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Part IV: Addressing Substance

Acronym Report No.13

The 2000 Review Conference will have to consider how well the NPT has functioned in terms of its central aims and provisions, as well as the principles and objectives identified in 1995. The discussions on substance will have to take account of the positive and negative events that have shaped the world since the 1995 Review and Extension Conference. To assist in that assessment, we provide here a selected chronology of NPT-related developments, May 1995 - January 2000.

NPT-Related Developments 1995-2000

May-December 1995

15: Three days after the end of the NPT Review and Extension Conference, China conducts a nuclear test.

13: President Chirac announces that France will be conducting a final series of up to eight nuclear tests.


17: China conducts a further nuclear test.

5: Final series of French tests begins.


26: US Senate ratifies START II Treaty by 87 votes to 4.

27: France conducts sixth and last nuclear test.

29: President Chirac announces the "definitive end to France's nuclear tests."

25: France, UK and US sign the Protocols to the 1985 South Pacific Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone Treaty (Treaty of Rarotonga).

11: Africa Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty, or Treaty of Pelindaba, opened for signature; China, France, UK and US sign Protocols.

20: G-8 Summit on Nuclear Security and Nuclear Safety, Moscow.

1: Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma announces the completion of the transfer of all nuclear warheads from his country's territory.

8: China conducts nuclear test.

8: International Court of Justice (ICJ) delivers its Advisory Opinion on the Legality of Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons. The Opinion unanimously finds that "there is neither in customary nor conventional international law any specific authorization of the threat or use of nuclear weapons," and 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."

29: China conducts nuclear test and joins the other nuclear-weapon states in declaring a moratorium (total number of tests conducted up to this point – US, 1,030; Russia, 715; France, 210; UK & China, 45 each).

31: US Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary announces that "surplus bomb-grade uranium will never again be used in nuclear weapons."

7: G-21 group of 28 non-aligned states in the CD release a 'Proposal for a Programme of Action for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.'

14: Publication of the Report of the Canberra Commission for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. The Report argues: "The opportunity now exists, perhaps without precedent or recurrence, to make a new and clear choice to enable the world to conduct its affairs without nuclear weapons and in accordance with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations."

22: CTBT finalised, but CD unable to reach consensus due principally to objections from India; Australia announces its intention to submit the CTBT to the UNGA.

10: CTBT approved by the UNGA by 153 votes to 3 (Bhutan, India, Libya) with 5 abstentions (Cuba, Lebanon, Mauritius, Syria, Tanzania).

24: CTBT opened for signature in New York; 71 states sign on the opening day, including all five nuclear-weapon states.

23: In New York, US Secretary of State Warren Christopher and Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov announce demarcation agreement on definitions of low-velocity theater missile defence systems permissible under the ABM Treaty.

3: In a speech to the State of the World Forum in San Francisco, retired General Lee Butler, former Commander-in-Chief of US strategic nuclear forces, calls for the global elimination of nuclear weapons, expressing "deepening dismay…with respect to events governing the role of nuclear weapons in the aftermath of the Cold War."

17: US Defense Secretary William Perry addresses the Russian Duma, urging it to ratify the START II Treaty.

24: Announcement of transfer of all remaining nuclear warheads and ICBMs from Belarus.

5: Statement signed by 61 retired Generals and Admirals from 17 countries calling for the global elimination of nuclear weapons.


20-21: US-Russia Summit in Helsinki; Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin agree on guidelines for START III negotiations - specifying a target-level of 2,000-2,500 warheads each side and a target-date of 2007 for completing negotiations – and parameters for TMD systems permissible under the ABM Treaty.

1: UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan appoints Richard Butler of Australia to succeed Rolf Ekeus of Sweden as Executive Chairman of the UN Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM) in July. On 2 May, Ekeus remarks: "There remains some quantitively small but qualitatively highly significant items unaccounted for in Iraq… Iraq appears to have decided to try and keep these capabilities… It is now time once and for all to take a decision to give up these items."

15: IAEA Board of Governors approves a new 'Model Protocol' designed to strengthen the existing safeguards regime.

2: US conducts its first sub-critical nuclear test, Rebound, at the Nevada test site.

14: 'Groundbreaking' ceremony between North Korea and the Korean Peninsular Energy Development Corporation (KEDO); describing as a "major milestone" in implementation of the October 1994 US-North Korea Agreed Framework on replacing Pyongyang's existing nuclear facilities.

22: President Clinton submits the CTBT to the Senate for ratification.

26: in New York, Russian Foreign Minister Primakov and US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright sign START and ABM agreements building on the announcements made at the March Summit in Helsinki. Under the terms of a START II Protocol, the deadline for completing START II is extended from 1 January 2003 to 31 December 1997; a Russian letter, "noted" by the US, states Moscow's understanding that "well in advance of the above deactivation deadline [of 31 December 2007] the START III Treaty will be achieved and will enter into force." Four ABM agreements confirm parameters for permissible TMD systems, and multilateralize the Treaty to include Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. All these agreements require ratification by national legislatures.

12: UN General Assembly unanimously adopts a resolution endorsing a range of reform proposals, including the upgrading of the Centre for Disarmament Affairs to a Department for Disarmament Affairs (DDA), to be headed by an Under Secretary-General (subsequently confirmed as Jayantha Dhanapala of Sri Lanka, formerly President of the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference.


2: Release of 'Abolition Statement by International Civilian Leaders'; by March, the statement had attracted over 120 signatures from 48 countries, including those of 52 serving and former Heads of State and Government.

23: Iraq and the UN sign a Memorandum of Understanding on the work of UNSCOM, averting threatened military strikes by the US and UK.

19: BJP leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee sworn-in as India's new Prime Minister. Defence Minister George Fernandes states on 20 March: "If India's defence needs nuclear weapons, we shall not fight shy of inducting them."

31: The UK announces it has completed the decommissioning, ahead of schedule, of its Royal Air Force WE-177 free-fall nuclear bombs.

6: Pakistan tests the Ghauri ballistic missile, believed to be nuclear-capable; France and the UK ratify the CTBT.

13: President Yeltsin resubmits START II to the Duma, appended with the September 1997 Protocol, and urges speedy ratification.

11: India announces that it has conducted three underground nuclear test explosions.

13: India announces two further tests and declares a moratorium.

28: Pakistan announces that it has conducted 5 underground nuclear test explosions.

30: Pakistan announces a further test and declares a moratorium.

4: P-5 issue a statement condemning the nuclear tests in South Asia.

9: Declaration calling for a 'new agenda' for a revitalized international push for the elimination of nuclear weapons is launched by the Foreign Ministers of Brazil, Egypt, Mexico, New Zealand, Slovenia (which subsequently withdrew), South Africa and Sweden.

11: In the wake of developments in South Asia, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moves its 'Doomsday Clock' forward by 5 minutes, from 11.46 to 11.51 i.e. Nine minutes to midnight.

8: The UK Ministry of Defence releases its Strategic Defence Review (SDR), 'Modern Forces for a Modern World.' The Review stresses Britain's simultaneous commitment to nuclear disarmament negotiations and retention of the Trident nuclear weapon system 'for the foreseeable future'.

13: Brazil ratifies the NPT and CTBT.

5: Iraq announces it will no longer permit inspections of new facilities by either UNSCOM or the IAEA

31: North Korea tests a ballistic missile; the flight-path takes it over Japanese territory.

10: Russian Duma meets in extraordinary plenary session to discuss START II and requests submission of ratification legislation within 10 days, with the expectation of a vote sometime in December.

14: A letter from Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister, Tariq Aziz, pledges cooperation with UNSCOM and once more narrowly averts US-UK military attacks.

16-19: British and American warplanes launch major airstrikes against Iraq after UNSCOM's Executive Chair, Richard Butler, declares Baghdad is still not fully cooperating with his inspectors. The Duma vote on START II is cancelled.

