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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 1, January 1996

A monthly digest of news and documents edited by Sean Howard. Credits

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Editor's introduction

I would like to welcome all readers to Dfax's new arms control review, Disarmament Diplomacy. Disarmament Diplomacy succeeds Nuclear Proliferation News, which ran for 37 fortnightly issues, 1994-5.

The new review will incorporate many of the features of Nuclear Proliferation News. Rebecca Johnson, of Disarmament Intelligence Review, will provide Geneva Updates from the Conference on Disarmament (CD). These will be primarily concerned with the CD's attempts to conclude its negotiations for a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), but will also provide coverage and analysis of the range of developments at the Conference. Likewise, Documents and Sources and News Review will continue while being expanded in scope to cover all major developments in arms control diplomacy.

In addition, a new feature has been added: opinion pieces on the future of the CD, and specifically the future shape of its agenda, currently under review. Pieces are being commissioned from prominent analysts, commentators and senior serving and retired diplomats, negotiators and politicians. Our aim is to stimulate as far-ranging and thought-provoking a debate as possible. We believe that, at present, there is insufficient public and political awareness of the agenda review; and that the review will benefit from the infusion of challenging and imaginative ideas from outside.

Professor Joseph Rotblat, 1995 Nobel Peace Laureate, has kindly given permission for us to advertise his endorsement of this project.

The first commissioned opinion piece is by Frank Blackaby, former Director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

I would like to extend a general invitation to all readers to send their views on any aspect of the workings and future of the CD they choose. Submissions can take any form and be of any length, and all are very welcome.

A summary of the current agenda and its review is provided below.

The CD Agenda: a summary

The agenda has been in place since 1978, when the Conference on Disarmament succeeded the Conference on the Committee on Disarmament. It was elaborated and adopted by the 1978 United Nations Special Session on Disarmament.

The agenda has ten items, known collectively as The Decalogue.

The Decalogue

Item 1. Nuclear Test Ban

Item 2. Cessation of the Nuclear Arms Race and Nuclear Disarmament

Item 3. Prevention of Nuclear War, including all Related Measures

Item 4. Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space

Item 5. Effective International Arrangements to Assure Non-Nuclear- Weapon States Against the Use or Threat of Use of Nuclear Weapons

Item 6. New Types of Weapons of Mass Destruction and New Systems of Such Weapons; Radiological Weapons

Item 7. Comprehensive Programme of Disarmament

Item 8. Transparency in Armaments

Item 9. Consideration of Other Areas Dealing with the Cessation of the Arms Race and Disarmament and Other Relevant Measures

Item 10. Consideration and Adoption of the Annual Report of the Conference and any other Report as Appropriate to the General Assembly of the United Nations

The review so far

For the 1994 Session of the Conference, Lars Norberg, Sweden's Ambassador to the CD, was appointed Special Co-ordinator on Review of the Agenda. No Special Co-ordinator was appointed to succeed Ambassador Norberg for the 1995 Session. Consideration of the issue is expected to resume in the course of the 1996 Session.

The fullest official account of the review so far came on 1 September 1994 with Ambassador Norberg's report to the Conference on his efforts to 'sound out' the delegations on the issue. His statement referred to "divergent views" on what has thus far emerged as the central issue - "the appropriate balance" between nuclear and non-nuclear issues:

"...consultations have revealed conflicting views among delegations as to the appropriate balance between nuclear weapons and conventional weapons on the agenda. Divergent views have also been expressed with regard to the question of a possible widening of the CD's scope of activities to include the negotiation of politically binding agreements covering, for example, global confidence building measures or regional questions."

Specifically, Ambassador Norberg said that four of the Decalogue items in particular were inspiring controversy: items 2 (Cessation of the Nuclear Arms Race and Nuclear Disarmament), 3 (Prevention of Nuclear War, including all Related Measures), 7 (Comprehensive Programme of Disarmament) and 8 (Transparency in Armaments).

The review of the CD Agenda - Opinion

Disarmament: the next steps for the CD

By Frank Blackaby


What should the Geneva Conference on Disarmament (CD) do now? Up to now, the CD has always had, somewhere on its agenda, a disarmament or arms control issue of substance. True, nobody can claim that it has been particularly fleet of foot. However, the CD, or its predecessors, did negotiate the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Biological Weapons Convention, and (after nearly thirty years of negotiations) the Chemical Weapons Convention. Now it is dealing with one item only - the Comprehensive Test Ban - with a target date to complete those negotiations by the end of the year. It has also agreed but failed to establish a committee to negotiate a fissile materials 'cut-off' convention. Beyond that, there is no agreement on what it should do next.

So the CD - which is really the only body with the competence to negotiate global disarmament treaties - faces an almost entirely blank agenda. At the same time, new States are queuing up to join it. A list of 23 should be admitted soon. There are at least a further dozen States who want to come in. This presents the prospect of a standing Conference on Disarmament with some 60-70 Member States, trying to make up its collective mind about what it should do. Here are some suggestions.

The best way is to begin with another question - what needs to be done? - remembering all the time that arms control and disarmament measures are not ends in themselves. The objective is to stop the killing - to eliminate or at least reduce the risk of deaths caused by military conflict. A short tour d'horizon is useful, to sort out what could best be done elsewhere, and what should be taken up by the CD. First, conventional weapons, and second, the WMD weapons - weapons of mass destruction.

Conventional weapons

Conventional weapons - what needs to be done? A great deal. World expenditure on preparation for mutual slaughter has been coming down since 1980. However, on any reasonable basis of converting foreign currency into US dollars, world military spending still exceeds one thousand billion dollars a year - that is, 1 followed by twelve noughts. The vast bulk of that is on conventional arms and conventional military forces.

If these figures are to be brought down, the dominant negotiations have to be regional. Attractive though the idea may be, it is off the map of possibility for the CD to negotiate the number of fighter planes, or the size of military forces, to be deployed by Ecuador or Singapore. Major conventional disarmament must be dealt with region by region - as in Europe, the one area where tanks have actually been destroyed. Unfortunately there is as yet little sign of other regions following the European example (which itself is in some difficulty). There have been some brave attempts in Central America: in the mid-eighties the draft Contadora Act on Peace and Cooperation included detailed proposals for reducing the inventory of weapons and the number of troops. There is a Middle East Arms Control and Regional Security Group (ACRS); it has agreed on a minor confidence-building measure - advance notification of exercises involving more than 4,000 troops or 11 tanks, but as yet nothing more than that.

One problem with regional disarmament outside Europe is this: the major powers have done little to encourage it. They speak with forked tongues on the matter. Western politicians have frequently - and correctly - referred to the Middle East as a grossly over- militarised region. Their arms manufacturers have proceeded, with Government support, to compete fiercely for arms sales to every State in the region except Iraq.

There is not a great deal the CD can do to counter this regional indifference to conventional disarmament. However, there are two areas in which the CD could work. One is to look for weapon systems which could be banned world-wide. The other is to consider whether the UN Arms Register can be strengthened. The CD could also examine the confidence-building measures which have been adopted in Europe, to see whether any of them can be 'globalised', to borrow a rather unfortunate word from the language of economic policy.

Bans on weapon systems

One possibility for a world-wide ban would be ground-launched cruise or ballistic missiles with a range from 500km to 5,500km. There is no doubt that the US and Russia would support this idea. This is a rather curious category of weapon in that the US and Russia are banned, by the 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, from possessing them, while other States are free to do so. President Clinton, speaking at the United Nations in September 1993, floated the idea of "strengthening the principles of the Missile Technology Control Regime by transforming it from an agreement among just 23 nations to a set of rules that can command universal adherence". The only set of rules which could possibly command universal adherence is a world-wide ban.

The problem with this proposal is the cut-off point of 5,500km. There could well be a counter-proposal to ban all ground-launched cruise or ballistic missiles with any range above 500km, including the inter-continental missiles - which would remove a significant part of US and Russian nuclear weapon capability.

A much more radical proposal - guaranteed to induce apoplexy in Ministries of Defence around the world - is to ban the production or possession of main battle tanks. This would make inter-state offensive military action very difficult indeed. The Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty provides a definition of a main battle tank. The only defensive purpose of a main battle tank is to knock out other main battle tanks - and if there are none, then the heavy tank is left as a purely offensive weapon. It could be argued that such a ban would set off an arms race in devising light tanks with battle tank capabilities: then a new definition could be devised to exclude them as well. A ban on main battle tanks - why not?

There is a further question here - could the CD be used to support the work of the CCW Convention - the Inhumane Weapons Convention? The CCW Conference can agree on certain provisions about the use of weapons; it has no mandate to deal with their production. The CD could concern itself with this matter, and - for instance - ban the production of anti-personnel mines unless they were equipped with a self-destructing or self-neutralising mechanism, and unless they were manufactured in such a way as to make them detectable with widely available equipment.

Transparency and confidence-building measures

Under the general heading of transparency and confidence building measures, the CD could concern itself with improving the UN Arms Register. It could be put into Treaty form: in this way, pressure could be put on UN member States to adhere to the Treaty. In the present Register priority is given to reports of the arms trade, and reports of holdings or production are treated as an optional extra. The Treaty should require States to report, for each weapon system covered, production, exports, imports, and holdings.

There has been no success, so far, in extending the list of weapon systems covered by the Register. This is a pity, and the CD should try again. For instance, we need to know a great deal more about the production and trade of those weapons which, in conflicts around the world, are doing most of the killing - small arms. That is a common conclusion now of most of those concerned with the arms trade. It would be a major triumph for the CD if it could throw some light on this murky area - on production, exports, imports and holdings of a number of the major small arms categories. The cost of providing this information would be trivial. Once the principle of transparency has been accepted, reasons have to be given for continued secrecy: the onus of proof is on those who want to withhold the information.

The CD's pursuit of greater transparency should not end with a reform of the UN Register. It would be a useful idea - and this illustrates the need for a stronger Secretariat for the CD - to go through the various transparency measures which have been negotiated for the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe), and see which of them could be applied to the world as a whole. There is the Open Skies Treaty, which - assuming it is ratified - will cover the area from Vancouver to Vladivostock, which is almost half the world. Could it not be extended to cover the other half?

Again, the Vienna Document which was agreed by the OSCE States in November 1994 includes a whole range of transparency measures, with a detailed annual exchange of military information "concerning the military organisation, manpower and major weapon and equipment systems, as specified below..." Then there are headings on risk reduction, contacts, military cooperation, prior notification of certain military activities, annual calendars, constraining provisions, and so on. There is no doubt that some of these provisions could be made global. For instance, according to the Vienna Document, when a new weapon system is introduced, "each participating State will, at the same time the [annual] data are presented, ensure that other participating States are provided with photographs presenting the right or left side, top and front views for each of the types of major weapon and equipment systems concerned". (It is only about ten years ago that a US soldier was shot and killed for photographing a Soviet tank in what was then East Germany.) There is a useful exercise to be done - too long for this paper - to go through the provisions of the Vienna Document and ask, could this provision be adapted for a global Treaty?

Under the transparency heading, should the CD discussion be limited to conventional weapons? There is a difference of view here between the nuclear weapon States - who want nuclear weapons to be excluded - and the other members of the CD. The non-nuclear States ask why transparency should be good for conventional weapons, but bad for nuclear weapons - a rather difficult question for the nuclear weapon States to answer.

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Of the three WMD weapon systems, two now have treaties. For biological weapons, it is up to the parties to the Treaty now to consider, in the review conferences, what should be done - particularly about verification. For chemical weapons, the crucial next step is to get 65 ratifications so that the Treaty can come into force. That leaves for the CD the third WMD: there is a great deal to do on nuclear weapons.

There are three nuclear weapon topics already entered as possible subjects for the CD to take up - though currently there is no agreement on forming or re-establishing the appropriate Committees. These topics are peripheral, not central. The central question is this: should the CD take up, in some form, the question of a Nuclear Weapons Convention (NWC)?

The three nuclear weapon topics are the cut-off of production of weapon-grade fissile material (labelled the 'Fissban'); Negative Security Assurances (NSA); and Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS).

Since the demise of the X-ray laser, there are no proposals around for putting nuclear weapons into outer space. It could be argued that it is nonetheless useful to have a Treaty banning them, so as to prevent the idea recurring sometime in the future. It would be analogous to the Seabed Treaty, prohibiting the emplacement of nuclear weapons on the seabed - a Treaty stopping States from doing something which they had no intention of doing. A Treaty banning nuclear weapons in space would not be worth much negotiating time.

If a Fissban Treaty had been negotiated when it was first proposed, well over thirty years ago, it might have done something to stop the absurd multiplication of nuclear warheads in the armouries of the US and USSR. Now neither of them has any need for further production of weapon-grade fissile material - rather they have the problem of getting rid of the stuff. The Treaty was originally conceived as a constraint on the nuclear weapon powers. Now it would be a non-proliferation measure - one more instrument to make it difficult for other States to acquire a nuclear weapon capability. The five declared nuclear weapon powers will be happy enough to start negotiations. They gave an undertaking to do this in the 'Principles and Objectives' document which was agreed at the Review and Extension Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) last Spring.

In the preliminary discussion of this topic at the CD, a number of States raised the question of stocks: a cut-off on production would be no constraint on a State with large stocks of weapon- grade material. This is clearly true - and a ban on production goes only a very little way towards the kind of regime which would be needed if a zero target for nuclear weapons was eventually accepted. There would have to be an international regime of materials protection, accounting and control (MPAC) which covered all weapon-usable material - since it is known that plutonium from civil reactors can be used to make nuclear explosives. A Treaty which simply banned the production of weapon-grade fissile material, as far as the declared nuclear weapon powers are concerned, cannot be regarded as a significant step towards nuclear disarmament. Again, it is not worth a great deal of negotiating time.

The third suggested nuclear weapon topic is that of negative security assurances. The present position is as follows. China has declared that it follows a policy of No-First-Use, which, if observed, is the equivalent of a NSA to all non-nuclear-weapon powers. The other four nuclear weapon States have given separate qualified assurances: in the words of the British statement, "not to use nuclear weapons against States which are parties to the Non- Proliferation Treaty or to other internationally binding commitments not to manufacture or acquire nuclear explosive devices, except in the case of an attack on the United Kingdom, its dependent territories, its armed forces or its allies by such a State in association or alliance with a nuclear-weapon State". The purpose of the qualification was to permit - for example - a nuclear attack on the territory of Poland, a party to the NPT, if Poland joined with the USSR in an attack on the West. The qualification looks a bit dated now.

In addition, the nuclear weapon powers have signed a protocol to the nuclear-weapon-free-zone (NWFZ) covering Latin America; Russia and China are signatories to a protocol to the South Pacific NWFZ Treaty, and the other three nuclear weapon powers have indicated that they will also sign soon. In these protocols they undertake not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against any parties to the Treaties. There are now two more NWFZ Treaties, for Africa and South-East Asia, both with similar protocols for signature.

