward to the completion of ratification by the United States. The missile defence system pursued by one of those countries was yet another means of unilateral nuclear armament, which would undermine the NPT and the United States-Russia nuclear disarmament efforts. The international community should pay close attention to the matter to preempt such dangerous developments. In ratifying START II, Russia had indicated that any attempt by the United States to abandon the Treaty would hinder future progress in the area.
China was developing nuclear weapons only for self-defence, he said. It was very careful in its approach to the matter. It had never evaded its responsibility, and was advocating complete prohibition of nuclear weapons. It supported only peaceful use of nuclear energy and had promulgated regulations on the use of nuclear technology and its exports. It had signed the IAEA Additional Protocol. However, there were two prerequisites for China to participate in nuclear-weapon control negotiations: new measures must not undermine the international balance, or threaten the security of China.
China supported the fissile material cut-off treaty, but at the time when a certain country was developing a new nuclear system using outer space, other countries legitimate defence was at stake. Transparency in nuclear weapons was another important issue. However, under the present circumstances, it was not always in the interest of the global strategic balance. Confidence-building measures demanded that the nuclear-weapon States should undertake unconditionally to refrain from first use of nuclear weapons. That would reduce the risk of nuclear war, and reduce the discriminatory nature of the nuclear non-proliferation regime.
He said that China was also promoting peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and advocated further strengthening of nuclear technologies of the developing countries in that respect. Certain countries had classified the world according to their preferences, and had grossly denied some countries the use of nuclear energy. Such double standards were extremely unfair, exacerbating mistrust among nations.
WOLFGANG ISCHINGER, State Secretary in the Federal Foreign Office of Germany, said that with 187 States parties, the NPT enjoyed more support than any comparable document apart from the United Nations Charter. While it was a realistic response to the nuclear challenge, the Treaty struck a difficult balance. Unlike other conventions banning weapons of mass destruction, it did not prohibit nuclear weapons as such, but only their proliferation. The Treaty's indefinite extension in 1995 had further clarified the obligation of the nuclear-weapon States: the determined pursuit of systematic and progressive efforts to reduce nuclear weapons globally, with the ultimate goal of eliminating them.
He said non-proliferation and disarmament were contingent on each other: without progress on nuclear disarmament, the proliferation of nuclear weapons could not be effectively prevented in the long term. But a sober assessment of progress on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament since 1995 yielded a mixed picture -- some light, but a good deal of shade. Since 1995, nine countries had acceded to the NPT, a notable achievement since it meant that entire continents and regions now adhered to the Treaty. However, four countries continued to stand apart. The test explosions carried out in South Asia in May 1998 had seriously strained the nuclear non-proliferation regime.
Could the Treaty meet that challenge? he wondered. There was no alternative. For precisely that reason -- but especially due to the increasingly obvious danger, given the rapid development of medium- and long-range missile technology, of proliferating weapons and other weapons of mass destruction -- the urgent need to strengthen the non-proliferation regime and the NPT as the cornerstone of that regime was today more urgent than ever.
Drawing attention to the obligations of all States parties under the Treaty to adopt and ratify agreements on safeguards, he appealed for the adoption by all countries of safeguards under the Additional Protocol to enable the IAEA to identify any illegal nuclear activities more promptly and efficiently. The implementation of the principles and objectives for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament agreed to in 1995 was anything but satisfactory. While negotiations on a CTBT had been completed in 1996, its entry into force was still a long way off.
Germany therefore welcomed the approval by the Duma of the Russian Federation of the CTBT on 21 April, he said. Equally important was the opening of long- overdue negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on banning the production of fissile material for explosive nuclear devices. The present deadlock at the Geneva Conference on Disarmament must be overcome if that important institution was not to be undermined. Nuclear non-proliferation was a difficult step-by-step process requiring not only reductions in existing arsenals, but also changes in the security structures built during the cold war era.
He said that the Adapted Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe provided the basis for the long-term stability in Europe that was crucial for further progress on nuclear disarmament. The bilateral process initiated by the START I Treaty must be vigorously pursued. Germany welcomed the Russian Federation's recent ratification of START II, and strongly hoped that formal negotiations on START III would begin soon.
