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 Monday, 24 April 1995, at 3 p.m.

President: Mr. DHANAPALA (Sri Lanka)

later: Mr. HASMY (Malaysia)


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 3.25 p.m.

GENERAL DEBATE (continued)

1. Mr. ARCILLA (Philippines) said that the Conference had a historic mandate; it would determine whether or not future generations would live under the threat of nuclear annihilation. It should decide the future of the Non-Proliferation Treaty on the basis of a comprehensive review of the events of the past 25 years, and should be guided by the objectives of non-proliferation, nuclear disarmament, and promoting development through the application of peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

2. The international community realized that peace and development were two sides of the same coin. That duality was embodied in the Treaty through the principles that nuclear weapons were a danger to international peace and security, and that peaceful applications of nuclear energy should be made universally available, subject to non-proliferation commitments. The Philippines, for its part, pursued a policy of freedom from nuclear weapons in its territory.

3. Despite the considerable number of States parties, their attachment to the Treaty could be rendered useless if one or a few States refused to be part of the non-proliferation regime; above all, the Conference should call for universal accession.

4. The non-nuclear-weapon States were fulfilling their non-proliferation obligations, either voluntarily or compelled by verification and inspection. However, the existence of a small number of de facto nuclear-weapon States was of the utmost concern. Moreover, many non-nuclear-weapon States parties had yet to comply with their obligations to conclude and implement comprehensive safeguards agreements with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). They should be urged to rectify that situation. In that regard, the Philippines supported the strengthening of the international nuclear safeguards system.

5. The Conference should commend the various initiatives for the creation of regional nuclear-weapon-free zones. All States parties, particularly the nuclear-weapon States, should be urged to support such initiatives, and the nuclear-weapon States should respect the zones, especially a nuclear-weapon-free zone in South-East Asia.

6. After 25 years, nuclear disarmament - the crux of the non-proliferation regime - had not been fully realized. Consequently, the campaign of the nuclear-weapon States for indefinite extension had been interpreted as an attempt to perpetuate an unjust status quo. The Philippines urged immediate negotiations on a comprehensive nuclear-disarmament treaty, in which all nuclear-weapon States, whether declared or de facto, would take part; that treaty should spell out the steps to be taken towards full nuclear disarmament, as well as the time-frame for its accomplishment.

7. The nuclear-weapon States should also be asked to declare to the Conference that they renounced nuclear weapons as instruments of war; that they would conclude forthwith a comprehensive test-ban treaty; and that they would pursue interim steps towards, inter alia, a cut-off convention banning production of all weapon-usable fissile materials, a treaty against first use of nuclear weapons, and a treaty containing positive and negative security assurances.

8. The Philippines also supported the establishment in the United Nations of a register of nuclear arsenals to serve as a benchmark in the disarmament process.

9. The issue of peaceful uses of nuclear energy presented a challenge in terms of peace and prosperity, necessitating an integrated approach to disarmament, collective security and economic and scientific cooperation. The Conference should call for such an approach, which should include a strengthened commitment for transfer of technology and technical cooperation to assist developing countries.

10. He agreed with the Secretary-General of the United Nations that there should be no diplomatic brinkmanship with respect to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Non-proliferation and disarmament should not be a matter for bargaining. Prompt action should be taken to put the obligations under article VI into effect. Negotiations towards stopping further development of nuclear weapons and towards eliminating them should be pursued in good faith. Only the indefinite extension of the Treaty could provide the needed stability. It was the paradox of the Treaty that, in order to make the nuclear non-proliferation regime unnecessary, through nuclear disarmament, the Treaty must continue in force indefinitely. Once the international community attained the goal of the irreversible total abolition of nuclear weapons, the question of the Treaty remaining in force would be irrelevant, except with regard to the sharing of benefits from the peaceful applications of nuclear technology.

11. Mr. KOZYREV (Russian Federation) said that the outcome of the Conference would determine whether the future was stable and predictable or fraught with the danger of a new nuclear confrontation. The Non-Proliferation Treaty was a document which, on the basis of compromise, had brought together the most varied States - large and small, nuclear and non-nuclear. It served the common interest of ensuring stability, averting the nuclear threat and promoting disarmament and, for a disarmament agreement, had attracted a record number of States parties, which needed the Treaty as a guarantee of both national and universal interests.