However, the nuclear weapon powers seem anxious to leave a certain amount of ambiguity in the assurances they have given. Britain and France both indicate that their nuclear weapons could have a 'sub- strategic' role. France more explicitly refers to the need to give an "ultimate warning" - and the 1984 French White Paper on Defence makes no reference to any security assurances about declining to use nuclear weapons. The four States which tend to feature in lists of potential 'rogue States' - Iran, Iraq, Libya and North Korea - are all parties to the NPT and so should be protected by the security assurances already given. The nuclear weapon powers seem to want to communicate the message: "we have said we won't - but perhaps we might".

In the war to drive Iraq out of Kuwait, there were broad hints that if Iraq were to use either of the other two WMD weapons - chemical or biological weapons - the US might respond with its nuclear weapon capability. This was in spite of the fact that at that time Iraq was not accused of being in violation of the NPT. More generally in the United States there is a body of opinion which suggests that the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons should be permitted against a State which uses, or threatens to use, biological or chemical weapons.

The non-nuclear weapon powers have long campaigned for something stronger than the separate statements of the nuclear weapon powers. Hence the reference in the NPT Review and Extension Conference's 'Principles and Objectives': "further steps should be considered to assure non-nuclear-weapon States party to the Treaty against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons. These steps could take the form of an internationally legally binding instrument".

These three proposals for CD activity on nuclear weapons do not amount to much. They are small beer - or, to use another metaphor, they are crumbs falling from the nuclear powers' table. They certainly do not measure up to the programme of action agreed by the nuclear weapon powers at the NPT Conference, calling for "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".

In coming back, then, to the initial question - what needs to be done? - the answer is simply stated. There is, above all, a need to start work on a Nuclear Weapons Convention (NWC). The CD has produced Treaties which ban two of the three weapons of mass destruction. It is time for it to turn its attention to the most potentially destructive one of all.

The five nuclear weapon powers cannot argue that this should be left to them, since they have not indicated any interest in starting negotiations among themselves. In any case, this concerns all States - just as the Chemical Weapons Convention concerned all States, and not just those which declared that they possessed stocks of these weapons. The nuclear weapon powers may say that it is premature to think of a NWC. If the negotiations take as long as those on chemical weapons, there is every reason to start now.


Will the nuclear weapon powers allow the CD to do some serious work on nuclear weapons? That is the central question. Otherwise the CD will become a relatively unimportant body operating on the fringe of events.

The 'dream ticket' for the CD would be for it to undertake two sets of negotiations of substance. The first would be to begin preliminary exploration of the requirements of the NWC. This could include an examination of some of the steps along the way - for instance, turning the discussion of negative security assurances into a discussion of a No-First-Use Treaty, and putting into Treaty form the 'unilateral reciprocal' agreements reached between the US and Russia on tactical nuclear weapons. The second set of negotiations would meet many of the security concerns of the nuclear weapons powers - negotiations for a global ban on all ground-launched missiles with a range from 500km to 5,500km. The intention would be to include intercontinental missiles as well at a later stage.

Certainly the CD might also consider whether there were conventional weapon systems which could be banned - though unfortunately the idea of banning main battle tanks is probably too extreme to be acceptable. It could also consider how to make the UN Arms Register a stronger instrument of transparency, and look to see whether some of the confidence-building measures in the European Treaties and agreements could be 'globalised'.

However, the dominant question remains: will the CD be allowed to get to grips with the problem of banning the third, and most dangerous, weapon of mass destruction: the nuclear weapon? Sooner or later the nuclear weapon powers are going to have to give way on this, and they might as well do it now.

Frank Blackaby was the Director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), 1981-6.

The author and Editor encourage readers to submit responses, to be considered for publication, to the arguments put forward in this paper.

CTB negotiations - Geneva Update No. 25

By Rebecca Johnson, Disarmament Intelligence Review


The CD opens

The Conference on Disarmament (CD) got off to a successful start when its first plenary of 1996 managed to agree the immediate establishment of the nuclear test ban (NTB) committee on 23 January. Although there was last minute concern that non-aligned calls for an ad hoc committee on nuclear disarmament, spearheaded by India, might become linked in such a way that the NTB committee would be held up, this did not happen. To avoid the impasse over committees which had bedeviled CD work in 1995, the President, U Aye of Myanmar, appointed a Special Coordinator on the Agenda, Ambassador Hocine Meghlaoui of Algeria, to discuss these matters with all the delegations. The long-awaited expansion of the CD remained unfulfilled, although Ambassador U Aye reiterated the importance for the 23 members-in-waiting agreed in September 1995 and also pledged that a further 26 states which had applied would be considered.

The NTB Committee, under its new Chair, Ambassador Jaap Ramaker of The Netherlands, convened immediately to consider the results of intersessional work since September and to appoint Chairs and Friends of the Chair on particular issues, such as the international monitoring system (IMS), financing, and the role and functions of a preparatory committee between signature and entry into force. By the end of the week, Ambassador Grigori Berdennikov of Russia and Ambassador Mounir Zahran of Egypt were confirmed as chairs of Working Group 1 on Verification and Working Group 2 on Legal and Institutional Issues respectively, and work had resumed on on-site inspections, IMS and scope.

In a week that included clashes between the US and India over allegations that India could be preparing a nuclear test at Pokharan, the sixth French nuclear test in the South Pacific and the announcement by President Chirac that this would be the last, enabling France shortly to sign the protocols of the Treaty of Rarotonga, test ban advocates received mixed signals. Though the danger of snarling the NTB Committee up with other issues was averted, the 1996 start has been dominated by the national interests and regional relations in South Asia, with India, Pakistan and China reiterating hard line positions on some of the central issues.

Although the establishment of the NTB Committee and its resumption of work were not blocked, India made clear its determination to envision the CTBT in the context of nuclear disarmament and 'negotiations on a time bound programme for the elimination of nuclear weapons'. By the end of the first week, India had followed a forceful plenary statement with three working papers on the preamble, review article and entry into force. Four preambular amendments referring to nuclear disarmament and a time-bound framework were proposed, together with a paragraph emphasising that the 'principal objective of the Treaty is to end the qualitative improvement and development of nuclear weapon systems', designed to take the scope beyond the nuclear-weapon- states' present interpretation of the concept of zero yield. India further proposed that the ten year review conference presently envisaged should not only review the operation of the treaty, but also ensure 'that the objectives, purpose and the provisions of the Preamble to the Treaty are being realized.' India also proposed that entry into force of the CTBT should be conditional upon a commitment by states parties to the goal of eliminating nuclear weapons within a defined time-table.

Given the events of the past few weeks, and the increasingly strident debate in India's press, these moves were not unexpected. The question is whether these proposals are genuine and leave room for compromise. Since the P-5 - or at least the US, UK, France and Russia - are unlikely to agree a time-bound programme for nuclear disarmament in a CTBT when they successfully kept it out of the decisions on extending the NPT in May 1995, there is concern that imposing such terms may be a way for India to wriggle out of acceding to the CTBT, despite India's commitment to a test ban since 1955. If no India, then no China (and Pakistan); if no China then accession by the other nuclear-weapon states is jeopardised, with the prospect of the treaty falling apart before it can get going. While India in its pre-election months is in turmoil, with every statement on its nuclear programme elevated to front page status, its Foreign Ministry refused to confirm or deny what it characterised as 'speculation' on the basis of a leak from US sources to the press. Meanwhile China and Pakistan also staked their ground, reiterating positions that could wreck a CTBT unless compromises are found.

While no-one expects that the US would agree to a time-bound framework for nuclear disarmament in this treaty, Director of the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA), John Holum went further than before in emphasising the relationship between a CTBT and the goal of eliminating nuclear weapons, listing US weapons programmes which will be capped by a test ban. The UK and France reportedly complained that Holum had gone too far, but the statement was well received by others.

The race is on to achieve a CTBT in 1996. Several delegations reiterated the necessity of reaching substantial agreement by the end of March and a clean text by the end of June. The mechanism for accelerating negotiations is not yet clear. Ramaker wants to focus on the thorny issues in turn, starting with on-site inspections. Others have speculated on the catalytic role a cleaned up text could play, extracted by the creative analysis of one or a few states from the heavily bracketed rolling text; some also warn that squeezing states too soon could be counter productive. Finalisation of the treaty looks a long way off, with renewed Russian problems over the monitoring system and scope, US difficulties with verification funding, no apparent movement by China on PNEs, fundamental disagreements over the function and procedures for inspections and the incorporation (if any) of national technical means, and Indian bombshells on the preamble, entry into force and review of the treaty. Although dressed in technical clothes, resolution of these problems requires political will and politically flexible solutions.

23 January Plenary

In addition to opening the 1996 CD session, the 721st plenary of 23 January, chaired by U Aye of Myanmar, was addressed by the Secretary General of the CD, who delivered a message from United Nations Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali. He referred to the urgency of an early entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention and said that 'nothing must be allowed to deter [the] objective' of concluding a comprehensive test ban treaty (CTBT) in 1996. The plenary received statements on behalf of Pakistan, the United States and Romania, as well as a six-point statement advocating negotiations on nuclear disarmament, delivered by Ambassador Urrutia of Peru on behalf of the G-21 Group of Non- Aligned States.

Ambassador Munir Akram of Pakistan covered nuclear disarmament, the role of a CTBT and suspicions about Indian intentions and a possible Indian test, which he referred to as 'son of Smiling Budha' (referring to the code-name of India's nuclear explosion in 1974). Akram reiterated Pakistan's opposition to national technical means (NTM) being incorporated into the verification regime and argued for a CTBT scope with 'no exceptions...for any reason'. Citing a fundamental objective of the CTBT to be the prevention of further qualitative development, he underlined that 'concepts such as zero-yield and no-yield tests' must be 'compatible with the CTBT's fundamental aims.' Stressing that 'the only safeguard against the use of nuclear weapons is their complete elimination', Akram lamented that some of the nuclear weapon states, 'while reducing their nuclear arsenals qualitatively, are upgrading them qualitatively.' He underlined Pakistan's commitment to call made at the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Cartagena, Colombia (16-20 October 1995) for an ad hoc committee on nuclear disarmament and the 'commencement of negotiations, as a matter of the highest priority, for a phased reduction and eventual elimination of nuclear weapons within a specific time-frame', which had been ' endorsed overwhelmingly' by the UNGA, he said. Referring to 30 years of pushing for a CTBT, Akram warned that 'the treaty we build [here] must not be such that it will transform those who supported the CTBT in the past into its opponents.'

John Holum, Director of ACDA, made a strong statement, directed at waverers and spoilers, which included a message from US President Clinton. A reference to the 'vision of Prime Minister Nehru, Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy...' was unmistakably targeted, although mention of Khrushchev with Kennedy, rather than Eisenhower, might have been better received by the Russians. Acknowledging that a CTBT is 'at risk', Holum spelled out three main arguments: that a CTBT is not a sham measure but would severely constrain future nuclear weapon development, particularly by the nuclear weapon states; that a CTBT is an indispensable step 'if the ultimate elimination of nuclear arms is ever to be achieved'; and that 'holding one important goal hostage for another is a sure way to fail at both.' The speech also addressed timing to achieve a CTBT in 1996, arguing that if the CTBT is not completed by April, 'then the Conference must seriously take stock' how it uses its remaining time.

Saying that 'the safe maintenance of existing weapons designs is a far cry from the confident development of new ones', Holum listed the military programs which would have to be abandoned or drastically curtailed if a CTBT bans nuclear explosive testing: directed energy weapons, such as the nuclear-explosion-pumped x- ray laser, nuclear 'shotgun', enhanced electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) weapons, microwave weapons and enhanced radiation weapons. He argued that the nuclear weapon states have come to Geneva to say 'join us in limiting our nuclear weapons'. '[The] CTBT's fundamental effect is less to preclude the acquisition of nuclear weapons as such, which the NPT addresses, than to constrain the advancement of nuclear weapons capabilities by any country.' (Emphases in the original.)

Holum endorsed the NPT Review and Extension Conference's commitment to the 'ultimate goal of eliminating nuclear weapons' but said that 'in an uncertain world, the path to that goal is not yet clearly marked'... but will require 'realistic moves forward'. Enumerating various treaties which call for a CTBT, he concludes 'we will never achieve a world free of nuclear weapons unless we first achieve a world free of nuclear explosions.'

25 January Plenary

The 722nd plenary, chaired by Ambassador U Aye of Myanmar, was addressed on CTBT related issues by India, Australia, Japan, Poland and South Africa. Ambassador Benjelloun-Touimi announced Morocco's ratification of the CWC on 13 December, while Yong-Shik Hwang, on behalf of the Republic of Korea, expressed concern about delays in implementing the decision to expand the CD, attributing them in part to abuse of the concept of consensus.

Alluding to the hysteria of rumours from the US and Indian press, Ambassador Arundhati Ghose remarked sardonically that 1996 was 'a testing time for all of us in the CD'. She urged the start of 'negotiations on a time bound programme for the elimination of nuclear weapons early this year'. Underlining the necessity to make the CTBT 'a step to the road to nuclear disarmament rather than into a cul-de-sac' Ghose quoted India's statement to the UN First Committee advocating a 'good treaty': 'the CTBT must be an integral step in the process of nuclear disarmament. Developing new warheads or refining existing ones after the CTBT is in place, using innovative technologies, would be as contrary to the spirit of the CTBT as the NPT is to the spirit of non-proliferation.'

For Australia, Ambassador Richard Starr emphasised the significance of a CTBT, which was 'graphically demonstrated by the reluctance of some states to cease testing despite world-wide condemnation.' He commended the 'immediate business-like start' to the NTB Committee and argued that 'while many significant matters require finalisation...only two areas stand between us and achievement of the Treaty - scope and on-site inspection' which he examined in greater detail. Hoping that 'a world free of nuclear testing is now within our reach', Ambassador Hisami Kurokochi of Japan endorsed John Holum's view that 'the ultimate goal [of nuclear disarmament] will be reached only through realistic moves forward, as genuine security concerns permit, with each step building on those before it'. She characterised the CTBT as 'an attainable major step on that path...we will never achieve a world free of nuclear weapons unless we first achieve a world free of nuclear explosions.' To achieve a CTBT in 1996, Kurokochi urged 'agreement on the substance' by March and a clean text during the May-June session. Regretting that the intersessional negotiations did not finalise the IMS, Japan also noted the lack of progress on on-site inspections and drew attention to work needed on funding, the preparatory commission and entry into force.

Recalling the NPT parties' commitment to achieving a CTBT in 1996, Ambassador J S Selebi of South Africa also considered that 'if we have not finalised our work on the Treaty by - at the latest - the middle of this year, then it will be highly unlikely that we shall be able to meet the deadline.' Underlining South Africa's view that the CTBT should be for both disarmament and non- proliferation, he endorsed the Australian scope text, with the understanding that it enshrined 'a fully comprehensive zero yield test ban treaty, banning so-called peaceful nuclear test explosions [PNEs] and also covering preparations for test explosions.' Grasping the nettle, Selebi addressed national technical means (NTM), one of the most contentious issues in the negotiations. While sharing concerns that such intelligence could be abused, he also acknowledged that it was bound to be utilised, therefore suggesting ways to regulate the use of nationally gathered information. Finally, as a future member of the CD, kept out by continued disagreements over expansion, South Africa made a clear plea for reform of the CD, including greater transparency, concluding that 'if the CD wants to maintain its status as the sole multilateral global negotiating body on disarmament...[it] cannot continue to serve the vested interests of [only] a few countries.'