ICHITA YAMAMOTO, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Japan, said this meeting would determine whether the NPT could preserve and even enhance its credibility and its universality. His country reaffirmed the need for the early revitalization of the principles and objectives decided on at the last non- proliferation conference in 1995 -- objectives which were not being achieved. In order to maintain and consolidate the NPT regime, it was also important to strengthen the review process for the Treaty, in accordance with the 1995 decision. As the sole country to have suffered the devastating effects of atomic bombardment, Japans policy to promote nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation was originally motivated by the harsh experiences of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the Second World War. Japans commitment to the NPT was in fact a basis of his countrys national security.
He said the nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan in May 1998 awakened the world to the reality that non-proliferation had reached a new and dangerous stage. Those tests not only qualitatively altered the security landscape in South Asia but also posed a grave threat to the NPT regime. Such tests could not be condoned. It was also only natural that States which had abandoned the option of possessing nuclear weapons should demand that the nuclear-weapon States make more vigorous disarmament efforts. In addition, as long as the United States- Russian Federation disarmament process continued, the other nuclear-weapon States should further reduce, or at least refrain from building up their nuclear arsenals. Moreover, key countries, such as the United States and China, had not yet ratified the CTBT. Early ratification by those countries was crucial.
In addition, he said his country was calling for the continued moratorium on nuclear tests, pending the entry into force of the CTBT. Inasmuch as a fissile material cut-off treaty was expected to become another important pillar of the NPT regime, it was extremely regrettable that there was little prospect for negotiations to begin on it. Also, to enhance international cooperation both qualitatively and quantitatively, it was important to erase all fears of nuclear proliferation by further strengthening the international non-proliferation regime. The Additional Protocol to the Safeguards Agreement must be accepted by all nations committed to promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Regrettably, however, only eight countries, including Japan, had so far ratified that Protocol.
MATT ROBSON, Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control of New Zealand, said that in February, New Zealands Parliament had appealed to all Member States to mark the dawning of the new millennium by fulfilling their obligations to bring about negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament, under strict and effective international control. There had been comments from the Government at the time that although the nuclear disarmament process held promise, it had begun to falter; progress would not be easy. New Zealand, however, would not step back from its longstanding place at the vanguard of the nuclear disarmament movement. We in New Zealand have been proud to take our place among the peacemakers, he said, but we too can still see the risks of conflict. The Review Conference, then, would provide an excellent opportunity to develop an updated and ambitious set of responses to the present challenges facing the international community.
Looking back over the five years since the Review and Extension Conference, he said that steps had been made in the right direction. There had been very solid progress with nuclearweapon-free zones in South-east Asia and Africa, as well as the Protocols to the Treaty of Rarotonga in the South Pacific. We are close, so close, to universality, he said, but not close enough. The CTBT had been a huge achievement for multilateral disarmament. The decision by the Russian Parliament to ratify it was another positive step. Some other positive steps included the trilateral initiative on fissile material between the United States, Russia and the IAEA; the British Governments reduction of its nuclear arsenal; and Chinas continued no first use policy.
He went on to say, however, that there had been many gaps in those achievements that had led to negative developments. Some of those negatives included continuing concerns that a few non-nuclear-weapon States parties were not meeting their obligations under the treaty; no advances with negative security assurances and the very obvious failure of the United States Senate to ratify the CTBT. It was a matter of concern that Israel operated nuclear facilities without prescribed safeguards. Nor could one ignore the nuclear testing exercises by India and Pakistan. While those tests did not breach the Treaty, they flew in the face of the commitments made by the international community. It was surprising, therefore, to hear proposals that suggested that the NPT should adjust to such new realities. We should not organize the international non-proliferation regime around those who challenge its norms.
We must tackle such challenges in a positive way, he said. The NPT was fundamental to non-proliferation and to disarmament. The commitments that had been made were vital to the national and collective interests of all Member States, and could be advanced by reinforcing the CTBT norm; adopting the Additional Protocol to IAEA safeguards; and encouraging those who stood outside the Treaty to join.
It was also important that the five nuclear-weapon States focus on ways to make the Treaty stronger and not diminish what had already been done. In that regard, it should be noted that the indefinite extension that States parties supported in 1995 was not a permit for indefinite possession of nuclear weapons. Therefore, those nuclear-weapon States should make the present Conference a forum to present a new and unequivocal undertaking for the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals. Let us all agree, he said, to build on 30 years of experience, positive and negative, to move forward.