12. It was said that the Treaty was ineffective. However, it had unquestionably limited the spread of nuclear weapons; there were still only five nuclear Powers and the provisions of the Treaty had become inalienable norms of international law and civilized behaviour. It was significant that South Africa had voluntarily dismantled its nuclear weapons and had acceded as a non-nuclear-weapon State. It was largely because of the existence of the Treaty that, in the turmoil of the breakup of the USSR, an increase in the number of nuclear-weapon States had been avoided and Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan had acceded to the Treaty as non-nuclear-weapon States. The Russian Federation applauded the wisdom of its friends and partners in the Commonwealth of Independent States; their accession had strengthened the Treaty and the reliability of non-proliferation.

13. The Treaty had become an appreciable factor in the strengthening of regional stability; one could imagine what might have happened in the areas of local conflicts in the absence of the Treaty. The non-proliferation norm underlying the Treaty had also become a starting point for establishing nuclear-weapon-free zones. The recent adoption of Security Council resolution 984 (1995) and the harmonized statements of the nuclear Powers on the non-use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon States parties to the Treaty constituted a further contribution to the strengthening of international stability and security and had become possible because of the Treaty.

14. To the doubts and questions raised about the obligations in the Treaty to halt the nuclear-arms race and achieve nuclear disarmament, the Russian Federation, along with other States, had an unequivocal answer: the nuclear-arms race had been halted and reversed. That was indisputable. By mid-1991, an entire class of nuclear weapons of the Russian Federation and the United States had been eliminated. Under the START I Treaty, the two largest nuclear arsenals had been reduced almost by half; with the ratification of the START II Treaty, the Russian Federation and the United States would reduce their strategic offensive arms to one third, and they had also agreed to start deactivating all the strategic carriers that were subject to reduction.

15. The leaders of both countries recognized the need for further reductions and limitations in the remaining nuclear forces and had instructed their experts to accelerate work on possible reductions after the ratification of START II. The Russian Federation's agreements with the United States, China and the United Kingdom on the detargeting of their strategic nuclear forces were an important means of strengthening strategic stability and trust. The Russian Federation's strategic nuclear forces were no longer targeted against anyone.

16. The Russian Federation was committed to the final goal of the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. It proposed that all the nuclear-weapon States should proceed towards that goal, taking into account the specific nature of their nuclear potential, and possibly with a certain asymmetry of commitments. That objective could be achieved under the treaty on nuclear security and strategic stability proposed by the President of the Russian Federation at the forty-ninth session of the General Assembly (A/49/PV.5). The Russian Federation was gratified that, just before the Conference, the United States, the United Kingdom and France had joined it in making a statement solemnly reaffirming their commitment to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to nuclear disarmament (NPT/CONF.1995/20).

17. Among the major landmarks on the road to nuclear disarmament were the prohibition of nuclear tests for all time. An indefinite, universal treaty, subject to effective international control, was within reach. The Russian Federation was in favour of signing it in 1995. It was continuing to adhere to its moratorium on nuclear tests, which had been repeatedly extended. A comprehensive test-ban treaty and subsequent renunciation of the qualitative improvement of nuclear weapons would further strengthen the non-proliferation regime but would be possible only if the Non-Proliferation Treaty was in effect.

18. Another pressing issue was the ban on the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons. In the Russian Federation a programme was under way to shut down the remaining facilities which had previously produced plutonium for weapons purposes; moreover, the plutonium already produced was not being used for those purposes. The production of weapon-grade uranium had been stopped several years previously. The Russian Federation would strive to ensure that the ad hoc committee of the Conference on Disarmament began work as soon as possible on that issue.

19. The Russian Federation favoured a progressive and irreversible process of nuclear disarmament. Yet it remained realistic. The implementation of disarmament programmes showed that it was impossible to get rid of nuclear weapons overnight. The elimination of inherited nuclear arsenals was a costly process which involved solving major technical and financial problems.

20. The Russian Federation had consistently supported the IAEA safeguards as an effective verification instrument fostering confidence that all States parties were abiding by the Treaty and that unauthorized activity would be detected and terminated. The IAEA safeguards constituted a verification mechanism for non-proliferation and at the same time a powerful confidence-building measure. The Russian Federation was participating in upgrading the safeguards system.

21. The Non-Proliferation Treaty had created a favourable climate for continuously broadening international cooperation in the peaceful uses of the atom for decades to come; the Russian Federation was prepared to develop such cooperation further, including cooperation with developing countries, whether through IAEA or on a bilateral basis. However, there must be an assurance that the Treaty would continue in effect.

22. The Russian Federation firmly favoured the indefinite and unconditional extension of the Treaty; it would be inexcusable to miss the historic opportunity to achieve such an extension, thereby demolishing the foundations of international stability; in a world where the "logic" of the nuclear-arms race had only recently been defeated, that would be an inadmissible retreat. The indefinite extension of the Treaty would ensure that all its positive achievements were preserved and enhanced; it would not be a mandate for the nuclear Powers to retain their nuclear arsenals indefinitely, but would offer the prospect of progressive movement towards a world free from nuclear weapons.

