1995 Review and Extension Conference
of the Parties to the Treaty on the
Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

26 April 1995



Held at United Nations Headquarters, New York,
on Tuesday, 18 April 1995, at 3 p.m.

President: Mr. DHANAPALA (Sri Lanka)



GENERAL DEBATE (continued)

This record is subject to correction.

Corrections should be submitted in one of the working languages. They should be set forth in a memorandum and also incorporated in a copy of the record. They should be sent within one week of the date of this document to the Chief, Official Records Editing Section, Office of Conference and Support Services, room DC2-794, 2 United Nations Plaza.

Any corrections to the records of this meeting and of other meetings of the Conference will be consolidated in a single corrigendum, to be issued shortly after the end of the Conference.

The meeting was called to order at 3.15 p.m.


1. The PRESIDENT announced that Cuba had requested observer status at the Conference. If he heard no objection, he would take it that the Conference acceded to that request.

2. It was so decided.

GENERAL DEBATE (continued)

3. Mr. SYANKO (Belarus) said that the Conference was an historic event of great importance to strategic stability and international security. The dramatic changes in East-West relations and the conclusion of disarmament agreements had laid the groundwork for totally new, non-conflictual relations in the world. Preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons and their delivery systems and ultimately eliminating them was a key to building a new world order.

4. Belarus believed that indefinite extension of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) was the basis for speedy progress in that direction. That position was a logical extension of the line of conduct that Belarus had set for itself in the area of nuclear disarmament in 1991 when, as a newly independent State, it had faced the various problems posed by its succession to the nuclear status and the nuclear arsenals of the former Soviet Union. Belarus had been the first of the former Soviet republics to declare that any agreement on the nuclear treaty legacy should fall within the scope of multilateral negotiations and be screened by the respective parliaments. It had also written its non-nuclear status into its declaration of sovereignty and its Constitution.

5. Translating its intentions into action, Belarus had undertaken sweeping nuclear disarmament measures in its territory as early as April 1992. It had also ratified the START I Treaty and acceded to the non-proliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear-weapon State, becoming the first State to willingly renounce the possession of nuclear weapons. To complete those measures, it had in recent days signed a safeguards agreement with IAEA.

6. It was easy to imagine the problems that the Soviet nuclear legacy would have caused had there been no non-proliferation Treaty when the Soviet Union broke up. In its political decisions, Belarus had frequently drawn inspiration from the moral and legal principles on which the Treaty was based. The possibility that similar situations might arise in the future should be duly considered.

7. Belarus was aware that the Treaty was not perfect and that, in many ways, it reflected the balance of interests that had existed at the time of its signing. His country nevertheless believed that the Treaty represented the only possible basis for achieving comprehensive nuclear disarmament and that its indefinite extension was therefore essential and would, moreover, provide the framework for more stringent nuclear arms proliferation deterrents.

8. Turning to international efforts that might ensure a successful Conference and a viable non-proliferation Treaty, he mentioned, first of all, the adoption of a comprehensive nuclear-test-ban treaty. His country was concerned that the draft treaty had acquired numerous terms and conditions that threatened its universality and that the Conference on Disarmament, of which Belarus was not a member, seemed to be in no hurry to resolve the deadlock on enlarging its membership. He believed that the latter issue had a direct bearing on the universality of the future comprehensive test-ban treaty.

9. In the same connection, Belarus welcomed the creation by the Conference on Disarmament of a special committee on the cessation of the production of fissionable materials.

10. Turning to the question of security guarantees, he recalled that, as a result of their accession to the non-proliferation Treaty, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Belarus had received security guarantees from the nuclear-weapon States. Belarus assumed from that development that the nuclear Powers were prepared to intensify their efforts to put in place a new safeguards regime. It welcomed the adoption of Security Council resolution 984 (1995) and statements by the nuclear Powers granting security guarantees to non-nuclear States parties to the non-proliferation Treaty, and looked forward to follow-up action in that direction. Existing and emerging nuclear-weapon-free zones had an important contribution to make to consolidating the non-proliferation regime. As early as 1990, Belarus had proposed the creation of such a zone in Central Europe. With Ukraine's recent decision to become a non-nuclear-weapon State, the prerequisites for implementing that proposal could be said to exist. Belarus was somewhat concerned, however, about the possible risk of more and more European territory being used for nuclear weapons deployment if NATO were to be expanded geographically.

11. Belarus believed that the entry into force of the START I Treaty had lifted all barriers to ratification of the START II Treaty by the Russian Federation and the United States of America and hoped that a speedy solution would be found to that problem. It attached considerable importance to keeping the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty alive as a cornerstone of strategic stability and was involved in the negotiations on its future.

12. Realizing the importance of eliminating such inhumane weapons of mass destruction as chemical weapons, Belarus had signed and ratified in February 1995 the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction.

13. Belarus greatly appreciated the safeguards regime of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as the basis for the nuclear non-proliferation regime and believed that the Agency should be strengthened. The delayed disclosure of "clandestine" nuclear programmes in some States parties to the non-proliferation Treaty testified to the need for better control mechanisms to prevent any diversion of nuclear materials from peaceful to military purposes.

14. A mechanism was therefore needed for detecting unreported nuclear activity. Such a mechanism might include free access to reported facilities, along with the possibility of inspecting any other facilities. IAEA was known to be subject to financial constraints because of the increase in the volume of nuclear materials and the number of power plants subject to safeguards. Belarus believed that nuclear States could increase their contribution to financing the safeguards system. In the final analysis, the costs involved were minimal compared with the benefits that States would enjoy in terms of greater international security.

15. Because 70 per cent of the radioactive waste released by the Chernobyl disaster had fallen on its territory, Belarus had learnt the bitter lesson of the fatal consequences of radioactive contamination. Since those consequences were similar to the consequences of a nuclear attack, it wished to issue a warning to those States that might be envisaging the use of nuclear weapons. The consequences of such an action were too horrible for anyone to seek to possess such weapons. Belarus knew from experience that, once confronted with the consequences of a nuclear holocaust, a State could not count on receiving effective outside assistance. That was why it was insisting on the strengthening of the non-proliferation regime and the indefinite extension of the non-proliferation Treaty.

16. Mr. van MIERLO (Netherlands) expressed satisfaction that, since 1990, some 30 States, including two nuclear-weapon States, had acceded to the Treaty, which, with 175 States parties, had become nearly universal. There was no doubt that the Treaty had turned out to be the most successful global security treaty since the world had entered the nuclear age. The question facing the Conference was therefore whether the Treaty, which had served well in the relatively stable world of the cold war, would continue to serve well in a less predictable future. His country's answer to that question was yes, for it saw the Treaty as providing the necessary framework for nuclear disarmament, durable disarmament and international cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The Netherlands therefore favoured the unconditional extension of the Treaty for an indefinite period, since that course of action would best serve those purposes.

17. The non-proliferation Treaty was unique in many respects. First, its duration had not been unlimited from the outset. Second, it intentionally created inequality between the nuclear haves and have-nots. And lastly, it provided for a linkage between nuclear non-proliferation, disarmament and peaceful cooperation.

18. The only global legal instrument aimed at preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons, the Treaty had been highly successful in preventing additional States beyond the five declared nuclear Powers at the time of its conclusion from acquiring nuclear weapons. The fears that existed when the Treaty had been concluded had not come to pass and, at least, the number of nuclear States was the same as in 1968.

19. The very welcome increase in the number of parties to the Treaty should not give rise to complacency; the ultimate goal was universal adherence to the Treaty. The Conference could contribute to the achievement of that goal by sending a strong signal to States which had not yet acceded to the Treaty or even accepted its norms. Making the Treaty permanent would be just such a signal.

20. Out of their overriding concern to prevent the further spread of nuclear weapons, the signatories to the Treaty had accepted a temporary inequality between the nuclear haves and have-nots. That unusual provision had been agreed to because all the parties had realized that, whatever their status, it was in their common interest and that their determination to reduce nuclear weapons and proceed to disarmament would ultimately do away with that inequality.

21. After reviewing the considerable progress made in recent years in the area of disarmament, he pointed out that, under the START I and START II Treaties, the nuclear arsenals of the United States and the Russian Federation would soon be reduced by two thirds.

22. In the current favourable climate, the five nuclear-weapon States should actively engage in further arms control and disarmament negotiations. Security Council resolution 984 (1995), adopted on 11 April 1995, provided the non-nuclear-weapon States parties to the non-proliferation Treaty with security assurances and solemnly reaffirmed the obligation of the nuclear-weapon States to pursue negotiations in good faith leading to nuclear disarmament. The progressive implementation of article VI of the Treaty, dealing with nuclear disarmament, had become more feasible than ever and the world could look forward to a day when a complete nuclear disarmament would be a reality.

23. The Netherlands fully supported the negotiations under way in Geneva on a comprehensive test-ban treaty and noted with satisfaction that the talks begun in January 1994 had made significant progress. However, there were still intricate political and technical issues to be solved. The current negotiations should be concluded quickly so that the world would finally see an end to all nuclear testing. The start of negotiations on a ban on the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons and other explosive purposes was another positive development. Progress on those two fronts would further strengthen the non-proliferation regime.

