Security Council, Highlighting Threat from Terrorism, Illicit Nuclear Trafficking, Reaffirms Need for Compliance with Arms Control, Non-Proliferation Commitments
Security Council, Highlighting Threat from Terrorism, Illicit Nuclear Trafficking, Reaffirms Need for Compliance with Arms Control, Non-Proliferation Commitments
|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
6753rd Meeting (AM)
Security Council, Highlighting Threat from Terrorism, Illicit Nuclear Trafficking,
Reaffirms Need for Compliance with Arms Control, Non-Proliferation Commitments
Meeting, Presidential Statement Follow Up to September 2009 Security Summit;
Secretary-General Notes ‘Welcome Developments’ Since, but Says Much Work Remains
Expressing grave concern over the threat of terrorism and the risk of weapons of mass destruction falling into the hands and trafficking networks of non-State actors, the Security Council today reaffirmed the need for all Member States to fully comply with their commitments to arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation.
Through a statement read out by Susan Rice of the United States, which holds the Council presidency for the month of April, the Council encouraged all States to increase nuclear security through national action and in collaboration with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and other bilateral and multilateral mechanisms. States were further called on to cooperate fully with the IAEA, support the Agency’s 2012-2013 Nuclear Security Plan and implement its most current recommendations on physical protection of nuclear material and nuclear facilities.
Today’s meeting was called for by the Council President to follow up the Council’s September 2009 Summit on nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament, at which the 15-member body, by adopting resolution 1887 (2009), resolved to seek a safer world for all and create the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons.
Further to today’s statement, the Council called upon States parties to improve national capabilities to detect, deter and disrupt illegal trafficking in nuclear weapons throughout their territories, enhance global partnerships and capacity-building towards that end, participate in the IAEA’s illicit trafficking database programme, strengthen export controls and prevent financing of nuclear proliferation.
Recalling its resolution 1540 (2004) — which asked States to establish domestic controls to prevent the proliferation of weapons and their acquisition by non-State actors — the Council called on States that had not yet done so to submit a first report on their efforts towards that goal to the “1540 Committee” set up to monitor the resolution’s implementation.
Furthermore, the Council, reaffirming that full implementation of multilateral treaties aimed at eliminating or preventing the spread of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons was important for global stability, encouraged all non-compliant States to adhere to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials and the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.
Before the statement was read out, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said he was encouraged that the text recognized the importance of bolstered steps to prevent the financing of proliferation — something he had called for during the recent Seoul Nuclear Security Summit. He commended the Council’s decision to extend until April 2021 the mandate of the 1540 Committee, and said that he would convene a high-level event this fall to promote full and universal adherence to the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.
He also noted the many “welcome developments” since the Council’s September 2009 summit. He cited, among other things, the 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference’s action plan for nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) between the Russian Federation and the United States, and efforts by non-nuclear-weapon States to conclude a nuclear-weapon convention backed by strong verification. Later this year, negotiators would discuss creation of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East.
Still, much work remained, he said, lamenting the existence and threat of tens of thousands of nuclear weapons, the lack of ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the deadlock in the Conference on Disarmament.
“Let me repeat: The current stalemate is unacceptable. If the Conference cannot begin work this year, then the General Assembly must exercise its primary responsibility in carrying forward the disarmament process,” he said, suggesting that the five nuclear-weapon States consider “elaborating elements” on a fissile material cut-off treaty in order to jumpstart those talks. He would also consider creating a group of eminent persons to help in that task.
Further, he welcomed the “firm and unified message” in the Council’s 16 April presidential statement that strongly condemned the launch of a so-called “application satellite” by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Concerning Iran, the only acceptable outcome was a peaceful settlement that restored global confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme, in line with the NPT, he said, welcoming the initial round of talks held in Istanbul between Iran and the E3+3. He called on the parties to build on that at their next meeting in Baghdad and to agree on concrete, reciprocal steps towards a comprehensive negotiated solution.
Speaking in her national capacity, the Council President said the United States would continue to seek partners to strengthen the IAEA’s Additional Protocols, which bolster the Agency's inspections mandate and its ability to detect and deter undeclared nuclear activities. Her country had contributed $3 million to assist the 1540 Committee’s efforts. Later this year it would host a conference of the five nuclear-weapon States on verification, transparency, and confidence-building measures, a process that would build on the long-standing United States-Russian Federation nuclear disarmament dialogue.
Other Council members joined the Secretary-General in stressing the importance of ending the stalemate in the Conference on Disarmament and jumpstarting talks to bring the CTBT into force. They also pressed for creation of the proposed fissile material cut-off treaty that would ban the production of such material for nuclear weapons purposes. Several condemned the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s recent missile launch and criticized Iran for violating the IAEA safeguards agreement.
Also speaking today were the representatives of Colombia, Azerbaijan, India, Morocco, Portugal, China, Germany, Russian Federation, Togo, France, Guatemala, South Africa, Pakistan and the United Kingdom.
