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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 45, April 2000

NPT Update
The Review Conference Opens: Dominant Issues & Contested Claims
By Rebecca Johnson and Jenni Rissanen

Appendix includes:

The Sixth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) opened at the United Nations in New York on April 24, 2000. Ambassador Abdallah Baali of Algeria was elected by acclamation as President of the Conference. In his opening address, Baali welcomed the nine accessions to the NPT since 1995 and gave a brief overview of positive and negative developments. He drew particular attention to the nuclear tests by India and Pakistan, the US Senate's refusal to ratify the CTBT, delayed progress on nuclear disarmament, the continued existence of over 30,000 nuclear weapons, the nuclear strategies of NATO and Russia, and US plans to deploy ballistic missile defences that would be incompatible with the ABM Treaty. But warning against "yielding to pessimism", Baali also spoke of positive developments, including unilateral nuclear reductions and greater transparency, developments on nuclear-weapon-free zones (NWFZ), the model additional IAEA protocol to increase the effectiveness of the safeguards regime, and the conclusion of the CTBT. Saying that "the outcome of this Conference will have a major impact on deciding the future course of the NPT and the nuclear non-proliferation regime for generations to come", and commending the role of civil society and NGOs, Baali called for differences to be bridged with a "determination to find a common agreement on realistic measures that could help us in advancing further towards the fullest realisation of the goals of the Treaty from now until the next review conference in 2005 and beyond".

After much behind-the-scenes negotiations with key states in the run-up to the Review Conference, Baali confirmed consensus agreement on the establishment of two subsidiary bodies, on nuclear disarmament and on regional issues, with reference to the Middle East. The subsidiary bodies were set up along the lines proposed during the Preparatory Committees (PrepComs) by South Africa and Egypt and taken up by the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), despite opposition from some of the nuclear powers, especially the United States, in the run-up to the Conference.

The United Nations Secretary-General and the Director General of the IAEA both addressed the opening of the Conference. The Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, reminded Conference participants that "the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, remains a major threat to peace" and that the challenge for NPT Parties was to "embark on a process that will ensure the full implementation of all of the provisions of the treaty by all of the States Parties". Like Baali and many of the speakers who followed, the Secretary-General made reference to some of the regime's challenges, such as the thousands of nuclear weapons still on hair-trigger alert, tactical nuclear forces, the "re-affirmation of nuclear doctrines", including retention of first use by some of the nuclear-weapon states (NWS), and the "pressure to deploy national missile defences...jeopardising the ABM Treaty". He also expressed concern that "the established multilateral disarmament machinery has started to rust...due...to the apparent lack of political will to use it". Considering that the most effective way to implement the Treaty and build on past progress would be "to embark on a results-based treaty review process focussing on specific benchmarks", Annan suggested what such marks might be: entry into force of the CTBT; deep irreversible reductions in nuclear weapons stocks; consolidation of nuclear-weapon-free zones and negotiation of further NWFZ; binding security assurances; improvements in transparency of nuclear weapon arsenals and nuclear materials.

IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei spoke of the importance of safeguards and verification and summarised some of the problems, challenges and developments in the IAEA's work. In particular, he urged all states to conclude their Article III safeguards obligations and also to sign up to the additional protocol developed after the problems with Iraq and North Korea, as this would enhance the effectiveness of inspections and the enforcement of the NPT. ElBaradei also referred to "sluggish" progress on disarmament and the danger of unravelling the non-proliferation regime. He quoted the 1996 advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and called for "comprehensive and in-depth dialogue among the weapon states on practical measures to gradually reduce the number of, and move away from dependence on, nuclear weapons for their defence strategies, and thus lead by example".

More than 90 national and group statements were heard, many of which echoed the points made in the opening addresses of the President and the UN Secretary-General. There were references to the lack of universality of the Treaty and worries arising from the nuclear tests by India and Pakistan, emphasised especially by European countries and Japan. Algeria's Secretary-General for Foreign Affairs, Abdelmajid Fasla, called for a NWFZ in the Middle East. Several of the Arab States and others raised concerns about Israel's unsafeguarded nuclear programme. Many pointed to the continuing failure to resolve the compliance challenges from Iraq and North Korea and expressed disappointment at the slow uptake of IAEA full-scope and strengthened safeguards. While the NWS emphasised their own efforts, others were unhappy with the slow progress of START reductions and of nuclear disarmament in general, and castigated the reaffirmation of the central or continuing role of nuclear weapons in strategic concepts. Many also raised the destabilising impact of missile defence plans, while some noted that missile proliferation also needed to be addressed.

The deadlock in the Conference on Disarmament (CD) and consequent failure to negotiate the agreed ban on the production of fissile materials for weapons (fissban) was repeatedly highlighted. Ireland proposed that the time had come for the NWS to negotiate and jointly submit a draft text for a cut-off treaty to the CD for further elaboration and adoption as a multilateral instrument, and that they should apply its core provisions pending entry into force. Germany insisted that the 1995 Shannon mandate (which specified a cut-off of future production) "must not be called into question", but Algeria emphasised that the negotiations "need to provide for existing stocks to be placed under international controls". Norway made a comprehensive proposal for dealing with fissile materials and reinforcing any future multilateral cut-off treaty.

On the positive side, many welcomed the conclusion of the CTBT by the target date of 1996 and the number of ratifications so far, with especial praise for Britain, France and the recent vote by the Russian Duma. Though there were several mentions of the US rejection of CTBT ratification, the Administration's continued commitment to the Treaty was welcomed. Among those who lamented the delayed entry into force of the CTBT, many urged a continued moratorium on nuclear tests and concerted actions and high-level missions to persuade the hold-outs to ratify. Many also welcomed Russia's recent ratification of START II and urged speedy bilateral agreement on START III and deeper reductions. Unilateral reductions by Britain and France and China's long-held position on no-first use were also applauded, amidst calls for further steps to be undertaken.

Nuclear-Weapon States

P-5 Statement

To the surprise of many, the NWS managed to agree a "P-5" statement by the beginning of the second week of the Conference, after months of wrangling. This is notable for being the first such joint statement in an NPT Review Conference, though there were P-5 statements at two of the PrepComs. Inevitably it papered over the fissures of division over the ABM Treaty, the CD's programme of work and the fissile materials ban. In presenting the paper, the French Ambassador, Hubert de la Fortelle, particularly highlighted paragraph 10, which declared that "none of our nuclear weapons are targetted at any state". Although nuclear weapons can be retargetted relatively quickly (in some cases in minutes), this paragraph was welcomed as a confidence-building measure that would ensure that accidental or unauthorised launches of nuclear weapons would not annihilate targetted cities.

Among 23 paragraphs covering non-proliferation, disarmament, safeguards and nuclear energy, the declaration on detargetting was the only possitive, new development. Faced with strong pressure from non-nuclear-weapon states to make an "unequivocal undertaking to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals", which the weapon states continue to avoid, the P-5 statement utilised the language of "unequivocal commitment" twice: for fulfilling all their obligations under the NPT and for the "ultimate goals of a complete elimination of nuclear weapons and a treaty on general and complete disarmament". As made clear in their statements the following day, this linguistic sleight of hand did not satisfy the New Agenda or NAM states.

One problem for the non-nuclear-weapon states (NNWS) is that the language of these two commitments turns the clock back to before the 1996 ICJ advisory opinion, accepted by the majority of states, which went beyond the Article VI language of pursuing negotiations in good faith (in part because for the first 20 years after the Treaty's entry into force, Article VI presided over an escalating nuclear arms build-up). According to the ICJ, there exists a legal obligation that nuclear disarmament should be pursued and brought to a conclusion without conditions or linkages with general and complete disarmament. The P-5 statement puts nuclear disarmament back into the distant context of total worldwide disarmament.

The P-5 welcomed indefinite extension and reaffirmed commitment to all the decisions adopted in 1995, including the resolution on the Middle East. In calling for India and Pakistan to undertake the measures in UN Security Council resolution 1172, adopted shortly after the May 1998 tests, the P-5 underline that those countries are not to be accorded any special status. Notwithstanding (and not mentioning) the failure so far of the United States and China to ratify the CTBT, the statement stressed that "no efforts should be spared to make sure that the CTBT is a universal and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty and to secure its early entry into force", and that there should be "no doubt as to the commitment of our five countries to that effect".

The NWS' position was rather more equivocal when it came to the ban on the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons, as referred to in paragraph 4 (b) of the 1995 Principles and Objectives. China's demand that the negotiations on a fissban be conditional on agreeing a programme for work in the CD won out over the desire of the other four to have the negotiations start without delay or conditions. The CD's ability to negotiate a fissban or cut-off treaty is currently deadlocked because China and others want outer space issues and nuclear disarmament to be addressed as well. The United States opposes setting up a committee on 'prevention of an arms race in outer space', recognising that the pressure to address space issues arises from concerns about US plans for ballistic missile defences. Recalling that negotiations on the CTBT had gone ahead in 1995, when the CD was similarly unable to adopt a full programme of work, many delegations have pushed for a firm commitment from the NPT parties to commence fissban negotiations without conditions. But after days of tough negotiations with China, the P-5 seem to have accepted the linkage, which is likely to undermine attempts by others to get a stronger endorsement of immediate fissban negotiations into the NPT's final document. Western delegations put a brave face on the deal by emphasising that at least the P-5 did not say that the programme of work had to be 'balanced and comprehensive' as China has insisted in the CD.