24. Turning to the question of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, he said that efforts to prevent the further spread of nuclear weapons should not keep the non-nuclear-weapon States from benefiting from civilian nuclear technology, which could play an important role in improving the quality of life. The experience with civilian nuclear cooperation had perhaps been disappointing to some States. The overriding reason for that was growing scepticism about the possibility of benefiting from nuclear energy in an ecologically and economically sound and sustainable manner. Such scepticism was felt in the industrialized and the developing world alike. His country was for its part, reappraising the role of nuclear energy in its national industry. That did not mean that the beneficial impact of nuclear technology on people's everyday lives should be forgotten, but it was important to note the limitations to the use of the atom.

25. The challenge embodied in the non-proliferation Treaty was to make sure that no nuclear technology or material, once transferred for peaceful purposes, was diverted for military applications. In that connection, he wholeheartedly supported the statement by the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency the preceding day and fully supported the efforts being made in Vienna to strengthen the existing safeguards regime through "Programme 93 + 2".

26. A strengthened safeguards regime and the extension of the non-proliferation Treaty for an indefinite period would not hamper peaceful nuclear cooperation between States. On the contrary, it would create a climate of confidence in which such cooperation would be able to flourish.

27. That was precisely why his delegation urged the Conference to accept the principle of the application of full-scope safeguards on all peaceful nuclear activities, in nuclear-weapon States and non-nuclear-weapon States alike. That measure should become the cornerstone of the future nuclear non-proliferation regime under the non-proliferation Treaty. The discussions at the Conference would, no doubt, be intense, perhaps sometimes acrimonious, but at last it seemed that it was possible not only to establish a stable non-proliferation regime but also to further the Treaty's other objectives, especially in the sphere of disarmament. His delegation did not believe that there was a conflict of interest between North and South, or between rich and poor countries, all of which had a common destiny and the same basic security interests. Extending the Treaty for an unlimited period would not only make life difficult for potential proliferators, but would also create the necessary conditions for further nuclear disarmament. The other side of the coin was that any uncertainty over the future of the Treaty could dampen the willingness of the nuclear-weapon States to further reduce their nuclear arsenals. The parties would in fact be the ones to suffer from such a situation.

28. The nuclear disarmament process that had started in the past decade must, obviously, go on. The inequality between nuclear haves and nuclear have-nots that was inherent in the Treaty was a source of tension and could not last in the long run. In that connection, the Treaty placed a heavy moral responsibility on the nuclear-weapon States.

29. Mr. HURD (United Kingdom) said that, although the cold war was now over, the risks posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction had not faded. The non-proliferation Treaty lay at the heart of efforts to deal with those risks, and it should be placed on solid, permanent foundations. Needless to say, the Treaty had its imperfections, but none of them was a fatal flaw. The best way to rid the world of the fear of nuclear war was to extend the Treaty unconditionally and indefinitely. Although the circumstances in which the Treaty had been devised had changed, the Treaty had preserved its relevance. Mere exhortation of the States parties was no use; there was a need to look at the Treaty's imperfections, whether real or perceived. His delegation did not believe that they were major obstacles.

30. The Treaty recognized the existence of only five nuclear-weapon States. That might seem discriminatory, but it had to be borne in mind that, 25 years earlier, the Treaty had had to recognize the real position if it was to prevent further nuclear proliferation. At that time proliferation had appeared unstoppable. Well over 20 States had been thought eager to acquire nuclear weapons and it was largely because the Treaty had drawn a firm distinction between nuclear-weapon and non-nuclear-weapon States that nuclear proliferation had been contained.

31. As for the criticisms of nuclear disarmament, the continued existence of nuclear weapons should not obscure the fact that considerable progress had been achieved. The Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty and the two START Treaties had consigned thousands of nuclear warheads to elimination. Unilateral decisions had also been taken to reduce stockpiles. The United Kingdom was not lagging behind, but had steadily proceeded with its own reductions. Its nuclear forces would soon be limited to a single system deployed on submarines. At the end of the current decade, the total number of British warheads would be 21 per cent less than in the 1970s and their explosive power 59 per cent lower, which represented a reduction of three fifths. If the world had seen cuts of that order in other types of weapons, it would be a safer and more stable place.

32. The United Kingdom nevertheless understood the fears of some countries. In order to allay them, it had, together with other nuclear-weapon States, offered strengthened security assurances. It was committed to negotiating measures which would impose severe constraints on nuclear weapons and hoped that an effective and verifiable comprehensive nuclear-test-ban treaty would soon be concluded. To that end, it had accepted that there should be no exemption for tests in exceptional circumstances or safety tests. It also hoped that there would be an early start to the negotiations on an agreement to cut off the production of fissile materials for military purposes. In order to remove any doubts that there might be, he announced that the United Kingdom had ceased the production of fissile material for explosive purposes.

33. The United Kingdom programme for the reduction of nuclear forces which he had outlined meant that, when the START II Treaty was implemented, British nuclear forces would be considerably less than 10 per cent of the total United States and Russian nuclear forces. There was, however, no doubt that, in a world in which those forces were counted in hundreds rather than the current thousands, the United Kingdom would respond to the challenge of multilateral talks on the global reduction of nuclear arms.

34. The nuclear disarmament he had described could only have taken place in the framework of stability and predictability which the Treaty had helped to establish. In order to build further on the momentum created by recent successes and by the negotiations in progress or in prospect, it was important to ensure that the framework provided by the Treaty was made permanent.

35. Turning to the question of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, he noted that some deplored the fact that those uses had not developed as rapidly as they had expected. Nuclear power had, however, spread widely around the world and nuclear energy had found various applications in fields of particular interest to developing countries, such as medicine and agriculture. All that would not have been possible without the non-proliferation Treaty and the IAEA safeguards. It would take several decades to secure a return on investment in major civilian nuclear projects. A predictable and certain non-proliferation Treaty was therefore essential if international cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy was to be increased.

36. Some were concerned about export controls. However, the fact that certain items were subject to controls did not mean that their export was prohibited. The controls in question affected only countries such as Iran, about whose ultimate intentions there were widespread doubts. Suppliers must be careful; they would be rightly criticized if they were not.

37. The United Kingdom constantly urged all States which were not parties to the Treaty to allay suspicions about their nuclear activities and accede to the Treaty at the earliest opportunity. Progress had been made. He welcomed the fact that Algeria, Argentina, South Africa and all the successor States to the Soviet Union had become parties to the Treaty.

38. It was not impossible that Israel, India and Pakistan might one day accede to the Treaty as non-nuclear-weapon States. Some States which had once condemned the Treaty were, indeed, now parties to it. Unrelenting pressure and persuasion could perhaps achieve the same result with others. Such efforts would not succeed, however, if the decisions taken at the Conference displayed a lack of commitment to the Treaty.

39. It was also important to ensure that States which had acceded to the Treaty complied with its provisions. In that connection, the scale of Iraq's clandestine nuclear-weapons programme had been a salutary shock for all. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea had presented a problem and many were anxious about Iran. Those dangers were all the more reason to strengthen, rather than despair of, the control system established under the Treaty. The United Nations Special Commission and IAEA were dealing with the Iraqi problem and the Agreed Framework signed in October 1994 offered a way of resolving the problem of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea within the framework of the Treaty.

40. The international community had also recognized the need to strengthen the safeguards system of IAEA and to provide the latter with all the support it needed through the Security Council. His delegation welcomed the Agency's latest proposals for strengthening safeguards and looked forward to early agreement on their implementation. The statement made by the President of the Security Council at the summit meeting of the Council held in January 1992, to the effect that the members of the Security Council would take appropriate measures in the case of any violations of safeguards agreements, also considerably reinforced confidence in the Treaty.

41. To sum up, it was important to look beyond the technicalities and recognize the benefits of the non-proliferation Treaty. Despite the threats to peace and stability in the world, the Treaty had made it possible to avert the threat of a nuclear war and the risk of uncontrolled nuclear proliferation. It was important to preserve what had been achieved and make the Treaty a permanent feature of international life.

42. The indefinite and unconditional extension of the Treaty was the right decision because it would reduce the risk of nuclear proliferation with its destabilizing consequences, reinforce the momentum towards nuclear disarmament, provide the continuing framework essential to international cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and send a clear signal to those few countries which had not yet acceded to the Treaty that the international community expected them to do so. Lastly, a decision to that effect would demonstrate to all - including those tempted to follow the route of proliferation - that the world community remained determined to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and the horrors inherent therein. The non-proliferation Treaty deserved the biggest vote of confidence, which it would well repay.

43. Mr. SOLANA (Spain) noted that the current international context was substantially - and happily - different from what it had been in 1970, when the Treaty had been born. The threat of nuclear war had disappeared, nuclear arsenals had been considerably reduced and international cooperation encouraged the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Serious dangers had, however, also emerged, such as the first cases of illicit trafficking in fissile materials and violations of the international system established to guarantee compliance with the Treaty. The French delegation had expressed the common point of view of the European Union on the matter. His delegation wished to discuss some points in greater detail.

44. Although since the previous Review Conference in 1990 more than 30 States had become parties to the Treaty, the refusal of some countries to accede to it gave rise to considerable regional imbalances and situations of clear inequality on a global scale. Given the incalculable risk which the proliferation of nuclear weapons represented for mankind as a whole, only universality could make the Treaty an effective instrument in the fight against that terrible danger. Spain therefore earnestly hoped that the international situation would soon be such that it would allow the accession of all States without exception.