24: Lev Ryabov, Russia's Deputy Minister of Nuclear Energy, announces that Russia conducted five sub-critical nuclear tests at its Novaya Zemyla Arctic test site between 14 September-13 December.


12: The United States imposes sanctions on three Russian entities for "materially contributing to Iran's nuclear weapons and missile programs."

20: The White House announces increased funding and accelerated development of its NMD programme in advance of an initial deployment decision expected in June 2000.

21: India-Pakistan 'Lahore Declaration' on confidence-building measures and peaceful relations signed by Prime Ministers Vajpayee and Nawaz Sharif.

8: Wen Ho Lee, a Taiwanese-born US nuclear weapons scientist, is suspended from Los Alamos National Laboratory for suspected espionage activities.

12: The Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland admitted to NATO.

16: President Yeltsin and the Duma agree on START II ratification terms and timetable for a debate, scheduled to open on 23 March.

17: US Senate adopts legislation, by 97 votes to 3, mandating NMD deployment as soon as technologically feasible, with the proviso that such deployment be commensurate with US arms control policy. Because of this condition, President Clinton announces his support for the measure, which is roundly condemned by Russia and China.

24: NATO begins military action against the Former Republic of Yugoslavia over developments in Kosovo. Anticipated Duma debate on START II cancelled again.

29: A key component of America's NMD programme – the Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile-interceptor – fails its sixth out of six tests.

11: India tests the Agni-II nuclear-capable ballistic missile.

14: Pakistan tests the Ghauri-II nuclear-capable ballistic missile.

23-25: NATO's 50th anniversary Summit in Washington emphasises unity in face of conflicts over NATO-UN relations and the conduct of the war against Yugoslavia. NATO Ministers issue a Strategic Concept which reaffirms NATO's reliance on nuclear weapons for deterrence as a 'supreme guarantee' of Alliance security. In a gesture to Germany and Canada, who supported moves for NATO to adopt a 'no-first-use' posture, NATO characterises the circumstances for nuclear weapon use as "extremely remote" and agrees "in the light of overall strategic developments and the reduced salience of nuclear weapons [to] consider options for confidence and security-building measures, verification, non-proliferation and arms control and disarmament."

Serious outbreak of fighting in Kashmir between Indian troops and allegedly Pakistan-backed and –supported insurgents derails the Lahore Declaration process.

20: By 345 votes to 71, the US House of Representatives passes NMD legislation mirroring the Senate measure passed in March.

25: The Cox Report is published, alleging systematic Chinese nuclear espionage in US nuclear weapons laboratories.

10: First successful THAAD test (subsequently alleged to have been rigged).

20: US-Russia statement on arms control issued at the G-8 Summit in Cologne, stressing commitment to the START process and the ABM Treaty, with a willingness expressed to "consider possible changes in the strategic situation that have a bearing on the ABM Treaty and, as appropriate, possible proposals for further increasing the viability of the Treaty."

23: President Clinton signs the House of Representatives' NMD legislation into law.

25: Report of the Tokyo Forum for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament released; notes a serious deterioration in the arms control environment since the Canberra Commission report.

17: India's National Security Advisory Board issues a draft nuclear doctrine, requiring a triad of air, sea and land-based nuclear forces based in part on US-Russian doctrines, with some elements of Chinese doctrine, including no first use. Pakistan objects strongly in the CD and elsewhere.

17-19: Unproductive US-Russia discussions on ABM issues in Moscow; Russia insisting on adherence to terms of the Treaty as clarified and redefined in 1997.

17: US announces partial lifting of sanctions against North Korea after assurances from Pyongyang that it has no plans to conduct further ballistic missile tests.

12: Military coup in Pakistan followed by arrest of former PM Nawaz Sharif throws Lahore Declaration into further doubt.

13: US Senate rejects CTBT ratification by 51 votes to 48.

15: Details and costs of providing new nuclear reactors to North Korea finally agreed; implementation of Agreed Framework now expected in 2008, five years behind schedule.

17: UN Security Council votes to establish a new agency – UNMOVIC (UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission) – to replace UNSCOM; China, France and Russia abstain.

January 2000

10: Russia's Acting President, Vladimir Putin, signs a new 'Concept of National Security,' widely interpreted as relaxing the conditions under which nuclear weapons might be used. The previous Concept (1997) refers to circumstances in which national survival is at stake; the new Concept states that it is legitimate to contemplate "the use of all available means and forces, including nuclear weapons, in case of the need to repel an armed aggression when all other means of settling the crisis have been exhausted or proved ineffective."

18: The US suffers a well-publicised setback in its NMD programme when its pioneering Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) fails to intercept an incoming missile.

Substantive Issues for 2000

Universality, South Asia and Middle East

Universality was widely agreed as a primary objective of the NPT States Parties. Only four states remain outside the Treaty: Cuba, India, Israel and Pakistan. Of these, three have nuclear weapon programmes. India has declared itself a nuclear weapon state and begun the process of elaborating a nuclear doctrine. Pakistan increasingly refers to itself in the same terms and has also put forward a doctrine of 'minimum deterrence' relying on the potential first use of nuclear weapons. Israel has long been non-committal, pursuing a policy of nuclear ambiguity, also characterised as 'opacity', while clearly indicating to its neighbours that it has the capability for a nuclear response in the event of an attack. Things may be changing, however. In July 1998, former Prime Minister Shimon Peres made the first public admission that Israel has nuclear weapons. Peres reportedly argued that Israel had gone nuclear in order to dissuade the Arab states from attempting to destroy it: "We built a nuclear option not in order to have a Hiroshima, but an Oslo" he is quoted as saying in Amman.(1) More recently, in February 2000, the Israeli Knesset held a ground-breaking, first ever debate on nuclear policy. The initiator of this debate, Knesset member Issam Makhoul, quoted international experts saying that Israel has 200-300 nuclear weapons, and argued: "We need to extend our hand to Egypt in its efforts to bring all countries in the Middle East into the Non-Proliferation Treaty. We must respond to the Syrian demand that the peace negotiations include the dismantling of weapons of mass destruction." Makhoul called for the closure of the Dimona nuclear facility, saying that it "must become a burial site, and that burial site should serve as a reminder to future generations of the foolishness of humankind on one hand, and also of its recognition of that foolishness before it was too late".(2) The debate was short, and not well received by other Knesset members. But it could be the first step in a more open debate in Israel, which would be positive, or it could herald a shift from nuclear ambiguity to a more openly acknowledged nuclear posture, which could be negative.

The 1995 P&O contained one general paragraph calling on all states not yet party to the Treaty to accede to the NPT at the earliest date "particularly those states that operate unsafeguarded nuclear facilities". While a number of Western delegations in 1999 called on India and Pakistan (and sometimes Israel as well) to join the NPT and put their nuclear facilities under IAEA fullscope safeguards, there is a growing sense that with the 1998 nuclear tests, the nuclearisation of South Asia has gone too far for that to be feasible. The NAM working paper welcomed the commitment by parties concerned in South Asia to "exercise discontinue nuclear tests, and not to transfer nuclear weapons-related material, equipment and technology". There were a further 6 paragraphs on the Resolution on the Middle East, the principal context in which the NAM makes any calls for universality. (3)