The meeting started at 10:55 a.m. and ended at 1:10 p.m.
The Security Council met this morning to hold a debate on nuclear non-proliferation, disarmament and security. It had before it a letter dated 5 April 2012 from the Permanent Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General (document S/2012/194), which transmitted a concept paper on the subject.
Statement by the Secretary-General
BAN KI-MOON, United Nations Secretary-General, noted many “welcome developments” since the Council’s Summit, chaired by the President of the United States, Barack Obama, in September 2009. The 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference adopted a 64-point Action Plan for nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. He looked forward to constructive discussions at the first Preparatory Committee for the 2015 NPT Review Conference later this month. The Russian Federation and the United States were reducing their deployed nuclear arsenals under the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) — and together with other nuclear-weapon States, they were undertaking consultations on implementing disarmament commitments and increasing transparency related to their nuclear arsenals. For the first time, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) had put the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world on its agenda. The upcoming NATO summit in Chicago would be an important opportunity to develop a common approach.
He noted innovative efforts by non-nuclear-weapon States, including moves to conclude a nuclear-weapon convention backed by strong verification, creation of the 10-nation Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative, as well as the African Commission on Nuclear Energy; and further progress to advance a Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty. A conference would be held in Finland later this year to set up a zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. The 2010 Washington Nuclear Security Summit agreed to a detailed work plan aimed at improving nuclear security, securing nuclear materials and preventing nuclear terrorism. He welcomed the new commitments made at the 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit and the focused discussion on increasing the synergy between nuclear safety and security. During that Summit, as Secretary-General, he had highlighted the need to strengthen efforts to prevent the financing of proliferation, as well as terrorism-related financing.
“I am encouraged that today’s draft presidential statement recognizes the importance of “proliferation financing”,” he said, adding that the Committee established by resolution 1540 (2004) was enhancing international cooperation to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction. He commended the Council’s decision to extend that Committee’s mandate until April 2021. To help strengthen the legal framework for preventing nuclear terrorism, the Secretary-General would convene a high-level event this fall to promote the universal adherence and full implementation of the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.
Despite progress, much work remains, he said. Tens of thousands of nuclear weapons continued to threaten humanity; billions of dollars were spent to modernize them, despite pressing social needs and growing global expectations for progress in disarmament. The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty had yet to enter into force. He welcomed Indonesia’s ratification of that Treaty and called on all other Annex 2 States to follow suit. Meanwhile, the Conference on Disarmament remained deadlocked. “Let me repeat: The current stalemate is unacceptable. If the Conference cannot begin work this year, then the General Assembly must exercise its primary responsibility in carrying forward the disarmament process,” he said.
To facilitate negotiations in the Conference, the five nuclear-weapon States may consider “elaborating elements” on a fissile material cut-off treaty, he said, adding that he would consider creating a group of eminent persons to help in that task. The tragic nuclear accident at Fukushima underscored the urgent need to enhance nuclear safety and the international emergency response framework.
At the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit, he set out five areas to strengthen the global nuclear safety regime and promote synergy between nuclear safety and nuclear security. The final document of the 2010 NPT Review Conference recognized the importance of addressing those challenges and sharing best practices. The First Preparatory Committee of the 2015 NPT Review Conference should devote specific time to those issues. He stressed the importance of full compliance with Security Council resolutions.
He welcomed the “firm and unified message” in the Council’s 16 April presidential statement that strongly condemned the launch of a so-called ‘application satellite’ by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. He urged that nation to immediately comply fully with its obligations under Council resolutions 1718 (2006) and 1874 (2009), and, as demanded by the Council, not conduct any further launches that used ballistic missile technology, nuclear tests or any further provocation. He renewed his call on that country’s authorities to build confidence with neighbouring countries and improve the lives of its people, who faced serious food and nutrition needs, while reaffirming his commitment to working for peace and stability on the Korean peninsula.
On Iran, the only acceptable outcome was a peaceful settlement that restored international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme, in conformity with the NPT, he said, welcoming the initial round of talks held in Istanbul between Iran and the E3+3. He called on the parties to build upon that at their next meeting in Baghdad and to agree on concrete, reciprocal steps towards a comprehensive negotiated solution. He expressed hope that the Council would continue at the highest level discussions on the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and their means of delivery. “As I have often said, the 2009 Security Council Summit chaired by President Obama should not be a one-time event,” he said, calling on Council members to seriously consider follow-up at this year’s opening of the General Assembly.
NÉSTOR OSORIO (Colombia) said the meeting was a timely opportunity for Member States to reaffirm their obligations to meet their commitments in arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation. International peace could only be achieved when the world was free of nuclear weapons. In 1987, Latin America and the Caribbean became the world’s first nuclear-weapon-free zone, when its States adopted the Treaty of Tlatelolco. That had provided a blueprint for weapon-free zones in Africa, the South Pacific, Southeast Asia, Central Asia and in Mongolia. As a state party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Colombia had supported the universalization of that instrument. Colombia also had a safeguard agreement with IAEA and an Additional Protocol to it. He lauded the entry into force of the new START treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation in February 2011. Nuclear-weapon States must make more progress on achieving a nuclear-weapon-free world in a verifiable, irreversible and constructive matter. While declarations on a moratorium on nuclear testing signalled progress, only a legally binding compromise would deter new nuclear explosions and their impact on global peace and security, as well as public health and the environment.