45. With regard to safeguards, Spain believed that the Treaty also required a system to monitor compliance. Through its system of inspections, IAEA had proved to be the best guarantor of international security. It was essential to recognize, however, that that system was not infallible, as had been demonstrated by the discovery of the nuclear programmes in Iraq and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, which should be a clear warning for the future.

46. Spain was therefore convinced that it was necessary to strengthen the safeguards system and to support the efforts being made by the Director-General of IAEA to ensure that inspections without prior notice and access to strategic areas during routine inspections were allowed. It also hoped that new types of safeguards agreements would be concluded which would reinforce the Agency's responsibilities and go beyond the legal prejudices and outdated concepts of sovereignty. If the Treaty was to be effective, it must be provided with a system to control the export of nuclear material and technology that would allow commercial and technological exchanges under the necessary security guarantees. Spain, which was a member of the Zangger Committee and had recently presided over the Nuclear Suppliers Group, considered that the latter was not a closed group of States bent on obstructing legitimate international trade. On the contrary, it advocated the gradual and cautious enlargement of that Group so that States which were suppliers of nuclear equipment, material and technology and subscribed to the Group's fundamental principles would assume the same obligations as its other members. That had been the case with Argentina, New Zealand and South Africa.

47. The existence of export controls was not incompatible with cooperation for the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Spain had always sought to promote economic development throughout the world, and it felt that nuclear energy should not be the exclusive privilege of a small group of States. It had recently signed 12 such cooperation agreements, thus contributing to the legitimate right of the least developed countries to have access to advanced technology. It had also financed, wholly or in part, 60 international projects through IAEA and, between 1989 and 1994, had dispatched 300 experts to Latin American and East European countries, where they were collaborating in the development of nuclear energy.

48. Turning to disarmament, he recalled the progress made in the post-cold-war period - the agreements on the reduction of nuclear arsenals, ratification of the START I Treaty, the accession by Ukraine to the non-proliferation Treaty - and called for prompt ratification of the START II Treaty noting that it would be a further step towards the ambitious objective set forth in article VI of the Treaty, namely, the conclusion of a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict international control. He also called for the establishment of further nuclear-weapon-free zones. The Treaty of Tlatelolco and the Treaty of Rarotonga were magnificent examples of what could be done to combat proliferation when States of varying dimensions combined their efforts to build a safer world. Spain supported the ongoing efforts to establish the African continent and the Middle East as zones free of weapons of mass destruction.

49. Spain had learned with deep concern of the recent cases of illicit trafficking in nuclear material. That was a serious problem which affected the entire international community and it was essential that the process of dismantling nuclear weapons, which was one of the outstanding results of the new disarmament agreements, should be subject to strict control. In the multilateral area, the International Atomic Energy Agency was the most suitable forum for designing a strategy to combat such illicit trafficking; such a strategy was not incompatible with the efforts being made in other regional organizations.

50. Spain welcomed the willingness shown by the nuclear Powers to conclude a treaty banning all nuclear tests and to accompany it with an effective verification system. That must continue to be the highest priority of the Conference on Disarmament at Geneva. Spain for its part was an active observer of that Conference and it was already participating in the vast network of nuclear tests detection systems known as GSETT-III. It also wished to cooperate in the conclusion of a treaty for the cut-off of fissile material production.

51. Regarding assurances, Spain noted that, for years, a large number of signatory States to the Treaty had quite rightly, been demanding greater commitment from the nuclear Powers on the question of positive and negative security assurances. Security Council resolution 984 (1995), which had been adopted unanimously on 11 April, marked a qualitative step forward in that respect since, for the first time in history, the five nuclear Powers had jointly given positive and negative security assurances to the States that were parties to the Treaty.

52. Finally, he said that the efforts to combat the proliferation of nuclear weapons could not be limited in time and that the international community could not afford the luxury of periodically reviewing the essence of the Treaty. Spain was therefore convinced that the Treaty must be indefinitely and unconditionally extended. It had been argued that that would deprive some States of an important means of persuasion in the efforts to promote disarmament. To that Spain replied that the best way of achieving general and complete disarmament was precisely to ensure that the provision set forth in article VI of the Treaty remained in effect indefinitely. Likewise, only by extending article IV would it be possible to continue the cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

53. Mr. OUELLET (Canada) said that the discussions at the Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, one of the most successful international treaties ever, would take place against the backdrop of a growing world consensus in favour of halting the proliferation of nuclear weapons on the one hand, and denuclearization on the other hand. By signing the Treaty, 176 countries had already affirmed their commitment to the universal norms and principles on which it was based. There was no doubt that the international community must work to achieve the ultimate goal of universalization. Canada, for its part, hoped that the commitment would become a permanent reality and that the non-proliferation Treaty would be indefinitely and unconditionally extended.

54. The attitude of the Canadian Government to the Conference was shaped by a number of realities: first, Canada had taken a political decision, very early on, not to use either its skills or its technical capacities to produce nuclear weapons. Secondly, Canada was one of the leading proponents of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Finally, true to its long-standing commitment to multilateralism, Canada wished to strengthen the United Nations and international norms and principles in order to build a comprehensive and universal security framework for the twenty-first century. That presupposed universal adhesion to the key instruments on non-proliferation, namely, the Treaty under consideration and also the chemical weapons Convention, the biological and toxin weapons Convention and the Convention on certain conventional weapons, which regulated the use of land mines. In addition, it would be necessary to strengthen respect for legality by establishing a framework of international treaties on non-proliferation and disarmament. Any allegations based erroneously on possible limitations of sovereignty must be refuted by noting the tangible progress accomplished in the area of security.

55. Canada appreciated the opportunity that presented itself every five years to review the operation of the Treaty and considered that that opportunity should be further enhanced. The aim should be not only to facilitate consideration of the implementation of provisions of the Treaty but also to strengthen the achievement of its objectives.

56. Reviewing what had been achieved in the 25 years since the Treaty came into force, he recalled that one of the first objectives was, and remained, to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons to countries other than the five nuclear Powers of the post-war era. It could be said that the Treaty had achieved that goal. Indeed, at the time the Treaty came into effect, it had been feared that there might be some 25 countries with a nuclear arsenal by the time the Treaty came up for review in 1995. In fact that had not happened. Of course, the threat of proliferation of nuclear weapons had not disappeared: it was just as real as it had been in 1970.

57. Non-proliferation was not the Treaty's sole objective; it also established fundamental, lasting norms and principles governing the conduct of those in possession of nuclear material and authorized the utilization of nuclear energy for purposes of economic development. Under article III signatories were required to conclude safeguard agreements for the purpose of verifying that nuclear material was not diverted from peaceful uses to other purposes. In that connection, Canada strongly encouraged the States parties to the Treaty to support the International Atomic Energy Agency's Programme "93+2", which helped to improve the transparency and to strengthen the assurance of the peaceful use of nuclear energy by providing for mechanisms to detect clandestine weapons activities. Article III also provided for the establishment of supplementary mechanisms such as export controls. The safeguards and export controls were mutually reinforcing and together provided assurance that nations were not secretly preparing nuclear-weapons programmes. Thus all States, even the non-signatories, benefited from the resulting security.

58. Under article IV all parties were entitled to benefit from the peaceful applications of nuclear energy and nuclear technology. On that score, the results were conclusive, for a growing number of States parties to NPT were using nuclear energy to strengthen their economies.

59. Article VII dealt with the legal right to establish nuclear-free zones. Those agreements did much to strengthen the security of signatory States and Canada saw that as another positive element of regional and international security.

60. The Treaty provided for a dynamic process of negotiations to halt the nuclear-arms race and to undertake nuclear disarmament. More than that, it established a radical agenda which would result in a treaty on "general and complete disarmament under strict and effective control". In assessing the Treaty's effectiveness with regard to article VI, it was first necessary to recognize and to welcome the fact that among the States which were parties to the Treaty, the nuclear arms race had virtually ended. Russia and the United States continued to make bold steps to reduce their nuclear arsenals. The arms race had given way to a joint bilateral undertaking for nuclear disarmament. Other nuclear-weapon States had made unilateral cuts in their nuclear arsenals.

61. That had all been done against the backdrop of security calculations which had begun with the Treaty. Canada was convinced that it was the framework of stability, security and predictability provided by the Treaty that had made progress on nuclear-arms control and disarmament possible. For that reason those in favour of radical disarmament should be the strongest proponents of the indefinite extension of the Treaty.

62. Under the broad security guarantees provided for in the Treaty, certain initiatives of vital importance had been taken. First, negotiations were under way for a comprehensive test-ban treaty. Canada was encouraged by the work to date and believed that such a treaty would in time become a reality. It hoped that the nuclear-weapon States would refrain from testing during the negotiations.

63. Second, building on the momentum of those negotiations and reflecting States' political will to make progress in disarmament, the Conference on Disarmament had on 23 March 1995 adopted the important decision to begin negotiations on a convention to prohibit the production of fissionable material for nuclear weapons.

64. Third, the nuclear-weapon States had taken significant steps with their recent declarations on security assurances. Such assurances, like the further extension of nuclear-weapon-free zones, were important confidence-building measures which were in every State's security interest.