PETER HAIN, Minister of State, Foreign Office of the United Kingdom, said that as a nuclear-weapon State which complied fully with the NPT, his country wanted to see the Conference take a further step forward, both to curb the current threat of a new nuclear arms race, and to pursue the ultimate objective of a nuclear-weapon-free world. He supported the statement by Portugal on behalf of the European Union, and said that despite the strains, the Treaty remained the main instrument for preventing proliferation of nuclear weapons. The United Kingdom agreed with many of the non-nuclear-weapon States, which wanted to see faster progress towards nuclear disarmament. It had been trying to lead by example.
Turning to the CTBT, he said that so far 55 States had ratified it, 28 of which were from the 44 countries whose ratification was necessary for the Treaty to enter into force. His country welcomed the Russian Duma decision to ratify the Treaty, and looked forward to early formal ratification by the Russian Federation. However, India and Pakistan had exploded nuclear devices since the CTBT had been opened for signature. Along with North Korea, they had also still not signed the Treaty. That was extremely disappointing, and he urged all three States to ratify and sign the Treaty without further delay.
The United States Senates vote not to ratify the CTBT had been another disappointment, he continued. His country would continue to press for ratification as soon as possible by the United States, China, Israel and all the other States that had signed the Treaty, but whose ratification was still necessary for it to enter into force. The establishment of the verification system to ensure that the CTBT became fully operational was a very high priority.
Immediate commencement and early conclusion of negotiations for a fissile material cut-off treaty were of great importance, he said. Another item of work identified by the 1995 Conference included the determined pursuit by nuclear-weapon States of systematic and progressive efforts to reduce nuclear weapons globally, with the ultimate goal of eliminating them. The leading countries in that respect were the United States and the Russian Federation, which had both been making significant reductions, as required by the START I Treaty.
Expressing hope that completion of ratification of START II would open the way for an early beginning to negotiations on START III, he said that such negotiations might be closely linked to complex new discussions on the future of the ABM Treaty and National Missile Defence Systems. His country had welcomed the announcement last June that the two countries would begin discussions on START III and on the ABM Treaty. Despite obvious differences, he hoped they would reach an agreement. The United Kingdom had made it clear to both sides that it continued to value the ABM Treaty, and wished to see it preserved. Other nuclear-weapon States must make their own contributions to the process.
On its part, the United Kingdom had signed and ratified the CTBT and had pressed hard for negotiations on a fissile material cut-off treaty. The country had also been reducing its nuclear forces, and had begun work to develop a core of expertise in verifying the reduction and elimination of nuclear weapons. It had also been transparent about the size of its stocks of nuclear material.
MAKARIM WIBISONO (Indonesia), presenting a working paper on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), said the Movements position had been and was predicated upon the decisions taken at the 1995 Review and Extension Conference. The Preparatory Committee phase of that strengthened review process did not meet the expectations associated with it in 1995. The present Conference would therefore be a crucial test of the 1995 package of decisions that had made the indefinite extension of the Treaty possible. As far as article 1 of the NPT was concerned, the NAM paper expressed concerns about the availability of nuclear technology to certain States not parties to the Treaty. Regarding article II, the Movement called on the parties concerned to refrain from nuclear sharing for military purposes under any kind of security arrangements.
In addressing article III, he said the NAM paper confirmed the role of the IAEA as the competent authority to verify compliance with obligations under the Treaty, and reaffirmed the Agencys safeguards as an essential element to guarantee compliance. The paper also drew attention to the need for the necessary financial and human resources to meet the Agencys responsibilities for technical cooperation, safeguards and nuclear safety. As far as article IV was concerned, the Movement reaffirmed the inalienable right of States parties to engage in research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination. In that context, NAM called for the removal of unilaterally enforced restrictive measures beyond safeguards that prevented peaceful nuclear development.
It was the view of members of the Movement, he continued, that proliferation concerns were best addressed through multilaterally negotiated, comprehensive and non-discriminatory agreements. The NAM also reaffirmed the responsibility of supplier States to promote the legitimate energy needs of developing countries, which should be allowed to participate in the transfer of nuclear technology to
maximize benefits and achieve sustainable development. Regarding article VI of the NPT, the Movement called for a reversal of the nuclear arms race and for the complete elimination of nuclear arms arsenals. It called for complete compliance with the ABM Treaty. It also called on States to negotiate a legal instrument to assure non-nuclear-weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons. Such an instrument could be annexed as a protocol to the NPT, he said.
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