As a member of the Conference on Disarmament, Colombia believed that a legally binding instrument that provided negative security guarantees was needed to overcome differences between nuclear and non-nuclear-weapon holding States, he said. A treaty on the prohibition of the production of fissile materials would also make an important contribution. He reiterated Colombia’s readiness to work with all members of the Conference on Disarmament, so that it could emerge from its current paralysis. It was necessary to unite efforts to address the threat of nuclear terrorism. Resolution 1540 (2004) complemented international efforts in the fight against terrorism. It also identified a new threat: the possession of weapons of mass destruction by non-State actors and terrorists. That resolution provided for cooperation and international assistance to be made available for its effective implementation. With support from the Organization of American States and the Stanley Centre, Colombia had convened the first Andean workshop on resolution 1540 (2004).
AGSHIN MEHDIYEV (Azerbaijan) said his country shared the common concern about the growing dangers and risks of nuclear weapons and nuclear non-proliferation. He, therefore, stressed the importance of nuclear security and implementation of the NPT. That regime, nevertheless, was not strong enough; its legally binding commitments, including the right to nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, needed to be reinforced. Azerbaijan commended the central role of the International Atomic Energy Agency and cooperated with the Agency on various aspects. He pointed, in particular, to his country’s proposal for a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the South Caucasus and hoped for its international support.
At the same time, he noted, Azerbaijan had developed a comprehensive national export control system, which was a reliable mechanism for preventing nuclear trafficking. However, it was unable to fully protect a considerable part of the State border, in light of the concerns emanating from the outdated nuclear power plant in neighbouring Armenia. Sixty-six such plants had been built in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Nationally, as a contribution to international nuclear security efforts and to combat nuclear terrorism, Azerbaijan had joined the relevant international instruments.
HARDEEP SINGH PURI (India) said sustained, effective international cooperation coupled with responsible national action was needed to address the increasing nuclear threats of terrorists and weapons traffickers. India’s resolution in the General Assembly to deny terrorists access to weapons of mass destruction was important in that regard, as were legal instruments concerning national security. He supported the universalization of those instruments and IAEA’s central role in strengthening the global nuclear architecture. India had invited IAEA’s Operational Safety Review Teams to help its Department of Atomic Energy conduct comprehensive reviews of nuclear safety measures at its nuclear facilities. That was part of national efforts to put nuclear safety in the public domain, in order to enhance transparency and boost public confidence. He welcomed the successful outcome of the March 2012 nuclear safety meeting held in Seoul. India had entered into cooperation agreements with several countries and IAEA to help set up a Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership to address the application of radioisotopes and radiation technology in health care, agriculture and food. India would give $1 million in 2012 and 2013 to the IAEA Nuclear Security Fund.
The best guarantee for nuclear security was a world free of nuclear weapons, he said. Achieving that would require commitments embedded in a nuclear-free framework, including measures to increase universal restraints on nuclear weapons. A steadfast commitment to multilateralism would be needed. The United Nations disarmament machinery, especially the Conference on Disarmament, should play its role in that regard. He supported the early commencement of negotiations on a fissile material cut-off treaty. States that were members of treaty bodies must adhere to those treaty provisions. India had never been, nor would it ever be, a source of proliferation of such technologies. India adhered to the guidelines of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. The next logical step was India’s membership in export control regimes. Given the nation’s growing energy demands, India saw nuclear energy as an important area to expand. It was utilizing proliferation-resistant nuclear technologies. India aimed to generate 62,000 megawatts of nuclear energy by 2032.
MOHAMMED LOULICHKI (Morocco) pointed to the paradox between the global challenges and the lethargy of the disarmament machinery. Despite that, several important international agreements had been reached, aimed at a world based on peace and security for all. Morocco’s commitment to that goal was a strategic choice, reflected in its commitment to peace and security and the pacific settlement of disputes. It was a party to all instruments prohibiting weapons of mass destruction, as well as to strengthening multilateral agreements leading to general and complete disarmament, particularly to nuclear disarmament in a verifiable and irreversible manner. Nuclear weapons burdened the world, and in the absence of their total elimination, the risk of their acquisition by non-State actors was not a mere hypothesis. It was the duty of all, therefore, to do their utmost to meet the NPT objectives and universalizing that instrument was aimed at the common objective of collective security.