A summary of CTB negotiations

As Ambassador Ludwik Dembinski of Poland handed the Chair of the NTB Committee to his successor, Ambassador Jaap Ramaker of the Netherlands, he also passed on nearly 100 pages of rolling text, with over 1200 pairs of brackets, signifying disputed language or proposals. The basic text, CD/1346.Rev 1, has been revised since September as the result of intersessionals in December and January.

Part 1 of the 'rolling text' contains the standard treaty articles: measures to redress a situation and to ensure compliance, including sanctions; settlement of disputes; privileges and immunities; signature; ratification; accession; depositary (Secretary General of the United Nations); status of the protocol(s) and annex(es); authentic texts; national implementation measures; and amendments. These are practically finalised, with little more than drafting brackets pending decisions on the organisation.

Part 2 comprises bracketed options on the preamble, scope, peaceful use of nuclear energy, peaceful nuclear explosions, the treaty organization, reservations, entry into force, duration and withdrawal, review of the treaty, security assurances for state parties, and verification protocols.

Ramaker's opening address to the NTB Committee on 23 January acknowledged the pressure of time and indicated that as Chair, he would be directly involved 'to promote convergences, identify differences, suggest ways and means to solve them and whenever the need arises, broker solutions'. As priorities, he noted OSI, finalisation of the IMS and achieving consensus on scope.


The purpose and extent of the treaty are enshrined in its scope. Inevitably, this is the territory of deep political differences. The major outstanding issues are PNEs, which China wants and the others oppose, and zero yield, which India, Pakistan and Indonesia want defined more clearly to ensure that no nuclear-weapon-related tests or explosions can be conducted. For most of 1994/95 the main negotiations on scope were among the P-5 nuclear-weapon states and focused on 'activities not prohibited'. Initially France and the UK had wanted safety tests in exceptional circumstances, but dropped the requirement in April 1995. Most of the nuclear weapon states had wanted to continue with low yield testing, opposed by the non-nuclear-weapon states as inconsistent with the notion of a comprehensive ban. When in August 1995, France, the US and UK decided to embrace the concept of a 'true zero' CTBT, the front- runner among proposed scope texts became that of Australia in WP.222:

"1. Each State Party undertakes not to carry out any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion, and to prohibit and prevent any such nuclear explosion at any place under its jurisdiction or control.

2. Each State Party undertakes, furthermore, to refrain from causing, encouraging, or in any way participating in the carrying out of any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion."

Russia still favours enlarging the language of the 1963 Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT) to include underground testing. Despite an announcement by US President Clinton, during his summit with President Yeltsin, that they had both agreed on a true zero CTBT, Russia has so far neither adopted the majority understanding as represented by the Australian text, nor proposed modifications.

Although the presence in Geneva of a high ranking military officer, Qian Shaojin, raised hopes that Beijing may be paying greater attention to the CTBT negotiations now, his statement on 26 January appeared to offer little room for manoeuvre on PNEs. In 1994 China had proposed that the scope prohibit 'any nuclear weapon test explosion which releases nuclear energy', but wanted permission for nuclear explosions for non-military purposes. Citing as principle that 'all disarmament or arms control treaties should not hinder but rather promote the development and application of science and technology for peaceful purposes', General Qian argued that 'all countries are entitled to make their own judgment about whether to develop and utilize PNE technology in light of its own national conditions and economic needs'.

Justified in terms of 'full equality' of rights and obligations, such an entitlement would make the NPT safeguards system untenable, since development of PNE technology is practically indistinguishable from development of nuclear weapon technology. Article V of the NPT provided for the 'potential benefits from any peaceful applications' to be made available to non-nuclear-weapon states parties, but at the 1995 NPT Review Conference the states parties agreed that such potential benefits had not been manifested, giving a clear indication by those non-nuclear-weapon states whom China seeks to champion, that they are opposed to providing for such nuclear explosions in a CTBT.

Raising questions about the concept of 'zero yield', saying that it 'provides no unambiguous definition as whether or not there would be nuclear energy release', China also rejected the phrase 'any other nuclear explosion' in the scope text, both for PNEs and 'because of our belief that micro nuclear explosions such as ICF [inertial confinement fusion] have wide prospect of application in the field of energy development.'

China is not the only one to have a problem with the zero yield concept. No sooner had the majority of negotiators welcomed this breakthrough, believing that the nuclear weapon states were now deciding to forego low threshold and hydro-nuclear tests, then the US Department of Energy announced that it would go ahead with a programme of 'sub-critical' testing in 1996, using underground facilities at Nevada. The US argues that this was part of the package of measures agreed in August to ensure safety and reliability within the confines of the zero yield decision, and that sub-critical tests are not covered by a CTBT because there is no nuclear criticality or fission chain reaction.

Critics raise two objections: that such tests are unnecessary and, if conducted underground at Nevada, could cause verification complications; and that such tests contradict the spirit if not the letter of a CTBT. A number of states from all sides share the first concern, while several G-21 countries hold the latter view.

Arguing against the qualitative upgrading of nuclear arsenals, Pakistan stated on 23 January that 'concepts such as zero-yield and no-yield tests' must be made 'compatible with the CTBT's fundamental aims.' In June 1995, India proposed scope language that sought to define a nuclear explosion (WP.244):

"1. Each State Party undertakes to prohibit and to prevent, and not to carry out, any nuclear weapon explosion, or any other nuclear test explosion, or any release of nuclear energy caused by the assembly or compression of fissile or fusion material by chemical explosive or other means, at any place under or beyond its jurisdiction or control.

2. Each State Party undertakes, furthermore, to refrain from causing, encouraging, assisting or in any way participating in the carrying out of any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion."

This text seems designed to ban all USE of nuclear weapons as well as all nuclear explosive testing. India's statement on 25 January made explicit reference to the 'sub-critical tests', saying that 'as the PTBT drove testing underground, we do not wish the CTBT to drive testing into the laboratories by those who have the resources to do so.' Ambassador Ghose argued that the CTBT should leave 'no loophole for activity, either explosive based or non- explosive based, aimed at the continued development and refinement of nuclear weapons.' This goes beyond the current Indian text towards Indonesia's proposal (WP.243), prohibiting 'any nuclear weapon test or any nuclear explosion'.

While Germany and Sweden still advocate a ban on test preparations, they are unlikely to push much longer for this in the scope text. Instead, they may seek an understanding, such as that put forward recently by South Africa, that the Australian scope text would include the recognition that evidence of test preparations would be admissible. While expressing the need to ensure that the CTBT would be fully comprehensive, Australia warned against 'over-extension of the scope' and Japan said 'it would be a tragedy...if, as the result of each state insisting on a treaty which fully incorporates its national concern, we fail to have any treaty at all.'


There is broad agreement that the verification regime should comprise: an international monitoring system (IMS), the core of which would be a global seismic network; transparency, consultations and clarification; and on-site inspections. Of these, the most obdurate problem remains OSI, which the NTB Committee Chair has singled out for particular focus in the coming weeks. It had been hoped that the IMS would be finalised during the intersessionals, but additional problems emerged.

There is basic agreement on four technologies: seismic, hydroacoustic, infrasound and radionuclide monitoring. In January, Russia proposed that four primary seismic stations plus radionuclide monitors should be located on the test sites at Nevada, Lop Nor, Moruroa and Novaya Zemlya. Defending these late changes as 'equalizing conditions of monitoring the existing test sites', Russia indicated that its perception of IMS requirements had altered with the zero yield decision. Though the reported target of the proposal was the US, China's initial reaction was extremely hostile. The US, France and UK seemed prepared to consider these concerns, though a number of states criticised Russia for not raising the issue before the seismic network had been agreed. While not necessarily opposed, they queried Russia's argument that this would significantly increase the sensitivity of monitoring at Nevada and Lop Nor to correspond more equally with that covering Novaya Zemlya. Some were worried that reopening this issue could fracture the emerging consensus on the IMS.

In addition to Russia's new proposal, the major blocks to consensus are related to China's demand that satellites and EMP sensors should be added to the IMS, which other states view as prohibitively expensive. Refusing any incorporation of national intelligence, including satellite data, China and Pakistan argue that the IMS is inadequate as it stands. Russia is still not happy with the radionuclide network, preferring fewer land based stations, supplemented by three aircraft which would be deployed if a suspicious event were detected. China and Belgium have expressed doubts about the usefulness of sensors to detect noble gases such as xenon, argon and krypton, the radioactive isotopes of which are characteristic of a nuclear explosion and may be vented over a period of weeks and months following a clandestine explosion. Most other states regard these as indispensable and argue that they are cost effective if combined with the network for monitoring radioactive particles in the air. China also seems unconvinced of the necessity of infrasound, based on the view that EMP sensors and satellites will cover more effectively.

With some of the details still to be worked out, the IMS is expected to comprise (at least): 50 primary and 100-150 auxiliary seismic stations; a hydro-acoustic network of 2 MILS (US Missile Impact Location System), four fixed cable hydrophones provided by Australia, Chile, France and the UK, and five T-phase systems provided by Canada, France, Mexico, Portugal and the UK; around 75- 100 radionuclide monitors; and around 70 infrasound detectors.

On-site inspections (OSIs)

On-site inspections, if ever invoked, will be the most intrusive component of the verification regime, prompting concerns about national security and confidentiality, especially among states with regional tensions, such as India, Israel, Pakistan and China. They have therefore become the battleground of different approaches to verification and confidence. The dominant view is that the OSI regime should consist primarily of transparency measures combined with provision for inspections to gather evidence about an ambiguous event. An OSI would be a rare event, but the provisions in the CTBT should be sufficient to deter any would-be violator. Following 1994 work on the technical aspects of OSI including residual evidence of a nuclear test, evasion scenarios and time considerations, discussion in 1995 focused increasingly on the political questions, but with little progress towards their resolution.

Resolving the requirements of timeliness and protection against abusive requests are at the heart of disagreements over what kind of evidence is required to back up an OSI request by a state party and whether there is a presumption of access in the event of suspicion. Several states, including China, Israel and Pakistan want the period of consultation and clarification to be obligatory. According to China's proposed time-line, this could delay an OSI for three weeks, which other states consider too long. Many others, including Russia, advocate a period for consultation, but argue that its duration and requirements should be flexible, not mandatory. The US, France, UK and most of the Western states want OSI to be able to be initiated speedily, to catch time-critical phenomena such as aftershocks and noble gas releases. They argue that the Technical Secretariat could evaluate evidence and decide to undertake an inspection, though the Executive Council could vote to prevent it (a 'red light') if a majority considered it unnecessary or frivolous. In general the Western and Eastern Europeans consider that an OSI request should be able to be based on any relevant information. Although most now wish to avoid the term, this means national technical means (NTM).

China, Pakistan, India and others prefer the 'green light' process, requiring a positive vote by a majority (simple, two thirds or even three quarters) of the Executive Council. The G-21 and China have argued against NTM on the grounds that they are available on a selective basis and may be used in a discriminatory way. Nevertheless, most of the non-aligned are aware, as Ambassador Selebi of South Africa recently pointed out, that banning national information from the treaty regime will not prevent its utilisation. At the same time they are conscious that NTM data from satellites and bhangmeters would provide a cheap supplement for the IMS, and many are concerned about international costs of CTBT verification. Nevertheless, they are touchy about the uncorroborated allegations made by (especially) the US on occasion, based on national intelligence which is not made available for independent assessment.

The recent press furore over leaked 'evidence' of possible test preparations by India has polarised the views: US representatives tend to say that the suspect activity would not have been revealed without NTM, but that the sources of their intelligence are too sensitive to expose to international scrutiny; the non-aligned argue that this is discriminatory and gives the US an unfair advantage, which is open to abuse.

In August 1995, France proposed that OSI could be triggered on the basis of IMS or NTM data, with different decision-making procedures and weight accorded to each. Thus an OSI based on IMS data could go ahead unless prevented by a red light decision, while a request based on NTM information would have to go to the Executive Council for a positive vote. Israel suggested that states parties could put data from their national facilities at the disposal of the international data centre (IDC) or even allow the IDC direct access to NTM data.

On 25 January South Africa proposed a bridge between the polarised positions. Arguing that to protect against abuse it might be better to provide conditions for utilising nationally acquired information rather than attempting to ignore NTM, Selebi suggested that information on which a challenging state wishes to rely should be supplied to the Technical Secretariat in 'unprocessed form' and that the IMS should also provide independent confirmation of the information. South Africa also supported the French proposal for a differential burden of proof and decision- making procedure.

In practice, the degree of acceptance of NTM would only arise if one state challenged another or made an OSI request. In that event NTM may be the first indicator, prompting a closer look at IMS data relating to a particular time and location. It would perhaps be unlikely for a challenge to be made if no corroborative evidence had been found in the IMS data to support the suspicion, so by the French proposal the norm would remain presumption of access (red light), a position favoured by the UK, US and most of the Western group but doubted by Russia, China and most of the non- aligned.

To get round this, the US had earlier proposed a two phase inspection. The first stage would be 'red light' - quick, short and less intrusive, aiming to collect the time-critical evidence by localised seismic and gas monitors, using overflights to narrow down the suspected area and so on. The second phase would be more intrusive and would go ahead only if the Executive Council agreed. While China has expressed some interest in this approach, although with longer time-lines, the UK and others fear that if the evidence collected in the first phase is inadequate (a reasonable possibility if a test were well camouflaged), permission for the second stage might be more readily denied. They would prefer one decision, with an understanding that the OSI could consist of discrete phases any of which could be cancelled or discontinued if sufficient evidence were obtained to refute or confirm the suspicions.

While the debate on OSI has revolved around coloured lights and phases, some delegations have expressed frustration that the purpose and function of the OSI regime are becoming lost in the technicalities. Japan echoed Australia's plea for a 'balanced package' arguing the inter-related requirements of access, timely deployment, effective use of all relevant information, and assurance against abuse. Others are unconvinced that this 'package' approach would work. With the NTB Chair acknowledging the necessity of resolving the OSI procedures before too long, and Ambassador Berdennikov, as the Chair of WG.1 taking responsibility to pursue agreement, agreement is nevertheless unlikely to be reached until the thorny problems of NTM and access have been flexibly resolved.

CTBT Organisation

It has now been decided that implementation of the treaty will be overseen by the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO), which is likely to comprise a Conference of States Parties, an Executive Council of either 41 or 65 members, depending on how it is constituted, and a Technical Secretariat. The Technical Secretariat, headed by a full time Director General, will coordinate the verification regime, including the IMS and IDC. Two core questions remain to be resolved:

* the relationship between the CTBT Organisation and the IAEA - what the Friend of the Chair described in June 1994 as the choice between 'stand alone', 'stand aside' or 'stand within'; and

* the composition of the Executive Council (which could depend somewhat on the outcome of the foregoing question).