23. The Russian Federation believed that the decision on the Treaty should be an open and clear expression of the will of the States parties. If it was not possible to take the decision on the basis of consensus, an open vote must be held. The States parties had the right to know each other's position with regard to the future of the Treaty; it was only on that basis that broad mutual trust, which had become one of the most important gains of the Treaty, could continue. It was the duty of each Government to state openly and unequivocally its position in its vote.

24. The Russian Federation welcomed all the new parties to the Treaty and expressed satisfaction that, with the accession of China and France, all the nuclear-weapon States had become parties. It hoped that the few countries which still remained outside the Treaty would soon find it possible to join. It called upon all States parties to make every effort to ensure that the Conference helped strengthen the Treaty through its indefinite and unconditional extension. The Treaty must remain one of the key pillars of the security system in the modern world.

25. Mr. DI TELLA (Argentina) said that the presence of his delegation carried special significance, since his Government had formally signed the instrument of accession in February 1995. Argentina was committed to the preservation of international peace and security, and remained convinced that the total elimination of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction was a crucial condition for achieving that goal.

26. He recalled that the Non-Proliferation Treaty implied a commitment on the part of the nuclear-weapon States to progress towards the total elimination of such weapons. In the absence of such progress, the imbalance between nuclear-weapon States and non-nuclear-weapon States would result in distrust and disillusionment among the latter.

27. It was in the regional context that nuclear proliferation took on its most destabilizing dimension; such senseless competition among neighbours fed on itself, resulting in a weakening of global peace. It was for that reason that Argentina and Brazil had decided to move towards closer ties in their respective nuclear policies. Their gradual coming together had led them to coordinate their efforts with Chile, and to endorse the Treaty of Tlatelolco. He welcomed the current strengthening and extension of that Treaty, including its recent endorsement by Cuba, which was an important step towards the consolidation of a nuclear-free zone in Latin America.

28. The current near-universal endorsement of the Non-Proliferation Treaty was an overwhelming response to the question of its validity and significance. Argentina believed that the Treaty should be extended indefinitely and unconditionally. That extension was necessary to ensure both the maintenance of international peace and security, and the promotion of the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Were the international community to question the extension of the Treaty, much could be lost. Also, its partial or qualified extension would set the world on a slippery slope. The principle of unquestioned, near-universal endorsement would be challenged, favouring the position of those who sought to obtain nuclear weaponry by illegitimate means. In 1992, in a historic statement, the Security Council had recognized that the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction posed a threat to international peace and security; it would be ironic if that statement were to be followed by a weakening of the Treaty. The latter situation would also be in contradiction with strong, binding regional agreements such as the Treaty of Tlatelolco. For all those reasons, he hoped that an overwhelming majority of parties to the Treaty would reaffirm its validity.

29. The Conference should also focus on the need to strengthen the IAEA safeguards system, in order to deal with situations such as those that had arisen since 1990. Situations in which parties were able to commit violations of the Treaty should no longer be allowed to occur.

30. Argentina, which had a highly developed nuclear industry, was a responsible importer and exporter of nuclear technology. It was essential to implement a strict and effective system of international safeguards as a necessary condition for nuclear cooperation and technology transfer. Furthermore, promotion of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy would be facilitated to the extent that the safeguards system adapted to new realities. The Non-Proliferation Treaty was not a strait-jacket; it was the guarantee Argentina needed to develop fully the capacities of its peaceful nuclear industry.

31. The Conference should be fully aware of the importance of strengthening and promoting international legislation on the physical protection of nuclear materials; the transportation of radioactive waste, as well as materials such as plutonium or highly enriched uranium, was a cause for great concern in terms of contamination. It was desirable to improve the effectiveness of the relevant instruments, which would be very important in the event of an environmental emergency.

32. He expressed his Government's satisfaction at the ending of the nuclear-arms race and the progressive reduction of arsenals. Such progress pointed the way for the future. Special efforts should be made to finalize the comprehensive test-ban treaty in 1995.

33. Argentina considered that the adoption by the Security Council of resolution 984 (1995) reflected the willingness of the five permanent members to review the legitimate claims of non-nuclear-weapon States to obtain assurances against their use or the threat thereof. The Non-Proliferation Treaty upheld the principle that the international community was responsible for preventing the horrors of nuclear war. All States had the duty to do whatever was necessary to ensure that the twenty-first century would begin with firmly established arrangements for the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. Argentina was firmly committed to that goal.