The five also held tough talks on paragraph 11, dealing with the START process and the ABM Treaty. In the end, the statement welcomed Russia's recent ratification of START II and stressed the importance of the "completion of ratification" of START II by the United States, which has yet to ratify the September 1997 protocol to the accord. The P-5 "look forward to the conclusion of START III as soon as possible while preserving and strengthening the ABM Treaty as a cornerstone of strategic stability and as a basis for further reductions of strategic offensive weapons..." The rest of the statement: commits to putting fissile materials "designated by each of us as no longer required for defence purposes" under safeguards or international verification; supports NWFZ, including in Central Asia and the nuclear-weapon-free status of Mongolia; expresses a willingness to discuss security assurances; endorses the strengthened safeguards developed by the IAEA and promises to ratify their own Additional Protocols; affirms the nuclear energy provision of Article IV, while promising "to maintain the highest practical levels of nuclear safety".

Reaction to the P-5 statement was mixed. Some welcomed it as a sign that deep divisions among the weapon states over missile defence and arms control priorities could be papered over and would not now derail the Review Conference. The commitment to preserving the ABM Treaty was welcomed, if it meant that the United States will not abrogate the Treaty. But there are concerns that each of the nuclear states has a different interpretation about what "strengthening" the ABM Treaty would entail, including the US argument for modifications to permit it to deploy a national missile defence system.

On the one hand, the fact that there is a P-5 statement at all is viewed as an achievement, with credit due especially to France for its persistence and coordination and to Britain for getting agreement on the de-targetting paragraph. On the other hand there is cynicism that despite their own deep divisions, the nuclear club will stick together to sustain their privileges in the face of concerted efforts by the non-nuclear states to press for the delegitimisation and elimination of nuclear weapons. In particular, as statements from the New Agenda Coalition and NAM the following day made clear, many NNWS are disappointed at the inability of the NWS to make a clear and unequivocal commitment to eliminating their nuclear arsenals, without conditions or nebulous, far-off concepts like 'in good faith' and 'ultimate goal'. Both the New Agenda Coalition (NAC) and the NAM stressed that "the total elimination of nuclear weapons is an obligation and a priority and not an ultimate goal, and even less a goal that is linked, subject or conditioned to general and complete disarmament".

In advance of their joint statement, each of the NWS made national statements identifying and explaining their positions and the steps they have taken to comply with the Treaty.

United States

By the time US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright spoke on the opening day, US missile defence plans had already been criticised by several delegations, and even the UN Secretary-General had raised concerns that the pressure to deploy national missile defences was jeopardising the ABM Treaty. Describing the indefinite extension of the NPT in 1995 as "a priceless gift for our children - and ourselves", Albright said that the Treaty "has transformed acquiring a nuclear weapon capability from an act of national pride to a cause for international alarm". The Secretary of State openly acknowledged that "the sharpest suspicions under the Treaty are directed to whether the five nuclear-weapon states are doing enough under Article VI to bring about nuclear disarmament" and stressed that "we share the frustration many feel about the pace of progress toward a world free of nuclear weapons". Addressing "broader concerns raised by missile defences", Albright defended the Clinton Administration from accusations of "sabotaging the ABM Treaty and strategic arms control". She argued that the world had changed since the Treaty was signed, that it had already been amended once "and there is no good reason it cannot be amended again to reflect new threats from third countries outside the strategic deterrence regime".

Presenting a comprehensive booklet setting out the nuclear and disarmament-related steps undertaken by the United States over the past decade, she quoted President Clinton as noting that "the United States has devoted more time, effort, and resources to nuclear arms control and disarmament than any other country". Albright welcomed Russia's recent steps in ratifying START II and the CTBT and also stressed US support for the test ban notwithstanding the Senate defeat. In particular, she stressed the Administration's firm commitment not to resume testing and continued support for the CTBTO Preparatory Commission, assuring the Conference that "like the President, I am convinced that America will ratify the CTBT". The statement concluded with a warning that "if countries demand unrealistic and premature measures, they will harm the NPT and set back everyone's cause".

Russia

Russia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Igor Ivanov, opened with "heartfelt greetings" from President Vladimir Putin, underlining the importance he attached to the NPT Conference. Ivanov then referred to "new serious threats to international security and stability", including "local conflicts, international terrorism and militant separatism". He also castigated "attempts to build national stability at the expense of the interests of other states...[and] misappropriation of the right to use force" in violation of the UN Charter and international law, calling such actions "a direct invitation to a new arms race". Presenting also a longer, detailed "National Report on the Compliance by the Russian Federation with the Non-Proliferation Treaty", Ivanov enumerated the concrete reductions and confidence-building steps which Russia has undertaken in the past decade, and said that Moscow was prepared to reduce its nuclear arsenal to 1,500 warheads, providing that the United States would do the same. Such a "historic chance" would be missed, however, if the ABM Treaty were to be destroyed. In case anyone missed the point, Ivanov reiterated it in several ways, underlining that "compliance with the ABM Treaty in its present form without any modifications is a prerequisite for further negotiations on nuclear disarmament in accordance with Article VI" of the NPT. Ivanov then put forward Russia's March 2000 initiative to establish a Global Missile and Missile Technologies non-proliferation control system as a "real alternative" for addressing missile threats and missile proliferation.

China

Ambassador Sha Zukang reiterated China's policy with regard to support for ridding the world of nuclear weapons and its call for the other weapon states to join China in promising not to use nuclear weapons first, and said that CTBT ratification was being considered by the National People's Congress. While acknowledging that the NWS "must faithfully implement their obligations for nuclear disarmament", Sha identified two preconditions for Beijing's participation in arms control negotiations: that they did not compromise global strategic balance and stability or undermine China's national security interests. As the NNWS have increased their demands for more information about nuclear weapon and fissile material holdings, China has felt it necessary to justify its reticence in this area. Sha explained China's position with reference to "a superpower which rampantly intervenes in other countries' internal affairs, and wilfully resorts to force, continuously improving its overwhelming first-strike nuclear capability". Under such circumstances, he said, "it is neither conducive to their own security nor in the interests of global strategic balance and stability to ask the small or medium sized nuclear countries to take transparency measures".

Much of Sha's statement focussed on US missile defence plans. He quoted President Jiang Zemin that such programmes "will inevitably exert an extensive negative impact on international security and stability and trigger off a new round of arms race in new areas..." Responding to criticisms that China was blocking CD attempts to get fissban negotiations underway, Sha countered that "the prevention of the weaponisation of outer space is a task even more urgent than the FMCT negotiations".

Britain

Britain's statement, entitled "Towards a nuclear-free world", was delivered by Foreign Office Minister Peter Hain MP. He endorsed the European Union (EU) statement and said that the Labour Government had made an unequivocal commitment to the pursuit of nuclear disarmament and "transformed Britain's role". Arguing that Labour was "driving the agenda forward", Hain reiterated UK policy that "when we are satisfied with progress towards our goal of the global elimination of nuclear weapons, we will ensure that British nuclear weapons are included in negotiations". He enumerated UK achievements, including: early ratification of the CTBT; a moratorium on the production of fissile materials for weapons and support for FMCT negotiations; withdrawal and dismantlement of all air-delivered nuclear weapons, leaving just one remaining submarine-based system (Trident), with reduced warheads, all of which have been de-targetted, single patrols, and a reduced state of readiness. Describing how Britain has led the way in providing greater transparency, Hain announced the publication of a UK study on verifying the reduction and elimination of nuclear weapons.

France

Describing French policy as one of "strict sufficiency", Ambassador Hubert de la Fortelle presented a detailed report of French efforts to comply with the NPT, including: early ratification of the CTBT and the closure of the Moruroa test site; cessation of fissile materials production and dismantlement of its military production facilities; the complete phasing out of land-based nuclear weapons (leaving submarine-based and airborne nuclear systems, of which the delivery vehicles have been halved); a reduction in alert status; and commitment to security assurances, especially in the context of NWFZ. France also repeated its willingness to discuss issues relating to disarmament at the CD "subject to a mandate adopted by consensus", along the lines of the proposal made by five NATO countries (Belgium, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Norway) in 1999. In a clear warning to the United States, de la Fortelle said that France was "anxious to avoid any challenges to the Treaty liable to bring about a breakdown of strategic equilibrium and to restart the arms race".