He lauded the outcome of the 2010 NPT Review Conference, while stressing the need for all States parties to fully play their role and build on the progress. He underscored the importance of concluding safeguards agreements with IAEA, especially for all States in the Middle East, including Israel. It was crucial to meet the 2012 deadline for convening a conference towards establishing a zone free of nuclear and other mass destruction weapons in the Middle East. The conference would be an opportunity to trigger that process. He was also firmly convinced that the establishment of such a zone required the use of the United Nations disarmament machines, particularly the Conference on Disarmament. Its efficacy and strengthened effectiveness depended on a political response and compliance with existing agreements. However, lethargy had become its hallmark. He appealed for political flexibility, so agreement could be reached on a balanced work programme. On other matters, he regretted the “late” entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and urged all to ratify, especially the one State whose refusal to do so was holding up the Treaty’s full operation.
JOÃO MARIA CABRAL (Portugal) said nuclear non-proliferation, disarmament and prevention were core concerns. Portugal was committed to nuclear non-proliferation and arms control. Weapons of mass destruction and nuclear weapons were a major threat to international peace and security, and that required a coordinated response. He stood by the basic deal that United States President Barack Obama had outlined in Prague three years ago. He noted positive developments since then, but said it was crucial to continue to advance that agenda. The NPT regime had to be strengthened in a credible, verifiable way. The NPT treaty must remain at the core of nuclear disarmament and it was necessary to build on the positive outcome of the 2010 Review Conference. The NPT treaty must be strengthened and it must become universal. The IAEA nuclear safeguards regime must be promoted. The CTBT was a vital. He urged all States to renew their political commitment to it.
It was necessary to address the risk of terrorist groups acquiring nuclear devices, ensure full compliance with resolution 1540 (2004) and make full use of non-proliferation mechanisms like the Nuclear Suppliers Group, he said. He expressed concern over the protracted multilateral negotiations of the Conference on Disarmament. Talks must begin without delay on a treaty to ban the production of fissile materials. As issues of security were global, compliance, enforcement and verification were vital. It was necessary to strengthen mutual trust and confidence. For that reason, he attached great importance to the creation of nuclear-weapon-free zones, especially in the Middle East. As recent events showed, that region was among the world’s most unstable ones. Conflicts in it could widen and spill over to other areas. In that regard, he supported the holding of the upcoming Finland conference.
LI BAODONG (China) supported the Council’s role in maintaining international peace and security. He noted some positive developments in global arms control, but said nuclear proliferation remained acute and the world had a long way to go to achieve full nuclear disarmament. It was necessary to enhance cooperation and coordination to maintain global peace and security. To achieve a general state of security worldwide, it was necessary to build interstate relations based on mutual trust. All nations must honour multilateralism and adhere to the Charter. It was necessary to resolve hotspot problems through dialogue and negotiations — a necessary step for eliminating the root causes of nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism.
He stressed the need to achieve nuclear non-proliferation and the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and to vigorously promote the nuclear disarmament process, which was necessary to maintain a global strategic balance. To increase nuclear deterrence, NPT review mechanisms must be consolidated. It was necessary to fully respect the rights of countries to the peaceful use of nuclear energy, avoid double standards and deepen international communication and cooperation. General nuclear security was a common goal. Safeguarding security and promoting nuclear demilitarization on the Korean peninsula was in everyone’s best interest. That must be achieved through dialogue. All relevant states must commit to the six-party talks and promote the nuclear demilitarization process. It was vital to commit to dialogue and negotiations in order to address Iran’s nuclear issue, which was highly significant for maintaining stability and peace in the Middle East and beyond. The Iran issue must be addressed in a comprehensive manner.
PETER WITTIG (Germany) said that the action plan resulting from the 2010 NPT review had set a broad agenda, spelling out the commitments of nuclear-weapon States to advance efforts towards the disarmament of all types of nuclear weapons, with the final objective of eliminating them altogether. He welcomed the opportunity today to take stock of recent achievements almost three years after the Council’s historic summit on nuclear security. He welcomed several other developments, noting that his country had made concrete proposals to promote the implementation of the NPT action plan. It also firmly believed that non-proliferation and disarmament were in the joint security interests of all nations and must be pursued simultaneously. The country, therefore, promoted accession to the NPT, with a view to its universality. The entry into force of the CTBT was also crucial and he urged the eight remaining “Annex 2” States to sign and ratify that instrument. He saw a fissile material cut-off treaty as the next critical step.
He said that, as nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament were “two sides of the same coin”, progress in disarmament could diminish proliferation risks, and an effective non-proliferation regime was needed for effective disarmament. The world must not turn a blind eye to today’s proliferation crises, whose threats rattled the very foundation of the NPT and endangered regional stability. Concerning Iran’s nuclear programme, he favoured a sustainable solution to outstanding questions and urged a restoration of confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of the country’s activities. He did not want talks for the sake of talks; it must be ensured that Iran fulfilled all of its obligations, balanced against respect for its right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
On “North Korea”, he said the Council had clearly stated that the country’s recent launch with ballistic missile technology constituted a serious violation of relevant resolutions. As further provocations could not be ruled out, the international community must remain firm and united: no more nuclear tests; no more such launches; a retraction of the announced withdrawal from the NPT; abandonment of the nuclear programme; and a swift return to IAEA safeguards agreements. No room should be left for doubts, he said, adding that both the fight against terrorism and the fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction lay at the very heart of Germany’s foreign policy.