34. Mr. KURDI (Saudi Arabia) congratulated the States which had recently acceded to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, bringing it closer to universality. He urged all States which had not yet become parties to do so as soon as possible.

35. The goal of international peace and security was in the forefront of the aims of the United Nations, as were the principles of the peaceful resolution of disputes and of refraining from the threat or use of force in international relations. It was noteworthy that the first resolution of the General Assembly, in 1946, had called for the elimination, not only of nuclear weapons, but of all weapons of mass destruction.

36. One of the key opportunities of the post-cold-war era was the ability of States to refrain from the use of force in settling disputes. Experience had shown that security was not achieved through the stockpiling of weapons, and that possessing weapons of mass destruction did not protect States or guarantee international peace and security. The possibility of a third world war in the nuclear age represented a plausible threat to humanity.

37. The Non-Proliferation Treaty was of particular concern to the Arab States. The League of Arab States, at its latest session, had reiterated its support for the objectives of the Treaty and for the goal of universality. The effectiveness of the Treaty should be enhanced through the IAEA safeguards system. Saudi Arabia was committed to refraining from the possession, development or use of nuclear weapons, and continued to pursue the objective of making the Middle East a region free of all weapons of mass destruction. It had supported all international initiatives to that end and called upon all States in the region to cooperate seriously in achieving such a noble objective.

38. In view of the threat to regional peace presented by the Israeli refusal to join the Treaty, he called upon the Conference to endorse making the Middle East a region free of all weapons of mass destruction, and also called upon Israel to accede to the Treaty and subject its nuclear installations to IAEA safeguards.

39. Although the Treaty had been instrumental in limiting nuclear proliferation, it had not completely succeeded in limiting their horizontal and vertical spread. The absence of effective international supervision constituted a dangerous loophole in the Treaty, one that could be remedied by establishing continuous supervision of nuclear facilities, as well as by means of satellite monitoring or by random surprise inspections.
40. The strengthening of IAEA safeguards and Security Council guarantees of a universal application of the Treaty would enhance its effectiveness. However, the non-nuclear-weapon States parties also required guarantees that the Security Council would take immediate action in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations in the event that one of them was subjected to aggression or the threat of aggression involving nuclear weapons. Security Council resolution 984 (1995) was an important step to that end, but further steps were required. Other basic requirements for achieving the objectives of the Treaty were the conclusion of a comprehensive test-ban treaty and a treaty prohibiting the production or stockpiling of fissile materials for nuclear weapons, as well as additional steps by the nuclear Powers to achieve nuclear disarmament. His delegation earnestly looked forward to the fulfilment of Security Council commitments to prevent the spread of technology related to weapons of mass destruction, implement IAEA safeguards and export controls, and guarantee the universal application of Treaty provisions for the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

41. Mr. INSANALLY (Guyana) said that his delegation welcomed the recent increase in the number of States acceding to the Treaty, but the implementation of the Treaty could be improved. The nuclear-weapon States could strengthen the Treaty by introducing more decisive disarmament measures, and could enhance the welfare of those States which had voluntarily renounced the nuclear option by agreeing to a legally binding international instrument against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons. Beyond simply debating the extension of the Treaty, therefore, the Conference should also examine the actions required to satisfy more fully the Treaty's objectives; his Government was of the view that additional political impetus must be given to the operation of the Treaty.

42. The parties to the Treaty must curb the manufacture and deployment of nuclear weapons, and also accept IAEA safeguards against the illegal diversion of fissionable material. Given the apparent compulsion of nations to test and improve the nuclear weapons in their possession, however, nothing short of complete nuclear disarmament would secure the world from the potential catastrophe of nuclear war. Nuclear energy should be devoted only to peaceful purposes, but the major nuclear-weapon States had yet to undertake the appropriate transfer of peaceful nuclear technology to non-nuclear-weapon States on a non-discriminatory basis and at low financial cost. The non-nuclear-weapon States should not be expected to conform to the Treaty on terms laid down by the nuclear Powers in the absence of firm guarantees that the interests of the non-nuclear-weapon States would not be harmed. In the unequal conditions characterizing the Treaty, the nuclear-weapon States had a greater obligation to bring about complete denuclearization.

