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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 50, September 2000

New Agenda Coalition: UNGA Draft Resolution & Communiqué

Note: the New Agenda Coalition (NAC), launched in June 1998, consists of seven states, Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, New Zealand, Mexico, South Africa, and Sweden. At the 54th Session of the UN General Assembly in 1999, a resolution put forward by the NAC, Towards a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World: the Need for a New Agenda (54/54G), was adopted by 111 votes to 13 with 39 abstentions (see Disarmament Diplomacy No. 41, November 1999.)


'Towards a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World: the Need for a New Agenda,' Draft Resolution, released September 28, 2000.

"The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 53/77Y of 4 December 1998 and 54/54G of 1 December 1999,

Expressing its deep concern at the continued risk for humanity represented by the possibility that nuclear weapons could be used,

Concerned that negotiations on nuclear arms reductions are currently stalled,

Recalling the International Court of Justice advisory opinion on the Legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons issued at The Hague on July 8, 1996,

Concerned 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 concerned at their failure to renounce that option,

Declaring that nuclear test explosions carried out in 1998 by two of the states that have not renounced the nuclear weapons option do not in any way confer a nuclear-weapon state status or any special status whatsoever,

Noting that despite achievements in bilateral and unilateral arms reductions, the total number of nuclear weapons deployed and in stockpile still amount to many thousands,

Welcoming the significant progress achieved in nuclear weapons reductions made unilaterally or bilaterally under the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty process, as steps towards nuclear disarmament,

Welcoming the ratification of START II by the Russian Federation as an important step in the efforts to reduce strategic offensive weapons, and stressing that completion of ratification of START II by the United States remains a priority,

Welcoming the significant unilateral reduction measures taken by the nuclear-weapon states, including the close-down and dismantling of nuclear weapon-related facilities,

Welcoming the efforts of several states to cooperate in making nuclear disarmament measures irreversible in particular, through initiatives on the verification, management and disposition of fissile material declared excess to military purposes,

Noting the nuclear-weapon states' declaration that none of their nuclear weapons are targeted at any state,

Underlining the necessity of strict compliance by all parties with their obligations under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons,

Recalling the United Nations Millennium Declaration, in which the Heads of State and Government resolved to strive for the elimination of weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons and to keep all options open for achieving this aim, including the possibility of convening an international conference to identify ways of eliminating nuclear dangers,

Welcoming the Final Document of the Sixth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and underlining the need for urgent action to achieve a world free from nuclear weapons,

Underlining the fundamental significance of the unequivocal undertaking by the nuclear-weapon states to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals leading to nuclear disarmament, to which all States Parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty are committed under Article VI of the Treaty,

Determined to pursue practical steps for the systematic and progressive efforts to implement Article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and paragraphs 3 and 4 (c) of the 1995 Decision on 'Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament',

1. Agrees on the importance and urgency of signatures and ratifications, without delay and without conditions and in accordance with constitutional processes, to achieve the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty;

2. Calls for the upholding of a moratorium on nuclear-weapon-test explosions or any other nuclear explosions pending entry into force of that Treaty;

3. Agrees on the necessity of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices in accordance with the statement of the Special Coordinator in 1995 and the mandate contained therein, taking into consideration both nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation objectives. The Conference on Disarmament is urged to agree on a program of work which includes the immediate commencement of negotiations on such a treaty with a view to their conclusion within five years;

4. Agrees on the necessity of establishing in the Conference on Disarmament an appropriate subsidiary body with a mandate to deal with nuclear disarmament. The Conference on Disarmament is urged to agree on a program of work which includes the immediate establishment of such a body;

5. Calls for the principle of irreversibility to apply to nuclear disarmament, nuclear and other related arms control and reduction measures;

6. Calls for the early entry into force and full implementation of START II and the conclusion of START III as soon possible while preserving and strengthening the Treaty on the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems as a cornerstone of strategic stability and as a basis for further reductions of strategic offensive weapons, in accordance with its provisions;

7. Calls for the completion and implementation of the Trilateral Initiative between the United States of America, the Russian Federation and the International Atomic Energy Agency;

8. Calls for steps by all the nuclear-weapon states leading to nuclear disarmament in a way that promotes international stability, and based on the principle of undiminished security for all:

  • Further efforts by the nuclear-weapon states to reduce their nuclear arsenals unilaterally;
  • Increased transparency by the nuclear-weapon states with regard to the nuclear weapons capabilities and the implementation of agreements pursuant to article VI of the NPT and as a voluntary confidence-building measure to support further progress on nuclear disarmament;
  • The further reduction of non-strategic nuclear weapons, based on unilateral initiatives and as an integral part of the nuclear arms reduction and disarmament process;
  • Concrete agreed measures to further reduce the operational status of nuclear weapons systems;
  • A diminishing role for nuclear weapons in security policies to minimize the risk that these weapons will ever be used and to facilitate the process of their total elimination;
  • The engagement as soon as appropriate of all the nuclear-weapon states in the process leading to the total elimination of their nuclear weapons;
9. Calls for arrangements by all nuclear-weapon states to place as soon as practicable, fissile material designated by each of them as no longer required for military purposes under IAEA or other relevant international verification and arrangements for the disposition of such materials for peaceful purposes, to ensure that such material remains permanently outside military programmes;

10. Reaffirms that the ultimate objective of the efforts of states in the disarmament process is general and complete disarmament under effective international control;

