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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 38, June 1999

Statements at the CD

India

Statement by Ambassador Savitri Kunadi, 24 June 1999

"[M]y delegation has requested the floor to set out its views on the continuing inability of the CD to get down to substantive negotiations through the adoption of its Programme of Work. ...

India supported the proposal submitted by the G-21 on a Programme of Work contained in CD/1570. ... India also took note of the proposal contained in CD/1566 submitted by the Ambassador of the USA as the President of the CD following his consultations and representing his views, on the CD's Programme of Work.

Between these two proposals...we had on the table common elements which were readily apparent and on these there was no opposition from any delegation. These related to the establishment of ad hoc committees on fissile materials and NSAs [Negative Security Assurances] and the re-appointment of special coordinators on APLs [Anti-Personnel Landmines] and TIA [Transparency-in-Armaments] as well as on the re-appointment of special coordinators on review of agenda, expansion of membership and the improved and effective functioning of the Conference. It is important to note that the outstanding issues on which the CD needed to find common ground were only two - Nuclear Disarmament and Outer Space. That was the position in January and it is so now - six months later.

India shared the widespread sentiment in the CD that it was important to preserve these common elements while at the same time exploring ways and means of intensifying consultations on those elements...on which consensus still eluded the Conference. ...

[I]n cases where the Conference has not been able to commence negotiations on a specific item on its Agenda, it is incumbent on the members to persist with efforts to find consensus - which for this multilateral body negotiating matters concerning [the] national security of its member States, is its life-sustaining mechanism. We believe that the Rules of Procedure provide ample room for such consensus-building measures, provided of course that there is a willingness on the part of all backed by the necessary will to engage in a process of consultation and dialogue with the aim of finding consensus. At the same time, it is important that decisions of the CD are within the framework provided for in the Rules of Procedure. ...

The current impasse...[is] related to the inflexible positions of a few delegations that have prevented agreement being reached on the two outstanding issues... In this context, there have been proposals to seek the decision of the Conference on one or two elements on the Programme of Work. This artificial separation of the elements of work and attempts to give them automatic annual extensions is unprecedented in the CD, nor is there provision in the Rules of Procedure. To describe these proposals as interim do not make them any more acceptable. Automatic renewal of subsidiary bodies is unacceptable as it divorces the work of the CD from the overall reality in which that work is undertaken. ...

[W]e are all aware that the success of negotiations in the CD depend to a large measure on the common recognition by delegations that the disarmament measures they negotiate are global and non-discriminatory and will therefore enhance their security. The quest for a unilateral security advantage for a few States goes contrary to the spirit that can sustain the negotiation and completion of credible disarmament instruments by this Conference. Surely, when individual States or groupings of States assert the right to exclusive standards of national security at the expense of security of all others, this does not constitute a measure that promotes the realization of the international disarmament agenda. ..."

Pakistan

Statement by Ambassador Munir Akram, 3 June 1999

"Pakistan is concerned that recent developments may signify that the 'golden opportunities' of the post-Cold War era may be ending. The past few months have witnessed a significant deterioration in the relations between the major global powers. It is evident that in the capitals of two of these powers considerable concern exists about the danger of unilateralism, domination and use of force emanating from the 'sole Superpower'.

Secondly, the determination in some circles to abrogate or erode the ABM Treaty, the launching of the companion programmes for National Missile Defence and Theatre Missile Defences and the pursuit of new military technologies and weapons for deployment and use in Outer Space, threaten to scuttle existing strategic nuclear arms control agreements (START II) and prospects for further reductions in strategic and tactical nuclear weapons. On the contrary, the development and deployment of ABM and TMD systems may generate a new spiral - quantitative and qualitative - in a multi-polar arms race.

Thirdly, the adoption of a renewed 'Strategic Concept' by a regional military alliance - despite the declared end of the Cold War - is bound to generate considerable concern in a wide spectrum of nuclear and non-nuclear States. This 'Strategic Concept' asserts that nuclear weapons provide 'the supreme guarantee of security of the allies'. 'Uncertain' and 'unforeseen' future threats are offered as the rationale for maintaining huge arsenals of nuclear arsenals. Among them is an inflated concern about the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Military attacks are justified against such capabilities of other States. And it is asserted that the allies will ensure uncertainty in the mind of any aggressor about the nature of their response to military aggression. Such threat, including the possible use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon States, represent an erosion of even the conditional negative security assurances offered to the non-nuclear-weapon States under resolution 255 and 984 of the Security Council.