65. Further, the leading nuclear-weapon States had recommitted themselves to their obligations under article VI of the non-proliferation Treaty, an initiative that sent a powerful message in behalf of future disarmament.

66. Canada believed that the non-proliferation Treaty offered security guarantees that were essential for nuclear disarmament, and it was important to perpetuate the Treaty indefinitely. Future review conferences would provide States parties with the opportunity every five years to strengthen compliance with article VI and the other provisions of the Treaty. There was simply no substitute for the non-proliferation Treaty, whose benefits for non-nuclear-weapon States were invaluable.

67. Canada believed that the only way to ensure that the Treaty remained in force was to extend it indefinitely. That meant enshrining, permanently, the legal commitment of States to dismantle all nuclear arsenals. The Treaty was the only multilateral legal instrument to contain such an injunction. Without it, the international community would have nothing, even if some claimed that countries could not be forced into following timetables and meeting goals that they had had no role in developing.

68. In conclusion, he said that the States parties to the Treaty had the political responsibility to take a decision that responded to present realities and positioned them to meet future challenges. The Treaty, with its flexibility, was the States parties' instrument for promoting and achieving nuclear disarmament. Canada and the other States parties were committed to both elements of the Treaty - non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament - which called for a firm political decision in favour of indefinite and unconditional extension.

69. Mr. IBRAHIM (Indonesia) said that any decision on the extension of the Treaty should reflect the results of the review of its implementation. It would therefore be useful to assess the functioning of the Treaty.

70. In 1975, at the First Review Conference, the depositary States and their allies had categorically rejected several basic demands of the non-nuclear countries. They included a comprehensive test ban, an end to the increase of strategic arsenals, efforts to prevent both horizontal and vertical proliferation, a timetable for nuclear-arms control and assurances of non-use of nuclear weapons - all intended to redress the imbalances in the Treaty.

71. The non-nuclear-weapon States had argued that the nuclear Powers had not lived up to their commitments, since the pace of the nuclear-arms race had actually accelerated. Hence, they had called for a thorough examination of the operation of the Treaty to determine whether all its provisions were being implemented and to remedy any inadequacies in that regard. They had also pointed out that non-parties to the Treaty had benefited considerably more from the transfer of nuclear technology and equipment than parties to the Treaty. They had therefore sought increased assistance in the use of such technology, but the depositary States had ignored their grievances. With great foresight, they had also called for a suspension of all nuclear tests for a period of 10 years and a reduction of nuclear arsenals by 50 per cent.

72. At the Second Review Conference, in 1980, the question of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy had emerged as the overriding issue. With the establishment in 1977 of the extra-Treaty mechanism - the Nuclear Suppliers Group - the implementation of articles III and IV of the Treaty had rested effectively with the suppliers or had been governed by bilateral agreements. The non-nuclear-weapon States had declared that there should be no threats to impose more stringent restrictions or safeguards. They had also opposed the imposition of unilateral conditions on nuclear exports beyond the safeguards required by IAEA. But none of the requests made by the non-nuclear-weapon States for negotiations concerning storage, use and management of fissionable material had materialized.

73. In 1985, during the Third Review Conference, the depositary States had contended that the resumption of the Geneva negotiations on intermediate-range nuclear weapons had been in itself evidence of their "good faith". In reality, the level of weapons of mass destruction had greatly risen and the arms race had been extended into outer space. Thus, prospects for genuine reductions had receded. The Fourth Review Conference had been convened in 1990 against the background of a profoundly changed international political situation. It had achieved consensus on a wide range of recommendations concerning the implementation of the provisions of the Treaty relating to non-proliferation, safeguards, establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones and promotion of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. It had not, however, succeeded in arriving at a consensus on the cessation of the nuclear-arms race, while the responsibility of adopting an instrument on a complete cessation of nuclear testing had been left to the two super-Powers.

74. Thus, it was evident that, during the 25 years of its existence, the Treaty had not functioned as originally intended and had not met the expectations of the majority of the States parties. Furthermore, the inequalities between the nuclear-weapon States and the others had been accentuated, with the former preserving their rights and privileges while relegating the non-nuclear-weapon States to the position of sole bearers of obligations under the Treaty.

75. While advances had undoubtedly been made in nuclear-arms limitations, they had not gone far enough. The two nuclear super-Powers should negotiate an agreement on a timetable for a drastic cut in nuclear weapons far below the level of that provided for under the START II Treaty. A strengthened non-proliferation Treaty would involve a comprehensive nuclear-test ban, prohibition of the production of weapons-grade fissionable materials and the elimination of nuclear arsenals.

76. In the promotion of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, cooperation should be fostered on an assured and predictable basis. States parties to the Treaty must be given preferential access to nuclear technology. Export-control regimes should be replaced by multilateral agreements that were more responsive to the development needs of the non-nuclear countries.

77. Concurrently, IAEA should become an efficacious instrument for building a broader framework for international cooperation by extending technical assistance without restraints and based on regionally agreed priorities. Safeguards should be functional, objective, universal and non-discriminatory.

78. The question of the security of non-nuclear-weapon States had been one of the central issues in the negotiations leading to the non-proliferation Treaty. The recent declarations issued by the nuclear Powers had failed to assuage the apprehensions of non-nuclear-weapon States, which had long demanded legally binding commitments. Unilateral pledges of that type did not contain adequate guarantees, since they left ample room for subjective interpretation and, since they were made unilaterally, they could also be unilaterally withdrawn in the event of hostilities. States which had renounced the manufacture or acquisition of nuclear weapons had the inherent right to receive unconditional and legally binding assurances.

79. Indonesia had always attached great importance to article VII of the Treaty, which affirmed the right of all States to conclude regional treaties to ensure their security. The establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones, freely arrived at by the States of the region, would foster peace, stability and security. Furthermore, such zones would also contribute to the objectives of the Treaty by curbing the spread of nuclear weapons. The endeavours to establish South-East Asia as a nuclear-weapon-free zone were encouraging.

80. With regard to the extension of the Treaty, he recalled that article X, paragraph 2, required parties to choose among three options. In his delegation's view, indefinite extension of the Treaty would legitimize nuclear weapons and permit the five nuclear Powers to keep their arsenals while denying others the right to acquire them. That would ratify inequality in international relations once and for all, and relegate the non-nuclear countries to second-class status. The second option would mean the eventual expiry of the Treaty, which was not desirable.

81. The third option, providing for extension for successive periods, would be conducive to the advancement of the disarmament objectives set forth in the preamble and in article VI. The nuclear-weapon States would be obligated to conclude specific agreements leading to the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. Those measures would form an integral part of the decision to extend the Treaty, or would be the subject of separate binding agreements whose fulfilment or non-fulfilment would be reviewed by the States parties on a regular basis. Such an approach would have the advantage of linking the successive extensions of the Treaty to its application. Moreover, that option constituted a reasonable compromise between indefinite extension and extension for a single period, and would be in the interests of all States Parties to the Treaty.

82. The attainment of the Treaty's objectives would be largely dependent on the way in which the nuclear-weapon States lived up to their commitments. The Treaty was not an end in itself, but a means to the objective of nuclear disarmament. For the majority of States, it was the only instrument for stemming proliferation, promoting international cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and eliminating all nuclear weapons from the face of the earth.

83. Mr. ALEXANDROV (Bulgaria) said that encouraging progress had been made in curbing the nuclear-arms race, as was apparent from the various treaties he listed. In his view, it was the Treaty under discussion which was responsible for that favourable climate.

84. The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons had for 25 years been preventing the spread of nuclear weapons: thus more than 30 States had become parties to it, including two nuclear-weapon States and non-nuclear countries such as Kazakhstan, Belarus and Ukraine.

85. The Treaty was also the core of an effective system of safeguards and controls. International cooperation in the field of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy would hardly have been possible without a legally binding commitment to non-proliferation. The IAEA safeguards ensured that nuclear materials were not diverted for military purposes. His Government highly appreciated the efforts made by the Agency to promote international cooperation in the peaceful uses of atomic energy and in combating proliferation.

86. With regard to the extension of the Treaty, Bulgaria's position had been set forth in the statement made by its Minister for Foreign Affairs on 14 April 1985: it was in favour of indefinite and unconditional extension. His delegation therefore fully associated itself with the statement made by the French delegation on behalf of the European Union and the associated States. Bulgaria was sincerely committed to the efforts of the international community to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and eliminate them. There were no nuclear, chemical or biological weapons in its territory. The non-proliferation Treaty should, in its view, become a permanent factor in international relations. It was a guarantee of the irreversibility of nuclear disarmament and provided a framework for continuing the efforts to bring about a world free from nuclear weapons.

87. That said, his delegation believed that the international community should seek rapid progress on a number of other issues. First, a nuclear-test-ban treaty and an agreement to halt the production of fissile material for military purposes should be speedily elaborated by the Conference on Disarmament. Next, the nuclear Powers should commit themselves firmly to refraining from the threat or use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon States. In that context, Bulgaria welcomed the adoption by the Security Council of resolution 984 (1995), which afforded an appropriate point of departure for negotiating a future legally binding international instrument on the provision of security assurances to non-nuclear-weapon States. Lastly, the IAEA safeguards system should be strengthened, inter alia, by on-site and random inspections to prevent diversion of nuclear materials, equipment and technology for military purposes. Further steps should also be taken in relation to export controls, protection, accounting and control of fissile materials, and prevention of environmental degradation.