Non-Nuclear-Weapon States

New Agenda Coalition

The New Agenda Coalition of Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa and Sweden, has been a significant political force so far at the Conference. The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mexico, Ms. Rosario Green, presented a joint statement, which was followed by a working paper. Drawing on the New Agenda's 1999 UNGA resolution, co-sponsored by over 60 states and supported by more than a hundred, the NAC working paper underlined the necessity for the NWS to make an "unequivocal undertaking to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals and, in the course of the forthcoming review period 2000-2005, to engage in an accelerated process of negotiations..." The Coalition wanted the disarmament process to be more transparent, irreversible and accountable. As well as emphasising the importance of the CTBT, fissban and universality of the NPT, they proposed several interim steps, including: measures to adapt nuclear policies to "preclude the use of nuclear weapons"; de-alerting and the removal of warheads from delivery vehicles; reducing and eliminating tactical nuclear weapons; transparency; and further measures to remove fissile material from weapons programmes.

Non-Aligned Movement

The NAM proposed 47 draft recommendations to be considered by the review conference. Following on from earlier criticisms of NATO nuclear sharing arrangements, nuclear cooperation between Britain, France and the United States, and concerns that Israel, India or Pakistan may still be receiving assistance in nuclear-related technology, the NAM paper carried strong statements endorsing articles I and II and calling on nuclear and non-nuclear weapon states to "refrain from nuclear sharing for military purposes under any kind of security arrangements", and also to prohibit the transfer of nuclear-related equipment and technology etc. to states non-party to the NPT "without exception".

Five paragraphs dealt with nuclear testing, endorsing the CTBT's prohibition of "peaceful nuclear explosions", which Article V of the NPT had allowed. The NAM urged universal adherence to the CTBT and called on all states which had not yet done so to sign and ratify the Treaty. In an unmistakable reference to sub-critical tests and laboratory testing, the nuclear powers were enjoined to refrain from conducting all types of tests in conformity with the objectives of the CTBT and to "comply with the letter and spirit of the CTBT".

Twelve paragraphs were devoted to nuclear disarmament and article VI. These re-affirmed nuclear disarmament as the priority in disarmament negotiations, endorsed the START process and gave support for an ad hoc committee on nuclear disarmament in the CD. The call for negotiations for a treaty "banning the production and stockpiling of fissile material" for nuclear weapons went beyond the basic Shannon mandate. Particular concerns were raised about missile defences and "the pursuit of advanced military technologies capable of deployment in outer space", and the NAM called on the United States and Russia to comply fully with the ABM Treaty. Reiterating the proposals first made by South Africa in 1998, the NAM backed the establishment of a subsidiary body to Main Committee I (Nuclear Disarmament) to "deliberate on practical steps for systematic and progressive efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons" and for specific time to be allocated for the same purpose at the Preparatory Committee meetings.

The NAM emphasised the importance of universality and gave support to NWFZ, including the initiatives in Central Asia and Mongolia. They supported NWFZ in South Asia and the Middle East "on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at among the states of the region" and devoted a further seven paragraphs to the Middle East resolution, supporting the establishment of a subsidiary body and calling for the resolution's full implementation. They stressed "the special responsibility of the depositary states", Britain, Russia and the United States, which had co-sponsored the resolution in 1995.

Under article III, the NAM supported the IAEA safeguards regime and supported full-scope safeguards as a "necessary precondition" for new supply arrangements. No mention was made of the strengthened IAEA safeguards arising from Programme 93+2 developed after the discovery of Iraq's clandestine nuclear programme. Much was made of the "inalienable right" to develop nuclear energy, and the paper called for the removal of "unilaterally enforced restrictive measures" - namely the export controls operated through the Zangger List and Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) - saying that no NPT-party should be denied technology, equipment or assistance on the basis of "allegations of non-compliance not verified by the IAEA".

European Union

The European Union made joint statements in the general debate and to each of the Main Committees. In its statement to MC.I, the EU noted that the programme of action (paragraph 4 of the Principles and Objectives) adopted in 1995, which provided "concrete standards against which progress in the field of nuclear disarmament can be measured" had not been completed and that further steps needed to be identified. The statement referred to the US Senate rejection of the CTBT as a "setback" and said that the tests by India and Pakistan ran "contrary to global efforts towards nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament". Regretting that "annual haggling" over the adoption of the CD work programme had prevented concrete negotiations on a fissban, the EU urged NPT parties to commit themselves to getting the negotiations underway without further delay and without conditions. Pending conclusion, the EU wanted a complete moratorium and halt to the production of military plutonium and highly-enriched uranium. Underlining the principles of "transparency, accountability, confidence-building and irreversibility", the EU backed the START process "with a view to achieving further deep reductions in strategic nuclear weapons and the verified dismantlement of warheads destined for disarmament under this treaty".

In a new move, the EU highlighted the problems of tactical nuclear weapons, and called for them to be brought into negotiations "with the objective of their reduction and eventual complete elimination". Reaffirming the importance of the ABM Treaty, the EU said it shared concerns about the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery vehicles, but that in responding, it was important not to take actions "which have the effect of harming the integrity and validity of the Treaties which underpin nuclear non-proliferation and strategic stability". There was also a section on 'general and complete disarmament' making reference to the CWC, BWC, conventional arms, and the importance of regional peace and stability.

Specific Issues of Concern

The Middle East

As in past years, Egypt has taken the lead in pushing for NPT parties to address the problems posed by Israel's unsafeguarded nuclear facilities and nuclear weapon capabilities. After calling in the general debate for a "mechanism to monitor and follow-up the progress made" in implementation of the 1995 resolution, Egypt followed up with a working paper to Main Committee II (Safeguards and NWFZ), which began to be discussed in the first meeting of subsidiary body II on regional issues and the Middle East, chaired by Ambassador Christopher Westdal of Canada.

Egypt proposed that there should be: i) a follow up committee comprising the chair of each session of the PrepComs plus the three depositary states, to initiate contacts with Israel and report back to successive review conferences; ii) a special envoy from among NPT states parties to pursue discussions with Israel and report back; and iii) further work undertaken by the depositary states.

In its statement to subsidiary body II, Britain disagreed with Egypt's view of the special responsibilities of the depositary states and said that the resolution clearly called on all States Parties to work for the early establishment of a Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction. However, Britain reiterated its call to Israel to adhere to the NPT as a non-nuclear-weapon state and to place all its nuclear facilities under full-scope IAEA safeguards. Furthermore, Britain indicated guarded interest in Egypt's proposal for a special envoy to be sent to the Middle East on behalf of NPT parties "with the task of assisting the states of the region in their endeavours to establish a zone free of all weapons of mass destruction". Britain asked for further details, including a possible mandate and arrangements for financing such a special envoy, saying that "in certain circumstances", this "could be a positive move".

Safeguards

Many statements shared IAEA Director-General ElBaradei's stated concerns that 54 NPT Parties had still not brought their safeguards agreements into force. South Africa, however, recognized that the failure to complete the agreements was often due to the lack of a nuclear infrastructure. Disappointment was expressed over the sluggish pace in which states have signed and/or ratified additional protocols based on the 1997 Model Protocol. In their P-5 statement, the NWS urged all NNWS to sign the additional protocol and said that they were in the process of seeking ratification for their own agreements. The EU considered that the additional protocols "form an integral part" of the IAEA agreements, are relevant for the implementation of the NPT, and that adherence to them should be considered mandatory.

Australia, Canada and New Zealand suggested that not only the safeguards agreement but also an additional protocol should in the future be regarded as constituting the full-scope safeguards required by Article III of the NPT and specified as a condition of supply in the Principles and Objectives. It is expected that the G-10 (a group of Western non-nuclear states which regularly meets in Vienna: Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Hungary, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden) will propose that the Conference's forward-looking documents include a reference that the 2005 Review Conference consider the adoption of the additional protocol as a condition of supply in the future. The proposal comes at a time when there are reports that China and the Russian Federation have allegedly expressed reservations about the principle, agreed in the 1995 package, that the recipient country must have full-scope safeguards in place and pledge not to acquire nuclear weapons. According to an article by Mark Hibbs in Nuclear Fuel on April 17, these views came to light during the drafting of the NSG and the Zangger Committee reports. The question is reportedly a hot topic at the NSG at the moment due to an announcement on April 6 that Russia is planning to sell two new nuclear power reactors to India, an action the US is expected to object to. Ireland stated in its Main Committee III (Nuclear Energy) statement that "under no circumstances should those who have refused to accept the non-proliferation commitment…be treated more favourably than those very many states who have taken on this obligation."

Iraq referred to the IAEA Director General's report from 1998 and said it was "in full compliance" with all its obligations under the NPT and the IAEA's safeguards regime, protesting that "no action had been taken" to force Israel join the NPT and place its facilities under safeguards.

The EU and the NAM called for fissile material regarded as excess to defence needs to be placed under IAEA safeguards. The P-5 were committed to placing their excess materials under IAEA or other verification "as soon as practicable". Britain, for its part, said it had placed its excess material under EURATOM safeguards and subjected them also to inspection by the IAEA. The United States said it was working together with Russia and the IAEA on this.