While Pakistan is not a party to the NPT, it seems to us that the operational 'sharing' of nuclear weapons between nuclear and non-nuclear members of this alliance, as reaffirmed by the Strategic Concept, constitutes a violation of the NPT's most basic obligations, set out in Articles I and II of the Treaty. And the expansion of this military alliance also represents de facto horizontal nuclear proliferation. The double standards of some of the crusaders for the NPT's 'nuclear world' are now even more evident.

Finally, the rest of the world cannot but be extremely disturbed by the references in the new 'Strategic Concept' to new and unprecedented missions which can be conducted without recourse to the provisions of the UN Charter. This is contrary to Article 53 of the UN Charter which states explicitly: '...no enforcement action shall be taken under regional arrangements or by regional agencies without the authorization of the Security Council...' The only exception was made in the case of 'enemy States' which do not exist any longer.

No State, or group of States, can assume the license as a matter of standing policy to use force against other States. Unless these assertions of unilateralism are formally qualified or rescinded, they could unravel the entire concept of 'collective security' which is the basis set out in the UN Charter for the maintenance of international peace and security. ...

The proceedings of the Conference on Disarmament cannot remain impervious to the international political and strategic environment. It is disingenuous to express surprise at the difficulties encountered this year in arriving at an agreement on the CD's work programme, especially if there is no desire to ensure that it is balanced and comprehensive. ...

In document CD/1570, the Group of 21 submitted a draft programme of work envisaging the establishment of an ad hoc committee on nuclear disarmament. This did not prove acceptable to a few Member States. We do not accept the assertion that the Conference cannot advance beyond the so-called 'delicate compromises' of 1998. The consultative 'Troika' [past, present and forthcoming President of the Conference] mechanism of last year was designed to advance the prospects for the establishment of an appropriate negotiating mechanism on nuclear disarmament. Last year's arrangement was not meant to keep the issue of nuclear disarmament in a state of limbo. The 'Troika' mechanism has outlived its utility. The CD must now devote more serious attention to nuclear disarmament.

In a spirit of compromise and flexibility, the Group of 21 accepted the suggestion out forward by the distinguished Ambassador of Venezuela, in his capacity, as CD President, to establish a Working Group on nuclear disarmament with an appropriate mandate. It may be recalled that the proposal for a Working Group emanated from five Western group members. ... It was understood that an appropriate mandate for the Working Group could be agreed through further consultations. It is regrettable that this avenue for promoting compromise was not actively pursued. My delegation believes that as a first step towards meaningful negotiations on nuclear disarmament, the mechanism of a Working Group represents the lowest common denominator and agreement on this mechanism should be promoted through further Presidential consultations. ...

In my statement here on 25 February 1999, I outlined the reasons why Pakistan believes that the item on Outer Space requires urgent attention in the CD. ... We do not comprehend the reasons which prevent the CD from creating an ad hoc committee to address this issue seriously. It is surely disingenuous to say that since there is at present no arms race in outer space, there is no need for an ad hoc committee. Should we wait until such an arms race is commenced? We may not have to wait for long.

Following on the plans formulated by the 'stewards for military space' to which I referred in my statement last February, updated blueprints designed to achieve 'full spectrum dominance' in the 21st century have now been formulated. Together with other revolutionary military technologies, covering every aspect of modern day armaments, recommendations have been made for a constellation of space-based lasers to provide global coverage; for an array of space-orbiting vehicles which could unleash high-density kinetic energy weapons on ground targets. We believe that efforts toward militarisation of outer space, or deployment of other weapon systems relying on a space dimension, will create new and dangerous instabilities. ...

Prevention is better than cure. This is so for non-proliferation as well as for the threat of weapons proliferation in outer space. The international community must take action now to prevent outer space from being transformed into the new arena in the quest for global dominance and hegemony."

Russia

Statement by Ambassador Vasily S. Sidorov, 10 June 1999

"The NATO aggression against the sovereign Yugoslavia has gravely complicated [the] international climate. The world has been faced with a new attempt to establish a power dictate. Russia firmly rejects such an approach, it contradicts the evolution trends of [a] multipolar world order and [the] legitimate interests of a majority of States. The military operation by NATO in the Balkans has violated the basis of international law and the UN Charter. The list of numerous victims grows every day. Especially outrageous is the fact that the Alliance is using indiscriminate inhumane weapons, such as cluster bombs and depleted uranium munitions, which bring sufferings mainly upon the civilian population. Enormous ecological losses have been caused to one of the most densely populated corners of the European continent that threaten to extend to neighbouring areas. ...