Sweden, backed by Brazil and Egypt, had proposed that the IAEA should be entrusted with full responsibility for verifying the CTBT. The US and China, in particular, were opposed, although the US seemed to undergo a major change of heart in December 1995. The majority of states appeared undecided, seeing merit and drawbacks in either option. The March 1994 Australian draft text recommended co-locating the Organisation in Vienna, where it could commission expertise and facilities from other bodies, including - but not exclusively - the IAEA, as appropriate.

After the IAEA first put its case to the NTB Committee in February 1994, many delegations remained unconvinced. The IAEA made two further oral presentations in May and June of 1994 and in December 1995 issued its response to a questionnaire from the CD. The questions required detailed answers on the legal, technical and financial issues related to IAEA involvement in the CTBT verification regime.

The IAEA argued that CTBT verification would naturally dovetail with its safeguards agreements with states parties to the NPT, Treaty of Tlatelolco and Treaty of Rarotonga, since 'the IAEA is already verifying in the territory of non-nuclear-weapon states parties to comprehensive safeguards agreements that no nuclear material is diverted to any nuclear explosive device and consequently that no nuclear material is diverted to any nuclear test'. It would thus 'extend [the] prohibition of nuclear tests to states without comprehensive safeguards agreements and would also establish an additional verification system to provide additional assurance that no tests are taking place.'

Admitting to no present expertise in hydroacoustic, infrasound, EMP and satellite monitoring, the IAEA argued that it had some basic background in seismology, considerable expertise in radionuclide monitoring and some experience in analysing satellite imagery. Most importantly, it argued a wealth of experience in on- site inspections and the infrastructure to train the specialists required in the other fields. Stating that operations and staff costs for the IMS and IDC would require new funding, whether or not the CTBTO was part of the IAEA, and that a proportion of overheads (provisionally given as 13-22 per cent) would be charged to the CTBTO, the IAEA made a strong argument that the CTBTO could make savings in administration and management services if it became part of the IAEA. Though not ruling out any of the options, the IAEA favoured a relationship whereby the CTBTO would become a department within the Agency, with a degree of autonomy and a separate budget, but falling under the general authority of the IAEA Director General.

After some deliberation on the IAEA's offers, it now seems certain that the NTB Committee will soon agree on keeping the CTBTO separate from the IAEA but co-located in Vienna as a practical and cost-saving option.

As the functions of the proposed components of the CTBT Organisation become clarified, agreeing on the size and composition of the Executive Council - the main decision-making authority - remains a major problem. The P-5 nuclear weapon states want to ensure they have seats, as do the major economic players like Japan and Germany, but others reject the concept of permanent seats. Some proposals mirror the composition of the IAEA Board of Governors, whereby the states with the largest nuclear infrastructure qualify automatically, the rest being rotated regionally. However, many smaller non-nuclear countries consider this would discriminate against their full participation. Some favour ensuring that all (or at least some) seats are regionally elected. Israel changed its early backing for an elected Council, presumably fearing that this could mean permanent exclusion by its region, and proposed that the Executive Council should be designated, not elected, by alphabetical rotation from regional lists. As yet no further progress on the Executive Council has been made, and this is widely regarded as an endgame issue, likely to fall into place as the political terms of the treaty become finalised.

Entry into Force (EIF)

Another endgame issue is expected to be the conditions set for the treaty's entry into force. The core proposals are for a simple number (such as 40 or 60), a list (based, for example, on the IAEA list of states with a nuclear infrastructure, viewed as a way of including the P-5 and the nuclear wannabes) and/or a formula to prevent the exercise of a veto by one or more states. Most acknowledge that they want the P-5 and preferably the threshold states on board, but they don't wish to allow any of these key states (with national interests that might be at odds with global security) to hold the treaty hostage.

Australia had proposed a formula based on the 1967 Tlatelolco Treaty, which specified entry into force conditions, but gave the right to each of the parties to waive the requirements, thereby allowing the treaty to enter into force individually. Most states now consider this proposal to be impractical because the core of the CTBT verification system is international, whereas the IAEA entered into bilateral verification arrangements with parties to the Tlatelolco Treaty.

Some interest remains in the US 'waiver proposal' which called for a conference two years after signature, at which all states which have ratified could decide to apply diplomatic pressure to recalcitrant states or waive specific EIF requirements and bring the treaty into force. However, several delegations have signalled opposition to the US condition that such a conference can only be held if all the P-5 have ratified. They argue that this would undermine its primary purpose by allowing any of the declared nuclear weapon states to hold up the process. Citing China's repeated assertion that it intends to cease testing when the CTBT enters into force, some states argue that the US proposal - and any proposal that requires accession by all of the P-5 - would put the power of sabotage in China's hands. However, it is widely believed that China is keeping its options open for the present, but that if its current testing programme can be completed by the time the treaty is signed (rumoured to be a further 2-4 tests) then China will not seek to continue beyond 1996.

On 26 January India added another variable into the EIF debate, with a proposal relating entry into force to nuclear disarmament: "...this Treaty shall enter into force only after all states parties have committed themselves to the attainment of the goal of total elimination of all nuclear weapons within a well-defined time framework (of ten years)." Combined with similar linkage in language on the preamble and review of the treaty, India's EIF proposal has caused grave consternation among some delegations, while others argue that the wording on 'commitment' would cause legal nightmlares and would have to be dropped for practical reasons, if not by the process of political bargaining expected at this stage of negotiations.

As tensions increase, EIF may become a political football that only gets through the goalposts at the very last minute.

1996 Session

The first part of the 1996 session runs from 22 January to 29 March; the second part from 13 May to 28 June, and the final part from 29 July to 13 September.

Documents and Sources

Announcement by President Chirac, 29 January 1996

In his address on French television, President Chirac announced the "definitive end" of French nuclear testing. In June 1995, Chirac announced a final series of eight tests, since scaled back to six, which were conducted between September and 27 January.

Full text:

"I announce this evening the definitive end of France's nuclear tests.

Thanks to this last series which has just been finished, France will have an efficient and modern defence system which will last. The security of our country, of our children's country, will be assured.

I know that the decision I took last June caused anxiety and emotion in France and elsewhere.

Although my resolution did not falter, it was not because I was insensitive to these movements of opinion. They testified to the world's inhabitants increasing attachment to collective security and protection of the environment. And these concerns are also mine. I know that nuclear weapons can alarm, but in a world which is still dangerous, we need to have a deterrent weapon, that is a weapon which serves the end of peace.

Today I feel I have achieved one of the first duties which fell to me by giving France, for decades to come, means to ensure its independence and security.

A new chapter is opening. France, as she has pledged, will play an active and determined role in world disarmament, and for a better European defence system.

I will take initiatives in this direction in the coming weeks.

Like all of you, my dear compatriots, I want peace. A solid peace, a durable peace. We all know that peace, like freedom, builds up each day. That is the objective of the decision I took. That will dictate my actions for tomorrow."

General Assembly votes on First Committee resolutions

General Assembly Press Release, GA/9035, 12 December 1995

On 12 December, the General Assembly took action on 46 resolutions contained in the report of the First Committee on Disarmament and International Security. Below, details are rendered of the 25 resolutions (plus one decision) concerned with ongoing arms control diplomatic developments. For background to and analysis of the resolutions and decisions on nuclear arms control issues, see Nuclear Proliferation News No. 37, 15 December 1995.

1. NuclearTesting Resolutions

Amendment of Partial Test Ban Treaty, A/50/584

Vote: 110-4-45

Details: against - Israel, Russia, UK, US; China and France absent

Under the resolution "the Assembly urged all States not yet party to the partial test-ban treaty to adhere to it. It asked all States parties to contribute to the conclusion of a comprehensive nuclear test ban not later than 1996".

Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, A/50/585

Adopted without a vote

Under the resolution "[t]he Assembly urged all States to support the negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament for a comprehensive nuclear test ban, calling on the Conference to give highest priority to concluding the ban as soon as possible in 1996."

Halt to Nuclear Testing, A/50/590 (Resolution A)

Vote: 85-18-43

Details: against - France, UK and China, plus Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, France, Gabon, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Monaco, Niger, Senegal, Togo; amongst those in favour - Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Sweden; Russia and US abstained.

Under the resolution "the Assembly commended those nuclear-weapon States observing testing moratoriums and urged them to continue the moratoriums pending the entry into force of a comprehensive nuclear test-ban treaty".

2. First Committee Report on General and Complete Disarmament, A/50/590

The report contained 18 draft resolutions and one draft decision. The twelve resolutions dealing directly with arms control dipolomacy issues are featured below. Resolution A - Halt to Nuclear Testing - is featured above.

Decision: new agenda item

Vote: 114-1-49

Details: against - US; China in favour, other NWS abstaining

On the basis of the decision, the General Assembly will include in its next provisional agenda "an item entitled 'Non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and of vehicles for their delivery in all its aspects'".

Resolution B. Report on Small Arms

Vote: 140-0-19

Details: abstaining - Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Cuba, Djibouti, DPRK, Egypt, Fiji, India, Israel. Lithuania, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates

Under the resolution "the Assembly asked the Secretary-General, assisted by a panel of qualified governmental experts, to report on the types of small arms and light weapons being used in conflicts, the nature and causes of the excessive accumulation and transfer of such arms, and ways to prevent it."

Resolution C. Nuclear Disarmament and the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

Vote: 154-0-10

Details: abstentions - Algeria, Brazil, China, Cuba, DPRK, India, Iran, Israel, Myanmar, Pakistan.

Under the resolution "[t]he Assembly urged States not party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) to accede to it at the earliest possible date... It called for determined efforts by nuclear-weapon States to reduce nuclear weapons, and by all States for general and complete disarmament."

Resolution D. Transparency in Armaments

Vote: 149-0-15

Details: abstaining - Algeria, Cuba, DPRK, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Lebanon, Libya, Mexico, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria; all nuclear-weapon States in favour.

Under the resolution, "[t]he Assembly called on States to provide data for the Register of Conventional Arms in their arms imports and exports and on their military holdings and procurements..."

Resolution F. Fourth Special Session on Disarmament

Vote: 111-2-49

Details: against - Israel, US; China in favour, other NWS abstaining.

Under the resolution "[t]he Assembly decided to convene a fourth special session on disarmament, to be held in 1997 if possible, with the exact date and agenda to be determined by the end of the current session..."

Resolution I. Bilateral Arms Negotiations and Nuclear Disarmament

Vote: 150-0-14

Details: abstaining - India, Pakistan

Under the resolution "the Assembly encouraged the United States, Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine to continue their cooperative efforts aimed at eliminating nuclear weapons and strategic offensive arms on the basis of existing agreements..."

Resolution J. Illicit arms transfers and the use of conventional arms

Approved without a vote

Under the resolution "the Assembly invite[d] Member States to take appropriate enforcement measures to ensure that illicit arms transfers are immediately discontinued. It...invite[d] them to provide the Secretary-General with information on national control measures on arms transfers and...ask[ed] the Disarmament Commission expedite its consideration of international arms transfers."

Resolution K. Regional Disarmament


Details: abstention - India

Under the resolution "[t]he Assembly called on all States to conclude agreements for nuclear non-proliferation, disarmament and confidence-building measures at the regional and subregional levels..."

Resolution L. Conventional arms control at the regional and subregional levels

Vote: 158-0-7

Details: abstentions - Brazil, Cuba, India, Libya, Mexico, Nigeria, Venezuela

"The Assembly decided urgently to consider conventional arms control at the regional and subregional levels... it asked the Conference on Disarmament to consider formulating principles for regional agreements on the matter..."

Resolution N. Bilateral Nuclear Arms Negotiations

Vote: 105-37-20

Details: China in favour, other NWS against

Under the resolution the Assembly "welcomed the signing of the 1993 Treaty between the Russian Federation and the United States on the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms and urged them to bring it into force at the earliest possible date. ...it encouraged the United States, Russian Federation, Kazakhstan and Ukraine to continue their efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons and strategic offensive arms on the basis of existing agreements."

Resolution O. Moratorium on export of anti-personnel land-mines

Approved without a vote

Under the resolution "the Assembly...urge[d] States that have not yet done so to declare a moratorium on the export of anti- personnel land-mines. It...urge[d]] all States immediately to comply with Protocol II of the Convention on Indiscriminate Conventional Weapons...and...ask[ed] the Secretary-General to report on steps taken by Member States to implement land-mine moratoriums."

Resolution P. Nuclear Disarmament

Vote: 106-39-17

Details: China in favour, France/US/UK against, Russia abstaining.

Under the resolution "[t]he nuclear-weapon States were urged immediately to stop the qualitative improvement, development, stockpiling and production of nuclear weapons and delivery systems... The Assembly called on them to undertake a phased programme of deep reductions of nuclear weapons, aimed at their total elimination within a time-bound framework. ... The Conference on Disarmament...[was] called upon to establish an ad hoc committee to begin negotiations on a phased programme."

Resolution Q. NPT Review and Extension Conference

Vote: 161-0-2

Details: abstaining - India, Israel.

"the Assembly noted that this year's NPT Review Conference had decided, without a vote, to extend the Treaty indefinitely and to continue holding review conferences every five years, and that the parties had agreed to strengthen the Treaty's review process."

Resolution R. Contributions to nuclear disarmament

Adopted without a vote

Under the resolution the Assembly "recognized the contribution to nuclear disarmament and to regional and global security made by Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, which voluntarily renounced nuclear weapons, and by South Africa, which voluntarily gave up its nuclear weapons programme..."

3. Other resolutions: nuclear

Nuclear Weapons Convention, A/50/591 (Resolution E)

Vote: 108-27-28

Details: China in favour, US/UK/France against, Russia abstaining

Under the resolution "the Assembly repeated its request that the Conference on Disarmament begin negotiating a convention to prohibit the use or threatened use of nuclear weapons, submitting a draft text to be used as a possible basis for negotiations."

Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in the Middle East, A/50/586

Adopted without a vote

Under the resolution "the...Assembly...urge[d] all parties directly concerned to consider taking urgent steps to establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East... As a means to that end, the Assembly...invite[d] them to adhere to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Pending establishment of such a zone, the Assembly...call[ed] on all countries in the region to place all their nuclear activities under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards. It...invite[d] them not to develop, produce, test or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or permit their stationing on their territories."

Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in South Asia, A/50/587

Vote: 154-3-9

Details: against - Bhutan, India, Mauritius; all nuclear-weapon States in favour; abstentions - Algeria, Cuba, Cyprus, Indonesia, Israel, Laos, Madagascar, Myanmar, Viet Nam.

Under the resolution "[t]he Assembly again urged the States of South Asia to continue their efforts to establish a nuclear-weapon- free zone there and to refrain from any action contrary to that objective..."

Security Assurances, A/50/588

Vote: 122-0-44

Details: China in favour, other NWS abstained

Under the resolution "[t]he Assembly appealed to all States to work towards early agreement on security assurances to non-nuclear- weapon States, including conclusion of a legally binding international instrument...

Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space, A/50/589

Vote: 121-0-46

Details: China and Russia in favour, UK-US abstaining, France absent

Under the resolution "[t]he Assembly urged the Russian Federation and the United States to resume their bilateral negotiations on preventing an outer space arms race... it called on all States to contribute to preventing such an arms race and asked the Conference on Disarmament to intensify its consideration of the matter."

Risk of Nuclear Proliferation in the Middle East, A/50/593

Vote: 56-2-100

Details: opposed - Israel, US; China in favour; other NWS abstaining

Under the resolution "[t]he Assembly called on Israel and all other Middle Eastern States not yet party to the NPT 'not to develop, produce, test or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons, to renounce possession of nuclear weapons and to accede to the Treaty at the earliest date'... They were also asked to place all unsafeguarded nuclear facilities under full-scope International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards."

Treaty of Tlatelolco, A/50/597

Adopted without a vote

In the report "...[the Assembly] urged States of the region that have not yet done so to ratify the amendments to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (Treaty of Tlatelolco)..."

African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone, A/50/598

Adopted without a vote

Under the resolution "...[the Assembly] invited the African States to sign and ratify the African nuclear-weapon-free zone as soon as possible, and called on the nuclear-weapon States to sign its relevant protocols."

4. Other resolutions: non-nuclear

Report of the Conference on Disarmament, A/50/592 (Resolution A)

Adopted without a vote

Under the resolution "the Assembly...urged the Conference on Disarmament to continue as the highest priority its negotiations to conclude a comprehensive nuclear test-ban treaty..."

Expanding the Membership of the Conference on Disarmament, A/50/592 (Resolution C)

Adopted without a vote

Under the resolution the Assembly "called for urgent implementation of the Conference's decision to expand its membership. ... It...urge[d] that the new members all assume membership together at the start of its 1996 session. It...urge[d] that the Conference consider the other candidatures to date at that session."

Convention on Indiscriminate Conventional Weapons, A/50/594

Adopted without a vote

Under the resolution "...the Assembly...urgently call[ed] on all States to become parties to the Convention and its Protocols as soon as possible. It... ask[ed] States Parties to intensify efforts to conclude negotiations on a strengthened Protocol II, concerning land-mines, booby traps and other devices. It...commend[ed] the Protocol on Blinding Lasers to all States, with a view to achieving the widest possible adherence at an early date."

Indian Ocean Zone of Peace, A/50/596

Vote: 123-3-39

Details: opposed - France, UK, US; China and Russia in favour

Under the resolution "[t]he Assembly restated its conviction that participation of all permanent members of the Security Council and major maritime users of the Ocean in the Ad Hoc Committee on the Indian Ocean would facilitate dialogue towards regional peace and stability..."

Biological Weapons Convention, A/50/600

Adopted without a vote

Under the resolution "...the Assembly...call[ed] for universal adherence to the Convention. It...call[ed] on all signatory States to ratify the Convention without delay."

The Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

On 26 November 1995, Australia's Prime Minister, Paul Keating, announced the establishment of a Commission to report on prospects for a Nuclear-Weapons-Free World (NWFZ). The Commission - 'The Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons' - has been asked to report to the Prime Minister by 31 August 1996. The report will then be submitted to the UN and the CD.


The Commission's 17 members are:

Statements and Press Releases

'Timing is Right for Security Initiative' - Commission Press Release, 19 January


"The end of the Cold War means that the international community can seriously envisage a concrete program to achieve a nuclear weapon-free world.

Current and planned reductions in nuclear arsenals, the unanimous decision to extend the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the commitment of the international community to conclude a comprehensive test ban treaty in 1996 and the international outcry against continued nuclear testing all show that the time is right to take a fresh look at concepts of security and the role of nuclear weapons.

Prime Minister Keating established the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons on 26 November 1995.

The initiative was foreshadowed in the Prime Minister's 24 October 1995 address entitled 'Australia and a World Without Nuclear Weapons'.

The Commission comprises eminent and outstanding individuals from around the world - statesmen, scientists, disarmament experts and military strategists - with extensive knowledge and experience of the subject matter.

Although the Commission will participate as individuals rather than as representatives of their countries, the selection of commissioners was based on the need to strike a reasonable balance between participants from nuclear weapon states and non-nuclear weapon states, the broad geographic areas and the developed and developing world.

The Commission will propose practical steps towards a nuclear weapon-free world, including the related problem of maintaining stability and security during the transitional period and after this goal is accomplished.

Various studies relevant to achievement of a nuclear weapon-free world have been or are being conducted but there has been no attempt to develop a comprehensive and practical answer to the question of how this objective can be achieved.

The Commission's mandate will enable it to deal with the many complex issues that need to be taken into account.

The Commission will consider and develop recommendations on the following issues:

Firstly, identification of concrete and realistic steps for achieving a nuclear weapon-free world, including the development and establishment of necessary verification and control mechanisms and new international legal obligations. Possible areas of focus include:

* The contribution of a comprehensive test ban treaty; nuclear weapon-free zones; a 'cut-off' convention on the cessation of the production of fissile material for weapons purposes; possible further steps beyond a 'cut-off' convention; and the strengthening of the international safeguards system;

* Carrying through of the commitment of the nuclear weapon states to eliminate their nuclear stockpiles through a systematic process, including safe and secure arrangements for weapons dismantlement and destruction; and

* The problem of nuclear threshold states and the related issue of achieving universal participation in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Secondly, development of durable security arrangements, both globally and regionally, including:

* The maintenance of a system of stable deterrence while the reduction and eventual elimination of nuclear weapons is being considered;

* The link with other weapons of mass destruction and their control or elimination; and

* Measures to prevent break-out, nuclear theft and nuclear terrorism/criminality.

* Other related issues the Commission may identify during its work.

The Commission will meet three or four times beginning in Sydney and Canberra from 23-25 January 1996. The Commission's report will be presented to Prime Minister Keating by 31 August 1996.

The Australian Government intends to submit the Commission's report to the 1996 United Nations General Assembly and to the Conference on Disarmament as a major contribution to nuclear disarmament initiatives emanating from these bodies. ..."

Statement by Prime Minister Keating, Canberra, 19 January 1996


"The Commission's members have been invited to join in their personal capacity. ... They have varied views on the role of nuclear weapons and on the feasibility of various approaches to disarmament. Each of them, however, is prepared to examine with an open mind how a move to a nuclear weapon-free world might take place.

Many of the arguments in the nuclear debate are circular: nuclear weapons must be retained or obtained because they exist, or because others have them. The Commission's role is to cut the knot that continues to entangle international thinking on nuclear issues. ...

This is unquestionably the right moment for a new endeavour like this.

The threats and uncertainties of the cold war, which did so much to encourage the development of nuclear weapons, have passed. ...

Nuclear weapons no longer play the central role they once did in the national security strategies of the nuclear weapon states because they are of decreasing utility in dealing with today's security problems and uncertainties. The Gulf War showed how new technology has given weaponry an accuracy that substitutes precision for brute explosive force, and with far less risk to civilians than from nuclear weapons.

But we cannot expect the current favourable global climate to last indefinitely.

New tensions could break out. The approach of the nuclear powers could change. Nuclear proliferation threatens to become more immediate and more serious.

For this reason, the international community has a heavy responsibility to begin to take action now to address the issue of eliminating nuclear weapons rather than let familiar patterns drift forward into the future.

The spontaneous popular and international outcry triggered by France's renewed nuclear testing indicates the strength of international opinion in favour of further concrete action on nuclear disarmament.

As with the long negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on a chemical weapons convention, ultimate success may be decades away - but it may also be achievable within a shorter time. Radical changes have taken place in the world in recent years.

To achieve a breakthrough, however, serious and practical ideas must be advanced now on how to achieve a nuclear weapon-free world.

This is the role of the Canberra Commission. It is a wholly new endeavour. Many ideas for a nuclear weapon-free world are on the table, but there has never before been a government sponsored exercise to develop a comprehensive and practical approach to the problem. We hope the Commission will be a key landmark on the road to a world free of nuclear weapons. ..."

'Australian Initiative for a Nuclear Weapon-Free World' - Statement by Prime Minister Keating, Canberra, 26 November 1995


"I am pleased to announce the formation of the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. ...

The Commission comprises eminent and outstanding individuals from around the world - statesmen, scientists, disarmament experts and military strategists - with extensive knowledge and experience of the subject matter. They are uniquely placed to bring fresh and imaginative thinking to this important task ...

The Commission will propose practical steps towards a nuclear weapon-free world including the related problem of maintaining stability and security during the transitional period and after this goal is accomplished.

During the current session of the United Nations General Assembly a number of resolutions have been adopted on nuclear matters which reaffirm broad international support for progress towards our shared goal of the cessation of nuclear testing and the continuation of the process of nuclear disarmament leading to the ultimate objective of the complete elimination of nuclear weapons.

The adoption of these resolutions is consistent with the commitment made by 178 nations, including the five nuclear weapon states, in May this year to the indefinite extension of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), article VI of which commits these nations to pursue measures towards complete disarmament.

The Canberra Commission and its work will be a major contribution to that shared goal.

Some years ago a Commission of this type would have been a theoretical exercise. But the end of the Cold War means that we can seriously envisage a concrete program to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons. ...

The Commission's wide-ranging mandate will enable it to deal with the many complex issues that need to be taken into account. These include the importance of political motivation and incentive in strengthening non-proliferation norms and moving to a nuclear weapon-free world, the role of the nuclear weapon states and threshold states, steps to strengthen international instruments and control mechanisms, verification arrangements, global and regional security in the transition period to a nuclear weapon- free world, and dealing with possible breaches of commitments - often called 'break out' - nuclear theft and terrorism. ...

We should be under no illusions about the difficulty of the task but the opportunity to develop a practical program leading to complete elimination of nuclear weapons must not be lost."

For further background, see Nuclear Proliferation News, Nos. 36 (13 November 1995) and 37 (15 December 1995).

ASEAN Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty

South East Asia Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone Treaty (SEANWFZ), signed at the ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) Heads of State and Government summit, Bangkok, Thailand, 15 December 1995

See also News Review.

The following summary was provided by Agence France-Presse International News, SE Asia gets nuclear weapons-free zone, on 16 December 1995.

"Key elements and excerpts of the treaty follow:

- the 10 [signatories*] specified that the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone consisted of all territories - land, waters, seabed and airspace - of the signatory states as well as their respective continental shelves and Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ).

- 'Nothing in this Treaty shall prejudice the rights or the exercise of these rights by any State under the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982, in particular with regard to freedom of the high seas, rights of innocent passage, archipelagic sea lanes passage or transit passage of ships and aircraft, and consistent with the Charter of the United Nations.'

- Each signatory agreed not to 'develop, manufacture or otherwise acquire, possess or have control over nuclear weapons; station or transport nuclear weapons by any means; or test or use nuclear weapons'. Each would also deny the same rights to other States on its territory.

- Each undertook not to dispose of radioactive material or wastes anywhere within the zone or allow its territory to be used for disposal.

- They agreed to use nuclear materials for peaceful purposes exclusively under 'rigorous' international guidelines and standards, and to support nuclear non-proliferation.

- 'Each State Party, on being notified, may decide for itself whether to allow visits by foreign ships and aircraft to its ports and airfields, transit of its airspace by foreign aircraft, and navigation by foreign ships through its territorial sea or archipelagic waters and overflight of foreign aircraft above those waters in a manner not governed by the rights of innocent passage, archipelagic sea lanes passage or transit passage.'

- A Commission for the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone was set up to oversee implementation of the treaty and ensure compliance. A subsidiary Executive Committee was also created.

- Signatories may request 'clarification concerning any situation which may be considered ambiguous or which may give rise to doubts about the compliance of' another party to the treaty, or request a fact-finding mission to 'clarify and resolve' any such situation.

- Possible remedial measures include submission of a problem to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) 'and, where the situation might endanger international peace and security, the Security Council and the General Assembly of the United Nations'.

- 'This Treaty shall be open for accession.' It shall enter into force once the seventh nation has ratified its terms.

- 'This Treaty shall not be subject to reservations.'

- Operation of the Treaty is to be reviewed ten years after it takes effect, or if there is a consensus for review among all members.

- Any dispute arising from the interpretation of the provisions of this Treaty shall be settled by peaceful means... If within one month, the parties to the dispute are unable to achieve a peaceful settlement...[any of the parties] shall, with the prior consent of the other parties concerned, refer the dispute to arbitration or to the International Court of Justice.'

- Withdrawal from the treaty requires 12 months' advance notice.

An attached protocol...provided for endorsement by Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States. ...

Under the protocol as published, the five would agree to respect the treaty and 'not to contribute to any act which constitutes a violation of the Treaty or its Protocol'.

Each would undertake 'not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against any State Party to the Treaty' or within the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone.

While the protocol would be permanent and indefinite, each party would, 'in exercising its national sovereignty, have the right to withdraw...if it decides that extraordinary events...have jeopardized its supreme national interests'."

* The ten signatories are the seven ASEAN members - Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam - plus Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.

US-North Korea reactor agreement: White House Briefing

US Newswire, 15 December 1995

See also News Review.

The briefing was conducted by Dan Poneman, the National Security Council (NSC) Senior Director for Nonproliferation and Export Controls


"The agreement that was concluded today in New York is a legally binding instrument between the Korean Peninsular Development Organisation - known as KEDO - on the one hand, and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea on the other. ... It is not an agreement between the United States, per se, and North Korea; although the United States, along with our South Korean and Japanese allies comprise the KEDO organization. ...

I think you can view today's agreement in the context of a long process beginning, really, in '93-'94 as we became increasingly concerned about the North Korean nuclear programme... [This agreement] will bring North Korea back into the fold of countries compliant with international nuclear norms.

...if we recall where we were, in the middle of 1994, we had North Korea with a five megawatt reactor, which had already produced some plutonium, which we believe had been extracted from that reactor, that was on the verge of being restarted. They were building two much larger reactors, together, which would have produced enough plutonium for literally dozens of nuclear weapons.

They had a very large reprocessing plant which they were in the process of expanding. And they had spent fuel sitting in a pond in Yongbyon, which was sufficient to support the separation of five to six more bombs-worth of plutonium. This agreement today comes out of the agreed framework of October 1994, which shut that programme down and stopped it in its tracks under international monitoring.

What you have in the agreement signed today was one of the many elements called for under the agreed framework, the negotiation of a concrete supply agreement. ...

What is particularly important about it is that it codifies, in a legally binding instrument, those same nonproliferation commitments which were the core of the agreed framework of 1994 - the continuation of the freeze on both the five megawatt reactor and the two reactors that were under construction; the freeze on reprocessing...[;] safe storage and separation of the spent fuel from some of the radioactive residuals in that pool; the canning of that fuel; the sending of that spent fuel out of North Korea; and the whole nuclear freeze, which has sustained the situation in North Korea...

It further binds North Korea to come into full compliance with all IAEA-mandated requirements before any significant nuclear components are shipped into North Korea after a substantial portion of the LWR [Light Water Reactor] project has been completed.