How the NPT parties address the nuclear capabilities of India, Israel and Pakistan may determine the future credibility of the regime as far as some significant non-nuclear weapon State Parties are concerned. The Treaty cannot admit new members without amending the definition of a NWS in its 1968 text (where a nuclear weapon state is defined as one which has manufactured and exploded a nuclear device prior to January 1, 1967). In the present political circumstances, there is no prospect of India, Israel or Pakistan giving up their nuclear capabilities and adhering to the NPT as non-nuclear weapon states. While continuing to make calls for the remaining four countries to accede to the NPT, some governments are increasingly taking a pragmatic line, arguing that it is most important to persuade these three de facto nuclear weapon possessors to undertake the obligations in the NPT of not transferring nuclear weapon technology or materials, to adhere fully to the CTBT and halt production of fissile materials, and to put in place non-proliferation controls and safer mechanisms for ensuring the reliability of command, communication and control systems. Others fear that such a pragmatic approach could slide into permanent acceptance of three more NWS, which could be highly destabilising for the Middle East and Asia. It is within this context that a growing number of NPT parties are leaning on the NWS to achieve more progress on nuclear disarmament, as a way to diminish the status associated with nuclear weapon possession. The motivation underlying the development of nuclear weapons in the three non-NPT members was different. According to Peres, the motivation for Israel was national security, after Israel was "attacked five times without any provocation... because some of our neighbours thought they could overpower us" (4)For India, the principal drive was political – to prove itself to be a major international player, no longer under the yoke of colonialism. (5) Pakistan, locked in bitter regional rivalry with its larger neighbour, followed from a mixture of nationalism and security calculations. Cuba, which has no nuclear ambitions, rejected the NPT because of its discriminatory and unequal treatment of the five 'official' NWS and the rest of the world.

It is likely, therefore, that different approaches would be needed to bring the remaining four States on board. The most interesting paper on universality was submitted late in the Third PrepCom by Malaysia, seeking to find a practical way for NPT parties to engage with non-NPT members. Arguing that pursuing universality was the responsibility of all NPT parties, Malaysia proposed an annual high-level consultation meeting between representatives of the NPT States Parties and the four countries remaining outside the Treaty. During these meetings "States Parties would present arguments on the benefits of NPT membership" and the four would be expected "to provide information... on their needs and ideas regarding their possible membership in the Treaty". Emphasising that "a finger-pointing exercise" assigning blame was to be avoided, Malaysia gave further details on how the consultation meetings could be initiated and structured.(6) The ideas merit further focussed consideration in 2000.

Non-Proliferation and Nuclear Sharing

The issues most likely to arise in relation to Articles I and II, are NATO nuclear sharing and allegations of US and French support for Israel's nuclear programme, which various NAM countries have castigated in the past. Additionally concerns may be raised about China's support for Pakistan's nuclear programme and trade and assistance with India and Pakistan aimed at increasing the safety of their nuclear-related command, control and communications systems, which are negatively viewed by some states as legitimising the nuclear status and rendering nuclear-related assistance to non-NPT parties.

The P&O refers only to the vital role of the NPT in preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons and says that every effort should be made to implement the Treaty without hampering the 'peaceful' uses of nuclear energy. The New Agenda states issued a working paper at the Third PrepCom, backed by 44 NPT parties, which raised concerns about the South Asian tests and developing rationales for 'minimum credible deterrence' and called on India, Pakistan and Israel to accede to the NPT unconditionally.(7)

With a clear intention to highlight NATO nuclear sharing, US-UK nuclear cooperation and any NWS links with Israel, the 1999 NAM working paper calls on the NWS to reaffirm their commitment "to the fullest implementation" of Article I, and "to refrain from, among themselves, with non-nuclear-weapon states and with states not party to the Treaty, nuclear sharing for military purposes under any kind of security arrangements". In a sweeping paragraph on Article I, the NAM paper also calls for the total prohibition of any kind of nuclear-related trade or cooperation with states not party to the NPT "without exception", itemising "the transfer of all nuclear-related equipment, information, material and facilities, resources or devices and the extension of assistance in the nuclear, scientific and technological fields". As regards Article II, the non-NWS parties to the NPT were enjoined to reaffirm their commitment and to refrain from nuclear sharing "for military purposes under any kind of security arrangements".

Nuclear Disarmament

Camilo Reyes, who successfully managed the Third PrepCom, has the unenviable task of chairing Main Committee I on nuclear disarmament. As at previous review conferences, the inadequate progress on nuclear disarmament to date could be the boulder on which the 2000 RevCon founders. This need not be the case, if the NWS enter the Conference prepared to engage and discuss mechanisms for facilitating and measuring further progress.

Estimated Changes in NWS Nuclear Arsenals 1995-2000

United States: 14,111 9,255 (8,305 strategic)
Russia: 27,000 12,000 (8,000 strategic)
United Kingdom: 300 300
France: 485 485
China: >400 >400
United States: 12,000 7,700 (6,750 strategic)
Russia: 21,000 9,500 (5,500 strategic)
United Kingdom: 192 192
France: 450 450
China: >450 >450
Note: stockpile figures at end of Cold War – US, 21,781; Soviet Union, 37,000; UK, 300; France, 540; China, 435.
Sources: Global Nuclear Stockpiles, 1945-1996, NRDC Nuclear Notebook
French and British Nuclear Forces, 1999, NRDC Nuclear Notebook (reproduced in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists,
Status of Nuclear Powers and Their Nuclear Capabilities, Federation of American Scientists, Nuclear Forces Guide

The P&O called on the NWS to reaffirm their commitment to Article VI and identified a programme of action consisting of the CTBT by 1996, fissban, and "systematic and progressive efforts to reduce nuclear weapons globally". Four of the NWS provided varying levels of detail about their nuclear weapons holdings and future plans for dismantlement of weapons or facilities and for transferring nuclear materials from military use to safeguards. China gave no details on its arsenal, arguing that transparency favoured the large and strong and was not consistent with deterrence for the smaller or weaker states, but reiterated the mainstays of its nuclear doctrine and policy, including no first use, unconditional security assurances to non-nuclear weapon states and advocacy of a treaty for the complete and thorough prohibition and destruction of nuclear weapons, similar to the BWC and CWC.

Many NNWS welcomed the significant attempts by some of the NWS to be more open and give more transparent accounting of their nuclear weapon and fissile material holdings, closure of facilities, programmes and assistance programmes to others for dismantlement and destruction of weapons-related materials and facilities, and Agreements undertaken, signed or ratified (as applicable). Many also considered that though the glossy presentations and lists of accomplishments went further than ever before in the direction of better accountability, they were not enough. They objected to the impression given by some of the NWS that they considered that the pace and content of efforts aimed at nuclear reductions or disarmament were their business, in which the NNWS should not interfere. They also object to the assumption that the NNWS should be grateful for whatever progress has been made and point out that though nuclear reductions were impressive between 1990 and 1995, nuclear arms control has stagnated since 1995. It could therefore be difficult for the NWS to show enough progress in the period under review, after 1995, to convince the NNWS that nuclear disarmament is safe in their hands. As the chronology of nuclear-related developments above clearly shows, nuclear doctrines and policies are, if anything, being reinforced and given new missions. Even Britain, in its 1998 Strategic Defence Review (SDR), argues that "our own arsenal, following the further reductions... [down to one system - Trident - with a maximum of 200 warheads] is the minimum necessary to provide for our security for the foreseeable future..." The SDR also refers to NATO nuclear forces as "longer term insurance through a credible nuclear deterrent". Within NATO itself, however, a number of states are seeking to challenge this complacent position.(8)

An issue which could well derail the 2000 Review Conference is that of ballistic missile defence. Though US missile defence plans do not violate the NPT per se, they are being deployed in a context which is highly destabilising and could precipitate a new nuclear arms race. One problem is that at present it is not entirely clear what US plans would entail. Ballistic missile defences can be 'theatre' (TMD), designed to intercept short-range missiles, or 'national' (NMD), intended to protect the territory of the entire United States from long-range missile attack. Research in the United States is now underway on a 'thin' NMD, meant to provide protection from very limited numbers of long-range missiles carrying nuclear, chemical or biological weapons, hypothetically launched by a 'rogue' state or terrorist. In June 2000, President Clinton is currently scheduled to take the next decision on whether to commit to deploying NMD. Because of a series of well-publicised test failures, he may be persuaded to postpone this decision, but whether he does so or not, the Republicans seem determined to fund 'son of star wars' until they can get it to work.