88. Mr. KONO (Japan) said that the decision to be taken by the Conference regarding the extension of the Treaty would have a decisive impact on the nature of the nuclear non-proliferation regime and far-reaching implications for the peace and stability of the international community. For that reason, the decision must be taken not only from the national standpoint but also from the perspective of the future of humankind and the entire planet.

89. Japan had ratified the Treaty in 1976, despite vigorous arguments against doing so by those who cited its discriminatory nature. The progress made since then had convinced it that it had made the right choice, for without the Treaty, the number of nuclear-weapons States would certainly be much greater. The nuclear non-proliferation functions of the Treaty had not been without problems, however: some countries had refused to accept the IAEA safeguards regime, some had attempted to acquire further nuclear weapons, and others, which were not parties to the Treaty, were suspected of developing nuclear weapons; lastly, nuclear material had been reported to have been smuggled into Europe in 1994. Nevertheless, the Treaty had become substantially closer to universality since the previous review conference, and he took pleasure in enumerating the new States parties.

90. With regard to the aspects to the treaty relating to disarmament, an objective embodied in article VI, the ending of the cold war had made the situation more promising. The United States of America and the Russian Federation had concluded the START I Treaty and were dismantling their arsenals, and they would, it was hoped, enable the START II Treaty to enter into force soon. Progress had been made in the negotiations on a comprehensive nuclear-test-ban treaty. Japan was working to facilitate the conclusion of those negotiations, by, for example, making its seismological knowledge available to the international community. In that context, he asked China to join the nuclear test moratorium. Lastly, the countries concerned, among them Japan, were making efforts to launch negotiations on a fissile material cut-off treaty.

91. The Treaty also served the purpose of ensuring compatibility between non-proliferation and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Japan, for its part, was promoting nuclear fuel recycling, which entailed shipping material overseas for recycling so as to ensure more efficient use of uranium, a precious and limited resource. In so doing, it complied fully with the standards and guidelines established by the International Maritime Organization and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

92. Commenting at some length on the role of the Agency, he said that Japan accepted the whole of its safeguards regime, as was indicated by the fact that it had been the first country to publish information on the plutonium in its possession. International cooperation among the States parties to the Treaty in the field of peaceful uses of nuclear energy could be strengthened in accordance with the Treaty, and on the multilateral level, through IAEA. Japan participated in that cooperation by providing personnel and financing for activities under regional agreements covering Asia and the Pacific, and intended to maintain its assistance so as to advance the peaceful use of nuclear energy. The IAEA safeguards had played a crucial role at the point of interface between the peaceful use of nuclear energy and nuclear non-proliferation. While the Treaty did not require them to do so, Japan believed that the nuclear-weapon States should consider voluntarily applying the IAEA safeguards to all their peaceful-use nuclear facilities.

93. Turning next to the issue of the extension of the Treaty, he noted that the ending of the cold war had not freed the world from all uncertainty. Japan therefore concluded that the Treaty should be extended indefinitely. A decision to extend it for fixed periods meant the possibility of its being terminated, and every effort should be made to avoid that eventuality. The nuclear-weapon States, which had reaffirmed their position on security assurances and enabled the Security Council to adopt a resolution on the subject, would undoubtedly participate in the efforts directed towards an indefinite extension.

94. Those States should none the less promote progress in nuclear disarmament. The extension of the Treaty would establish a framework to facilitate such progress. They should bear in mind their obligations under article VI of the Treaty and honour the confidence shown in them by non-nuclear-weapon States, which were in the majority and which had renounced the option of nuclear armament in order to contribute to world peace and stability. Japan had consistently stressed the importance of promoting realistic and steady nuclear disarmament measures, as was proved by the resolution which it had sponsored at the forty-ninth session of the General Assembly, entitled "Nuclear disarmament with a view to the ultimate elimination of nuclear weapons", and which had been adopted.

95. In conclusion, the Japanese delegation wished once again to appeal to the States that were not parties to the Treaty to accede to it at the earliest possible date; it also appealed to the nuclear-weapon States to pursue their efforts for disarmament and it appealed to all States to honour their commitments in the field of disarmament and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Japan had renounced war as a means of settling international disputes and had consistently worked to promote disarmament, and particularly nuclear disarmament. Having experienced the devastating horror of atomic weapons, it had totally rejected the option of nuclear armament and strictly observed the three nuclear principles of not possessing nuclear weapons, not producing them, and not permitting their introduction into Japanese territory. Japan's support for the indefinite extension of the Treaty was an outgrowth of that position.

96. Mr. QIAN Qichen (China) said that the year 1995, which marked the fiftieth anniversary of the victory of the anti-Fascist forces and the founding of the United Nations afforded an opportunity to review the past. In fact, nuclear weapons had made their first appearance 50 years earlier and had been used twice. The ensuing cold war, which had been accompanied by the escalating arms race had caused all the world's people to live with the threat of nuclear war and had adversely affected the socio-economic development of the planet. The cold war had come to an end but huge nuclear arsenals remained. One began to wonder whether mankind, which had been able to invent and manufacture nuclear weapons, was incapable of destroying them completely.

97. The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons had become the most universal treaty in the field of arms control and had played a positive role in limiting the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The Chinese delegation supported the three main objectives of the Treaty, namely, the promotion of nuclear disarmament, the prevention of nuclear weapons proliferation and the enhancement of international cooperation for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. It considered that, in the light of the new international situation, it was in the interest of all States parties to reaffirm their commitment to those three objectives, for that could only contribute to the maintenance of peace, security and international stability. However, it realized that the Treaty had its limitations and defects and was in some respects unbalanced, as it set out different rights and obligations for different States parties. However, such inadequacies could be gradually remedied through continued progress in nuclear disarmament and enhanced international cooperation in the field of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

98. China supported the extension of the Treaty. It believed that the option of extension for one fixed period was not desirable. However, if the option for indefinite extension was chosen, China believed that it must be made clear that such an extension should in no way be interpreted as perpetuating the prerogatives of the nuclear-weapon States. Should the option for fixed periods be chosen, each fixed period should be no less than 25 years. Whichever option was chosen, the implementation of the Treaty would have to be subject to regular reviews.

99. The Chinese delegation felt that there were more agreements than differences between the States parties to the Treaty. They should therefore be able, through constructive collaboration and by holding intensive consultations, to agree on the extension of the Treaty by consensus. In the meantime, his delegation pointed out that the nuclear-weapon States had the obligation to provide negative and positive security assurances to the non-nuclear-weapon States, as an essential prerequisite to the extension of the Treaty.

100. The prevention of nuclear-weapon proliferation was not an end in itself but an intermediate step that should lead to the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. In that connection, China's position had not varied and could be summed up in the following manner.

101. First, the primary objective should be a complete prohibition of nuclear weapons. A convention on the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons under effective international supervision should be concluded, as had been done in the case of the conventions banning biological and chemical weapons.

102. Second, pending the conclusion of that convention, measures should be taken to prevent the threat of nuclear weapons. Nuclear-weapon States should undertake not to be the first to use nuclear weapons against other States which also possessed nuclear weapons and should unconditionally undertake not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon States or nuclear-weapon-free zones. Those commitments should be undertaken as soon as possible and, for the sake of greater efficacy, they should be embodied in treaties or international legal instruments.

103. Lastly, a comprehensive nuclear-test-ban treaty should be concluded through negotiations as soon as possible, and not later than 1996. A convention banning the production of fissile materials for nuclear-weapon purposes should also be concluded through negotiations. Those intermediate steps would facilitate the realization of the ultimate goals of complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons.

104. China had never shirked its obligations in the matter of nuclear disarmament. It was the only nuclear-weapon State to have assumed certain unilateral obligations, namely, not to be the first to use nuclear weapons against other nuclear-weapon States and not to use or threaten to use those weapons against non-nuclear-weapon States and nuclear-weapon-free zones.

105. China did not endorse the policy of nuclear deterrence, and the nuclear weapons it had developed were solely for self-defence. It had never had any intention of using them to oppose or threaten any country. It had always advocated the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons, and had never joined in the nuclear-arms race.

106. China had, from the very beginning, exercised restraint in nuclear testing and had conducted fewer nuclear tests than other nuclear-weapon States. Furthermore, it called for the conclusion of a treaty on no-first-use of nuclear weapons by the nuclear-weapon States. It had proposed a draft treaty on those lines to the other four nuclear-weapon States. Lastly, China and Russia had issued a joint statement undertaking not to be the first to use nuclear weapons against each other and to detarget their respective nuclear weapons away from each other.

107. China welcomed the adoption, on 11 April, of resolution 984 (1995) of the Security Council on security assurances to non-nuclear-weapon States and it hoped that unconditional security assurances would be provided to all non-nuclear-weapon States at an early date in the form of an international legal instrument. On 5 April 1995 it had issued a statement reaffirming its unconditional negative security assurances to all non-nuclear-weapon States and undertaking to provide positive security assurances to those States. The Chinese Government had also issued statements concerning the provision of security assurances to Ukraine and Khazakstan, at their request.