43. Because it was persuaded that nuclear non-proliferation was in the best interests of the international community, Guyana would continue to uphold the Treaty as a necessary instrument for the reduction and ultimate elimination of nuclear weapons throughout the world. In principle, Guyana did not oppose the indefinite extension of the Treaty, but an indefinite extension without conditions would remove all incentive to fully honour its obligations. Periodic review of implementation as called for under article VIII must therefore be strengthened as a guarantee of compliance by all parties. Indefinite extension had been made more acceptable by the commitment of the major nuclear-weapon States under Security Council resolution 984 (1995), as well as their unilateral declarations of readiness to provide appropriate guarantees to non-nuclear-weapon States. Such guarantees should, however, be incorporated in treaty form.

44. In conclusion, Guyana called for the reconciliation of the positions of both nuclear and non-nuclear-weapon States in determining the future of the Treaty. Such a reconciliation could only be achieved if all parties demonstrated full respect for its provisions and placed them above narrow concerns.

45. Mr. AZWAI (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya) called upon the Conference to remedy the many shortcomings of the Treaty and renew the participants' commitment to making it truly universal. Nuclear arsenals had greatly increased during the past 25 years, and the world had failed so far to agree on a comprehensive ban on nuclear testing and on banning the stockpiling of fissionable materials for military purposes. Moreover, there was a glaring discrepancy in that non-nuclear-weapon States parties were subject to IAEA safeguards while the nuclear-weapon States were not. The latter had not helped the non-nuclear-weapon States gain access to peaceful nuclear technology, but had ironically been involved in transferring nuclear technology to countries that were not parties to the Treaty. He called upon the Conference to address those negative aspects of the Treaty in the interests of collective security.

46. The Libyan Arab Jamahiriya appreciated the decision by South Africa to dismantle its nuclear weapons, and joined the countries of the Middle East in seeking to make the region free of all weapons of mass destruction. However, Israel's possession of a nuclear arsenal and its refusal to accede to the Treaty or to subject its nuclear facilities to IAEA safeguards constituted a threat to the security and stability of the region, as well as a provocation of all the Arab peoples.

47. His country supported the aims of the Treaty, but called upon the nuclear-weapon States to apply its provisions even-handedly and to set target dates for getting rid of their nuclear stockpiles. It further called for universal accession to the Treaty, as well as the nuclear disarmament of Israel and the destruction of its nuclear stockpiles. The Libyan Arab Jamahiriya insisted that Israel should not remain outside the framework of the Treaty, with its nuclear facilities exempt from the IAEA safeguards regime, and would agree to an extension of the Treaty only if Israel were compelled to dismantle all the nuclear weapons in its possession.

48. Mr. PEERTHUM (Mauritius) said that the changing international circumstances had made it even more imperative to attain the objective of a nuclear-weapon-free world. Unfortunately, the realization of that objective remained but a dream because of the emotional approach that had characterized the debate thus far.

49. From the very outset, the developing countries, speaking through the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, had called and continued to call for a comprehensive test ban, cessation of the production of fissionable materials for weapons purposes, a freeze on and the gradual reduction of nuclear weapons and delivery systems, a ban on the use of nuclear weapons, and assurances of security for non-nuclear-weapon States, as tangible steps towards the reduction and ultimate elimination of existing stocks of nuclear weapons and their delivery systems. Had the international community been able to summon the collective political will to genuinely address the aspirations of the Non-Aligned Movement, the world would have been closer to achieving that ideal. Regrettably, the four preparatory sessions had failed to solve even procedural - let alone substantive - questions. Indeed, it was difficult to understand the reasons for the international community's failure to have a thorough review of the Treaty and to take stock of its implementation thus far with a view to strengthening it. After 25 years of a so-called non-proliferation regime, little progress had been made towards eliminating nuclear weapons, and States parties appeared to be more engrossed in whether to extend the Treaty indefinitely, a move which, paradoxically, would legitimize the possession of nuclear weapons by the five nuclear Powers.

50. Clearly, the letter and spirit of the Treaty had not been observed and several of its articles had been ignored, resulting in the spread of nuclear arsenals beyond the original five nuclear-weapon States. Little progress had been made towards the conclusion of a comprehensive nuclear-test-ban treaty or a treaty on the prohibition of the production of fissile material for weapons purposes. It should be recalled, however, that the Treaty was the outcome of the fears and hopes generated by the cold war. Things had changed since then, and it was therefore timely that the review should take into consideration current realities.

51. His delegation considered that it was essential to have the Treaty as long as nuclear weapons continued to exist. Nevertheless, the ultimate objective should be to eliminate nuclear weapons and not to have a Treaty which legitimized their existence. The Treaty needed to be strengthened; a mere extension, whether for fixed periods or indefinitely, would not eliminate its weaknesses, particularly the loopholes which had enabled certain States either to acquire or be on the point of acquiring nuclear weapons while being parties to the Treaty.