The celebrations on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of NATO clearly demonstrated that no real transformation of the Alliance from a military into a primarily political organization has ever taken place... It is the North Atlantic Alliance's intention to resolve problems involving risks and challenges of the new generation using 'Cold War' means with reliance on military force. The concluding documents of the NATO Summit lay claim to the domination of this organization not only in European but also in world politics. What is particularly alarming is that the Alliance departs from its former defensive strategy and openly proclaims its right to conduct any operations, including military ones, beyond its geographical area of responsibility. In Russia there is a serious concern about [mention] by the North Atlantic Alliance organization [of] 'transparency without geographical limits'. This means further eastward advancement of the Alliance to the very borders of the Russian Federation. ...

The bill on establishing [a] national anti-missile defence system, which has recently been adopted by the House of Representatives of the US Congress, cannot be considered otherwise than as the next step in undermining the 1972 ABM Treaty. In its statement on 11 May the Russian delegation...noted that such actions could lead to destruction of the existing structure of treaties in the field of strategic offensive and defensive weapons, and create a threat to the whole disarmament process.

Thus, the 1999 work of the CD is taking place in the light of a very difficult international situation...[which] demonstrates the high sensitivity of our forum to political developments in the world. All the circumstances mentioned above, of course, have been bound to make an impact on the effectiveness of the CD's activities and have objectively contributed to delaying our substantive work. Nevertheless, I should like to set down the Russian delegation's priorities in the work of the Conference.

FMCT and the Question of Nuclear Disarmament

... Now, it can be definitely said that there is no more 'Cold War' arms race. It is difficult to deny that [the] two major powers have already done a lot in this respect during recent years. Nevertheless, nuclear disarmament is a time-consuming and costly process, which requires solutions to a whole range of financial, technical and environmental problems. This process is evolving today in accordance with concluded treaties and unilateral measures. In some important aspects this is being done ahead of schedule. We are in favour of other nuclear powers joining our efforts aimed at reducing nuclear arsenals.

We should like to emphasise that deep reductions of strategic offensive weapons are only possible under conditions of maintaining strategic stability in the world. In this connection, it is useful to recall that the initiative by the President of Russia...put forward at the 49th session of the United Nations General Assembly on 26 September 1994 to work out a 'Treaty on Nuclear Security and Strategic Stability' is still on the negotiating table. We continue to urge that all nuclear weapons should be withdrawn back to the territories of the nuclear powers.

The START process is most closely linked with a strict respect[ing] of the provisions of the 1972 ABM Treaty. There is an intrinsic interrelationship between START and strategic defensive armaments. ... This interrelationship provides that deep reductions of strategic offensive weapons are only feasible under conditions of a limited ABM system. ...

We believe that it is pointless now to go into in-depth theoretical discussions concerning future practical steps to eliminate nuclear weapons and, what is more, to fix artificial deadlines... We are convinced that an effective and logical step to be taken in the field of multilateral nuclear disarmament after the nuclear test ban is a FMCT [Fissile Materials Cut-Off Convention]... We think it would be wrong...to waste time searching [for] any alternative issues in the field of nuclear disarmament topics...

Outer Space

... The issue of the prevention of an arms race in outer space has been for many years...among the highest priorities for Russian diplomacy. It is suitable to recall that the Russian side has repeatedly initiated proposals in this field. As the most significant of them, we could mention proposals on concluding treaties prohibiting the deployment in outer space of any kind of weapon, and banning the use of force in outer space and from outer space. Despite worldwide support...the initiatives have never been implemented in practice...

The 1967 Treaty on Outer Space does not establish a general prohibition [against] the use of outer space [for] military purposes. The international community has not yet elaborated rules prohibiting deployment, use and testing in space...[for] weapons other than weapons of mass destruction. Progressive development of space equipment and state-of-the-art technology weapon systems can provide a positive incentive for some States to use this legal loophole for purposes inconsistent with...peaceful activities in space...

We propose that the speedy elaboration of a legal regime prohibiting deployment of offensive weapons in outer space should become one of the principal tasks of the international community. We fully share the point of view of those partners who deem it better to consider today the means of preventing an arms race in outer space rather than waste tomorrow huge amounts of resources to disarm it. ..."

© 1999 The Acronym Institute.

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