Since the 1991 Gulf War, the United States and Israel have already deployed Patriot, a version of TMD which does not violate the ABM or other treaty commitments. Japan's interest in TMD was impelled by the provocative test flight of the North Korean 'Taepo-dong' missile in 1998, since which time the United States has been discussing a joint TMD research project with Japan and also Taiwan. The United States now wants to bring NATO states into participation in developing BMD, to neutralise the growing chorus of opposition in Europe. Critics of US NMD plans focus on two major problems:

Ballistic missile defences would incorporate satellite-based sensors to detect and track missile launches and target and guide the interceptors. The expensive upgrading of tracking, intelligence and targetting systems associated with the plans raises a further concern for NPT parties, some of whom fear that missile defence is just the first step toward the weaponisation of space and a new arms race to gain military control over outer space.


In the preamble of the NPT, the states pledged to "seek to achieve the discontinuance of all test explosions of nuclear weapons for all time". The P&O went further. Para 4(a) called for the completion of CTBT negotiations no later than 1996. Furthermore, the P&O told the NWS that pending the entry-into-force of the CTBT, they "should exercise utmost restraint". A few days later, China tested, as if it had just been waiting for the 1995 NPT Conference to be over. A month later France announced that it was breaking its moratorium (in place since 1992) to conduct a final series of tests before joining the CTBT. Notwithstanding these adverse responses, the Conference on Disarmament managed to conclude the CTBT by the target date. Despite attempts by India to prevent the CD adopting the CTBT and to block consensus on sending a report with the Treaty to the United Nations General Assembly, the CTBT was proposed to the General Assembly by Australia and adopted by 158 votes to 3 (India, Bhutan and Libya), with five abstentions (Cuba, Lebanon, Mauritius, Syria, Tanzania). It was opened for signature on September 24, 1996 and by the end of January 2000 had 156 signatories. Of those, 51, including two of the NWS, Britain and France, have ratified.

The CTBT was indeed signed by 1996, but it now faces an unprecedentedly uphill struggle to meet its own overly-stringent entry into force requirements, which requires the signature and ratification of 44 listed states with nuclear capabilities. Of these 44, 41 have signed. Two non-NPT parties – India and Pakistan – and North Korea, which is an NPT-party despite its recent threats to withdraw, have not signed. As of the end of January, only 26 of the 44 had ratified, not including China, Russia, the United States and Israel.

In May 1998 India, having criticised the finalised CTBT for failing to meet certain nuclear disarmament-related criteria, spat in the faces of those who had adopted the Treaty by conducting five nuclear test explosions, its first since the single nuclear explosion of 1974. Pakistan followed within weeks with six blasts of its own. Neither had signed the CTBT, so there was no technical violation, although the international community's response showed clearly that the tests had violated a hoped-for norm. Both followed up with declaring a moratorium and later that year, under pressure from sanctions, both India and Pakistan indicated to the United Nations that they would be prepared to sign – or at least that they would not impede entry into force, which is not quite the same thing. A further negative development may have scuppered the chances of putting their vague pledge to the test.

On October 13, 1999, a few days after the CTBT signatories held the first entry-into-force Special Conference, as provided for in Article XIV of the Treaty, Republicans in the US Senate manoeuvred successfully to prevent US ratification, the first time the Senate has defeated a major international accord since it threw out the 1919 Versailles Treaty. The rejection had less to do with the merits of the CTBT than with domestic politics and Republican hostility towards President Clinton, and was carried through on partisan lines, with 51 against ratification and 48 in favour. No-one expects the Clinton Administration to try again before the US Presidential election in November 2000, so much will depend on who becomes the next US President and on the balance of parties in the new Senate. The two main Democrat candidates, Vice President Al Gore and Bill Bradley, are firm supporters of the CTBT. The front-running Republican candidates, George W Bush and John McCain, have either spoken or voted against the CTBT, although some of their advisers are in favour.(9) Although China and Russia have said they intend to send the Treaty to their respective legislatures, few expect these countries to ratify before the United States. The Treaty has unfortunately fallen victim to US domestic quarrels, but the injury may prove fatal. Future US funding for the CTBTO may now be in question, and the longer the Treaty lies in limbo, the greater will be the demands by hawks and nuclear weapon laboratories in certain countries to resume testing, either to 'catch up' or to regain some kind of 'cutting edge' or 'upper hand'. Therein lies the path to a resumption of the nuclear arms race.

The NPT parties can be said to have met the letter of the P&O para 4 (a), but they are a long way from achieving the spirit. The P&O will undoubtedly urge all NPT parties that have not yet done so to sign and ratify the CTBT without delay. But exhortations and mentions in national statements are not enough. NPT Parties should consider setting aside special time to focus on the CTBT, to underline its importance to the non-proliferation and disarmament regimes, and to consider what more they can do, individually and collectively, to accelerate ratifications, prevent a resumption of nuclear testing, and facilitate the Treaty's entry into force.

Status of the 44 States
Whose Ratification is Required for the CTBT to Enter Into Force
(Article XIV)

State Date of Signature Date of Ratification
Algeria 15 October 1996
Argentina 24 September 1996 4 December 1998
Australia 24 September 1996 9 July 1998
Austria 24 September 1996 13 March 1998
Bangladesh 24 October 1996  
Belgium 24 September 1996 29 June 1999
Brazil 24 September 1996 24 July 1998
Bulgaria 24 September 1996 29 September 1999
Canada 24 September 1996 18 December 1998
Chile 24 September 1996  
China 24 September 1996  
Colombia 24 September 1996  
Democratic People's Republic Of Korea    
Democratic Republic of the Congo 4 October 1996  
Egypt 14 October 1996  
Finland 24 September 1996 15 January 1999
France 24 September 1996 6 April 1998
Germany 24 September 1996 20 August 1998
Hungary 25 September 1996 13 July 1999
Indonesia 24 September 1996  
Iran (Islamic Republic of) 24 September 1996
Israel 25 September 1996  
Italy 24 September 1996 1 February 1999
Japan 24 September 1996 8 July 1997
Mexico 24 September 1996 5 October 1999
Netherlands 24 September 1996 23 March 1999
Norway 24 September 1996 15 July 1999
Peru 25 September 1996 12 November 1997
Poland 24 September 1996 25 May 1999
Republic of Korea 24 September 1996 24 September 1999
Romania 24 September 1996 5 October 1999
Russian Federation 24 September 1996
Slovakia 30 September 1996 3 March 1998
South Africa 24 September 1996 30 March 1999
Spain 24 September 1996 31 July 1998
Sweden 24 September 1996 2 December 1998
Switzerland 24 September 1996 1 October 1999
Turkey 24 September 1996
Ukraine 27 September 1996
United Kingdom 24 September 1996 6 April 1998
United States of America 24 September 1996
Viet Nam 24 September 1996
Total Number of Required States: 44 Signatures: 41 Ratifications: 26
From the website of the Public Information Section of the Legal and External Relations Division of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, address


Para 4 (b) called for the "immediate commencement and early conclusion of negotiations on a non-discriminatory and universally applicable convention banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, in accordance with the statement of the Special Coordinator of the Conference on Disarmament and the mandate contained therein".

The 'Shannon Mandate', named after the Canadian Special Coordinator in 1995, had been adopted by the CD just before the 1995 NPT Conference. Since then the CD has failed to start the negotiations, apart from a brief period of a few weeks in August 1998, when it agreed to establish the ad hoc committee on fissban. Despite that agreement, which took three years, the CD did not re-establish the fissban committee in 1999. At time of writing the CD is once again attempting to gain consensus on a work programme which would enable it to get the negotiations underway.