52. Non-nuclear-weapon States needed assurances against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons. While Security Council resolution 984 (1995) addressed the issue, it did not go far enough. In that connection, the non-nuclear-weapon States welcomed China's strong call for the early conclusion of an international convention on the non-first use of nuclear weapons and an international legal instrument assuring non-nuclear-weapon States and nuclear-weapon-free zones against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons.

53. His delegation would also welcome the further strengthening of IAEA safeguards to bring them up to date with technological advancements. It was a matter of concern that, in addition to the current difficulties of applying those safeguards to the traditional ways of diverting weapon-grade materials, new challenges to the safeguards regime were emerging from the latest technologies entering civilian use, such as the laser-enrichment technology which enabled quick and economic production of enriched uranium.

54. The current focus on the question of whether to approve an indefinite extension of the Treaty defeated the purpose of the Conference, which should review the implementation of the Treaty before considering its extension. Indeed, the current number of non-nuclear-weapon States could not be stated with accuracy. If the Treaty was to be the cornerstone of non-proliferation, the international community should encourage universal accession to it by addressing its shortcomings. There was no reason why the Treaty could not be amended, where necessary, in pursuit of the objective of a nuclear-weapon-free world. The Conference would thereby demonstrate that it was willing to work towards a conclusion that was satisfactory to all States parties.

55. PRINCE SISOWATH Sirirath (Cambodia) said that, although the Treaty prevented the spread of nuclear weapons, the international community remained deeply concerned about their continued existence. Many believed that the Treaty was weak and unreliable, especially in the light of recent discoveries concerning the clandestine nuclear programme of certain States parties. His delegation therefore urged all States parties to cooperate fully with IAEA, which, in turn, should strengthen its safeguards system in order to detect clandestine nuclear activities.

56. Despite the planned two-thirds reduction of nuclear weapons, some of the non-nuclear-weapon States were concerned that nuclear-weapon States continued to upgrade their nuclear-armament technology and other States parties acquired the technical know-how to produce their own weapons, with the knowledge and help of the nuclear-weapon States. Cambodia, a non-nuclear-weapon State, wished to reiterate its pledge not to acquire nuclear weapons. However, nuclear-weapon States must address the mounting concern of those who believed that the Treaty had benefited only the industrialized countries and their allies by applying a double standard.

57. Every sovereign nation had a legal right to acquire nuclear reactors for peaceful purposes, provided that it agreed to inspections and cooperated fully with IAEA. Failure to acknowledge that right would reduce the incentive of States parties to the Treaty which already possessed nuclear reactors to work within international structures for nuclear cooperation.

58. Some even talked of withdrawing from the Treaty in order to force the nuclear-weapon States to disarm. Such action, however, might have the opposite effect. Tremendous progress had been made towards disarmament, even though much remained to be done. His delegation noted with satisfaction that the comprehensive nuclear test-ban treaty negotiations were well engaged, and that agreement had been reached on negotiating a mandate for the Conference on Disarmament to cut off the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons. It was also encouraging to note that IAEA was strengthening its application of the safeguards regime.

59. His delegation welcomed the accession of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and South Africa to the Treaty as non-nuclear-weapon States. For its part, the United States had recently provided answers to the fundamental questions which had long preoccupied the non-nuclear-weapon States; it had matched its words with deeds. Moreover, Security Council resolution 984 (1995) went a long way towards providing security assurances to non-nuclear-weapon States which were parties to the Treaty.

60. For all those reasons, his delegation supported the indefinite and unconditional extension of the Treaty. The international community should, however, go a step further and begin to work towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons. It hoped that the Conference would support the extension of the Treaty, preferably by consensus, in order to strengthen its implementation.

61. Mr. TOKAEV (Kazakhstan) said that, since the invention of nuclear weapons, the threat of the annihilation of civilization had become tangible. It had taken the world community a long time to realize that the interdependency of States meant that conflicts, if not neutralized in time, could endanger global stability. The Non-Proliferation Treaty had been a fairly reliable instrument for preventing an increase in the number of nuclear-weapon States, and a correspondingly increased threat of the escalation of conflicts into nuclear war. The changes brought about by the end of the cold war highlighted the urgent need to resolve the issue of nuclear arsenals in a responsible manner.