In a nutshell, that is what it does. ...it's a very practical step. We now expect to continue cooperation on the ground, site survey, spent fuel recanning operation to continue down the track of full implementation of the agreed framework. And it's something that I think we're all safer for."

Mr Poneman then faced questions from the press:

"Question: 'Can you say with confidence that North Korea doesn't have any nuclear weapons?'

Mr. Poneman: 'We have never said with confidence that North Korea does not have any nuclear weapons. ... Based on the information that we've had now for a long time, we believe that North Korea may have separated enough plutonium before we got the agreed framework in place for perhaps one or two nuclear weapons. We have no knowledge beyond that as to what use they have made of that. But what we do know is that since the agreed framework has been in place, they have not been able to separate one additional nanogram of plutonium.' ...

Question: 'What are the respective financial shares of South Korea, Japan and the United States in furnishing these reactors...'

Mr. Poneman: '...the central role in the financing of the light water reactor will be played by...South Korea. We have also said that Japan will play an important role and that the United States will participate. ...we have gone to the Congress and sought appropriations to support our contribution. ... We asked Congress for...in the current fiscal year...$22 million to support our contributions to KEDO. And our expectation is that that is the level of annual resources that we would need to sustain our part of this deal.'"

UNSCOM Report, December 1995

Tenth report of the Executive Chairman of the Special Commission established by the Secretary-General pursuant to paragraph 9 (b) (i) of Security Council Resolution 687 (1991), and paragraph 3 of Resolution 699 (1991) on the activities of the Special Commission, UN Security Council, 17 December 1995, S/1995/1038


"I. Introduction

The work of the Special Commission in the reporting period, 17 June to 17 December 1995, has covered the whole range of activities envisaged by section C of Security Council resolution 687 (1991)...

Since its report to the Council in October, the Commission has stepped up its activities in following up on and seeking to verify the very large amount of new information on Iraq's proscribed programmes that has continued to be obtained since August 1995. The Commission has also followed up on a growing concern regarding ongoing activities in Iraq in areas prohibited since the adoption of resolution 687 (1991), in particular in the missile area, where recent evidence indicates that activities have been or are being pursued that go beyond what is permitted under the resolution.

II. Developments

A. Developments in Iraq

The new information obtained since August 1995 - in particular Iraq's longdelayed admission of its full-scale offensive biological weapons programme and its advances in the production of the chemical agent VX - confirmed what the Commission had for a considerable time believed on the basis of its own analytical work and its inspection and monitoring activities. These disclosures, on the one hand, gave rise to great concern in the Security Council and among Member States in general as to both the scope and advanced degree of development of Iraq's now proscribed programmes and the grave dangers that they have posed to the peoples of the region and to international peace and security during the Gulf War and since. On the other hand, Iraq's disclosures represented a great step forward in the work of the Commission and of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in uncovering, subject to verification still, the remaining elements of Iraq's programmes.

The new information has greatly expedited the work of the Commission in accomplishing its tasks under resolution 687 (1991). Without Iraq's admissions, elucidation of the Commission's concerns would have taken up considerable periods of time in conducting inspection missions and in investigation of Iraq's procurement abroad and of information from other sources. The documents obtained on 20 August 1995 at the Haidar Farm near Baghdad, at the conclusion of a visit by the Executive Chairman to Iraq (see S/1995/864, paras. 23-27), have provided materials both for verifying some aspects of Iraq's disclosures and for indicating other avenues that require further investigation.

Far from delaying the process of completing the picture of Iraq's proscribed programmes and of verifying its declarations on those programmes, this documentation has considerably speeded up these activities. The Commission has catalogued and assigned priorities for the examination of all the documentation and continues intensive work on the translation and analysis of those that appear to be of the most immediate importance and significance. Analytical work of this nature has been accompanied by further investigation missions to follow up with Iraq on its new declarations. A special concern, in this regard, has been the need to determine the full extent of Iraq's programmes and to seek verification of Iraq's claims to have destroyed all proscribed weapons, in particular its stocks of agent VX and its precursors, operational missile systems, all of its biological warfare agent and all of the aerial bombs and missile warheads that Iraq states it filled with various chemical and biological agents in the period immediately preceding the Gulf War.

In response to the Commission's request, Iraq has recently submitted new declarations, containing 'full, final and complete disclosures' relating to its chemical, biological and missile programmes. It will be recalled that such disclosures are required under Security Council resolution 687 (1991) and paragraph 3 (i) of resolution 707 (1991). The Commission concluded that new declarations were required because the radical nature of the latest information rendered the previous declarations completely out of date. Two of these declarations, in the chemical and biological areas, were delivered in draft form, thus inviting the Commission's comments. Experts from the Commission in both these areas have visited Baghdad and discussed the declarations with their Iraqi counterparts.

During these discussions, various shortcomings were brought to the attention of the Iraqi experts. Iraq has undertaken to redraft the declarations substantially to meet the Commission's requirements. The declaration on missiles was presented in final, not draft form. The declaration is now being analysed in New York. Further information on all these declarations will be found in the sections below dealing with missiles, chemical weapons and biological weapons respectively. While there is some disappointment that the new declarations are not close to meeting the Commission's requirements, the stated readiness of Iraq to meet these requirements is a welcome sign of Iraq's undertakings to cooperate, without time-limits, which were given to the Executive Chairman by Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Tariq Aziz in Baghdad in August 1995 and which were repeated in New York in December 1995.

B. Executive Chairman's visit to Baghdad

Since the October 1995 report, the Executive Chairman has paid one further visit to Baghdad, from 27 to 29 November 1995. Immediately prior to the visit, there had been disquieting press reports that the Foreign Minister of Iraq, Mr. Mohammed Saeed Al-Sahaf, had made some remarks calling upon the Commission to set an early time- limit for the completion of its work. This remark could be understood as coming perilously close to the ultimatum given by Iraq in July and August 1995, when it had called upon the Council to commence a move to lift sanctions and the oil embargo by 31 August 1995 or Iraq would cease its cooperation. Had Iraq not withdrawn that ultimatum, a most serious crisis would have occurred. Furthermore, when the Chairman met with the Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq on 28 November 1995, Mr. Aziz affirmed that Iraq would continue its cooperation without time-limits.

Immediately prior to his meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister, the Chairman held two meetings with the leaders of Iraq's technical teams, including General Amer Mohammed Rashid al Ubeidi, now Minister of Oil, General Ahmed Mutharda, now Minister of Transport and Communications, and General Amer Saadi, now in the Office of the President of Iraq. The three Generals all played leading roles in the weapons programmes now proscribed to Iraq. In the course of these meetings, the Chairman outlined certain continuing concerns of the Commission. While remaining issues had probably been narrowed down, it was vital for these to be cleared up completely. Issues such as the numbers of missiles, biological and chemical weapons produced and the verification of the unilateral destruction by Iraq of its operational missile systems, chemical and biological weapons, agent stocks and precursors remained to be addressed. Similar concerns related to Iraq's indigenous production of SCUD-type missile engines and components and to the need for Iraq to revise its previous accounting for the disposition of all of Iraq's long-range missiles. The original accounting had related to the 819 SCUD missiles obtained from the former Soviet Union, before the Commission had been aware that Iraq had successfully produced and tested similar missiles of its own.

During the two technical meetings, the Iraqi delegation handed over a personal diary relating to destruction of certain of Iraq's chemical and biological bombs, which had been provided by a junior military engineer. General Amer Rashid believed it would help considerably in the verification of Iraq's claims to have destroyed its chemical and biological weapons.

The Chairman welcomed the receipt of the diary, and of a document listing an inventory of chemical agents and precursors that was also delivered to him. When authenticated, these documents could assist in the verification process. He also welcomed the continuing provision of documents by Iraq. However, he indicated that the Commission was convinced that certain of the most important documentation had not yet been handed over, namely documentation in the possession of the central authorities, including the Military Industrialization Corporation and the Ministry of Defence.

The Chairman also drew attention to the Commission's concern that the various levels of the Iraqi establishment still found it difficult to cooperate fully in the voluntary provision of information. The Commission's experts were encountering instances where particular Iraqi counterparts would deny knowledge until confronted with evidence that the Commission already had data to the contrary. This attitude had to change to one of full transparency and a readiness to volunteer all relevant information, if the resolution of the remaining issues was to be expedited. The steps Iraq has taken in this direction are positive.

In his meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister, in addition to mentioning the concerns he had raised in the technical meetings, the Chairman referred to the requirements of resolution 687 (1991), regarding the destruction, removal or rendering harmless of all chemical and biological weapons and all stocks of agents and all related subsystems and components and all research, development, support and manufacturing facilities. The disclosure of Iraq's biological weapons programme, and the facilities involved therein, gave rise to new issues. The Commission was undertaking an assessment of those facilities to determine what should be done. The Deputy Prime Minister recognized that, in principle, some destruction might be necessary, but he appealed for it to be deferred for as long as possible. He looked forward to the development of a new environment, in which the Commission and Iraq's Government could work together to finalize all issues in a smooth, cooperative and professional manner, without scepticism or exaggeration. Such an environment would contribute to a careful and thorough consideration of those outstanding matters, taking account of Iraq's observations. The Chairman indicated that he would proceed with the assessment to which he had referred, seeking the advice of international experts. After that, decisions would be taken and carried out. The Commission had to carry out the terms of its mandate in full.

Mr. Aziz stressed that the leadership of Iraq had no interest in concealing information, weapons or materials for weapons, and that the objective was to finish with all issues relating to proscribed weapons of mass destruction so as to 'see paragraph 22 of Security Council resolution 687 (1991) implemented'. The Chairman welcomed that declaration.

C. Visit to New York by the Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq

At a...meeting on 12 December between the Deputy Prime Minister and the Chairman, a discussion took place on the latest developments. The Chairman indicated that the December report could not contain definitive findings as the current situation was a highly mobile one where new information and disclosures changed the picture almost daily. The period since the Commission's October report had been one of intensive developments. Some of them had been positive, such as the receipt of the new declarations in the chemical, biological and missile areas. As regards the chemical and biological areas, both sides had agreed upon the need for them to be reworked by Iraq. The Chairman hoped that, as a result of that reworking, the confused situation around the number and eventual disposition of biological and chemical weapons could be cleared up. In addition to the positive elements, however, recent information received from both inside and outside Iraq gave rise to serious concern that, after the adoption of resolution 687 (1991), Iraq had continued to acquire components from abroad for its missile programmes and had conducted a clandestine programme on missiles capable of reaching beyond the 150-kilometre range, the limit laid down in Security Council resolution 687 (1991). None of these particular matters were included in the new full, final and complete disclosures on Iraq's missile programmes. That declaration, which had been said to be in final form, would have to be corrected.

The Deputy Prime Minister said that, since August 1995, Iraq had made a tremendous effort to clarify all issues and to provide the necessary documentary proof. He was convinced that Iraq would fill any gaps that still remained. Even if the Commission did not yet believe that it had a clear picture, that did not shake Iraq's confidence regarding the statement the Deputy Prime Minister had made in August 1995 that all weapons were destroyed. Mr. Aziz repeatedly affirmed Iraq's intentions to cooperate fully and in a transparent manner with the Commission, without limits, until all issues were settled. He gave his personal commitment to work to that end. He asked that the Commission not rush to judgement on matters of serious concern outlined by the Chairman. In that context, he invited the Chairman to send an expert team to Baghdad, after the Deputy Prime Minister's return there, to investigate in full the issues of serious concern that the Chairman had raised. Iraq was already investigating some of them, and the early clarification of all of them was in Iraq's best interests.

The Chairman agreed to send the requisite team of missile experts to Baghdad as soon as all the necessary expertise and information could be assembled.

D. Visit to the States members of the Gulf Cooperation Council

Immediately prior to going to Baghdad at the end of November 1995, the Executive Chairman visited the capitals of the States members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates). He did so in order to explain to them the activities of the Commission and its future plans. Much concern had been created in the region following on the disclosures of August 1995 and later regarding Iraq's biological and chemical weapons and its missile activities. The Chairman wished to provide assurances that the Commission would carry out the measures necessary to ensure that Iraq did not possess banned weapons and could not resume their production so as to pose a threat to its neighbours with such weapons. He also wanted to seek the political and financial support of the States concerned in order for the Commission to carry out the mandates of the Security Council. He was met with understanding in every capital he visited, where he found that the work of the Commission was followed with the greatest attention. At a meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council, held at the level of heads of State in Muscat, at the beginning of December 1995, a communique was adopted which, inter alia, expressed support for the work of the Commission and promised political and financial backing for its work.

E. Material and financial support for the Special Commission

In the period under review, the Commission has had to devote much time to the issue of the provision to it of the contributions in kind and of the financial resources needed for it to carry out its activities. It is only because of the great generosity of many Governments that the Commission has been able to discharge its mandate outside of obligatory assessments and of the regular budget of the United Nations. Under resolution 699 (1991), Governments will be able eventually to claim reimbursement, if they so wish, for their contributions, when the embargo on the export of Iraqi oil is lifted, but until such time resources will have to be made available by Governments at their own cost. This is immeasurably less than would be the cost to the international community of dealing with the situation that could arise if Iraq were able to reactivate its proscribed programmes on any scale because the Commission has had to cease operations for lack of resources. ...

In the period under review, the Commission has been seeking a more assured means of securing the financing needed for its operations. The amount of frozen Iraqi assets to be made available under resolution 778 (1992) is almost exhausted and the Commission is having to look elsewhere for future financial support. In this regard, it has been engaged with a wide range of countries to secure the financial future of the Commission. ...The Commission believes that, as a result of the cutbacks and potential delays with the provision of back-up aircraft, it will be unable to adhere to a firm plan of operations. This would have serious consequences for the Commission and IAEA. Activities would have to be curtailed to a point where the ability of the Commission and IAEA to carry out their mandate could be called into question. The Commission has been actively pursuing replacement air support for over six months. It is hoped that the present level of air support can be maintained in the interim. If this proves not to be the case, the Commission will have to request the Council to address the issue in the immediate future. ...

III. Missiles

This latest reporting period has been very important for the Commission's investigations of Iraq's prohibited missile activities. The Commission described some of the more significant events in its October report to the Security Council. Iraq has admitted that it had been withholding important information on its missile programmes. The Commission requested Iraq to provide a new full, final and complete disclosure as required by resolutions 687 (1991) and 707 (1991).

On 16 November 1995, Iraq submitted to the Commission such a declaration consisting of more than 2,500 pages. This declaration has clarified a number of outstanding and unresolved issues. Iraq included in its submission, at the Commission's request, documents to support many of its statements such as contracts, offers, orders and minutes of meetings related to Iraq's dealings with its main foreign suppliers in the missile area. The Commission welcomes this new approach by Iraq, a clear departure from the past practice when Iraq claimed that documents related to proscribed activities had been destroyed.

Of interest in this new information is Iraq's confirmation of the use in proscribed activities of the large radar destroyed under protest by Iraq a year ago. Iraq had claimed that the radar had nothing to do with proscribed activities and the Commission was acting improperly....