VITALY CHURKIN (Russian Federation) said his country fully implemented its international obligations and reaffirmed the commitments contained in the final documents of the Washington and Seoul summits on nuclear security. Physical nuclear security in the Russian Federation was paramount. All nuclear materials on its territory were under reliable physical protection; no such installation or materials were cause for fear, and the country continually enhanced the norms in that regard. It also pursued its consistent policy of support for efforts aimed at strengthening nuclear security across a broad spectrum that included training various experts in the field. He highlighted his country’s engagement with IAEA in that area, and in 2010, it had decided to contribute annually to the Agency’s physical security safety fund. His country also planned to hold manoeuvres on global initiatives to combat nuclear terrorism. Additionally, it was stepping up work to better monitor movements of nuclear and radioactive materials, including via customs controls and development of a pilot system to prevent their illicit trafficking.
He said the world continued to face the threat of nuclear terrorism and the possibility of the abuse of nuclear materials and other radioactive substances. Export controls were not always effective, and States were not rushing to assume their legal obligations in that regard, and relevant conventions were not fully universal. His country intended to build its nuclear energy capacity as one of its strategic development pillars. An alternative in his country did not now exist. Of all the major energy sources, nuclear energy was not only environmentally friendly and cost-effective, but it was a safe source if treated responsibly and if a high level of physical and technological safety was maintained. In 2011, he noted, his country had initiated amendments to the Convention on Nuclear Safety and on early notification of a nuclear accident, and sought to strengthen IAEA nuclear-safety standards.
KODJO MENAN (Togo) lauded the entry into force of the new START treaty between the Russian Federation and the United States as a milestone in the reduction of nuclear stockpiles. He also lauded the meetings in June and July of the five nuclear-weapons States, which enabled them to renew the NPT. Such moves were a testament to their political resolve, as well as that of the international community to promote disarmament and non-proliferation. Despite progress towards nuclear non-proliferation, the NPT regime still faced considerable difficulties. He expressed grave concern over the threat of arms and nuclear and radiological materials falling into the hands of non-State actors, which had shaken the international community’s confidence and trust, as well as undermined the NPT regime’s integrity. Iran and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea were particularly salient in that regard. The latter’s recent missile launch confirmed that it was continuing to develop a nuclear programme, despite Council resolutions prohibiting it. Iran also had violated relevant Council resolutions on nuclear activity.
He called on all countries to comply with relevant Council resolutions and to spare no effort in reaching an agreement that would guarantee regional and global peace and security. Article 4 of the NPT required all countries to develop nuclear technology for peaceful uses only. Developing countries in Africa, which had yet to benefit, should be able to use nuclear technology in the fields of health, industry and agriculture, which would help them overcome challenges to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. But, African countries would only be able to achieve those objectives if all States worked towards disarmament and towards ensuring that the NPT regime remained solid. He reaffirmed Togo’s firm commitment to eliminating all nuclear-weapon stockpiles. Also, negotiations, particularly on a fissile material cut-off treaty, must resume in the Conference on Disarmament.
MARTIN BRIENS (France) said that during the 2009 summit, France reiterated its commitment to seek a safer, nuclear-weapon-free world. He lauded the initiatives to build on that momentum, including the 2010 Review Conference’s outcome to deepen commitment to the NPT. Each State party to the NPT must honour that contract. France was prepared to shoulder its responsibility. In that regard, it had taken major steps to reduce the quantity of weapons and increase transparency. In Paris, it hosted the first follow-up meeting of the five nuclear-weapon States. He expressed hope that they would sign the Bangkok Treaty soon. He lauded the new START treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation. He also commended the recent ratification by Indonesia, an Annex II country, and Guatemala of the CTBT, as well as the entry into force of the Oslo Convention on munitions. The number one priority for the international community was to counter proliferation, which was an obstacle to the development of peaceful energy and nuclear disarmament.
The international community must firmly deal with whomever violated the common rules and with the major crisis of proliferation, he said. In violation of Council resolution 1874 (2009), Iran had worked to enrich its nuclear programme. Serious dialogue must be pursued with Iran, which must fully meet its international obligations. Iran must make specific gestures to restore the world’s confidence in it, in line with the directives of the IAEA Board of Governors. It was necessary to take specific steps to end nuclear proliferation flows and prevent the risk of nuclear terrorism. “We must stop arming ourselves,” he said, calling on all States to follow France’s lead in ending production of fissile material and dismantling relevant installations. He called for the sustainable development of civil nuclear energy.