Export Controls

Concern was expressed again by several NAM states that export controls were administered in ways that hindered their right to participate in the "fullest possible exchange of equipment, materials and scientific and technological information" provided for in Article IV. Furthermore, perceptions differed as to whether the goal of increased transparency on export controls, called for in the 1995 Principles and Objectives, had been reached. Italy, currently chairing the NSG, gave examples of the measures the NSG had taken to increase transparency, and stressed that the process was still ongoing. The EU assured that it would take part in the promotion of further measures. Australia said that both the NSG and Zangger Committee "have acted with determination to improve transparency..." The United States argued that export controls were "more transparent than ever." In contrast, Egypt, whose view was shared by many NAM states, said the objective of increased transparency had not been achieved yet and that instead "the limitations…are increasing in a flagrant contravention of the letter and spirit of both the Treaty and the Decisions on Principles and Objectives."

Iran said that the record of commitment to Article IV of the NPT had not been promising, arguing that the progress made on cooperation in and transfer of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes had been "slow and dismal". Iran expressed its "dismay over the systematic denial of transfer of technology…and restrictive export control policies" by the nuclear suppliers. It said that the main objective, the domination and exclusive possession of nuclear technology by developed countries, was disguised "under the pretext of non-proliferation" and called for the situation to be rectified. Iran's view was reflected in the NAM working paper, which called for the removal of "unilaterally enforced restrictive measures beyond safeguards" and instead promoted "multilaterally negotiated, universal, comprehensive and non-discriminatory agreements" as the best way to address proliferation concerns. Furthermore, the NAM argued that no NPT Party should be denied technology, equipment or assistance on the basis of "allegations of non-compliance not verified by the IAEA".

Nuclear Energy

Statements on the non-military application of nuclear energy predictably reaffirmed the NPT's "inalienable right" to develop research, production and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. The developing world particularly emphasized the need for unrestricted transfers of technology and better cooperation and technical assistance and stressed that the IAEA's technical cooperation funds must be made adequate. Ensuring the safety of nuclear material and waste were stressed, particularly in transhipment.

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia endorsed Article IV but stressed that the dangers of the old nuclear plants should be addressed because "another Chernobyl should not occur". Japan talked openly about the criticality accident that occurred in Tokai-mura last September and said information sharing was necessary so that others too could learn from such experiences. Amidst the many pro-nuclear energy statements, some had reservations. Ireland reminded delegations of the dangers of nuclear energy, saying that although the world had been relatively fortunate until now, "the potential for catastrophe is always there". Austria spelled out its position, saying that nuclear energy did not contribute to sustainable development and could therefore not play a key role in future energy policies.

In expressing concern about the maritime transport of nuclear materials and radioactive waste, New Zealand was joined by Australia, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Ireland, MERCOSUR (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay) plus Bolivia and Chile, and the South Pacific Group (SOPAC). These countries raised the issues of safety, security, liability and compensation in the case of an accident, underlining the need for further discussion. New Zealand said it was disappointed that the dialogue on compensation and liability issues with Japan, France and Britain had recently been "suspended" by them. It was seeking a regime of prior notification and, ideally, also prior consent for the transboundary movement of radioactive waste. France said that it intended to be fully transparent and inform concerned countries of the conditions of the shipments of nuclear material and waste, but stressed that "the right of navigation and the freedom of the seas…cannot be infringed upon". The South Pacific states want the shipments only to be made if the cargo is of minimal risk, the ships of the highest standards, and by states that agree to promote the safety of the material, and in the case of an accident, are prepared to provide compensation to countries harmed.

The Review Process

China has reportedly put forward an argument that, strictly speaking, the language of Decision 1 on strengthening the review process (1995) covers only the five years from 1995 to 2000. Although its representatives have assured everyone that this does not mean that China wants to curtail the review process, the analysis has caused some disquiet among delegates. Calling for the "revitalisation of the review process", several states acknowledged that the review process had not met the 1995 expectations. Ireland proposed that the NPT parties establish a small secretariat and hold annual meetings of states parties with decision-making powers. Lithuania proposed extending the review process from three to four sessions and wanted a mechanism to "transform principles and objectives into action". Switzerland wanted a package of "reaffirmed principles and updated and supplemented objectives" and an action plan on a range of issues. Similarly, Norway's Foreign Minister, Thorbjorn Jagland proposed a "programme of action" for the review process to follow up the decisions taken in the review conference, with annual meetings devoted to a limited number of specific issues, such as developing a comprehensive strategy for dealing with fissile materials, increased transparency for nuclear materials, arsenals and export controls, the CTBT, tactical nuclear weapons, and increasing uptake of the IAEA's additional protocol.

Without wanting to reopen or renegotiate the 1995 decisions, Japan proposed that the early PrepComs should focus more on the review, implementation and universality of the NPT, and should be able to address relevant international and regional issues at each session, and that drafting recommendations and preparing for the next review conference should be left to later PrepComs. Canada argued that the review process should be enhanced "with a requirement to more frequently track, discuss and document movement toward translating our commitments into action". Egypt stressed that the questions which "lend themselves to easy agreement" should not be treated separately from those on which consensus is harder to attain. Further working papers are expected soon, with the likelihood that Baali will convene a special closed plenary to discuss proposals for improving the review process.

Conclusion

The 2000 Review Conference will have to decide how well the Treaty has been functioning during the past five years. According to the 1995 decisions, the Conference must also look forward and identify ways and means to strengthen the non-proliferation regime. For most, this task includes discussing and agreeing on next steps, especially to bring about nuclear disarmament among the five defined nuclear-weapon states and the three remaining outside the NPT.

Until the Russian Duma ratified START II and the CTBT, forecasts for the 2000 Review Conference were pessimistic. Russia's swift seizure of the arms control initiative helped shift the logjam. Though welcomed by the United States, it also put Washington on the defensive, which made the Americans more willing to compromise on procedural questions such as the subsidiary bodies on nuclear disarmament and regional issues/the Middle East.

Unknown in non-proliferation circles before being designated President of the Review Conference in December 1999, Baali has impressed with his determination to achieve compromises, his willingness to consult, and his deft brokering of issues of contention. Though many of the non-nuclear states are profoundly dissatisfied with the joint P-5 statement, they consider that without it the deep divisions over US plans to deploy national missile defences would probably have deadlocked the meeting. Depending on what emerges from the deliberations of the two subsidiary bodies and the main committees, the chances of this Conference adopting a final document have improved, but can by no means be guaranteed. There are concerns, however, that as the Conference progresses, the nuclear-weapon states are being let off the hook.

The real test of the NPT Review is not whether the Conference can adopt a consensus document, although such agreement would be symbolically important, but how the parties get to grips with the worrying signs that the nuclear powers are mistaking the NPT provisions as a carte blanche to develop leaner, meaner nuclear forces. In addition to encouraging the START process to take irreversible steps to much lower levels, beyond even the 1,000-1,500 that Russia has proposed, what steps will be undertaken to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in strategic doctrine and military policy? Over the next two weeks, decisions will have to be made not only on the basis of what would contribute to the successful conclusion of this conference, but on what would make it harder for individuals or countries to buy, make, keep, deploy or use nuclear weapons in the future. True success, therefore, will be measured by what NPT Parties and the holdouts do in the next five years, and whether more effective measures can be agreed to ensure better implementation, greater accountability, and the prevention of nuclear accident or war.

Rebecca Johnson is Executive Director and Jenni Rissanen is the Geneva analyst for The Acronym Institute. They are attending the NPT Review Conference and providing regular reports. This article is drawn from seven of the Acronym reports, available at http://www.acronym.org.uk/index.htm, covering the first part of the Conference, to May 4. A full report and analysis will appear in the next issue.


Appendix: Selected Documents

P-5 Statement

'Statement by the delegations of France, the People's Republic of China, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America,' May 1

"1. The delegations of China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States, on the occasion of the sixth Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, formally reiterate the strong and continuing support of our countries for this Treaty, the cornerstone of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and the essential foundation for nuclear disarmament. We remain unequivocally committed to fulfilling all of our obligations under the Treaty.

2. We welcomed the decision on indefinite extension of the Treaty adopted in 1995 by its member states. We reaffirm our commitment to strengthening the review process of the Treaty and to the principles and objectives for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. We reaffirm our commitment to the resolution on the Middle East adopted in 1995. The principles established by those documents will make a continuing contribution to the review process, the Treaty remaining its fundamental guide.

3. The progress of NPT universality has been confirmed after the 1995 conference. We welcome the accession to the Treaty by Chile, Vanuatu, the United Arab Emirates, Comoros, Andorra, Angola, Djibouti, Oman and Brazil. Today, there are 187 member states. We reiterate the need for universal adherence to the NPT and call upon states that have not yet done so to accede to the Treaty at an early date. The nuclear explosions carried out by India and Pakistan in May 1998 were a cause of deep international concern. We continue to call upon both countries to undertake the measures set out in UNSCR 1172. Notwithstanding their nuclear tests, India and Pakistan do not have the status of nuclear-weapon states in accordance with the NPT.