The problems are of two kinds: substantive, in relation to the fissban itself; and political, relating to national interests and priorities. The major substantive problem is disagreement over the scope of the proposed treaty. The narrow mandate refers only to negotiating "a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons". Recognising that a number of states, notably Pakistan, Egypt, Iran and Algeria, had pushed for retention of the non-aligned position that the fissban should address the stockpiling as well as production of nuclear weapon materials, Shannon's report therefore stated that the agreed mandate "does not preclude any delegation from raising for consideration in the ad hoc Committee" issues of past as well as future production. At times, some delegations – particularly Pakistan – have appeared to want this question of the inclusion or exclusion of stocks to be determined before the ad hoc Committee is established, while others call for negotiations to commence so that such questions can be addressed in context. Some of the Arab states want to prevent Israel hanging onto its past production of nuclear weapon material, while Pakistan is concerned that halting production without dealing with stockpiles would freeze India's military advantage of larger stocks.

In addition to the disagreements over stocks and the contribution to be made by a fissban to non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament, there are political difficulties in the CD which have prevented the fissban negotiations from getting started. There was some delay in 1998 before Israel agreed to let the fissban committee be established, and some arm-twisting was required to get Pakistan on board after India and Pakistan had conducted nuclear tests in May 1998. Four of the five NWS have declared moratoria on the production of fissile materials (and France has even begun to dismantle its production facilities at Marcoule and Pierrelatte). China has not declared a moratorium but is believed to have halted production some years ago. India, Pakistan and Israel all have active production programmes for plutonium and/or HEU, and are believed to be trying to produce as much as possible before a fissban can be put in place. Delays in getting fissban negotiations underway therefore adds to the proliferation threat posed by these countries.

The CD adopts its work programme every year by consensus. This is a requirement that encourages all kinds of linkages and hostage-taking. Sometimes the linkages are relevant, but the knowledge that the United States or another NWS will reject substantive work on an issue such as nuclear disarmament or outer space means that linkages can also be a convenient way of delaying substantive work. In the past a number of CD members argued for an ad hoc committee on nuclear disarmament to be established along with the fissban committee. Most recently the linkage has been asserted with missile defence: China, having proposed an ad hoc committee on the 'prevention of an arms race in outer space' (PAROS) in 1999, now argues that the CD programme of work must have a balance between the three issues of fissban, PAROS and nuclear disarmament.

Clearly NPT parties have not met the objectives of para 4 (b) of the P&O, although the fault lies also with some non-NPT parties in the CD. There needs to be more focussed discussion of how to get the negotiations underway, either in the CD or in an alternative forum if the CD proves incapable of getting down to work in the very near future. There also needs to be further consideration of proposals for dealing in parallel with fissile material stocks, such as put forward by Norway and others.

'Shannon Report' to the CD

CD/1299, 24 March 1995

Report of Ambassador Gerald E. Shannon of Canada on Consultations on the Most Appropriate Arrangement to Negotiate a Treaty Banning the Production of Fissile Material for Nuclear Weapons or Other Nuclear Explosive Devices

At the beginning of last year's session, I was tasked with seeking the views of members on the most appropriate arrangement to negotiate a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.

As you know I held numerous consultations, both bilaterally and with groups and reported formally to this plenary on five occasions in 1994. Mid-way through the last session, consensus was reached that the CD was the appropriate forum to negotiate a treaty on this issue. At the end of the session in September, while there was no agreement on a mandate for an Ad Hoc Committee, there was agreement in principle, that an Ad Hoc Committee be established on this issue as soon as a mandate had been agreed. At that time, the CD asked me to continue consultations on an appropriate mandate for an Ad Hoc Committee in order to enable the convening of this Ad Hoc Committee as soon as possible.

At the beginning of this year's session, the Conference decided to continue consultations on a mandate.

I have since held numerous consultations, and am pleased to report that delegations have agreed that the mandate for such a Committee should be based on Resolution 48/75L of the UN General Assembly, and reads as follows:

1. The Conference on Disarmament decides to establish an Ad Hoc Committee on a "Ban on the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices".

2. The Conference directs the Ad Hoc Committee to negotiate a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.

3. The Ad Hoc Committee will report to the Conference on Disarmament on the progress of its work before the conclusion of the 1995 session.

During the course of my consultation, many delegations expressed concerns about a variety of issues relating to fissile material, including the appropriate scope of the convention. Some delegations expressed the view that this mandate would permit consideration in the Committee only of the future production of fissile material. Other delegations were of the view that the mandate would permit consideration not only of future but also of past production. Still others were of the view that consideration should not only relate to production of fissile materials (past or future) but also to other issues, such as the management of such material.

Mr President, it has been agreed by delegations that the mandate for the establishment of the ad hoc Committee does not preclude any delegation from raising for consideration in the ad Hoc Committee any of the above noted issues.

Delegations with strong views were able to join consensus so we could all move forward on this issue. This means that an Ad Hoc Committee on Cut-Off can be established and negotiations can begin on this important topic. This has for some time been the common objective of all delegations of this Conference.

I have appreciated the productive contribution and support of all delegations in arriving at this result. Practical Measures

The third part of the P&O programme of action on nuclear disarmament was "the determined pursuit by the nuclear weapon 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." This paragraph aimed to make the nuclear disarmament obligation more concrete than the Article VI obligation to pursue negotiations in good faith. In July 1996, the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) firmed up the NPT parties disarmament obligation further. The ICJ opinion on the use and threat of use of nuclear weapons was viewed as ground-breaking because it gave authoritative interpretation to the Article VI provision, in the context of other relevant legal understandings. It delinked the nuclear disarmament obligation from the more remotely attainable general and complete disarmament, and unanimously concluded that there existed an obligation to pursue and "bring to conclusion" negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament.

It is likely that many states will want the 2000 Review Conference to reaffirm their unequivocal commitment to this obligation, as interpreted by the World Court. The New Agenda Coalition already signalled this intent with its most recent UN General Assembly resolution (UNGA 54/54G), adopted on December 1, 1999, by 111 votes to 13 (and 39 abstentions). The first operative paragraph of this resolution called on the NWS "to make an unequivocal undertaking to accomplish the speedy and total elimination of their nuclear arsenals and to engage without delay in an accelerated process of negotiations, thus achieving nuclear disarmament, to which they are committed under Article VI of the NPT."

One of the most concrete proposals for how the NPT review process could be used to address nuclear disarmament was made at the Second NPT PrepCom in 1998 by South Africa. Noting that the Article VI obligations are binding on 'each Party to the Treaty', South Africa took as its starting point paragraph 4 (c) of the 1995 P&O, and argued for establishment of the "practice within the strengthened review process for the States Parties to deliberate on the practical steps for systematic and progressive efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons". In its statement to the 1998 PrepCom and a subsequent working paper, South Africa proposed that the 2000 Review Conference should establish a subsidiary body to Main Committee I and ensure that all future meetings under the enhanced review process would allocate specific time for the practical deliberation of qualitative and quantitative measures that would contribute towards fulfillment of Article VI.(10)

In making the proposal for a subsidiary body and specific time to be devoted to the practical consideration of nuclear disarmament issues, South Africa was seeking to go beyond the delivery of national statements or adversarial exchange of ideologies that tends to characterise Main Committee I debates. Instead, South Africa envisaged a role for the NNWS in agenda-setting, facilitating information exchange between NWS and NNWS, and in supporting or assisting initiatives that are undertaken or agreements, as they are achieved, both politically and materially. In this way, the NNWS could have a role in furthering accountability for the Treaty and the implementation of Article VI.(11)