GERT ROSENTHAL (Guatemala) said that after days of discussing a draft text in the Council, certain proposals had been either been left out altogether, or only “slightly” taken on board. He did, however, appreciate the concept note circulated by the Council President. Recent circumstances had demonstrated the pressing need to advance on the road towards a world free of nuclear weapons. Nuclear disarmament was the only sensible way to a more secure world; nothing would contribute more to reducing the risks of nuclear weapons proliferation than their total elimination. Guatemala reaffirmed the validity of the norms underpinning the NPT. The new challenges, however, had generated divergent perceptions regarding next steps. The world community must not lose sight of the fact that the Treaty was adopted as the cornerstone for disarmament, arms control, and nuclear non-proliferation. Compliance was legally binding and all parties must give clear signals of their commitments to the letter and spirit of that international juridical instrument. Also imperative was maintaining the nuclear-weapon test moratorium until the CTBT entered into force.
He said that, despite certain positive political signs from nuclear-armed States, he hoped to see concrete measures in the near future. Initiatives favouring nuclear security and the agreements reached at the Washington and Seoul summits were important to the ongoing process of revising the nuclear-weapon security doctrines. He was convinced that to ensure that those agreements led to the best possible results, progress must be made on nuclear disarmament. In that vein, progress must also be made on non-proliferation. On the one hand, those States that did not possess nuclear weapons were also obligated to comply with their responsibilities under the NPT, while exercising their inalienable right to the pacific use of nuclear energy. On the other hand, nuclear terrorism and the illicit trafficking of nuclear material constituted a grave security threat, which must be address through a global commitment. Finally, all measures must be implemented in a propitious environment of verification and transparency, with the aim of “recuperating confidence” between the NPT States parties.
BASO SANGQU (South Africa) said that weapons of mass destruction did not guarantee security, but detracted from it. Thus, humanity continued to face the threat of catastrophe. That risk informed his country’s commitment to the principles of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. South Africa was firmly committed to a world free of nuclear weapons and to a multilateral system that sought to advance that objective. The NPT represented a historical agreement between nuclear- and non-nuclear-armed States. Nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation were mutually reinforcing, and the efforts must be parallel. It was imperative for the Council to address both dimensions with equal vigour, by reaffirming the need for all States to adhere to their commitments and pursue the two goals in all their aspects.
He said that non-nuclear-weapon States, on the whole, had made great strides to implement their non-proliferation obligations, including under resolution 1540 (2004). The nuclear-armed States had similarly abided by their obligations. The international community must remain respectful of the need for developing countries to use nuclear energy for economic growth. Its approach should also strike an acceptable balance between States’ quest for energy security and related technology. In that, he highlighted the NPT’s article IV. States’ peaceful use of nuclear energy should be respected; their national policies and international arrangements should not be jeopardized. He welcomed States’ progress to strengthen nuclear security, and called for sustained vigilance to minimize the risks posed by nuclear terrorism or other radioactive materials. True cooperation with the relevant multilateral organizations would supply the international community with the tools it needed to effectively deal with those risks.
RAZA BASHIR TARAR (Pakistan) expressed full commitment to the IAEA’s efforts. Pakistan had participated in all regional and nuclear security summits at the highest level. At the recent Seoul Summit, Pakistan’s President had clearly articulated his perspective on nuclear security: that nuclear materials must never fall into terrorists’ hands and that national efforts were most the most important way to enhance nuclear security. Nations must work together and learn from each other. As a party to several conventions concerning nuclear materials, Pakistan had been contributing substantially to the nuclear security framework. Nuclear security within States was a national responsibility and Pakistan would continue to explore the means for cooperation in that regard. There was no need to create a parallel institution on nuclear security, he said, confirming the IAEA’s central role on that subject. He cited several steps Pakistan had taken to ensure nuclear security, such as technical solutions and intelligence capabilities to deal with nuclear accidents, a rigorous nuclear energy transport regime, a radiological emergency response plan, and an autonomous oversight body to regulate the safety and security of nuclear material. The country also had a comprehensive export control regime and had set up a training centre for nuclear security.
Moreover, officials were implementing a nuclear security action plan, he said. In cooperation with the IAEA, they were creating a strong nuclear response mechanism. Pakistan would continue to cooperate with all international efforts aimed at effectively resolving nuclear security concerns. The Council should refrain from assuming stewardship of global disarmament, which should be achieved in a more universal forum. Noting the realities in South Asia, he said that, as a nuclear weapon State, Pakistan could not accept the unrealistic reference for it to join the NPT. He supported the letter, and its accompanying annex, which contained the Non-Aligned Movement members’ views on nuclear security. In view of its growing energy needs, Pakistan was working to expand its nuclear energy programme. The fact that Pakistan had qualified to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group illustrated the international community’s continued confidence in Pakistan’s safety standards and security measures.