4. We stress that compliance with the NPT by all member states is essential to further the comprehensive goals of the Treaty.

5. We reiterate our unequivocal commitment to the ultimate goals of a complete elimination of nuclear weapons and a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.

6. A program of action was set out by the 1995 Review and Extension Conference as important in the full realization and effective implementation of Article VI. In pursuit of that program, there have been highly significant multilateral, bilateral and unilateral developments since 1995.

7. The CTBT was opened for signature in New York on September 24, 1996. The five nuclear-weapon states all signed it that very day. Today, 155 states have signed it and 55 of them, including 28 whose ratification is necessary for its entry into force, have deposited their instruments of ratification with the Secretary General of the United Nations, including France and the United Kingdom in a joint ceremony on 6 April 1998. The recent ratification of the CTBT by the Russian Federation is welcome. The Preparatory Commission for the CTBT Organization has been set up in Vienna and is putting into place the international monitoring system of the Treaty. Important progress has been made so far in the setting up of the verification system. We remain committed to ensuring that, at entry into force of the CTBT, the verification regime will be capable of meeting the verification requirements of this Treaty. The first conference of states having ratified the Treaty to consider the issue of its entry into force took place in Vienna in October 1999. No efforts should be spared to make sure that the CTBT is a universal and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty and to secure its early entry into force. There should be no doubt as to the commitment of our five countries to that effect.

8. As one logical multilateral step in the full realization and effective implementation of Article VI, we reaffirm the necessity of a non-discriminatory, universally applicable and internationally and effectively verifiable convention banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices negotiated in accordance with the 1995 statement of the Special Coordinator of the Conference on Disarmament and the mandate contained therein. We urge the Conference on Disarmament to agree on a program of work as soon as possible, which includes the immediate commencement and early conclusion of negotiations on such a treaty.

9. The contribution of the five nuclear-weapon states to systematic and progressive efforts to reduce nuclear weapons globally has been and will be highlighted by each of us nationally.

10. Emphasising the essential importance of cooperation, demonstrating and advancing mutual trust among ourselves, and promoting greater international security and stability, we declare that none of our nuclear weapons are targeted at any state.

11. Ratification of START II by the Russian Federation is an important step in the efforts to reduce strategic offensive weapons and is welcome. Completion of ratification of START II by the United States remains a priority. We look forward to the conclusion of START III as soon as possible while preserving and strengthening the ABM Treaty as a cornerstone of strategic stability and as a basis for further reductions of strategic offensive weapons, in accordance with its provisions.

12. We are committed to placing as soon as practicable fissile materials designated by each of us as no longer required for defence purposes under IAEA or other relevant international verification. We have launched a number of significant initiatives to provide for the safe and effective management and disposition of such materials.

13. We welcome the creation of two new nuclear-weapon-free zones since 1995 as a significant contribution to the enhancement of regional and international peace and security: South-East Asia and Africa. The five nuclear-weapon states have signed and, in most cases, ratified all the relevant protocols to the treaties of Tlatelolco, Rarotonga and Pelindaba; internal processes are underway to secure the few lacking ratifications. The consultations with States Parties to the treaty of Bangkok have recently been accelerated, paving the way for our adherence to the additional protocol. We are looking forward to the successful and early conclusions of those consultations. We encourage the states in Central Asia to pursue successfully their efforts to create a nuclear-weapon free zone in their region. We support and respect the nuclear-weapon free status of Mongolia.

14. We note that the actions of the nuclear-weapon states since 1995 on the relevant additional protocols to nuclear-weapon-free zone treaties have increased the number of non-nuclear-weapon states eligible for legally binding Negative Security Assurances to over 100. We reaffirm our commitment to United Nations Security Council resolution 984 adopted in April 1995 on security assurances for NPT non-nuclear-weapon states. According to operative paragraph 10 of resolution 984, the issues addressed in that resolution remain of continuing concern to the Security Council. We are ready to exchange views relating to the positive security assurances referred to in the resolution.

15. We consider the international safeguards system of the International Atomic Energy Agency as one of the essential pillars of the non-proliferation regime. This system acts as a guarantee for stability and the preservation of world peace. We call on all States Parties, which are required by Article III of the Treaty and have not yet done so, to sign and bring into force comprehensive safeguards agreements without delay.

16. The development and the implementation of the strengthened safeguards system of the IAEA through new agreements is a significant achievement. We praise the remarkable work carried out by the IAEA in this field and hope that the strengthened system soon spreads across all regions of the world. Here again, universality is the challenge we face. To date, Additional Protocols have been signed by more than fifty non-nuclear-weapon states; nine of them have entered into force. We urge all non-nuclear-weapon states that have not yet done so to sign without delay the additional protocol with a view to its early implementation.

17. As regards states not members of the NPT, one of them has recently signed an Additional Protocol with the IAEA. We encourage the three others to negotiate an Additional Protocol with the IAEA.

18. All the five nuclear-weapon states signed an Additional Protocol with the IAEA and shall seek to ratify their agreements as soon as possible.

19. We support the promotion of transparency in nuclear related export controls within the framework of dialogue and cooperation among all interested States Parties to the treaty and we welcome the initiatives taken in order to carry out this objective.

20. We reaffirm the inalienable right of all the parties to the Treaty to develop research, production, and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Treaty and the relevant principles on safeguards. Pursuant to our obligation under Article IV, we have provided our support for the technical cooperation programs administered by the IAEA, which has enabled many nations to make progress in the application of nuclear technologies in important fields such as agriculture, hydrology, medicine and environment.

21. We stress the importance of international cooperation in order to maintain the highest practicable levels of nuclear safety. In this regard, we welcome the entry into force and the first review meeting of the convention on nuclear safety as well as the opening for signature of the joint convention on the safety of spent fuel management and on the safety of radioactive waste management. We call on all states which have not yet done so to sign and ratify those two conventions.

22. We are determined to take a forward-looking approach to nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament. The NPT provides an indispensable framework for future efforts against nuclear proliferation and towards nuclear disarmament. We fully acknowledge our particular responsibility and key role in ensuring continued progress in the implementation of the NPT.

23. The five nuclear-weapon states hope similarly genuine commitment to the pursuit of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament as a contribution to enhanced peace and security will be shown by all states members of the NPT and states outside the NPT. We will continue to work together and with the non-nuclear weapon states for the success of the review process."


NAC Working Paper

NAC Working Paper on Nuclear Disarmament, April 24; unofficial version

"The Delegations of Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa and Sweden, propose the following text as the identification of areas in which and the means through which further progress should be sought in the future regarding the obligation under Article VI to achieve nuclear disarmament:

Nuclear Disarmament

The Sixth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons,

Reaffirming the preamble and articles of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons,

Stressing the importance of the full implementation of the decisions and the resolution adopted at the 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and their continued validity,

Bearing in mind that the overwhelming majority of states have entered into legally binding commitments not to receive, manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, and recalling that these undertakings were made in the context of corresponding legally binding commitments by the nuclear-weapon states to the pursuit in good faith of nuclear disarmament,

Recalling the unanimous conclusion of the International Court of Justice in its 1996 advisory opinion that there exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control,

Reaffirming that the strict observance of the provisions of the Treaty remain central to achieving the shared objectives of preventing under any circumstances the further proliferation of nuclear weapons, and preserving the Treaty's vital contribution to peace and security,

Concerned that negotiations on nuclear arms reductions are currently stalled,

Concerned also at the continued retention of the nuclear-weapons option by those three states that operate unsafeguarded nuclear facilities and that have not acceded to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and at their failure to renounce that option,

Stressing that the Treaty on the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems remains a cornerstone of strategic stability and underlining the responsibility of its States Parties to preserve its integrity,

Underlining the imperative, in the interim leading to the elimination of nuclear weapons, of lessening the role of these weapons in security policies in a manner that enhances strategic stability so as to facilitate the process of elimination,

Affirming that the maintenance of a nuclear-weapon-free world will require the underpinnings of a universal and multilaterally negotiated legally binding instrument or a framework encompassing a mutually reinforcing set of instruments,

Bound by the Treaty to the achievement of a nuclear-weapon-free world,

Affirms the need to move with determination to the full realisation and effective implementation of the purposes and all the provisions of the Treaty, and affirms the accountability of the States Parties for the fulfilment of their obligations under the Treaty, and to this end:

1. The five nuclear-weapon states make an unequivocal undertaking to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals and, in the course of the forthcoming Review period 2000-2005, to engage in an accelerated process of negotiations and to take steps leading to nuclear disarmament to which all States Parties are committed under Article VI;

2. The United States of America and the Russian Federation undertake to fully implement START II and commence without further delay negotiations on START III with a view to its early conclusion;

3. The nuclear-weapon states undertake to proceed to the early integration of all five nuclear-weapon states into the process leading to the total elimination of their respective nuclear weapons;

4. The five nuclear-weapons states undertake, as early and interim steps:

(a) To adapt their nuclear policies and postures so as to preclude the use of nuclear weapons;

(b) To proceed to the de-alerting, to the removal of nuclear warheads from delivery vehicles and to the withdrawal of all nuclear forces from active deployment pending their complete elimination;

(c) To reduce tactical nuclear weapons and to proceed to their elimination as an integral part of nuclear arms reductions;

(d) To demonstrate greater transparency with regard to their nuclear arsenals and fissile material inventories;

(e) To further develop the Trilateral Initiative between the United States of America, the Russian Federation and the International Atomic Energy Agency so as to include all five nuclear-weapon states in similar arrangements and 'to ensure the irreversible removal of fissile material from weapons programmes.