South Africa did not on that occasion identify the practical issues that could be addressed in such a subsidiary body. The kinds of issues and approaches were subsequently raised in the Dublin Declaration, which launched the New Agenda Coalition in June 1998, and in further resolutions to the UN General Assembly in 1998 and 1999.(12) Following on from South Africa's proposals to the Second PrepCom, the New Agenda states followed up with a working paper to the Third NPT PrepCom in 1999 which noted that nuclear disarmament should have been facilitated by the easing of international tension after the Cold War. The NAC working paper analysed attitudes and developments and concluded that the pace of efforts to implement the NPT was "faltering". It cited "the lack of evidence that the nuclear weapon states consider their treaty obligations as an urgent commitment to the total elimination of their nuclear weapons consistent with the Article VI obligations and the 1995 Principles and Objectives". The New Agenda Coalition and its allies noted a re-rationalisation of the possession of nuclear weapons and the reaffirmation of nuclear doctrine and observed baldly that "the indefinite extension of the NPT does not sanction the indefinite retention of nuclear weapons". The working paper hammered this point home, underlining that in a treaty based on mutually agreed obligations, one group of states cannot expect to retain its privileges indefinitely, nor to determine independently the pace of progress towards implementation. In terms familiar from the Dublin Declaration, the NAC paper called for a progressive mix of bilateral, plurilateral and multilateral efforts, "which should be mutually reinforcing and which should be pursued in concert". It specifically identified four interim measures which would reduce the nuclear threat and de-emphasise the role of nuclear weapons in security strategies: de-alerting nuclear weapons and de-mating warheads from delivery systems; reduction of reliance on non-strategic nuclear weapons; legally binding negative security assurances; and greater transparency about nuclear arsenals and fissile material stocks.

The NAM working paper at the 1999 PrepCom included 10 paragraphs on Article VI, quoting the ICJ opinion and, echoing South Africa's proposal, also called for the 2000 Review Conference to establish a subsidiary body to Main Committee I to "deliberate on the practical steps for systematic and progressive efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons". The CD was called upon to negotiate a fissban "banning the production and stockpiling of fissile material" for nuclear weapons – going further than the Shannon mandate – and to prioritise nuclear disarmament negotiations. The NAM also reiterated its call for a phased programme of nuclear disarmament and a "nuclear-weapon convention prohibiting the development, production, testing, employment, stockpiling, transfer, threat or use of nuclear weapons.."

Brazil – whose recent accession to the NPT was enthusiastically welcomed at the 1999 PrepCom – outlined a comprehensive and practical programme, recognising that "after the CTBT and the FMT, there is a logical step at the multilateral level, that is, a Nuclear Weapon Convention..." Brazil urged NPT Parties to begin at least considering this objective, while at the same time calling for interim steps that would complement and reinforce the bilateral reductions underway, including: the de-alerting of nuclear weapons; the removal of nuclear warheads from their delivery vehicles; an agreement on the no-first-use of nuclear weapons; an agreement not to increase or modernise nuclear arsenals; the removal of non-strategic nuclear weapons from deployed sites; and greater transparency of fissile materials stocks. Peru specifically supported the de-alerting and de-activation of nuclear weapons and the withdrawal of non-strategic weapons. China reiterated its long-standing demand for a legally binding instrument among the NWS on no-first-use of nuclear weapons. Canada called for a new programme of action for 2000 to include the following additional elements: acceleration and full implementation of the START process, with the direct engagement of the other three NWS (Britain, China and France) "in the near future"; plus measures such as de-alerting, transparency and confidence-building, and negotiations on tactical nuclear weapons. Warning that unless the tasks of nuclear disarmament were "thoroughly addressed, the NPT could lose its credibility", with grave consequences, Japan emphasised the importance of the START process, CTBT and fissban, but also called for "further efforts" by all five NWS "to reduce their nuclear arsenals unilaterally and through their negotiations". Together with a growing number of states, Japan also underscored the importance of practical measures such as de-alerting and de-targeting, as well as assistance in dismantling nuclear weapons, and managing and disposing of the resultant fissile materials.

As is clear from their many interventions in the committees and cluster debates on nuclear disarmament, the NNWS endorse and encourage the bilateral negotiations (the START process); but they do not regard these as the only steps or approaches for nuclear disarmament. If the NWS resist calls for a subsidiary body to address practical disarmament measures and if they persist in rejecting interim steps proposed by the NNWS to reduce nuclear dangers, such as de-alerting, transparency, ending the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons, and halting further modernisation of nuclear weapon systems, they may find themselves facing calls for an amendment conference to convert Article VI into a framework nuclear weapon convention.(13) As noted by the Chilean Chair of the UN First Committee in November 1999, the frustration-level of the NNWS is rising.(14) The failure of the NWS to seize post Cold War opportunities is causing NNWS to question whether the NWS ever actually regarded Article VI as an obligation to pursue nuclear disarmament in real terms. Was Article VI merely a sop to get the NNWS on board? In Washington at least, and possibly in other NWS capitals it is becoming increasingly obvious that the NWS did not think they needed to take the implementation of Article VI seriously in their own defence and security policies. Perhaps the NWS thought that the NNWS understood that; and during the Cold War it is possible that the NNWS also believed that nuclear disarmament was an impossible dream. With the end of the Cold War, however, the majority of NNWS wanted to see some genuine changes in doctrines, policy and approaches. Faced with the dangers of proliferation, made inescapably clear this past decade by the actions of some of the NWS, India, Pakistan, Israel, Iraq and North Korea, the NNWS are having to evaluate whether their own national security needs are met by the NPT. Most would prefer to continue to abjure nuclear weapons, as the NPT obliges them to; but there is a growing fear that as long as the NWS reaffirm the value of nuclear weapons for their own security, the non-proliferation norm will be under threat. Unless the NWS show themselves to be genuinely willing to move towards zero, the NPT will be unable to sustain the nuclear apartheid of the past 50 years. In a situation of collapsing confidence in nuclear non-proliferation, more States will hedge their bets, which would in turn, accelerate the disintegration of the Treaty and its all-important norm.

Nuclear Weapon Free Zones

Since 1995 there has been good progress in general on establishing NWFZ. The Pelindaba Treaty, setting up a NWFZ in Africa, and the Bangkok Treaty, covering South East Asia, have both been concluded and signed by States in their respective regions. Progress is also being made on a Central Asian NWFZ encompassing Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, although that has recently run into some problems. After the end of nuclear testing, the NWS have finally now all signed the relevant protocols of the Rarotonga Treaty, covering the South Pacific. Nevertheless, some problems remain with Pelindaba, Bangkok and Central Asia. Most importantly, the repeated calls for development of NWFZ in regions of tension, such as the Middle East or South Asia, have been dismissed or ignored by the nuclear possessors in those regions, and look further away than ever. Such calls, especially with respect to the Middle East, will undoubtedly be made again, but with little hope of seeing progress in the near future.

The P&O contained three paragraphs on NWFZ, noting that they must be on the basis of "arrangements freely arrived at among the states in the region concerned". Apart from the positive progress in establishing further NWFZ, nothing very new has been added on this subject during the PrepCom process. Some attention will be paid to the difficulties encountered in concluding the Central Asian NWFZ, and if Belarus again tries to put forward its initiative on establishing a nuclear-weapon-free 'space' in Central and Eastern Europe, the new NATO and NATO-wannabe states from the region are likely to object.