108. China supported the efforts made by the countries and regions concerned to establish nuclear-weapon-free zones or zones free of weapons of mass destruction through voluntary consultations. Under the Additional Protocols to the Treaty of Tlatelolco and the Treaty of Rarotonga, which it had signed respectively in 1973 and 1987, it had undertaken specific commitments to the nuclear-weapon-free zones of Latin America, the Caribbean and the South Pacific. It accordingly welcomed the efforts made by the African countries to conclude a treaty on a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Africa. Lastly, China was making positive efforts to facilitate the early conclusion of a comprehensive nuclear-test-ban treaty and supported the negotiation and conclusion of a convention banning the production of fissile materials for nuclear-weapon purposes.

109. In order to realize the objective of complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons, it was necessary for the international community to prevent the proliferation of weapons of that kind. China supported the principle of the universality of the Treaty and hoped that the safeguards system of IAEA would be more rational and effective. It had consistently pursued a policy of not endorsing or encouraging nuclear-weapon proliferation. It had always refrained from engaging in activities that would promote such proliferation and it had never helped other countries to manufacture nuclear weapons. With regard to nuclear exports, it adhered to three principles. First, exports should be used exclusively for peaceful purposes; second, exports should be subject to IAEA safeguards; thirdly, exports should not be retransferred to a third country without China's consent. All Chinese nuclear exports were subject to IAEA safeguards.

110. China believed that the promotion of international cooperation in peaceful uses of nuclear energy was important in fulfilling Treaty obligations and that it deserved the same attention as other provisions of the Treaty. The prevention of nuclear-weapon proliferation should facilitate the peaceful uses of nuclear energy by the developing countries and should help them to exercise their legitimate rights in that respect. In preventing nuclear-weapon proliferation or utilizing nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, it was inadmissible to apply a double standard.

111. China, a developing country with some nuclear industry capabilities, conducted a policy of international cooperation for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. It had engaged in cooperation and fruitful exchanges with IAEA and had signed bilateral cooperation agreements with 14 countries.

112. With the advent of the twenty-first century it was to be hoped that mankind could finally rid itself of the nuclear threat and that nuclear energy could be harnessed for the benefit of all. His country was ready to work towards that objective.

113. Mr. UDOVENKO (Ukraine) said that the results of the Conference would have a lasting effect on nuclear geopolitics and would influence the evolution of military-political strategy and the national legislation of the States parties to the non-proliferation Treaty.

114. With reference to the "Ukrainian nuclear question", he said that the issue had attracted too many political speculations and that too many unjust accusations had been levelled at Ukraine, whose position was obviously misunderstood and whose legitimate concerns and balanced and constructive proposals had not been taken into account. Ukraine found itself in a unique situation: it had inherited the world's third largest nuclear potential and at the same time was the first State to declare voluntarily, even before the break-up of the former USSR, its desire to become a non-nuclear State. That was a historic step, which retained its importance even after Ukraine had ratified the START I Treaty and acceded to the non-proliferation Treaty, a step which should contribute to the success of the Conference.

115. While the discovery of the secrets of the atom and nuclear applications had been the triumph of science, the tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki demonstrated the terror of nuclear catastrophe and clearly pointed to the need for a global non-proliferation regime for nuclear weapons. Ukraine had been deeply traumatized by the Chernobyl disaster and was particularly interested in cooperating closely with the international community to prevent further tragedies of the kind. The establishment of IAEA, the institution of the system of safeguards, the conclusion of the Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and under Water, and the entry into force of the non-proliferation Treaty had become the first important international steps in that direction.

116. From the outset, the non-proliferation Treaty had received the support of the majority of States. Although it was one of the cold-war treaties and not ideal, it was nevertheless an important starting-point for nuclear disarmament. Therefore, in determining its future, it was important to keep in mind that in international practice there neither was nor could be an absolute or perfect solution. Since the existing international non-proliferation regime had in principle proved its usefulness, the aim should no doubt be to improve the norms incorporated in that regime and to develop new mechanisms for their implementation.

117. The end of the cold war had significantly altered the geopolitical map of the world and was opening up new prospects for the peaceful settlement of conflicts. The non-proliferation Treaty was the key instrument in the field of arms control and disarmament because, by regulating the problems of nuclear security, it allowed countries to develop future policies in the sphere of nuclear disarmament and enabled non-nuclear States to conduct an equal and effective dialogue with nuclear States on measures aimed at strengthening the existing non-proliferation regime and on specific steps in the direction of general and complete disarmament. In order to ensure the effective halting of the nuclear-arms race and the proliferation of nuclear weapons, the Conference must concentrate on the development of additional prevention mechanisms. That would involve an in-depth analysis of the underlying causes of those phenomena. At the same time, it was important to develop international incentives to promote nuclear disarmament.

118. That said, Ukraine, although in favour of an indefinite extension of the Treaty, was prepared to consider all possible ways of solving the remaining disagreements, making the Treaty more effective and improving the existing non-proliferation regime. At the same time, it stressed the instability of a situation created by the existence, on the one hand, of States which based their security on the possession of nuclear weapons and, on the other, of threshold States and countries which had either never possessed nuclear weapons or had voluntarily relinquished them. It was obvious to everyone that the use of nuclear weapons would be fatal for human civilization. Moreover, the end of the cold war and the resulting new political realities had forced States to develop more sophisticated military doctrines. The very concept of security was changing, and whatever was necessary should be done to ensure that the principles of indivisible and collective security which were being incorporated into the foundation of the external policy of States should find practical applications. In that regard, Ukraine would welcome the confirmation of the obligations undertaken by all nuclear-weapon States parties under article VI of the Treaty. The international community had a right to expect the parties to ratify the START II Treaty promptly. The willingness of the United Kingdom, France and China to take part in the negotiations on the reduction of strategic offensive weapons could be more definitely reflected in the final act of the Conference.

119. Ukraine had proved to the whole world that its policy with respect to nuclear disarmament was consistent. It had, for example, participated in the implementation of the INF Treaty and the START I Treaty, and in spite of considerable social and economic difficulties, it had consistently fulfilled its obligations, because it was aware of the decisive importance of disarmament questions. Other States, both nuclear and non-nuclear, would significantly contribute to those efforts by providing more substantial support to Ukraine.

120. The question of complete security assurances being granted by the nuclear-weapon States to the non-nuclear-weapon States parties to the Treaty remained one of the most pressing problems in the context of the Treaty's implementation. Security Council resolution 984 (1995) on security assurances, which had been adopted unanimously on 11 April, demonstrated that the dialogue between nuclear-weapon and non-nuclear-weapon States was progressing and should be regarded as a further step towards a universal international legal document. The experience of countries which had signed the Memorandum on Security Assurances in connection with Ukraine's Accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons indicated that there was a real opportunity to prepare an instrument which would reflect all aspects of the current world. It was known that the elaboration of the Memorandum had played a key role in Ukraine's accession to the Treaty. Although it concerned the situation of Ukraine, the Memorandum contained a number of ideas that could be helpful to the international community and thereby foster the existing non-proliferation regime.

121. The majority of States parties recognized the Treaty's importance. Unfortunately, the positive shifts which had occurred at the Geneva negotiations were not sufficient, as the remaining differences on substantive issues attested. If the negotiations were really to move forward, all the nuclear-weapon States must declare a moratorium on nuclear tests.

122. His delegation welcomed the progress achieved at the beginning of 1995 during the negotiations on the prohibition of the production of fissile material for military purposes. However, the outcome of the negotiations was still far in the future, given that the task was not a simple one.

123. Among the efforts to strengthen the global non-proliferation regime, improvement of the IAEA safeguards regime deserved a special mention. Safeguards agreements were implemented jointly by national bodies and the relevant segments of the Agency, and the results depended on the efficiency and coordination of the various actions. More than once, additional "unconventional" measures had brought positive results. In that regard, his delegation welcomed the agreement concluded between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the United States of America.

124. With regard to the problems connected with the implementation of article IV of the Treaty, this country proceeded from the premise that improvements in the global non-proliferation regime should be inseparably linked to the broadening of international cooperation in the field of peaceful uses of nuclear energy. It favoured the establishment of equal partnership relations in that field on both a bilateral and a multilateral basis within the existing international export control regimes. Special attention should be paid to the situation in the developing countries and it should be easier for them to become members of the international organizations responsible for control of transfers of nuclear materials and sensitive technologies. That approach would meet the interests of each State and help to strengthen the global security system. In that context, consultations between the Nuclear Suppliers Group and nuclear recipient countries could considerably improve the climate of trust between the parties.

125. Referring to regional measures to strengthen the non-proliferation regime, he emphasized that the creation of new nuclear-free zones was very important for the implementation of article VII of the Treaty and could, as previous cases had shown, lead to very substantial progress. Ukraine supported the efforts of States to create nuclear-free zones in the Middle East and in Africa, because that would help to solve certain difficult international problems. It also felt that ratification by all nuclear-weapon States of the protocols to the existing treaties on nuclear-free zones and fulfilment of their treaty obligations by all parties would provide compelling proof of their adherence to the cause of non-proliferation.

126. Mr. DERYCKE (Belgium) said his delegation fully supported the statement by the representative of France on behalf of the European Union and the associated countries of central and eastern Europe.

127. The non-proliferation Treaty, which had come into force a quarter of a century previously, was designed to promote the peaceful use of atomic energy without risking the spread of nuclear weapons. His country had subscribed to the Treaty in that context and hoped it would be extended indefinitely and unconditionally.