62. Kazakhstan had had to face the complex task of mastering the specifics of global nuclear politics and determining its status and position on the various issues of nuclear disarmament. From the very first days of independence, President Nazarbaev had followed a course of freeing Kazakhstan from nuclear weapons. That had been a natural choice for a State that had suffered so much from nuclear tests: 459 nuclear explosions (113 of them in the atmosphere) had been carried out in Kazakhstan. Those tests had seriously affected the life and health of the population and the ecological balance of the vast territory. Over 500,000 Kazakhs had been subjected to radiation during the 43 years of operation of the Semipalatinsk nuclear-testing ground. In December 1993, Kazakhstan had ratified the Non-Proliferation Treaty, thereby taking an important step in implementing its foreign policy of peace and adherence to the universally recognized norms of conduct in international security issues.

63. Over the quarter century of the operation of the Treaty, there had been both successes and failures in the nuclear non-proliferation policy. In spite of control by IAEA, nuclear-weapon States and the United Nations, a number of States had managed to come very close to creating nuclear weapons. Clearly, participation in the Treaty was not a guarantee that States were not creating nuclear weapons. However, the general trend in international relations was towards a non-nuclear world, and with the implementation of the START I Treaty, nuclear disarmament had been intensified.

64. Kazakhstan favoured the indefinite and unconditional extension of the Treaty. That would make it possible to strengthen the non-proliferation regime and continue efforts to reduce nuclear weapons and promote the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Any formulations that left doubts about the future of the Treaty would undermine confidence in it and threaten the non-proliferation regime. The States which were fulfilling their commitments would be the first to suffer if the disarmament process were reversed. Kazakhstan was also in favour of the early completion of nuclear-test-ban negotiations. By closing the Semipalatinsk nuclear-testing grounds forever, Kazakhstan had made a significant contribution to that goal. It was obviously very important that four out of the five nuclear Powers were maintaining the moratorium on nuclear tests; however, the comprehensive nuclear-test-ban treaty must be signed as soon as possible.

65. Non-nuclear-weapon States had a right to receive firm and legally binding security assurances, both negative and positive. Although Kazakhstan had welcomed the adoption of Security Council resolution 984 (1995), it fully supported the proposal that the security assurances should have the legally binding nature of an international instrument, which could be a protocol on security assurances forming an integral part of the Treaty. The memorandum on security assurances to Kazakhstan, Belarus and Ukraine, signed by the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States in December 1994, established a collective commitment to ensure the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Kazakhstan and safeguard it from economic blackmail. Kazakhstan had received similar assurances from China.

66. Negotiations must begin on the cessation of the production of fissionable materials for nuclear weapons, and all States possessing such materials, especially the nuclear Powers, must be invited to take part. Kazakhstan also favoured an early start of nuclear-disarmament negotiations among all five nuclear-weapon States in line with their commitments under article VI of the Treaty. The issues of nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation had become interdependent, and international security could be achieved only through joint efforts of both the nuclear-weapon and the non-nuclear-weapon States.

67. Kazakhstan respected the efforts of a number of States to establish regional security mechanisms to enhance the non-proliferation regime. It was actively working to implement President Nazarbaev's initiative to convene a conference on cooperation and confidence-building measures in Asia which could become an important factor in progress towards a nuclear-free world.

68. Kazakhstan appealed to all participants in the Conference to support the indefinite and unconditional extension of the Treaty as a guarantee of the effectiveness of the existing non-proliferation regime and of strengthening security and stability throughout the world.

69. Mr. Hasmy (Malaysia), Vice-President, took the Chair.

70. Monsignor MAMBERTI (Observer for the Holy See) said that, by acceding to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Holy See had sought to manifest its support for the efforts of the international community to control the future of mankind, which was still threatened by the discovery of nuclear power and the military and civilian uses to which it had been put. History showed that mankind needed a sense of responsibility in order to live with what it had invented. Once let out, no human discovery can be "put back into the bottle" and it was therefore necessary for the international community to be aware of the risks which nuclear power presented and to establish rules of conduct applicable to all of its members.

71. It was well known that the objective of the Treaty was not merely to prevent nuclear proliferation but also to create a framework for nuclear disarmament and to facilitate access by all States to nuclear power, while preventing the risk of its improper use. The question to be asked, however, was whether the Treaty had been fully implemented and what kind of political commitment was required from each State party for its full implementation. Moreover, the principle of nuclear non-proliferation was not of itself sufficient to provide security. Non-proliferation should be part of a system of security under which the more powerful States of a region were required to commit themselves to dialogue with and respect for the weaker States by reconciling their national interests with the interests of the community of nations as a whole.

72. It was also evident that the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons must be accompanied by general and complete disarmament. Indeed, the Conference should manifest a clear political intention to achieve disarmament in order to create a favourable environment for the effective implementation of the Treaty. The aim of the Conference was not to redraft the Treaty or to include new provisions, but rather to create conditions for the more effective implementation of the Treaty by building confidence among all the parties thereto.