The Commission had suggested, in a spirit of cooperation, that Iraq should initially submit a draft version so that appropriate ways and means could be discussed to facilitate subsequent efficient and speedy verification of a formal full, final and complete disclosure. However, Iraq stated that the document of 16 November was presented as a final version of its disclosure and that no substantive additions or corrections would be made to it.

The Commission has begun its analysis of Iraq's declaration. Establishing a definite and verifiable material balance for proscribed weapons is a fundamental requirement for the Commission to be able to assess Iraq's compliance with the missile-related provisions of resolution 687 (1991). Iraq's accounting in the November full, final and complete disclosures does not appear to constitute a firm basis for this.

While some relevant documentation was submitted by Iraq in its November full, final and complete disclosures, it did not provide original documents to account for the expenditure of all imported proscribed missile systems. There is no evidence to support Iraq's declaration on the indigenous production of missile engines or on their disposal. The Commission's last report indicated that Iraq had acknowledged the production of major parts of proscribed rocket engines. The recent disclosure provided more information on these indigenously produced rocket engines. According to Iraq, some 80 major subsystems of SCUD-type engines had been produced. Fifty-three had been rejected as unfit. Seventeen had been disposed of in testing. Iraq claims to have unilaterally destroyed the remaining 10. Iraq's statements in this respect remain to be verified.

Currently, Iraq's account concerning missile warheads, including those for the delivery of weapons of mass destruction, lacks consistency and the necessary evidence for verification. For example, Iraq has not provided any evidence to support its claims that only 120 indigenous warheads were produced. There are significant gaps in Iraq's accounting for such major components for operational missiles as guidance and control systems, liquid propellant fuels and ground support equipment. In October 1995, Iraq handed over to the Commission 18 gyro-instruments for proscribed missiles, without offering a satisfactory explanation for their continuous holding up to that time. It admitted, however, that in late 1993 an order had been issued to one of its missile facilities to start work on prohibited gyro-instruments. The Commission is still studying the full, final and complete disclosures with respect to the material balance in other areas such as imported and indigenously manufactured missile components and tooling and equipment for production activities.

The Commission's preliminary review of Iraq's full, final and complete disclosures has also shown several areas where the Commission possesses reliable information that contradicts that disclosure or indicates that Iraq's declarations are incomplete. The declaration has not addressed, in a comprehensive and detailed manner, a number of Iraq's missile projects. Iraq's current declarations on the relation of missile programmes to other proscribed activities in the chemical, biological and nuclear weapons areas fails to meet the Commission's requirements. The Commission believes that Iraq is still withholding important documents related to proscribed activities and has not provided them in the new disclosure.

In view of these major deficiencies in the full, final and complete disclosures, Iraq's insistence that the document submitted on 16 November is the final and formal disclosure will complicate the verification process. The Commission is disappointed that Iraq chose to provide its declaration in final form and did not avail itself of the opportunity to resolve major discrepancies through discussion. The Commission will, however, work as quickly as possible, without sacrificing thoroughness, to carry out verification of Iraq's declaration.

In its October report (S/1995/864, para. 37), the Commission informed the Security Council that it had obtained information that Iraq had resumed its acquisition efforts from foreign sources in support of its missile activities. The Commission has kept this matter under close scrutiny.

The Government of Jordan recently intercepted a large shipment of high-grade missile components destined for Iraq. Iraq has denied that it had sought to purchase these components, although it has recently acknowledged that some of them are currently in Iraq. The Commission has launched an investigation into this matter in order to determine the exact nature of the missile components involved, their source, the procurement network used and the end-user in Iraq. There is evidence that this acquisition is for long-range missiles and thus further indicates continued activities in Iraq in the area of proscribed missiles.

Iraq has recently admitted that, after the adoption of resolution 687 (1991), it conducted a covert programme to develop and produce a surface-to-surface missile. Iraq carried out a number of tests with modified surface-to-air missiles for this project. This missile would be capable of prohibited ranges. These activities were not disclosed by Iraq in its full, final and complete disclosures nor in its declarations required under the plan for ongoing monitoring and verification. If further investigation proves this information to be correct, there would have been a clear violation of the provisions of resolution 687 (1991). ...

IV. Chemical Weapons

The new information obtained by the Commission since August 1995 clearly shows that Iraq's chemical weapons programme was more developed and wider in scope than had previously been admitted. Thus the March 1995 chemical full, final and complete disclosure and subsequent amendments were rendered invalid and the Commission requested that Iraq submit a new disclosure, as required under resolutions 687 (1991) and 707 (1991).

A draft chemical weapons full, final and complete disclosure was provided by Iraq on 5 November 1995. As it was in draft form, the Commission's experts were able to review it and to identify those areas that required amendment, in order for the necessary changes to be incorporated by Iraq into the final form of the document.

The Commission's chemical experts held talks with Iraq's representatives in Baghdad from 29 November to 2 December 1995. During these talks, the Commission's experts explained that the draft full, final and complete disclosure still lacked important information, contained incorrect information and was internally inconsistent. It was also emphasized that, while Iraq had begun to provide some documentation to support its declarations, further material must be provided, in order to allow the Commission to verify the declarations definitively.

The Iraqi side accepted all the comments and recommendations made by the Commission's experts concerning the additional information to be included in the final version of the full, final and complete disclosures. Overall, these discussions were productive and the presence of senior Iraqi officials from the Military Industrialization Corporation proved helpful.

One area discussed at length concerned Iraq's account of its activities in relation to the V class of highly toxic chemical warfare agents. In the draft full, final and complete disclosures, Iraq acknowledged that it had produced more VX agent than had previously been declared. Earlier declarations had stated that only 260 kilogrammes were produced in 1988. In the draft, Iraq admitted that 1.8 tonnes had been produced in that year and a further 1.5 tonnes in 1990. It has stated that purity and stabilization problems caused the programme to be abandoned in 1990, in favour of the production of Sarin and Cyclosarin.

While noting the revised account of VX activities, the Commission's experts repeated the importance attached to providing a means of verifying the information. This was particularly significant, in view of the fact that, at the beginning of 1989, Iraq had in its possession the necessary quantities of precursors for the large-scale production of V-agents. The evidence currently available to the Commission in respect of the disposal by Iraq of those precursors is far from conclusive. Until such evidence is provided, Iraq's VX activities will continue to be of particular concern to the Commission, since it is unable to confirm that stocks of VX, large quantities of its precursors and appropriate weapons do not remain in Iraq. Iraq undertook to provide necessary evidence, in order to substantiate its declarations.

The Commission's experts also underlined other areas where the draft was deficient and contradictory. These include the overall material balance, where there continue to be major inconsistencies. This assessment was accepted and it was agreed that a completely new material balance would be provided by Iraq. This would be based on documents and not simply on the recollection of those involved.

The issue of chemical munitions was also discussed. Here the Commission's experts noted that the accounting for such munitions procured and indigenously produced was not complete. This included the chemical warheads for ballistic missiles. Based on information available to it, the Commission believes that there were further activities relating to the development of chemical munitions that have still not been disclosed, including foreign assistance. Iraq agreed to complete this chapter of the full, final and complete disclosures and to provide appropriate documents.

It was also emphasized on several occasions during the meetings that the full, final and complete disclosures should include all of Iraq's institutions involved in the proscribed chemical weapons activities and all contacts and activities that had taken place with foreign entities.

Several additional documents were provided to the Commission both during and subsequent to the November discussions in Baghdad. Iraq has undertaken to continue to search for more documentation requested by the Commission. This includes production records, procurement documents, storage inventories and destruction certificates of chemical weapons and their components. The Commission strongly believes that such documentation still exists in Iraq.

The ongoing monitoring activities in the chemical field were explained in detail in the Commission's last report. Of note is the recent admission by Iraq of its 1988 plans to relocate the production of chemical precursors to civilian chemical facilities, which has confirmed the Commission's approach taken with respect to its monitoring system. The Commission's monitoring team continues to discover non-declared dual-use equipment in Iraq. Under the monitoring plan, Iraq is required to declare all such dual-use chemical manufacturing equipment. Iraq is still unable to provide complete semi-annual declarations required by the monitoring plan in the chemical field. ...

V. Biological Weapons

The Commission's main findings and assessments of Iraq's proscribed biological weapons activities were outlined in its last report to the Security Council (S/1995/864). In particular, the Commission concluded that it did not believe that Iraq had given a full and correct account of its biological weapons programme. Thus, Iraq was requested to resubmit its full, final and complete disclosure, a declaration required from Iraq under resolutions 687 (1991) and 707 (1991).

Iraq submitted a draft declaration in the biological weapons area to the Commission on 5 November. This document was provided in a draft form so that the Commission could make its preliminary comments on the structure and contents of the document. ...

The draft full, final and complete disclosures of November was Iraq's third official declaration in the biological weapons area submitted this year. The November document encompasses the disclosures made by Iraq since August 1995, primarily its admission of a comprehensive and well-advanced offensive biological weapons programme, ranging from research and development on a variety of bacteriological agents, viruses and toxins through the production, weaponization and military deployment of biological and toxin weapons. The draft also describes involvement of a number of facilities, in particular at Al Hakam and Dawrah. In some cases, Iraq provided, in response to the Commission's requirements, documentary support of its declarations that were helpful in establishing some milestones in its biological weapons programme and the scope of related activities. Iraq continues to find additional documents, which it is providing to the Commission to substantiate its declarations. The Government of Iraq has assigned high-ranking officials from its biological weapons programme to lead and participate in discussions with the Commission's representatives.

Notwithstanding the above positive steps, the November draft contains major deficiencies in structure and content. Serious gaps and omissions exist in the declaration and in the documentary support, especially related to biological warfare agent and munition production, munition filling and the destruction of weaponized and bulk agents. In a number of cases, Iraq's declarations appear to downgrade the scope and the results of research, development and production efforts related to certain biological warfare agents.

Through recent high-level political talks and expert discussions, the Commission has pointed to the serious deficiencies in the November draft. Evidence available to the Commission establishes that the biological weapons programme was more extensive than has been admitted by Iraq in its November document. Moreover, information contained in it does not match, in a number of important aspects, the current findings by the Commission based on inspections, analytical work and information provided to it from supporting Governments. The documentation provided by Iraq in its draft, together with other Iraqi documentation obtained by the Commission, constitute only a fraction of the documents generated under the biological weapons programme. The Commission continues to believe that important documents are still being withheld by Iraq, despite assurances of full cooperation from the Government of Iraq.

The Commission is especially concerned by Iraq's continuing failure to provide definite figures on amounts of biological weapons agents and munitions produced, weaponized and destroyed. In the absence of such figures, accompanied by supporting documentation, it is not possible to establish a material balance of proscribed items, nor is it possible for the Commission to provide an assessment to the Security Council that Iraq does not retain biological weapons agents and munitions.

Security Council resolution 687 (1991) requires that Iraq unconditionally accept the destruction, removal or rendering harmless under Commission's supervision of all biological weapons and all stocks of agents and related substances and components and all research, development, support and manufacturing facilities. The Commission needs to identify what equipment, material and facilities should be subjected to the provisions of the resolution. The first team (UNSCOM 127/BW 29) sent to Iraq for this purpose has just completed its mission and will report its findings to the Executive Chairman for review and final decision. Meanwhile, the Commission has requested Iraq to cease all activities at the facilities in question that have made a major contribution to the biological weapons programme and still have significant equipment present. Iraq has begun to do so.

The next major step is for Iraq to submit its formal full, final and complete disclosures of its proscribed biological weapons activities. This will allow the Commission to pursue the verification process. Iraq has undertaken to do so. The Commission intends to continue its inspection activities and analytical efforts with a view to conducting verification in an effective, efficient and speedy manner. The Commission reaffirms that Iraq's full cooperation and complete openness will be the essential element in this process.

VI. Nuclear Weapons

... In accordance with relevant Security Council resolutions the Commission continues:

(a) To provide information, special expertise, logistical and other operational support, for the implementation of the IAEA plan for ongoing monitoring and verification;

(b) To designate sites for inspection and to receive and advise on requests from Iraq to move or destroy any material or equipment relating to its nuclear weapons programme or other nuclear activities; and

(c) To perform such other functions, in cooperation in the nuclear field with the Director General of IAEA, as may be necessary to coordinate activities under the plan for ongoing monitoring and verification, including making use of commonly available services and information to the fullest possible extent, in order to achieve maximum efficiency and optimum use of resources. ...

The Commission's experts are continuing to participate in the IAEA negotiations with the Russian Federation regarding the sale of the nuclear materials removed from Iraq and reprocessed in the Russian Federation. The Russian side is required to assist in the disposition of the materials under the original contract for removal and reprocessing. So far these negotiations have failed to produce results because of certain conditions that the Russian side is insisting on, in particular substantial prepayments, which the Commission and IAEA are not in a position to meet and which, in their view, go beyond the normal commercial practice in this regard.

VII. Radiological weapons

During the reporting period Iraq has acknowledged the existence of a programme related to radiological weapons. On 29 August 1995, a biological inspection team (UNSCOM 125) was given a brief account by the Iraqi authorities of an experiment in the radiological weapons field conducted at the end of 1987 by the Muthanna State Establishment. According to Iraq's statements, the purpose of this experiment was to study the military effectiveness of using irradiated materials. ... The team was told that no special weapons system was created.

However, in its draft full, final and complete disclosures on the chemical weapons programme, Iraq mentioned the production of 100 empty casings of LD-250 aerial chemical bombs (known as "Muthanna- 4") in 1987. These casings were modified at the request of the Al- Qa'qa State Establishment and the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission (IAEC). Iraq stated that 75 bombs were delivered to the Al-Qa'qa State Establishment and 25 bombs were destroyed unilaterally by Iraq in the summer of 1991. On 2 December 1995, the Commission's chemical expert team asked the Iraqi authorities to clarify the purpose of the production of these munitions. The Iraqi representatives admitted that these aerial bombs had been modified for the purpose of radiological weapons. Iraq promised to provide all information related to its efforts in the area of radiological weapons in Iraq's next disclosure covering its nuclear programme. Iraq also agreed to provide in its new chemical disclosure all information concerning munitions modified and produced by the Muthanna State Establishment and other establishments for the purpose of radiological weapons. Such information is important to reconcile the material balance of munitions in other areas, e.g. chemical weapons.

On 4 December 1995, additional information on this project was given by Iraq to representatives of the nuclear and chemical monitoring teams. They were told that, around the end of 1987, the Military Industrialization Corporation gave orders to the Nuclear Research Centre at Tuwaitha to explore radiological weapons as a means of 'area denial' to be used in the final stages of the Iran/Iraq war. Three prototypes were made based on modified 'Nasser 28' aerial bombs. ... All three bombs were exploded at test sites. ...

The Commission/IAEA team was told that the results of these tests were disappointing in that the majority of the radioactive material was concentrated on the crater with a sharp decline in the radiation level at a relatively short distance away. Concurrently with the 'Nasser 28' experiments, development of an alternative design based on a derivative of the Muthanna-3 chemical bomb casing - renumbered Muthanna-4 for the project - was undertaken. ...