Security Assurances

The NWS concluded a new Security Council resolution on security assurances just before the NPT Conference in 1995 (UNSC 984). This was noted in the P&O, with the rider that further steps should be considered which "could take the form of an internationally legally binding instrument". The NAM paper of 1999 called for negotiations on a legal instrument on security assurances to be negotiated during the preparatory process and adopted by the 2000 NPT Review Conference as an annexed protocol to the NPT. South Africa issued a working paper containing draft text for a five-article protocol to the NPT on "the prohibition of the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states parties" to the NPT. Among proponents of security assurances, there remain divisions over whether security assurances should be negotiated in the NPT context, and offered as a benefit to NPT parties, or whether they should be more universal, and therefore negotiated by the CD or some specially established multilateral forum. There may be calls to establish a subsidiary body to Main Committee I for the purpose of negotiating a legally binding agreement on security assurances, but this is unlikely to be an issue that states parties go to the mat over.


The P&O called on all the NNWS parties to sign and bring into force comprehensive IAEA safeguards agreements and urged the NWS parties to place under safeguards any fissile material transferred from military to non-military uses. At time of writing, 52 NPT parties have not concluded and/or brought into force safeguards agreements, although these parties do not have any declared nuclear facilities. There was a strong injunction on NPT parties to make fullscope safeguards agreements a condition of supply of nuclear materials, technology and assistance. The P&O backed efforts to strengthen the effectiveness of the IAEA safeguards regime, including widening the capability to detect undeclared nuclear activities, which at that time were being developed as part of Programme 93+2. After negotiations based around the 93+2 programme, the IAEA Board of Governors approved a 'model Additional Protocol' (INFCIRC/540) to augment the safeguards agreements which States had concluded with the IAEA as part of their Article III obligations (INFCIRC/153, or in the case of the European members of EURATOM, INFCIRC/193).

The NWS, which do not carry safeguards obligations under Article III, have only voluntary safeguards agreements, but have also been urged to bring into force the relevant Additional Protocol. Britain and France are striving to do so before the 2000 Review Conference. In September 1996, US Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary, Russian Minister of Atomic Energy Viktor Mikhailov, and IAEA Director General Hans Blix announced, as part of a drive to ensure the "transparency and irreversibility of nuclear arms reductions", a Trilateral Initiative "to consider practical measures for the application of IAEA verification to weapon-origin fissile materials" to provide confidence that they were not being recycled, or kept in reserve for new weapons. The broad remit of the Initiative, which is reviewed annually at the IAEA General Conference, is to address "the scope and purpose of IAEA verification" and "the locations, types, and amounts of weapons-origin fissile material potentially subject to IAEA verification", to explore "technologies that might be capable of performing verification and monitoring objectives without disclosing sensitive information", and to consider "options for funding and providing a legal framework for IAEA verification measures". During the PrepComs support for the Trilateral Initiative was widely expressed by other States Parties.(15)

The model protocol is the basis for the various Additional Protocols which states have been urged to sign and ratify. They are intended to give the IAEA better tools to detect undeclared activities and to carry out inspections. The impetus for strengthening the IAEA safeguards came from the lessons learned from the discovery of Iraq's clandestine nuclear weapon programme, North Korea's failure to comply with its safeguards agreements, and the experience of verifying the dismantlement of South Africa's nuclear weapon programme in the early 1990s. Speaking to the UN General Assembly in November 1999, the IAEA Director General, Dr Mohamed ElBaradei, described the Additional Protocols as "designed to provide the Agency with greater access to information and sites so it can verify that no declared nuclear material has been diverted to non-peaceful uses and also provide assurances that there is no undeclared material or activities."(16)

Despite widespread support at the PrepComs, however, NPT parties have been abysmally slow to sign, ratify and bring into force the Additional Protocols relevant to them. By the end of January 2000, only 46 NPT parties had concluded negotiations on an Additional Protocol, with only eight having brought their agreements into force. It is therefore to be expected that there will be calls for speedier implementation of the Additional Protocol.

Strengthened Safeguards System: Status of Additional Protocols

The following States have signed or ratified Additional Protocols to their IAEA Safeguards Agreements for the Agency's application of strengthened safeguards.

The latest status report, as of 17 January 2000, includes: Strengthened Safeguards System: Additional Protocols (46 approvals, 45 Signatories, 8 Contracting States)
State Board Approval Date signed In Force
Armenia 23 Sept 1997 29 Sept 1997
Australia 23 Sept 1997 23 Sept 1997 12 Dec 1997
Austria1 11 June 1998 22 Sept 1998
Belgium1 11 June 1998 22 Sept 1998
Bulgaria 14 Sept 1998 24 Sept 1998
Canada 11 June 1998 24 Sept 1998
China 25 Nov 1998 31 Dec 1998
Croatia 14 Sept 1998 22 Sept 1998
Cuba 20 Sept 1999 15 Oct 1999
Cyprus 25 Nov 1998 29 July 1999
Czech Republic 20 Sept 1999 28 Sept 1999
Denmark1 11 June 1998 22 Sept 1998
Ecuador 20 Sept 1999 1 Oct 1999
Finland1 11 June 1998 22 Sept 1998
France1 11 June 1998 22 Sept 1998
Georgia 23 Sept 1997 29 Sept 1997
Germany1 11 June 1998 22 Sept 1998
Ghana 11 June 1998 12 June 1998
Greece1 11 June 1998 22 Sept 1998
Holy See 14 Sept 1998 24 Sept 1998 24 Sept 1998
Hungary 25 Nov 1998 26 Nov 1998
Indonesia 20 Sept 1999 29 Sept 1999 29 Sept 1999
Ireland1 11 June 1998 22 Sept 1998
Italy1 11 June 1998 22 Sept 1998
Japan 25 Nov 1998 4 Dec 1998 16 Dec 1999
Jordan 18 March 1998 28 July 1998 28 July 1998
Lithuania 1 Dec 1997 11 March 1998
Luxembourg1 11 June 1998 22 Sept 1998
Monaco 25 Nov 1998 30 Sept 1999 30 Sept 1999
Netherlands1 11 June 1998 22 Sept 1998
New Zealand 14 Sept 1998 24 Sept 1998 24 Sept 1998
Norway 24 March 1999 29 Sept 1999
Peru 10 Dec 1999
Philippines 23 Sept 1997 30 Sept 1997
Poland 23 Sept 1997 30 Sept 1997
Portugal1 11 June 1998 22 Sept 1998
Republic of Korea 24 March 1999 21 June 1999
Romania 9 June 1999 11 June 1999
Slovakia 14 Sept 1998 27 Sept 1999
Slovenia 25 Nov 1998 26 Nov 1998
Spain1 11 June 1998 22 Sept 1998
Sweden1 11 June 1998 22 Sept 1998
UK1 11 June 1998 22 Sept 1998
USA 11 June 1998 12 June 1998
Uruguay 23 Sept 1997 29 Sept 1997
Uzbekistan 14 Sept 1998 22 Sept 1998 21 Dec 1998
  46 45 8

1 All 15 EU States have concluded Additional Protocols with EURATOM and the Agency.

Nuclear Energy

Article IV seems to be treated in NPT Conferences as the least problematic of the Treaty's provisions. The main arguments revolve around the export control regime developed through the Zangger Committee and Nuclear Suppliers Group, which some NAM countries view as impediments to the assistance in developing nuclear energy that they consider their 'inalienable right' under Article IV. Support is expressed for the various conventions and agreements governing nuclear safety, transshipments, and waste, including the Convention on Nuclear Safety, which held its first review meeting in April 1999.

Yet the generally cosy discussions on Article IV mask a fact that is growing more obvious with each passing year. Despite the huge sums of money spent on research and public relations, nuclear energy did not turn out to be the wonder-technology it was advertised to be in the 1950s and '60s. It has not fulfilled the promise of being a cheap, safe, clean and relatively unlimited source of energy for developing countries. This is in contrast to some of the medical and other uses, which are a relatively small fraction of the non-military uses of nuclear energy, but which have proved to be important and useful. Nuclear energy for electrical power is on the wane, amid the industry's continuing inability to find a safe solution for nuclear waste, the problems of which will become dramatically more apparent as aging reactors come off line and have to be dismantled.