(f) To apply the principle of irreversibility in all nuclear disarmament, nuclear arms reduction, and nuclear arms control measures;

5. States Parties agree on the importance and urgency of achieving:

(a) The signature and ratification, unconditionally and without delay, of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and, pending the entry into force of the Treaty, the observance of moratoria on nuclear tests;

(b) A non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, taking into consideration both nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament objectives, and pending the entry into force of the treaty, the observation of a moratorium on the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices;

(c) The establishment in the Conference on Disarmament of an appropriate subsidiary body with a mandate to deal with nuclear disarmament;

6. States Parties agree on the importance and urgency of the pursuit, extension and establishment of nuclear weapon free zones, on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at, among states of the regions concerned, especially in regions of tension, such as the Middle East and South Asia, as significant contributions to a nuclear-weapon-free-world;

7. The States Parties agree on the importance of the negotiation and conclusion at an early date of an internationally legally binding instrument to effectively assure non-nuclear-weapon states party to the Treaty on the Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons;

8. The States Parties call upon those states that have not yet done so, to adhere unconditionally and without delay to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and to take all the necessary measures required by adherence to that instrument as non-nuclear-weapon States Parties;

9. The States Parties call upon the three states that operate unsafeguarded nuclear facilities and that have not yet acceded to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and that have not renounced the nuclear weapons option to reverse clearly and urgently the pursuit of all nuclear weapons development or deployment and to refrain from any action that could undermine regional and international peace and security and the efforts of the international community towards nuclear disarmament and the prevention of the proliferation of nuclear weapons."


NAM Working Paper

'Working Paper presented by the members of non-aligned countries parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons,' April 24; unofficial version

"The Non-Aligned Movement States Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons believe, in terms of the strengthened review process and in the context of fully implementing the Treaty and pursuant to the decisions and resolution adopted by the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference, that recommendations which have been deliberated upon throughout its preparatory process, should be considered at the 2000 Review Conference with a view to their adoption at the Conference.

The Non-Aligned Movement States Parties to the Treaty recall that at the Durban Summit Meeting, the Heads of State or Government of the Movement recalled their principled positions on nuclear disarmament and the related issues of nuclear non proliferation and nuclear tests, which were contained in the Final Document of the 1995 Cartagena Summit Meeting. They expressed their concern at the slow pace of progress towards nuclear disarmament, which constitutes their primary disarmament objective. They noted the complexities arising from nuclear tests in South Asia, which underlined the need to work, even harder to achieve their disarmament objectives, including elimination of nuclear weapons. They further recalled that at the 2000 Ministerial Meeting, held in Cartagena, Colombia, the Foreign Ministers reiterated the Movement's longstanding principled position for the total elimination of all nuclear testing and expressed concern over the recent negative developments with regard to the ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

The Non-Aligned Movement States Parties to the Treaty recall further that the Heads of State or Government of the Movement at the Durban Summit also considered positively the commitment by parties concerned in the South Asian region to exercise restraint, which contributes to regional security, to discontinue nuclear tests, and not to transfer nuclear weapons-related material, equipment and technology.

The Non-Aligned Movement States Parties to the Treaty believe further that the 2000 Review2 Conference of the NPT should engage immediately, in good faith, in substantive work for the speedy and meaningful implementation of the obligations under the Treaty and the commitments in the 1995 Principles and Objectives document, and the resolution on the Middle East.

The Non-Aligned Movement States Parties to the Treaty recall that at the Ministerial Meeting in Cartagena, Colombia, the Foreign Ministers, called for the full implementation at the 2000 NPT Review Conference of, and the firm commitment by all States Parties to, the package agreed to at the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference which comprises the decision on 'Strengthening the Review Process for the Treaty', the decision on 'Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament', the decision on 'Extension of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons', and the 'Resolution on the Middle East'.

We recall that the Preparatory Committee agreed to recommend to the Conference that Rule 34 of the Rules of Procedure be amended to allow for the establishment of subsidiary bodies to the Main Committees of the Conference so as to provide for a focused consideration of specific issues relevant to the Treaty. In this context, the Cartagena Ministerial Meeting reaffirmed the importance of the implementation of the call by the NAM Heads of State or Government for the Review Conference to establish a subsidiary body to Main Committee I to deliberate on practical steps for systematic and progressive efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons, as well as a subsidiary body to Main Committee II to consider and recommend proposals on the implementation of the resolution on the Middle East adopted by the 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the NPT.

We believe that this kind of approach will strengthen the review process and will provide the basis for a successful outcome of the 2000 Review Conference. In this vein, the NAM proposes the following draft recommendations to be considered by the Review Conference.

Preamble

1. The States Parties believe that the Treaty is a key instrument to halt vertical and horizontal proliferation of nuclear weapons and they will work towards a fair balance between the mutual obligations and responsibilities of the nuclear-weapon states and non-nuclear-weapon states with a view to achieving the complete elimination of nuclear weapons.

2. The States Parties undertake to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices, without hampering the peaceful uses of nuclear energy by States Parties to the Treaty and they shall fulfil their commitments on the unimpeded and non-discriminatory transfer of materials, equipment, scientific and technological information for peaceful uses of nuclear energy to all States Parties without exception.

3. The States Parties agree that to ensure the effective implementation of the Treaty, and of decisions, resolutions and documents adopted at the Review Conference, an open-ended standing committee, which would work inter-sessionally to follow up recommendations concerning the implementation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, should be established by the Treaty's 2000 Review Conference.

Article I

4. The States Parties agree that the strict observance of the terms of Article I remains central to achieving the shared objectives of preventing under any circumstances further proliferation of nuclear weapons and preserving the Treaty's vital contribution to peace and security.

5. The nuclear-weapon States Parties to the NPT reaffirm their commitments to the fullest implementation of this Article and to refrain from nuclear sharing for military purposes under any kind of security arrangements, among themselves, with non-nuclear-weapon states, and with states not party to the Treaty.

6. The States Parties remain concerned about the ability of certain states not parties to the Treaty to obtain nuclear materials, technology and know-how to develop nuclear weapons. The States Parties call for the total and complete prohibition of the transfer of all nuclear-related equipment, information, material and facilities, resources or devices and the extension of assistance in the nuclear, scientific or technological fields to states non-parties to the Treaty without exception.

Article II

7. Non-nuclear-weapon States Parties to the NPT reaffirm their commitments to the fullest implementation of this Article and to refrain from nuclear sharing for military purposes under any kind of security arrangements with the nuclear-weapon states, non-nuclear-weapon states, and states not party to the Treaty.

Article III

8. The States Parties believe that the International Atomic Energy Agency is the competent authority to verify the compliance of the States Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and reaffirm that IAEA safeguards are an essential element in guaranteeing compliance with their Article III undertakings. In this regard, all States Parties which have not yet done so should sign without delay the safeguards agreements required by Article III of the Treaty.

9. The States Parties call on the nuclear-weapon states and all States not party to the Treaty to place their nuclear facilities under full-scope safeguards of IAEA.

10. The States Parties that have concerns regarding non-compliance with the safeguards agreements of the Treaty by any States party should direct such concerns, along with supporting evidence and information, to the Agency to consider, investigate, draw conclusions and decide on necessary actions in accordance with its mandate. Measures should be taken to ensure that the inalienable rights of all States Parties under the provisions of the preamble and articles of the Treaty are fully protected and that no State party is limited in the exercise of this right based on allegations of non-compliance not verified by the IAEA.

11. The States Parties support the principles that new supply arrangements for the transfer of source of special fissionable material or equipment or material specially designed or prepared for the processing, use or production of a special fissionable material to non-nuclear-weapon states should require as a necessary precondition, acceptance by all States Parties of fullscope safeguards; and that excess nuclear material in military stockpiles and nuclear materials removed from nuclear weapons as a result of nuclear weapons reduction agreements should be placed under IAEA safeguards.

12. Every effort should be made to ensure that the IAEA has the financial and human resources necessary in order to meet effectively its responsibilities in the areas of technical cooperation, safeguards and nuclear safety.

Article IV

13. The States Parties reaffirm their inalienable right to engage in research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination; and that free and unimpeded and non-discriminatory transfer of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes to all States Parties be fully ensured.

14. The States Parties reaffirm that beyond safeguards required under the Treaty, unilaterally enforced restrictive measures which prevent peaceful nuclear development should be removed.