PHILIP PARHAM (United Kingdom) said 53 countries had made over 100 commitments during the Seoul Summit. To maintain that momentum, there must be serious discussion around common rules and security. He called on all those who had not yet done so to ratify the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism. He called on all States to work through the Nuclear Suppliers Group to control nuclear exports. The United Kingdom was determined to work with the international community to control the proliferation of nuclear weapons and to make progress on multilateral disarmament, universalization of the NPT and a safer world. The United Kingdom was committed to achieving a peaceful resolution to Iran’s nuclear development issue. The talks held in early April were a step in the right direction, but more concrete action was needed to show that Iran did not intend to build nuclear weapons.
He urged the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to suspend all missile and nuclear-related activity. All Member States should comply fully with their obligations under Council resolutions on nuclear activity. The United Kingdom was committed to a fissile material cut-off treaty and to the immediate start of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament towards that end. The international community expected progress. Meaningful negotiations on such a treaty would help build confidence. He called for a stronger, universal nuclear safeguard system. The United Kingdom was committed to supporting expansion of nuclear power use for peaceful purposes. It was important for the First Preparatory Committee of the 2015 NPT Review Conference to build momentum between now and 2015.
Council President SUSAN RICE (United States), speaking in her national capacity, said that when it came to the urgent nuclear threats being discussed today, including nuclear terrorism, the Security Council must embrace its primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security. As President Barack Obama had stated three years ago in Prague, the explosion of just a single nuclear weapon would have catastrophic consequences for global safety, security, societies, economies, “and even our very survival”. Everyone shared an interest in preventing and containing the nuclear threats. During the Council’s historic September 2009 summit on non-proliferation and nuclear security, Heads of State had reaffirmed that shared interest by adopting a landmark resolution — 1887 (2009) — to seek a safer world for all and one without nuclear weapons. It had been the Council’s first comprehensive meeting on those issues since the mid-1990s.
Building on that momentum, she said, the Council and the world had made significant progress. The NPT review in 2010 had resulted in a comprehensive action plan adopted by consensus on steps to strengthen all three pillars of the Treaty. There was no denying that the instrument remained the cornerstone of nuclear non-proliferation and the foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament and the peaceful use of nuclear energy. As President Obama had said recently in Seoul, the basic bargain of the NPT had been upheld — that countries with nuclear weapons would move towards disarmament, and countries without them would not acquire them, and all would have access to peaceful nuclear energy.
She said that the IAEA played an essential role in that regard. The combination of safeguards agreements and the additional protocol was widely recognized as the standard. Today, 115 States had brought the additional protocol into force, granting the Agency expanded access rights to information and sites. The United States would continue to seek partners in that regard, in order to strengthen the IAEA’s ability to detect and deter undeclared nuclear activities. In 2011, the mandate of the Council’s “1540 Committee” had been extended for an unprecedented 10 years. The Committee’s work to help States prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to non-State actors was a crucial part of the international non-proliferation regime. Her country fully supported those implementation efforts and had contributed $3 million to promote that work.
Turning to the United States nuclear posture review, she said it outlined her country’s approach for reducing the role of nuclear weapons and pursuing a world without them. It stated that the United States would not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon States parties to the NPT that were in compliance with their non-proliferation obligations. It must be ensured that the record of more than six decades of the non-use of those weapons was extended forever. The new Treaty on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (START) between the United States and the Russian Federation illustrated her country’s strong commitment to meeting its obligations. Under that instrument, the strategic nuclear forces of both countries would reach the lowest level since the 1950s. The text’s rigorous provisions testified to the importance of transparency and effective verification in providing predictability and stability in international relations.
Continuing the progress of “P5” engagement, the United States would host a P5 conference in Washington later this year on verification, transparency, and confidence-building measures. The P5 process expanded the longstanding United States-Russian Federation nuclear disarmament dialogue into an ongoing process of engagement on the issues, consistent with the five countries’ obligations under the NPT’s article VI and under the 2010 action plan. The CTBT’s entry into force was another essential step towards a world without nuclear weapons, and the United States reaffirmed its commitment to working towards the Treaty’s ratification. It continued to maintain its voluntary moratorium against testing, and called on all States to do so. Despite those many national and multilateral efforts, however, much remained to be done and “we cannot let our guard down; the dangers and price of complacency remain much too high”.
In that vein, she said the international community could not, for example, allow the NPT to be weakened by tolerating non-compliance or violations of the IAEA safeguards agreement. Any case of non-compliance — whether by North Korea or Iran — concerned more than just the offending country or its neighbours; every violation, if left unchecked, eroded confidence in nuclear non-proliferation. “We cannot and we will not let that happen.” At the same time, negotiations on a fissile material ban were the logical next step. Thus, it was greatly disappointing that, due to one country, the Conference on Disarmament had been unable to agree to move forward. It should agree to commence negotiations without further delay and the commitment to nuclear safety and security should be sharpened.
The United States believed it had a moral responsibility to lead and act now in cooperation with Council members and the international community to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons. Today’s session and the presidential statement marked a milestone on that path. As President Obama had said recently, “no one nation can do this alone”.
At the conclusion of the meeting, the Council President read out the following (S/PRST/2012/14):
“The Security Council reaffirms that proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and their means of delivery, constitutes a threat to international peace and security.