The period since the 1995 Conference has seen virtually no growth in the number of civil nuclear reactors in the world – according to IAEA figures, by the end of 1995 there were 437 nuclear power plants in 30 countries plus Taiwan; by the beginning of 1999, there were 434 plants in the same countries - and continuing controversies and doubts about the safety, viability and even integrity of the nuclear industry. Speaking in Russia in June 1996, then IAEA Director General Hans Blix observed soberly: "What is the current status of nuclear power deployment in the world? There was a rapid expansion of nuclear power through the 1970s. With the Three Mile Island accident in 1979, the less-than-expected increase in demand of electricity in the 1980s, and the Chernobyl accident in 1986, the expansion rate of nuclear power has slowed markedly" He then noted that "While nuclear power construction has been stagnating in the Western industrialized world, the growth of nuclear power in East and South Asia has continued." Blix noted that nuclear power had become more expensive due to many new safety features, but acknowledged that the "most important factors are safety in reactor operation and waste disposal"(17).

Western diplomats contort themselves into hoops trying to explain why they are so critical of Iran's 'peaceful' nuclear programme and its endless evocations of Article IV rights and access. The real reason for Western scepticism was succinctly stated off the record by a senior Western official, who admitted that the economics no longer added up: "No developing country in its right mind would go for nuclear power these days... unless they also wanted a nuclear weapons option."(18) Many diplomats and non-proliferation and arms control specialists privately agree. Yet few NPT states other than Austria have ever publicly questioned the relevance and rightness of Article IV. Instead, Western nuclear industries from Canada to Britain, France and Germany, are desperately trying to shore up their failing balance sheets by selling to developing states, with offers of sweeteners and incentives to get them hooked.

Furthermore, since Blix's comments, the nuclear tests in South Asia have shown the proliferation-related weakness of the industry's enthusiasm for the growth in nuclear power in that volatile region, while confidence in reactor safety has been further dented by a number of incidents, by far the most serious of which were a fatal accident in September 1999 at the Tokaimura reactor in Japan and a fire and explosion at a plutonium reprocessing plant in Japan in April 1997. Widespread international concern has also been generated by Japan's plan to import plutonium-based mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel from Britain and France for use in its reactors. Strong objections have been voiced on the grounds that using plutonium fuel increases proliferation dangers, and that the transport of such material is irresponsible and hazardous. In July 1999, the Caricom nations of the Caribbean, through whose waters the shipments are routed, issued an unusually strongly-worded communiqué stating they were "particularly outraged at the callous and contemptuous disregard of their appeals by the governments of France, the United Kingdom and Japan to desist from this dangerous misuse of the Caribbean sea."(19)

Despite reassurances from Britain, France and Japan, the maritime transport of radioactive materials has been an issue of growing concern in NPT discussions. At the Third PrepCom in 1999, for example, South Pacific Forum members, Peru, Chile and Argentina raised the question, and New Zealand reiterated its request for states to adopt "at least prior notification and ideally prior informed consent procedures" for the transshipment of radioactive materials. France, Britain and Japan, for their part, insisted there was no problem and that there must be no impediment to the "rights and freedoms of navigation". Ironically, shipments of British plutonium from Sellafield were postponed in December 1999 not by protests, but by Japan's Ministry of Industry (MITI) after British Nuclear Fuels Limited (BNFL) admitted that they had falsified quality report data on MOX fuel stocks, including – though this was only admitted after a legal challenge - supplies earmarked for shipment to the Takahama-4 reactor in Japan. MITI insisted that Britain take back the most recent shipment, transported to Japan only in October.

Although it is likely that such issues will receive a hearing at the 2000 Review Conference, it is not to be expected that Article IV will be seriously questioned, except by non-governmental organisations and environmentalists. Recognising that a reliable and affordable source of energy is essential for development, the NGOs have long argued for a protocol to the NPT establishing an International Energy Agency to offer research, assistance and equipment for developing a range of (preferably renewable and sustainable) energy producing technologies. Such an Energy Agency would be far more suitable to the real energy and economic needs of developing countries, and would also enable the IAEA to separate its dual and contradictory roles, so that its sole responsibility under the NPT would be of managing safeguards to prevent diversion and proliferation. If the IAEA were to retain a function of promoting nuclear energy, it would make sense for that to be outside the framework of the NPT.


(1) Abraham Rabinovic, 'Israel comes clean on nuclear capabilities', New Zealand Herald, July 17, 1998.

(2) Statement by Issam Makhoul MK to the Israeli Knesset, February 2, 2000.

(3) Letter dated 27 April 1999 from the Chairman of the Working Group on Disarmament of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, NPT/CONF.2000/PC.III/1

(4) Rabinovic, op. cit.

(5) For a fascinating account of India's acquisition of nuclear weapons, see George Perkovich, India's Nuclear Bomb, University of California Press, 1999.

(6) Working paper submitted by Malaysia, NPT/CONF.2000/PC.III/26

(7) [New Agenda Coalition] Working paper submitted by Angola, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Cameroon, Chile, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Fiji, Ghana, Guatemala, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Mali, Malaysia, Malawi, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia and Zimbabwe. NPT/CONF.2000/PC.III/26

(8) See Nicola Butler, 'NATO in 1999: A Concept in Search of a Strategy' in Disarmament Diplomacy 35, March 1999, pp 4-10; Nicola Butler 'NATO at 50: Papering over the Cracks' Disarmament Diplomacy 38, June 1999, pp 2-8; and Nicola Butler, 'NATO Ministers Fudge the Essentials', Disarmament Diplomacy 42, December 1999.

(9) Daryl Kimball, 'What Went Wrong: Repairing the Damage to the CTBT', Arms Control Today, December 1999. See also Special Features on the CTBT in Disarmament Diplomacy 40, September/October 1999 and in The Bulletin of the Atomic Sciences, January/February 2000

(10) Statement by the Republic of South Africa, Cluster I, Second Preparatory Committee of the 2000 Review Conference, April 29, 1998. Working Paper on Cluster One Issues: Article VI of the NPT, submitted by South Africa, NPT/CONF.2000/PC.II/12

(11) See also Rebecca Johnson, 'Using the Review Process to Address Nuclear Disarmament', in UNIDIR 37, op. cit and 'Ensuring accountability and progress in implementing Article VI' in Reviewing the Non-Proliferation Treaty: Preparing for the Future, ACRONYM 11, April 1998, pp 32-36.

(12) The Canberra Commission, the Stimson Center, the US National Academy of Sciences and several Acronym Institute publications had identified a number of qualitative measures relating to nuclear-use doctrines and deployment postures that needed to be worked on in parallel with bilateral nuclear reductions. The Dublin Declaration is published in full (among other places) in Disarmament Diplomacy 27, June 1998, pp 27 - 32.

(13) Zia Mian and M.V. Ramana, 'Diplomatic Judo: Using the NPT to make the Nuclear Weapon States negotiate the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons, Disarmament Diplomacy 36, April 1999, pp 7-12.

(14) Ambassador Raimundo González of Chile, quoted in Rebecca Johnson, First Committee Report, Disarmament Diplomacy 41, November 1999.

(15) Press Statement on the Trilateral Initiative, IAEA Press Release PR 97/26, September 30, 1997;

(16) Mohamed ElBaradei, statement to the 54th Session of the UN General Assembly, November 4, 1999.

(17) Hans Blix, 1997, taken from the IAEA website,

(18) Conversation with the author, December 1999.

(19) 'Stormy waters for nuclear shipments', BBC News Online, July 19, 1999

© 2000 The Acronym Institute.

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