128. The Treaty must become universal if it was to achieve its objectives. Notable progress had been made in that direction with the recent accession of new States. However, the Treaty did not cover all nuclear proliferation issues. The speedy conclusion of a comprehensive test-ban treaty and the opening of negotiations on a convention banning the production of fissile materials for the production of nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices constituted an essential step towards complete nuclear disarmament.

129. Twenty-five years after the entry into force of the Treaty, the results seemed somewhat mixed. With some exceptions, the international community could congratulate itself on the results of horizontal non-proliferation. Since 1970, few States had sought to acquire nuclear weapons and some, such as Iraq and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, which had perhaps wished to do so, had not been successful, partly as a result of the treaty control mechanism. On the other hand, in the 1970s and 1980s the nuclear payloads and delivery systems in the arsenals of the nuclear-weapon States had multiplied unchecked and become increasingly sophisticated. The Treaty had been inoperative because of a political and strategic context making all nuclear disarmament unlikely. The end of the cold war had enabled States to embark on the course traced by article VI by reducing their arsenals, an enterprise which Belgium hoped would be vigorously pursued.

130. However, the persistence of exacerbated nationalism and regional tensions, the accessibility of technology and terrorist designs called for an intensified struggle against military nuclear proliferation. The difficulties of transition in the former communist countries, where a high level of nuclear know-how co-existed with major economic and administrative difficulties, were a source of concern. The nuclear assistance those countries were already receiving should be reinforced in the interest of protecting the common environment.

131. In accordance with its obligations, Belgium had always opened all its nuclear installations to control by IAEA and EURATOM because it considered the rules of the guarantee systems indispensable to the security of international commerce for peaceful applications of nuclear energy. It wanted controls applied to fissile materials deriving from the dismantling of arsenals as well as to all civilian nuclear activities of the nuclear-weapon States. It should be recalled that all non-nuclear-weapon States parties were under an obligation to submit all of their nuclear installations and materials to IAEA control and could not evade that obligation even temporarily, as Iraq and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea had done. Better-oriented human and financial resources should permit more efficient detection of clandestine nuclear activities. To that end, Belgium supported the ongoing reform of the IAEA control system and would like it to be universally applied.

132. The indefinite and unconditional extension of the Treaty was also necessary for the security of the development of the civilian nuclear industry and for international cooperation. Belgium had long encouraged international exchanges in the field of the peaceful application of nuclear energy. It had concluded agreements on scientific, industrial and technological cooperation with more than 20 States, as well as specific agreements on nuclear cooperation. Such cooperation involved sending experts to developing countries, training technicians, studying installations and supplying equipment or operational assistance. Belgium had also welcomed several hundred interns from developing countries in its research centres, medical centres and nuclear industries. It had contributed to numerous IAEA expertise and assistance missions. In the non-energy sector, it had helped to promote radio-isotopes for medical and industrial use and for the conservation of food products. It was likewise participating in the tse-tse fly eradication project. Lastly, it had made its expertise in radiological protection of the population and the environment available to those countries which had requested it. It wished to pursue and develop that international cooperation and would favour all measures that would promote it without risk of proliferation.

133. Mr. MARSCHIK (Austria) recalled that as early as 1955 his country had renounced the possession of nuclear weapons in a legally binding instrument. In 1968, it had been one of the first countries to sign and ratify the non-proliferation Treaty. Since then, it had consistently advocated the complete elimination of nuclear weapons.

134. Austria realized that that goal could not be reached in the immediate future, but considered that efforts must be made to halt the vertical and horizontal proliferation of nuclear weapons. It was essential to prevent an increase in the number of nuclear-weapon States and to persuade the existing nuclear-weapon States to reduce their arsenals and refrain from developing new types of weapons. During the past 25 years, the Treaty had been the best available instrument for channelling such international endeavours.

135. The Treaty had become almost universal with regard to horizontal non-proliferation. More than 170 States had become parties to it. Austria particularly welcomed the decisions of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, which had nuclear weapons in their territories, to become non-nuclear-weapon States, as well as the decision of South Africa to abandon its nuclear capability. The Treaty had been less successful with regard to vertical non-proliferation. It could not be denied that the arsenals of the five nuclear Powers had become substantially larger since the Treaty had come into force. However, a number of disarmament measures had been taken in recent years. START I and START II, which were designed to reduce and limit offensive strategic weapons during the forthcoming decade, the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles, and the nuclear-test-ban moratoria. Austria therefore believed that the Treaty had stemmed the proliferation of nuclear weapons and should be extended indefinitely. That did not mean that Austria disregarded the arguments of those who pleaded in favour of a series of limited extensions; such a procedure would make it possible to exert additional pressure on the nuclear Powers to hasten nuclear disarmament. However, that procedure would keep open the question of whether the Treaty would be a definite and permanent instrument, or merely an arrangement that could be changed or discontinued altogether after a period of time. That situation would encourage hesitant States to keep their nuclear options open, discourage the efforts of nuclear-weapon States to reduce their nuclear arsenals and dissuade them from taking measures to ban nuclear testing. Austria was convinced that a definite and clear decision should be taken and would therefore support a decision by the Conference to extend the Treaty indefinitely and unconditionally.

136. The nuclear-weapon States should pursue their efforts in the field of nuclear disarmament. The START treaties should be implemented speedily and the three other nuclear Powers should seriously consider reducing their arsenals. Substantial progress should be made towards the conclusion of a comprehensive test-ban treaty, if possible in 1995 or 1996. Austria appealed to the nuclear Powers to declare or maintain a voluntary moratorium on nuclear-weapon tests. It looked forward to the start of negotiations on a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. It took note with satisfaction of the recent declaration by France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States reaffirming their commitment to pursue negotiations on effective measures relating to nuclear disarmament and placing high priority on the complete prohibition of nuclear testing.

137. Austria welcomed the work done by IAEA in the implementation of Treaty safeguards and supported ongoing efforts to strengthen the safeguards system. It would like IAEA to be given additional responsibilities in the context of future agreements and in regard to verification of nuclear materials, including fissile materials derived from nuclear disarmament.

138. In conclusion, he called on the international community to unite to lay the foundation for a future free from the threat of nuclear war, a future of peace and cooperation among all nations.

139. Mr. MONGBE (Benin) noted that 25 years after the entry into force of the Treaty, a number of nuclear-weapon and non-nuclear-weapon States were failing to honour the commitments they had entered into. The nuclear Powers displayed little eagerness to honour their fundamental commitments under articles IV and VI of the Treaty; certain non-nuclear-weapon States parties seemed tempted to renege on their commitments; others had not signed a safeguards agreement with IAEA committing them, inter alia, to inform the Agency of the amount of source materials available to them for various peaceful purposes. Nevertheless it should be recognized that the Treaty, notwithstanding its deficiencies, had helped to curtail the proliferation of nuclear weapons. A growing number of States had ratified the Treaty, and States which had the capability to acquire or which had acquired nuclear weapons had recently renounced such ambitions and had acceded to the Treaty. The universality of the Treaty had continued to increase since its entry into force.

140. The non-proliferation Treaty had been born in an international context of global rivalry in which it had been more or less feasible to control nuclear proliferation. One of the salient features of the new international context since the end of the cold war was that forces tending to promote fragmentation, for long contained by the policy of blocs, were reasserting themselves. That new development carried with it a serious risk of proliferation of all kinds of weapons, including weapons of mass destruction and nuclear weapons. In the circumstances and pending concerted specific measures, such as those relating to chemical weapons, for the complete elimination of a capability by States to carry out acts of aggression, it was important to maintain the non-proliferation Treaty, which, notwithstanding its defects, had helped to limit the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The Treaty being the standard applied by the international community in its condemnation of nuclear weapons, every effort should be made to avoid any development that would fail to strengthen its universality and which would substantiate the argument of those few States that refused to accede to it. Benin had thus determined to support unlimited extension of the Treaty.

141. Benin welcomed the unanimous adoption by the Security Council, on 11 April 1995, of its resolution 984 (1995) concerning security assurances against the use of nuclear weapons, but took the view that the resolution did not go far enough to dispel the legitimate fears of the non-nuclear-weapon States, particularly the weaker States. Other measures were necessary to reassure those States and guarantee their security. The States parties must thus seize the opportunity offered by the Conference to advance nuclear disarmament, promote the transfer of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, negotiate an international treaty confirming security assurances, encourage IAEA to continue to strengthen implementation of the system of safeguards in accordance with article III of the Treaty, and, lastly, accelerate the establishment of denuclearized and nuclear-weapon-free zones.

142. Since the Declaration on the Denuclearization of Africa adopted by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity in 1964, progress had been made in that domain. Benin welcomed such progress, but supported the idea of the formulation of a binding international legal instrument, similar to those existing in other parts of the world, to strengthen the nuclear security of Africa.

143. Given the stakes for the future of the planet, Benin trusted that the Treaty would make an effective contribution to nuclear disarmament and that it would establish a foundation for more fruitful international cooperation in the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

144. Mr. CHINETOV (Kyrgyzstan) said that the eyes of all mankind were fixed on the Conference, which would decide an issue of supreme importance for international peace and security, namely, the extension of the non-proliferation Treaty. Respect by the nuclear Powers for their commitments under the Treaty had enabled a nuclear holocaust to be avoided. Yet the world remained exposed to the threat of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, the manufacture of which absorbed enormous human and material resources. For that reason the indefinite and unconditional extension of the Treaty was a political act of absolute necessity at the current juncture.