15. The States Parties note with concern that undue restrictions on export to developing countries of material, equipment and technology, for peaceful purposes persist. They emphasise that proliferation concerns are best addressed through multilaterally negotiated, universal, comprehensive and non-discriminatory agreements. Non-proliferation control arrangements should be transparent and open to participation by all states, and should ensure that they do not impose restrictions on access to material, equipment and technology for peaceful purposed required by developing countries for their continued development. They express their strong rejection of attempts by any member state to use the International Atomic Energy Agency's…technical cooperation programme as a tool for, political purposes in violation of the IAEA's statute.

16. The States Parties reaffirm the responsibility of nuclear supplier States Parties to the Treaty to promote the legitimate needs of nuclear energy of the States Parties to the Treaty, with preferential treatment rendered to developing ones, by allowing the latter to participate to the fullest in possible transfer of nuclear equipment, materials, scientific and technological information for peaceful purposes with a view to achieving the largest benefits and applying pertinent elements of sustainable development in their activities.

17. The States Parties reaffirm the inviolability of peaceful nuclear activities emanating from the international norms prohibiting the use of force in international relations, and in particular Article 2 (4) of the United Nations Charter in considering that any attacks or threat of attack on nuclear facilities devoted to peaceful uses of nuclear energy would entail highly dangerous political, economic and environmental implications particularly on the civilian inhabitants; and believe that they bear a solemn responsibility to continue to play a leading role towards the establishment of comprehensive and universal norms and standards specifically prohibiting attacks, or threat of attacks on nuclear facilities devoted to peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

18. The States Parties encourage the adoption of appropriate measures to regulate international maritime transportation of radioactive waste and spent fuel to the highest standards in international security and support current efforts within the IAEA to adopt and improve international regulations in that regard.

Article V

19. The States Parties will take into account all the provisions of the CTBT related to this Article.

20. The States Parties call upon the nuclear-weapon states to refrain from conducting all types of tests in conformity with the objectives of the CTBT. They also call upon nuclear-weapon states to provide transparency on-site and other measures to build confidence in the full implementation of the provisions of the Treaty in order to meet international concern.

21. The States Parties stress the significance of achieving universal adherence to the CTBT including by all the nuclear-weapon states which, inter alia, should contribute to the process of nuclear disarmament.

22. The States Parties call upon all of the states which have not yet done so to sign and ratify the CTBT. Pending the entry into force of the CTBT, the States Parties call upon the nuclear-weapon states to comply with the letter and spirit of the CTBT.

23. The States Parties reiterate that if the objectives of the Treaty were to be fully realized, the continued commitment of all signatories, especially the nuclear-weapon states, to nuclear disarmament would be essential. The States Parties express their concern over the recent negative developments with regard to the ratification of the CTBT.

Article VI

24. The States Parties note with regret that, despite the conclusion of limited agreements, the provisions of Article VI and the ninth to twelfth preambular paragraphs of the Treaty have not been fulfilled since the Treaty came into force. In this regard, the States Parties stress the need to take effective measures towards nuclear disarmament, thus reaffirming their role in achieving this objective.

25. The States Parties reaffirm that nuclear weapons pose the greatest danger to mankind and to the survival of civilization. It is essential to halt and reverse the nuclear arms race in all its aspects in order to avert the danger of war involving nuclear weapons. In this context, the goal is the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. In the task of achieving the goal of nuclear disarmament, all States Parties bear responsibility, in particular those nuclear-weapon states which possess the most important nuclear arsenals.

26. The States Parties welcome the progress made towards the full ratification of START II and call for the full and early implementation of the Treaty by both parties as well as of the early commencement of negotiations of START III.

27. The States Parties are concerned over the negative implications of the development and deployment of anti-ballistic missile defense systems and the pursuit of advanced military technologies capable of deployment in outer space which have, inter alia, contributed to the further erosion of an international climate conducive to the promotion of disarmament and the strengthening of international security. In this connection, the States Parties call upon the parties to the ABM Treaty to fully comply with its provisions.

28. The States Parties reaffirm that priority in disarmament negotiations shall be nuclear weapons in accordance with the Final Document of the first special session of the General Assembly on disarmament.

29. The States Parties reaffirm their commitment to fulfil with determination their obligations under Article VI, in particular the nuclear-weapon states to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament.

30. The States Parties in particular the nuclear-weapon states shall inform the Secretary-General of the United Nations of the efforts and measures they have taken on the implementation of the unanimous conclusion of the International Court of Justice that there exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control.

31. The States Parties call upon the Conference on Disarmament to establish an ad hoc committee on nuclear disarmament taking into account all proposals which have been submitted by members of the Group of 21, and to commence negotiations on a phased programme of nuclear disarmament and for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons with a specified framework of time, including a nuclear-weapon convention prohibiting the development, production, testing, employment, stockpiling, transfer, threat or use of nuclear weapons and providing for their elimination.

32. The States Parties, renew their call for the immediate commencement and early conclusion of negotiations within an appropriate ad hoc committee in the Conference on Disarmament for a treaty banning the production and stockpiling of fissile material for nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices, as essential measures of nuclear disarmament as well as non-proliferation of nuclear weapons taking into account the 1995 report of the Special Coordinator on that item and the views relating to the scope of the Treaty. The Treaty should be non-discriminatory, effectively verifiable and universally applicable.

33. The States Parties regret the continuing lack of progress on items relevant to nuclear issues in the agenda of the Conference on Disarmament.

34. The States Parties agree that specific time should be made available at Preparatory Committee meetings to deliberate on the practical steps for systematic and progressive efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons.

35. The States Parties agree to establish a subsidiary body to Main Committee I of the 2000 Review Conference to deliberate on practical steps for systematic and progressive efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons.

Article VII

36. The States Parties express support for measures taken by a State Party or Group of States Parties to conclude nuclear-weapon-free-zone treaties. They also support proposals for these zones in other parts of the world where they do not exist, such as the Middle East and South Asia, on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at among the states of the region concerned as a measure towards the strengthening of the nuclear non-proliferation regime and realizing the objectives of nuclear disarmament. The States Parties welcome the initiative taken by the States in Central Asia freely arrived at among themselves to establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone in that region. The States Parties also welcome and support the recent adoption by the Mongolian Parliament of legislation as a concrete contribution to the international efforts to strengthen the non-proliferation regime.

37. The States Parties and signatories to the treaties of Tlatelolco, Rarotonga, Bangkok and Pelindaba that are parties to the NPT reaffirm their commitment to promote the common goals envisaged in those treaties, explore and implement further ways and means of cooperation, including the consolidation of the status of the nuclear-weapon-free southern hemisphere…

Article VIII

38. The States Parties will continue their endeavors to strengthen the review process of the operation of the Treaty with a view to ensuring that the purposes of the Preamble and the provisions of the Treaty in their entirety are being realized.

Article IX

39. The States Parties re-emphasize the urgency and the importance of achieving the universality of the Treaty, particularly by the accession to the Treaty at the earliest possible date of those States possessing nuclear capabilities. They will make determined efforts to achieve this goal.

Security Assurances

40. The States Parties reaffirm that total elimination of nuclear weapons is the only genuine guarantee for all non-nuclear-weapon states against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons. Pending the achievement of such a goal, a legally-binding negative security assurances regime, which will ensure the security of non-nuclear-weapon states against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons must be urgently concluded. Hence, the States Parties should negotiate a legal instrument to assure non-nuclear-weapons states against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons to be adopted by the 2000 NPT Review Conference as an annexed protocol to the NPT. They note that an ad hoc Committee on NSA was established by the Conference on Disarmament in 1998 to conclude an international legally-binding instrument to assure non-nuclear-weapon states against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons.

The Resolution on the Middle East

41. The States Parties recall that the adoption of the Resolution on the Middle East by the 1995 Review and Extension Conference on 11 May 1995 constituted an integral part of the package of the 1995 outcome comprising three decisions and a Resolution, and as such they reaffirm their firm commitment to work towards the full implementation of that Resolution. In this regard, the States Parties recognize the special responsibility of the depository states, as co-sponsors of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East.

42. The States Parties note that since the adoption of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East, all states in the region have become parties to the Treaty, with the exception of Israel. The States Parties stress the urgent need for Israel to accede to the Treaty without further delay, to place all its nuclear facilities under full-scope IAEA safeguards and to conduct its nuclear related activities in conformity with the non-proliferation regime, in order to enhance the universality of the Treaty and to avert the risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East.

43. The nuclear-weapon states, in conformity with their obligations under Article I of the Treaty, solemnly undertake not to transfer nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly to Israel, and further undertake not in anyway to assist, encourage, or induce Israel to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or [to transfer] control over such weapons or explosive devices under any circumstances whatsoever.

44. All States Parties, in conformity with the seventh preambular paragraph and Article 4 of the Treaty, hereby declare their commitment to exclusively prohibit the transfer of all nuclear-related equipment, information, material and facilities, resources or devices, and the extension of know-how or any kind of assistance in the nuclear, scientific or technological fields to Israel, as long as it remains a non-party to the Treaty and has not placed all its nuclear facilities under full-scope IAEA safeguards.