“The Security Council remains gravely concerned about the threat of terrorism, and the risk that non-state actors may acquire, develop, traffic in or use weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.
“The Security Council reaffirms the need for all Member States to comply fully with their obligations and fulfil their commitments in relation to arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation in all its aspects of all weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.
“The Security Council reaffirms its support for the multilateral treaties whose aim is to eliminate or prevent the proliferation of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and the importance for all States parties to these treaties to implement them fully in order to promote international stability.
“The Security Council reaffirms resolution 1540 (2004), which affirms that States shall take effective measures to prevent non-State actors from acquiring weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery and to establish domestic controls to prevent proliferation of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons, their means of delivery and related materials, recognizes States’ progress in implementing resolution 1540 (2004), endorses the work carried out by the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004), and, in that regard, recalls resolution 1977 (2011) which extends the mandate of the 1540 Committee for ten years.
“The Security Council recognizes the importance of the 2012 and 2010 Nuclear Security Summits, the 2012 and 2010 Nuclear Security Summit Communiqués, and the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit Work Plan.
“The Security Council welcomes the commitments made by Nuclear Security Summit participants to take national actions, as appropriate, to increase nuclear security domestically and to work through bilateral and multilateral mechanisms, in particular the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), to improve nuclear security and encourages all States to take national actions to this end.
“The Security Council reaffirms, in this context, its relevant resolutions, in particular resolution 1887 (2009).
“The Security Council recalls that effective IAEA safeguards are essential to prevent nuclear proliferation and to facilitate cooperation in the field of peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and renews its call on all States to cooperate fully with the IAEA.
“The Security Council affirms the essential responsibility and central role of the IAEA in strengthening the international nuclear security framework, and also supports the IAEA Nuclear Security Plan for 2010-2013.
“The Security Council welcomes the adoption of the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety, recalls the IAEA June 2011 ministerial conference on nuclear safety and the September 2011 UN High-level Meeting on Nuclear Safety and Security convened by the Secretary-General and values various international initiatives and efforts to this end.
“The Security Council stresses the importance of international efforts to establish self-sustaining Nuclear Security Support Centers and the IAEA’s plan to establish the International Network for Nuclear Security Training and Support Centers.
“The Security Council welcomes the additional ratifications of the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and the recent adherences to the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.
“The Security Council emphasizes the importance of the progress made by the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism.
“The Security Council recognizes the progress made by the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction and values its extension beyond 2012.
“The Security Council encourages States to participate in the IAEA illicit trafficking database program.
“The Security Council appreciates the efforts of the International Criminal Police Organization in the field of countering illicit nuclear trafficking, including through the establishment of its Radiological and Nuclear Terrorism Prevention Unit.
“The Security Council takes note of international efforts towards preventing the financing of proliferation-related activities, and takes note of the work of the Financial Action Task Force.
“The Security Council welcomes the establishment of the European Union Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Risk Mitigation Centers of Excellence.
“The Security Council calls upon States that have not yet done so to submit a first report on implementation of resolution 1540 (2004), and encourages all States to provide, when appropriate or upon the request of the 1540 Committee, additional implementation information.
“The Security Council calls upon all States parties to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material to ratify the Amendment to the Convention as soon as possible and encourages them to act in accordance with the objectives and purposes of the Amendment until such time as it enters into force, and also encourages all States that have not yet done so to adhere to the Convention and adopt its Amendment as soon as possible.
“The Security Council encourages all States that have not yet done so to become party to the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism and encourages discussions among States parties to consider measures to effectively implement the Convention.
“The Security Council underlines the importance for States to share best practices with a view to improved nuclear security practices to reduce the risk of nuclear terrorism, with the aim of securing all vulnerable nuclear material from such risks, encourages all States to implement the IAEA’s most current recommendations on physical protection of nuclear material and nuclear facilities (INFCIRC/225/Rev.5), encourages efforts to secure radioactive sources, and calls for States to support the IAEA Nuclear Security Plan for 2010-2013 and to make voluntary contributions to the Nuclear Security Fund.
“The Security Council calls upon all States parties to improve their national capabilities to detect, deter and disrupt illicit trafficking in nuclear materials throughout their territories, in accordance with their national authorities and legislation, and consistent with international law, including relevant international legal obligations, and calls upon those States in the position to do so to work to enhance international partnerships and capacity-building in this regard.
“The Security Council, in this regard, encourages States to take all appropriate national measures in accordance with their national authorities and legislation, and consistent with international law, to strengthen export controls, to control access to intangible transfers of technology and to information that could be used for weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, to prevent proliferation financing and shipments, and to secure sensitive materials.
“The Security Council encourages all States to manage responsibly and minimize to the greatest extent that is technically and economically feasible the use of highly enriched uranium for civilian purposes, including by working to convert to the use of low enriched uranium fuels and targets research reactors and radioisotope production processes taking into account the need for assured supplies of medical isotopes.”
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