145. The peaceful foreign policy of the Kyrgyz Government was intended to strengthen peace and security throughout the world and to safeguard that most precious of all things, human life. The Kyrgyz people had always been imbued with ideals of peace and friendship and good-neighbourliness towards peoples of other States. Moreover the consequences of the nuclear tests which were an integral part of the issue under consideration inspired fears in the Kyrgyz people that were fully justified.

146. For that reason, heeding the voice of good sense; aware, in common with the international community as a whole, of the problems that remained in terms of the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and control of conventional weapons; stressing the importance of peaceful coexistence in a context in which local armed conflicts were likely to escalate into world confrontation; and considering that the future stability and safety of the planet could be guaranteed by respect for the non-proliferation Treaty in conjunction with a treaty imposing a complete ban on nuclear tests and the conclusion of agreements on the use of nuclear energy solely for peaceful purposes, the Government of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan was firmly in favour of unconditional and indefinite extension of the non-proliferation Treaty, and invited other States to support that position.

147. Mr. CASSAR (Malta) said that the Review and Extension Conference had been envisaged during the cold war and was taking place at a time when the international community and the United Nations were on the threshold of a new era. Yet the disappearance of confrontation between blocs had in no way diminished the need to address issues relating to non-proliferation. The Treaty had gained quasi-universal acceptance and the concept of non-proliferation had become central to the concerns of the majority of Member States, indicating that that critical sector was not the sole domain of the nuclear-weapon States.

148. Malta was party to the non-proliferation Treaty, having deposited its instrument of ratification in 1970, only two years after it had been opened for signature. The Maltese Government had also signed a safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency and was considering joining IAEA as a full member.

149. The threat of a nuclear holocaust had overshadowed the international community since the invention of nuclear weapons and had been aggravated by the arms race between the nuclear super-Powers which had led them to stockpile nuclear weapons to an extent too terrible even to imagine.

150. The non-proliferation Treaty had succeeded in halting that race towards global destruction and in limiting the number of nuclear-weapon States. Perhaps by a historical coincidence the proliferation in the Member States making up the international community had occurred during the era of the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Yet those new States, including Malta, barely free of colonial rule, wishing to exist in a secure international environment, had immediately acceded to the Treaty.

151. The past 25 years had also demonstrated that the ambitions of some States could not easily be ignored. That was why most smaller States wished for an unconditional and indefinite extension, a choice dictated by pragmatism as much as by the ideal of a world free from the nuclear threat. Indefinite extension would nip in the bud any ambitions to undertake a programme to develop a nuclear capability which, on the expiry of a definite period of extension, would lead to the possession of an arsenal. Only a universal Treaty could dispel the fears instilled over past decades in the minds of generations that had lived under the threat of nuclear destruction. Universality and indefinite extension were all the more necessary in that the threat of nuclear weapons was no longer employed only by States, but also by groups engaged in international terrorism.

152. The Treaty and the basic principles on which it was built (nuclear disarmament, security assurances to non-nuclear-weapon States and access to the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes) were not the only mechanism available to the international community to ensure the success of the Conference. Bilateral and parallel track negotiations on non-proliferation had also proved successful. Negotiations in other fields relating to disarmament, such as those on a comprehensive test-ban treaty and on implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction, would also have Malta's full support. Indefinite extension of the non-proliferation Treaty would have a positive impact on other fields relating to disarmament.

153. The non-proliferation Treaty need not be viewed as a treaty for ever freezing States into two groups. It imposed a number of responsibilities on nuclear-weapon States, particularly regarding security assurances vis-à-vis non-nuclear-weapon States. Security Council resolution 984 (1995), adopted on 11 April, should make a useful contribution to the strengthening of such security assurances.

154. The non-proliferation Treaty had been the only beacon of hope in the dark period of the cold war. It would be illogical if, in an environment that was more propitious to international peace and security, the Conference failed to better the commitments undertaken 25 years earlier. Universal acceptance of an indefinite extension was the minimum result that States should envisage if they wished to bequeath the heritage of global peace and security to future generations.

155. Mr. CRVENKOVSKI (The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) said that it was a great honour for him to participate in the Conference as a representative of the Republic of Macedonia which, on 30 March 1995, had become the 178th State party to the non-proliferation Treaty. Ukraine and South Africa's accession to the Treaty as non-nuclear-weapon States was also an important step which demonstrated that it was possible to denuclearize national defence without jeopardizing national security.

156. As a non-nuclear-weapon State, the Republic of Macedonia was in favour of the indefinite and unconditional extension of the Treaty. The Security Council's recent adoption of resolution 984 (1995) on security assurances to non-nuclear-weapon States that were parties to the Treaty represented, in his delegation's view, an important step towards strengthening the regime of the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and should contribute to the successful outcome of the Conference. At the same time, the nuclear-weapon States must pursue their negotiations on effective measures relating to nuclear disarmament, in particular a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control as provided in article VI of the non-proliferation Treaty.

157. The non-proliferation Treaty was the cornerstone of the global non-proliferation system, in that it enshrined all its principles; however, it must be implemented. The dramatic changes in the global situation had helped diminish any interest in nuclear weapons acquisition. Nevertheless, for the universalization of the non-proliferation regime, several conditions must be met. Comprehensive nuclear disarmament, which was on the agenda of the relevant international bodies, had not yet been accomplished. International verification was being strengthened, but the process of strengthening safeguards had not yet been completed.

158. While the prospects for the universalization of the non-proliferation regime seemed good, an improvement in the regional political climate was needed and the regional bodies should work to that end.

159. The credibility of international arms control and disarmament efforts depended to a large extent on the ability of the international community to mobilize all the States Members of the United Nations, 96 per cent of which had already acceded to the non-proliferation Treaty.

160. While small States did not feel the immediate threat of a global nuclear war, they were very much concerned about the threat that would be posed to their security by negative developments in their immediate vicinity. The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia therefore attached the greatest importance to the development of good-neighbourly relations and regarded them as the most important factor for peace, security, cooperation and efforts towards disarmament in the Balkan region.

161. At its forty-eighth session, the General Assembly had adopted without a vote resolution 48/84 B on the development of good-neighbourly relations among Balkan States. Affirming its determination that all nations should live together in peace with one another as good neighbours, the General Assembly had emphasized the urgency of the consolidation of the Balkans as a region of peace, security, stability and good-neighbourliness, thus contributing to the maintenance of international peace and security. The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia sincerely hoped that would be a significant step towards establishing a lower level of armaments and a higher level of confidence-building measures in the region.

162. No other multilateral arms control treaty in existence could match the security benefits provided by the non-proliferation Treaty under its system of accountancy and control of nuclear weapons which facilitated both verification and nuclear commerce.

163. IAEA should continue to ensure that the benefits of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy were made more widely available to all the States parties to the non-proliferation Treaty.

164. The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia agreed that a number of improvements were needed in the IAEA safeguards system because the current system had been designed three decades previously and, since then, States had become more accustomed to confidence-building measures in the form of international inspections. However, it was important to recognize that the creation and maintenance of political and security conditions which were conducive to non-proliferation were the most crucial elements in preventing proliferation.

165. Since there was so much at stake for current and future generations, for nuclear-weapon States and for non-nuclear-weapon States, his delegation hoped to work with all the delegations of States which were parties to the Treaty in order to achieve its indefinite and unconditional extension.

166. Mr. MORADI (Islamic Republic of Iran), speaking in exercise of the right of reply, said that he deplored the unjustified and unsubstantiated remarks made by the representative of the United Kingdom about the Islamic Republic of Iran. It was regrettable that, since the beginning of the general debate of such an important Conference, which should help harmonize points of view, certain States were making comments which spread discord.

167. His Government's position on the export control regime was very clear. Recent events demonstrated that disagreements regarding the regime had been accentuated when a small group of supplier States, referring to "gaps" in the IAEA safeguards system, had decided unilaterally to establish regimes which did not fall within the purview of the Treaty. Taking advantage of their privileged position as supplier States and ignoring the suspicions of the majority of States parties, they were taking secret decisions after closed debates and, curiously, were making no distinction between non-nuclear-weapon States parties and non-nuclear-weapon States which were not parties to the Treaty, thereby disregarding the inalienable right of non-nuclear-weapon States parties to the Treaty to have access to the peaceful applications of nuclear technology. In recent years, certain countries which controlled exports, such as the United Kingdom, which, moreover, had essentially helped create nuclear capacity in some countries, had tried to justify the discriminatory nature of the export control regime. It was time to review those erroneous principles in order to strengthen the implementation of the Treaty. The States parties to the Treaty which fulfilled their obligations should be able to exercise their inalienable right as stipulated in article IV of the Treaty and have free access to the peaceful applications of nuclear energy. Certain powers considered themselves to be above the law and were claiming the right to judge the intentions of others, which was in absolute contradiction with the spirit of the Treaty.

168. The PRESIDENT said that the Organization of African Unity had requested observer status at the Conference. He suggested that the request should be approved.

169. It was so decided.

The meeting rose at 7.10 p.m.