45. The States Parties reaffirm once again, their determination to extend their fullest cooperation and to exert their utmost efforts with a view to ensuring the early establishment in the Middle East a zone free of nuclear as well as all other weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems.

46. The States Parties agree that specific time should be made available at Preparatory Committee meetings to consider proposals on the Resolution on the Middle East adopted at the 1995 Review and Extension Conference.

47. The States Parties agree to establish a subsidiary body to Main Committee II of the Review Conference to consider and recommend proposals on the implementation of the resolution on the Middle East adopted by the 1995 Review and Extension Conference."


European Union Statement on Nuclear Disarmament

Statement by Ambassador Filipe de Albuquerque of Portugal on behalf of the EU and associated states, Main Committee I (Nuclear Disarmament), April 26; unofficial version

"1. I have the honour to take the floor on behalf of the European Union on Main Committee I. The Central and Eastern European countries associated with European Union (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia) and the associated countries (Cyprus, Malta and Turkey), as well as Iceland and Liechtenstein, EFTA [European Free Trade Area] countries members of the EEA [European Economic Area], align themselves with this statement.

2. The EU member states are strongly committed to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, to the ultimate goal of complete elimination of nuclear weapons, and to general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control as set out in the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and in the decisions and the resolution adopted by the 1995 Review and Extension Conference. The objectives laid down in these documents also reflect the commitment of all States Parties to the Treaty to work on effective measures pertaining to nuclear disarmament.

3. The 1995 Review and Extension Conference was a milestone in international and collective efforts towards nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. The programme of action agreed upon in paragraph 4 of the Decision on Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament gave us concrete standards against which progress in the field of nuclear disarmament can be measured.

4. Five years later, at the sixth Review Conference of the Treaty, how do we assess where we now stand?

5. Paragraph 4a of the Principles and Objectives called for the completion of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty negotiations no later than 1996. The CTBT was indeed concluded by September 1996 and signed by the five nuclear-weapon states, all European countries and many others. It has since been ratified by all members of the European Union, including the two European nuclear-weapon states, France and the United Kingdom.

6. South Asia continues to be an area of deep concern to the EU. The tests conducted by India and Pakistan in 1998 run contrary to global efforts towards nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. We continue to call upon both countries to meet all the requirements set out in [UN Security Council resolution 1172]… We have noted that the governments of India and Pakistan have now committed themselves to a moratorium on nuclear testing and have expressed their willingness to sign the CTBT.

7. The US Senate's rejection of CTBT ratification in October 1999 has also been a setback, but we welcome the commitment expressed by the US Government to abide by the Treaty and support the verification regime and ongoing work of the Preparatory Commission of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organisation in Vienna. We call upon all states, especially the 44 states whose ratification is required for the Treaty to enter into force, to sign and ratify the CTBT without delay and without conditions. We welcome therefore the announcement by the Russian Federation that the State Duma has approved the treaty for ratification. Pending entry into force, we urge all states with nuclear capabilities to abide by a moratorium and refrain from any actions which are contrary to the obligations and provisions of the CTBT. The Review Conference moreover should consider what more can be done by States Parties to accelerate ratifications, prevent a resumption of nuclear testing, and facilitate the Treaty's entry into force at the earliest possible time.

8. The second goal which we set ourselves in 1995 was the immediate commencement and early conclusion of negotiations of a non-discriminatory and universally applicable convention banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. To our deep regret, concrete negotiations on this treaty, which is of vital importance both to nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation, have not yet started in the Conference on Disarmament, although the CD reached an agreement on a negotiating mandate in 1995 and on establishment of an Ad Hoc Committee in 1998. The second goal has thus not been met.

9. It is a matter of real concern to the EU that annual haggling over the adoption of the CD work programme has prevented any real work from starting. The EU countries stand ready and eager to commence negotiations ill the CD immediately on the basis of the Shannon report and the mandate contained therein. We attach no conditions. Work should begin as soon as the Conference on Disarmament meets again at the end of May and should be resumed each year until such a Treaty is concluded. NPT States Parties attending the Review Conference should reaffirm their commitment to the goal of negotiating a ban on the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices and should commit themselves to getting the negotiations underway without further delay. We welcome the moratorium on the production of fissile materials declared by four of the five nuclear-weapon states. Pending the conclusion of such a Treaty, the EU calls on all states which have not yet done so, to halt the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices and to undertake and abide by a moratorium.

10. The third part of the Programme of Action contained in the Principles and Objectives adopted in 1995 was 'the determined pursuit by the nuclear-weapons states of systematic and progressive efforts to reduce nuclear weapons globally, with the ultimate goal of eliminating those weapons and by all states of general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control'. We welcome the progress that has been made, unilaterally and bilaterally, toward the reduction of nuclear weapons, noting especially the continuing steps undertaken by the United States and Russia to fulfil START I and ratify START II, and by France and the United Kingdom to reduce the number and type of nuclear forces in their arsenals. We are encouraged by the declarations made by the United States and Russia relating to transparency and irreversibility with regard to fissile materials.

We welcome efforts by nuclear-weapon states to increase overall transparency, and further efforts by them to close down and dismantle nuclear weapon facilities. The European Union contributes to and welcomes others' involvement in cooperative programmes aimed at providing assistance for safe and secure management and disposition of fissile materials and related facilities. Additionally, we commend various initiatives to place fissile material designated as 'excess' to defense needs under appropriate IAEA safeguards, thereby taking them forever out of the stock available for use in nuclear weapons. The EU supports efforts based on the principles of transparency, accountability, confidence-building and irreversibility. In this regard, the EU supports efforts by NWS to consider measures in fulfilment of paragraph 4 of the Program of Action in the 1995 Principles and Objectives and encourage them to further these efforts.

11. The last five years have also witnessed negative developments which have retarded progress towards nuclear disarmament. The EU deeply regrets that important agreements necessary for the fulfilment of Article VI of the NPT have not yet entered into force. The EU welcomes the approval for ratification of START II by Russia as an important step towards enhancing global stability and security. We now call for the prompt entry into force and timely implementation of START II and its protocol and for the early commencement of negotiations on START III with a view to achieving further deep reductions in strategic nuclear weapons and the verified dismantlement of warheads destined for disarmament under this treaty.

12. These efforts should not only address transparency measures relating to strategic nuclear warhead inventories but also include non-strategic nuclear weapons. The EU underlines the importance of addressing non-strategic nuclear weapons in the framework of nuclear arms reduction efforts and urges the Review Conference to encourage the nuclear-weapon states which possess such weapons, and in the first instance the United States and Russia, to explore ways to bring these weapons within future nuclear reduction and disarmament arrangements, with the objective of their reduction and eventual complete elimination. In this context, we underline the importance of the unilateral and reciprocal commitments made by the US and Russia in 1991 on non-strategic nuclear weapons. The European Union hopes that within the framework of START III negotiations, verifiable reductions of non-strategic nuclear weapons will also be incorporated.

13. We reaffirm the importance of the ABM Treaty, as one of the pillars of strategic stability. The EU wishes that Treaty [to be] preserved.

14. The EU shares the growing concerns about the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. We believe it important that in responding to these threats states do not take actions which have the effect of harming the integrity and validity of the Treaties which underpin nuclear non-proliferation and strategic stability.

15. While we acknowledge that for the time being the primary responsibility rests with the five nuclear-weapons states to negotiate the reduction of their arsenals, it is also an obligation of all States Parties to further the implementation of Article VI of the NPT. In this regard we support the establishment of an Ad Hoc Working Group within the Conference on Disarmament under Agenda item I 'cessation of nuclear arms race and nuclear disarmament' subject to a consensus agreement on a mandate for such a group.

16. It is also necessary, and an obligation on all NPT States Parties both nuclear and non-nuclear, to work for progress towards general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control. In this regard we welcome the entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention, and commend the work carried out since to ensure its effective implementation. We look forward to completion of negotiations in Geneva on a Protocol to strengthen the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. We also welcome the range of agreements in the field of conventional armaments, including in our own European region. All these measures contribute directly towards international and regional peace, stability and security, and thereby towards our shared goals of nuclear, and general and complete disarmament.

17. We, the members of the European Union, take very seriously our obligations under the NPT and the Decisions and Resolutions of the 1995 Review and Extension Conference. The Program of Action agreed by consensus in 1995 has not been completed. Every effort must be made to take forward the obligations which we took upon us when we extended the NPT indefinitely in 1995. But we must also go further and identify the progressive and systematic steps to be undertaken during the next five years. To that end, the EU has adopted a Common Position in order to contribute to a structured and balanced review of the operation of the Treaty at the 2000 NPT Review Conference, with a view to helping build consensus on substantive issues in this Conference.

18. Continued and steady progress on nuclear disarmament is of vital importance to preserving the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and thus to preserving stability and international security."

© 2000 The Acronym Institute.

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