11. Calls for regular reports, within the framework of the strengthened review process for the Non-Proliferation Treaty, by all States Parties on the implementation of article VI of the NPT and paragraph 4 (c) of the 1995 Decision on 'Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament', and recalling the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice of 8 July 1996;

12. Agrees to pursue the further development of the verification capabilities that will be required to provide assurance of compliance with nuclear disarmament agreements for the achievement and maintenance of a nuclear-weapon-free world;

13. Calls on all states not yet party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to accede to the Treaty as non nuclear-weapon states, promptly and without condition, particularly those states that operate unsafeguarded nuclear facilities, and calls upon those states to bring into force the required comprehensive safeguards agreements, together with additional Protocols consistent with the Model contained in INFCIRC/540, and to reverse clearly and urgently any policies to pursue any nuclear-weapon development or deployment and to refrain from any action which could undermine regional and international peace and security and the efforts of the international community towards nuclear disarmament and the prevention of nuclear weapons proliferation;

14. Calls upon those states that have not yet done so to conclude full-scope safeguards agreements with the International Atomic Energy Agency and to conclude additional protocols to their safeguards agreement on the basis of the Model Protocol approved by the Board of Governors of the Agency on 15 May 1997;

15. Notes the paramount importance of effective physical protection of all nuclear material, and calls upon all states to maintain the highest possible standards of security and physical protection of nuclear materials;

16. Notes that the Sixth Review Conference of the States Parties to the NPT called upon its Preparatory Committee to make recommendations to the 2005 Review Conference on legally binding security assurances by the five nuclear-weapon states to the non-nuclear weapon States Parties to the Treaty;

17. Reaffirms the conviction that the establishment of internationally recognized nuclear-weapon-free zones on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at among the states of the region concerned enhances global and regional peace and security, strengthens the nuclear non-proliferation regime and contributes towards realizing the objective of nuclear disarmament, and supports proposals for the establishment of nuclear weapon free zones where they do not yet exist, such as in the Middle East and South Asia;

18. Affirms that a nuclear-weapon-free world will ultimately require the underpinnings of a universal and multilaterally negotiated legally binding instrument or a framework encompassing a mutually reinforcing set of instruments;

19. Acknowledges the Report of the Secretary General on the implementation of General Assembly resolution 54/54G (A/55/217) and requests him within existing resources, to compile a report on the implementation of the present resolution;

20. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its 56th Session the item entitled 'Towards a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World: the Need for a New Agenda' and to review the implementation of the present resolution."


Communiqué, Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the New Agenda Coalition Countries, New York, September 13, 2000.

"Meeting to review progress on their joint initiative Towards a Nuclear Weapon Free World: The Need For A New Agenda, the Ministers noted that their initiative had advanced the agenda for the total elimination of nuclear weapons. They stressed that this goal remains a matter of real urgency and must be delivered through an accelerated process of negotiations on all fronts.

The Ministers warmly welcomed the positive and substantial outcome of the 2000 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference. The unequivocal political undertaking given by the five nuclear-weapon states 'to accomplish the total elimination of nuclear arsenals' demonstrates a new determination to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons. Recognition that nuclear weapons cannot be allowed to exist indefinitely was a singular step forward.

This has been achieved against a background of limited progress in negotiations in the field of non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament, and a failure to grasp the opportunities of the post-cold war security environment. The programme of action agreed at the 2000 NPT Review Conference must now be implemented fully and progress reported regularly through the review mechanism of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The Ministers expressed concern at on-going challenges to the non-proliferation regime. They urged the international community to redouble its efforts to achieve universal adherence to NPT. They repeated their call on those three states which are not parties to the NPT and which operate unsafeguarded nuclear facilities, to accede to the Treaty as non-nuclear-weapon states and to place their nuclear facilities under comprehensive IAEA safeguards.

They stressed the importance of full compliance with the provisions of the NPT.

The Ministers called for the early commencement of negotiations on nuclear arms reductions between the United States and the Russian Federation in light of the NPT outcome. They looked forward to early action by the five nuclear-weapon states on the series of undertakings made by them at the NPT Review Conference. All states must contribute to the achievement of the objectives agreed at the Review Conference.

They called on the parties to the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty to preserve its integrity and validity. They reiterated their call on them to refrain from the implementation of any measure that would undermine the Treaty's purpose. They encouraged them in this way to contribute to the creation of more favourable conditions for further negotiations on limiting strategic arms to which they have committed themselves at the NPT Review Conference.

In this context, they called on all states to refrain from decisions that could impact negatively on nuclear disarmament, lead to a new arms race or be inconsistent with the commitment to the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

The Ministers regretted that the agreement at the NPT Review Conference for the immediately establishment of a body to deal with nuclear disarmament in the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva has not yet been acted upon.

The Ministers underlined the importance of the NPT Review Conference agreement for the entry into force of the CTBT and the negotiation of a ban on the production of fissile material. They also welcomed the agreement to begin consideration of the broader verification regime that will be required in a world without nuclear weapons.

The Ministers concluded that international peace and stability can best be maintained and enhanced with the involvement of the international community as a whole. Multilateral engagement and further progress on disarmament is crucial to this. The Ministers would continue to pursue the New Agenda initiative with determination.

They announced that they will table a draft resolution at the First Committee of the 55th session of the United Nations General Assembly."

© 2000 The Acronym Institute.