73. It would probably be dangerous to leave a legal vacuum on the question of non-proliferation, since that would open the door to nuclear conflicts and accidents. The Holy See was of the view that the Treaty should be maintained and strengthened. Indefinite extension, however, was not an end in itself and must be accompanied by a willingness by all concerned to ensure its implementation.

74. The Treaty was a major component of the structure of international instruments concerning weapons of mass destruction and should be seen as part of the international community's efforts to minimize the risk of a conflagration. The extension of the Treaty was justified by those objectives and could therefore be seen not as a mere ratification of the status quo but rather as a dynamic instrument in the service of peace. The risk of proliferation of nuclear weapons, as of other types of weapons, would probably never be eliminated and that was why international legal instruments governing them were so important. The history of mankind showed that peace and security, like justice, were never definitively won but had to be fought for continuously and with each new generation.

75. Nuclear disarmament must be accompanied by the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction as well as by the limitation of conventional weapons. Nuclear-weapon States must therefore assume their special responsibilities in that regard while non-nuclear-weapon States must renew or enter into a commitment not to acquire nuclear weapons. States which did not acquire nuclear weapons must receive legal guarantees that nuclear weapons would not be used against them and that they would be protected against their use. Moreover, any international agreement on global security required universal accession to the Treaty and the strengthening of its verification mechanisms and of disarmament measures. The Conference offered an opportunity to improve the current international situation and should not be turned into an adversarial debate on the extension of the Treaty.

76. In order to be effective, the Treaty must be complemented by a series of bilateral, multilateral and regional agreements on disarmament, the banning of nuclear tests, and the monitoring of progress in reducing nuclear weapons. Furthermore, the use of nuclear technologies for peaceful purposes must be carefully reviewed by the international community in order to guarantee more effectively the security of peoples and the preservation of all life. The risks inherent in the peaceful uses of atomic energy were now better known and the international community should therefore consider the need for international control and management of nuclear power. Since the peaceful uses of nuclear power also had applications in the fields of agriculture and medicine, nuclear power should be considered as a part of the common heritage of mankind.

77. The system of verification of the transfer of technologies must be improved, strengthened and expanded. In that connection, IAEA should seek to embody more effectively the international community's sense of responsibility in the nuclear field.

78. It was for those reasons that the Holy See appealed to the sense of responsibility of all concerned to support a new consensus on the principles and purposes of the Treaty.

79. Mr. CAMACHO OMISTE (Bolivia) noted that the Conference's historic responsibility vis-à-vis the Treaty coincided with the collective renewal of confidence in the purposes and principles of the Charter on the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations. His delegation would do everything possible to contribute to the search for decisions which would win majority support and make it possible to achieve consensus. His Government's position would reflect its traditional peaceful policy. Bolivia believed that the basic objective of eliminating the nuclear threat was still valid and should be strengthened.

80. The parties to the Treaty must pursue negotiations taking into account the obligations of all countries, so as to avoid an imbalance among rights and duties; there was no question of ensuring advantages for some countries; instead, collective solutions must be found to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and promote global disarmament. A basic element of relations among States was the principle of fulfilment of international obligations in good faith. International stability and legality were assured through the fulfilment of obligations deriving from treaties and other sources of international law. The termination or suspension of a treaty was often the result of a serious breach. International justice and the implementation of treaties were the basis for interchange among the peoples and peaceful coexistence.

81. Language was a significant aspect of treaties. His delegation would prefer not to use the term "unconditional" for commitments in which all aspects were equally important, since otherwise there could be an imbalance between rights and duties. A climate of trust would help to promote progress. States must avoid becoming entangled in positions which, while reflecting legitimate individual and sovereign concerns, made it difficult to achieve the higher common interest. Efforts must be resumed to achieve universality of the Treaty. No State could refuse to participate in solving issues of general interest which affected mankind. It was only with full support of the regime by all countries that the survival of the world could be ensured.

82. The subject of non-proliferation and the elimination of nuclear weapons must be approached in a balanced and comprehensive manner, along with other aspects linked to the Treaty. There must be a complete nuclear-test ban, a legal strengthening of the regime of security assurances, a strengthening of safeguards mechanisms and effective promotion of nuclear cooperation for peaceful purposes so as to promote long-term economic and social development. The use of nuclear weapons or threat of their use would be a total negation of international law and civilized coexistence among nations. Bolivia therefore favoured the indefinite extension of the Treaty as a means of achieving the objectives embodied therein.

The meeting rose at 6.15 p.m.