According to Iraq, at this stage in the development, mid-1988, a progress report was made to the Military Industrialization Corporation. The report was reviewed by the Corporation, which then presented a 'pros and cons' summary to the leadership. The leadership did not pursue the option of the radiological weapon and the project was shelved. The question of documentation was raised and the Iraqi counterparts were asked to seek out drawings and reports that could be used to corroborate their explanation of the radiological weapons project. The Iraqi authorities undertook to do so, but stated that the report on the project had been at the Military Industrialization Corporation at the time when all the documentation was surrendered to the special security organizations (see S/1995/864, para. 26). It was confirmed by the Iraqi authorities that IAEA will be provided with a comprehensive account of the radiological weapons project in the nuclear full, final and complete disclosures currently under preparation by Iraq. ...

XI. Conclusion

The period from 17 June to 17 December 1995 has been one in which the most significant developments have taken place, particularly with regard to the disclosure of Iraq's proscribed programmes. Iraq's attitude towards cooperation with the Commission and the Security Council has also changed from one where ultimatums with deadlines were delivered to one of promises of complete cooperation and transparency, without time-limits. Iraq admits that it has not taken all actions required of it under paragraph 22 of Security Council resolution 687 (1991), but insists that now its declared policy is to do so as fast as possible so that that paragraph can be implemented. Iraq has also admitted that, as late as August 1995, it had been withholding important information from the Commission, but is now in the course of disclosing what had been concealed. After having maintained for a number of years that all documentation relating to its proscribed programmes had been destroyed, Iraq has, during the period under review, provided the Commission and IAEA with substantial quantities of documentation, and is continuing to do so. All of these are positive developments.

The amount of new information that has become available both from inside Iraq and from other sources in the recent past, and which requires further investigation and verification, is such that it is not possible at the present time to give a firm assessment of the extent to which full disclosure of all elements of Iraq's proscribed programmes has been made. While there has been substantial progress, there are areas where the picture is still far from complete and further actions are required by Iraq. The Commission believes that, while a great volume of documentation has been made available, many of the most important documents remain and are still being withheld from the Commission. When this documentation is made available, it should provide the most certain and the speediest way of clearing up vital issues such as the quantities of proscribed weapons, items or materials produced or acquired and the disposition thereof. It should also help in determining the extent to which Iraq has continued activities, particularly in the missile area, in circumvention of the provisions of resolutions 687 (1991) and 715 (1991).

While the Commission welcomes the repeated assurances which it has received from the Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz, on behalf of the leadership of Iraq, regarding Iraq's full cooperation, instances continue to be encountered, at all levels, where full disclosure is not made and misleading statements are put forward. Likewise, information that should have been volunteered in support of a policy of complete transparency is not provided. The issue thus remains whether there are two policies being pursued, one calling for full cooperation and the other for concealing proscribed activities as long as possible. The Commission can only hope that the first of these will prevail and that the second will be completely abandoned.

If the problems just indicated can be speedily resolved by Iraq, the Commission believes that it should be possible to clear up what remains in the near future. These issues must be credibly settled before the Commission's mandate will have been discharged."

NATO communiques

In November 1995, NATO Defence Ministers attended a meeting of the Defence Planning Committee (DPC) and Nuclear Planning Group (NPG) at NATO Headquarters in Brussels. In December, also in Brussels, Alliance Foreign Ministers attended a meeting of the North Atlantic Assembly (NAC).

Defence Planning Committee (DPC) and Nuclear Planning Group (NPG), 29 November

Final Communique, Press Communique M-DPC/NPG-2(95)117



"We reiterate the importance we attach to the full implementation, continued integrity and future effectiveness of the CFE Treaty, which we regard as a cornerstone of European security. However, we note with concern all cases of failure by States Parties to fulfil their Treaty obligations. We welcome the 17th November decision by all 30 CFE States Parties at the Joint Consultative Group, reaffirming their commitment under CFE. We urge all CFE States Parties to comply fully as soon as possible in an open-minded, constructive and responsible spirit. This would help ensure a firm basis for the successful review of the operation of the Treaty at the Review Conference next year."


"We noted with satisfaction the Alliance work on the defence implications of the proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) weapons and their delivery means, and endorsed the recommendations of the Senior Defence Group on Proliferation (DGP), including on needed military capabilities.

These military capabilities should support NATO's central objectives for dealing with proliferation: prevent proliferation from occurring or reverse it through diplomatic means, deter use, and protect NATO territory, populations and forces from NBC attacks. Prevention of proliferation remains our primary aim, but we noted that NBC proliferation poses a direct military threat to the Alliance and must be atken into account to maintain NATO's ability to safeguard the security of its member states.

Alliance military preparedness to deal with this risk is an important aspect of NATO's adaptation to the new security environment. We agreed that an appropriate mix of conventional response capabilities, coupled with effective intelligence and surveillance means, would complement Alliance nuclear forces and would reinforce the Alliance's overall deterrence posture against threats posed by proliferation."

NATO nuclear weapons and nuclear arms control

"We reaffirmed that Alliance nuclear forces continue to play a unique and essential role in the Alliance's strategy of war prevention, while recognizing that NATO has been able to reduce its reliance on them in the new security environment.

The supreme guarantee of the security of the Allies is provided by the strategic nuclear forces of the Alliance. In addition, Alliance solidarity, common commitment and strategic unity are demonstrated through the current basing of deployable sub- strategic forces in Europe.

In reviewing NATO's nuclear posture we received with appreciation a presentation by the United States on the status of US nuclear forces, including elimination of delivery systems under START I, prospects for Russian and United States ratification of START II, and plans to assure reliable nuclear forces at the highest standards of safety and security.

Following our discussion at the last NPG meeting, we were briefed by the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe on the status of NATO's sub-strategic forces, including plans to adapt Dual-Capable Aircraft readiness in line with the current security environment and the steps being taken to integrate the sub-strategic capability of the United Kingdom's strategic submarines.

We noted with satisfaction the continued successful implementation of the START I Treaty and expressed our continued support for early ratification and entry into force of START II.

We also expressed our support for an early agreement on a universal and verifiable zero-yield comprehensive nuclear test ban as an important step in strengthening global norms against proliferation of nuclear weapons and in constraining the development of advanced nuclear weapons by proliferant states."

North Atlantic Council (NAC), 5 December

Final Communique, Press Communique M-NAC-2 (95)118, 5 December 1995


Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty

"We attach great importance to the full implementation and continued integrity and effectiveness of the CFE Treaty. The Treaty is a cornerstone of European security. The reduction period, completed on 17th November, has resulted in the remarkable, unprecedented destruction of about 50,000 pieces of military equipment in Europe. Transparency and enhanced cooperation between armed forces have been important features of this process, to which NATO has made a major contribution.

However, we note with concern all cases of failure by States Parties to fulfil their Treaty obligations, among them the problem of Russia's flank obligations. We stress that compliance with legally binding obligations is a necessary foundation for good overall relations.

We welcome the 17th November Decision by the Joint Consultative Group, in which the 30 CFE States reconfirm their commitment to the Treaty and agree to find a cooperative solution to the flank problem, which does not diminish the security of any State. In this context, we specially urge all States Parties who have failed to comply with their obligations, to intensify their efforts to reach as quickly as possible such a cooperative solution acceptable to all. These problems should be addressed through an open-minded and constructive dialogue. This will provide a firm basis for the successful outcome of the Review Conference next year and the continued integrity and viability of the Treaty."

Other Arms Control Developments

"The Alliance's continuing success in addressing the political and defence aspects of proliferation, furthered by the work of the Senior Politico-Military Group on Proliferation and Senior Defence Group on Proliferation, demonstrates NATO's resolve to work together on common security concerns and is an important aspect of the Alliance's ongoing adaptation. We welcome and endorse this work as a contribution to enhancing NATO's ability to safeguard the security of its member states in the face of direct risks posed by NBC proliferation. We also welcome the consultations with Cooperation Partners on proliferation issues.

We reiterate our conviction that the indefinite extension of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons constitutes a decisive step towards the strengthening of the international non- proliferation regime and of international security. We appeal to all states not yet party to the Treaty to accede to it at the earliest date.

We fully support the ongoing efforts in the Conference on Disarmament towards achievement as the highest priority in 1996 of a global ban on all nuclear testing. We believe that the conclusion of a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT) are important elements in strengthening the international non-proliferation regime, of which the cornerstone is the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. In this respect, we welcome the decision taken by France, the United Kingdom and United States in favour of a treaty prohibiting all nuclear weapon test explosions and all other nuclear explosions, which will facilitate the adoption of a total and complete test ban.

We welcome the ongoing implementation of the START I Treaty. We note the importance of an early entry into force of the START II Treaty, the Chemical Weapons Convention, and the Open Skies Treaty. We support the ongoing work to strengthen confidence with the Biological Weapons Convention. We are pleased that the Review Conference of the UN Weaponry Convention in Vienna was able to agree on a new protocol on control of blinding laser weapons, and look forward to it reaching agreement on a substantially strengthened protocol on landmines as the Conference reconvenes in Geneva."

NATO Press Release on Proliferation

NATO's response to proliferation of weapons of mass destruction - facts and way ahead, 29 November 1995, Press Release (95)124

Full text:


At the January 1994 Summit, NATO Heads of State and Government formally acknowledged the security threat posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and associated delivery means and recognized this as a matter of concern to the Alliance. They therefore decided to intensify and expand NATO's political and defence efforts against proliferation. The first result of these efforts was a comprehensive statement of NATO's approach to proliferation laid out in the Alliance Policy Framework issued at the Ministerial meeting of the North Atlantic Council on 9th June 1994.

New challenges and risks

The security challenges and risks which NATO faces now are different in nature from what they were in the past: they are multi-faceted, multi-directional, and hard to predict and assess.

Proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) weapons poses a military risk to the Alliance and can lead to direct military threats. Proliferation must be taken into account in order to maintain NATO's ability to safeguard the security of its member states and to carry out new missions. Of particular concern are growing proliferation risks on NATO's periphery, the role of suppliers of WMD-related technology to them, the continuing risks of illicit transfers of WMD and related materials, and political- military uncertainties and future technological trends related to WMD. NATO is well-suited to deal with the security dimensions of the proliferation problem and can bring together the resources of sixteen nations in this regard.

The Political Dimension

In responding to the risks of proliferation, the principal objective of the Alliance is to prevent proliferation, or, if it occurs, to reverse it through diplomatic means. In this regard, NATO seeks to support, without duplicating, work already underway in other international fora and institutions. The Senior Politico- Military Group on Proliferation (SGP) was established by the North Atlantic Council to address the political aspects of NATO's approach to the proliferation problem. The SGP has considered a range of factors in the political, security and economic field that may cause or influence proliferation and identified political and economic instruments available to prevent or respond to proliferation. Based on its initial analysis, the Group is currently assessing proliferation problems in geographical areas of particular concern to the Alliance, with the main focus on developments on the periphery of NATO's territory.

The SGP has focused its activities on current political issues with a view to contributing to the implementing and strengthening of international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation norms and agreements. It has emphasized the need to make clear to potential proliferants the grave consequences of efforts to acquire WMD and the necessity of respecting international non- proliferation norms and has underscored the importance of creating a climate of confidence and security that contributes to alleviating regional tensions, thereby reducing possible incentives for would-be proliferants to acquire WMD. Ad hoc consultations have taken place with Russia and other countries to engage them in a dialogue and eventual common effort to prevent proliferation.

Allies recognize that political efforts to prevent proliferation may not always be successful. For this reason, the Alliance is also addressing the defence aspects of dealing with proliferation risks to ensure it can safeguard the security of all its member states despite the presence, threat or use of NBC weapons. Alliance preparedness to deal with the military implications of proliferation is equally a fundamental aspect of NATO's overall adaptation to the new security environment.

The Defence Dimension

While proliferants will probably lack the capability to threaten the destruction of NATO member states, any crisis involving proliferants could carry the risk of NBC weapons being used. It is important to ensure that NATO's military posture makes manifest Alliance cohesion, and that it provides reassurance and maintains NATO's freedom of action in the face of proliferation risks. NATO's military posture should demonstrate to any potential aggressor that the Alliance cannot be coerced by the threat or use of NBC weapons and has the ability to respond effectively to threats to its security as they emerge.

The NATO Senior Defence Group on Proliferation (DGP) was established by the North Atlantic Council to address the military capabilities needed to discourage NBC proliferation, deter threats or use of NBC weapons, and to protect NATO populations, territories and forces. In the first phase of its work, the DGP conducted a comprehensive assessment of the risks to the Alliance posed by proliferation. Building on this assessment in a second phase that has just been concluded, the DGP has identified a range of capabilities needed to support NATO's defence posture for that purpose. Its findings can be summarized as follows:

(a) Military capabilities complement prevention efforts

Alliance military capabilities reinforce and complement international efforts to prevent proliferation. Strategic intelligence capabilities, in particular, enrich the Alliance's knowledge about supplier-proliferant relations and weapons development programmes. Robust military capabilities signal to proliferants the utmost seriousness with which NATO approaches proliferation risks, Alliance resolve and its refusal to be intimidated by NBC threats. This, in turn, should strengthen internationally-shared norms against proliferation. All of the Alliance's military capabilities have a role in devaluing NBC weapons, by reducing the incentives and raising the costs of acquiring or using them. NATO's development of military capabilities to deal with proliferation risks also will provide a better technical basis for non-proliferation-related monitoring and verification.

(b) No one capability alone will suffice

A mix of capabilities will provide a firm basis for deterring or protecting against the risks from proliferation, and will also contribute significantly to the Alliance's primary aim of preventing proliferation. The Alliance has identified needed capabilities and will consider how these capabilities should evolve in the face of future security challenges and risks.

(c) Complement nuclear deterrence

Complementing nuclear forces with an appropriate mix of conventional response capabilities and passive and active defences, as well as effective intelligence ands surveillance means, would reinforce the Alliance's overall deterrence posture against the threats posed by proliferation.

(d) Core capabilities

Greatest emphasis should be placed on core, integrative capabilities that would make the most substantial contributions to the Alliance's objectives for dealing with proliferation. These capabilities will increase the overall effectiveness of the Alliance's defence posture against proliferation risks and provide a foundation for enhancements to, and evolution of, NATO's response to proliferation. They include:

Strategic and operational intelligence;

Automated and deployable command, control and communications;

Wide area ground surveillance;

Stand-off/Point biological and chemical agent detection, identification, and warning;

Extended air defences, including tactical ballistic missile defence for deployed forces;

Individual protective equipment for deployed forces.

Many of the capabilities identified are already available to NATO, or are being developed. Taken together, these capabilities would devalue the political and military benefits for a proliferant contemplating the acquisition of NBC weapons.

Conclusions and way ahead

NATO's approach to prevent proliferation and reverse it through diplomatic means is steadily developing. It is a continuing process complementing international non-proliferation efforts. An important element in this process are the ad hoc consultations with Russia and other countries with the aim of fostering a common understanding of and approach to the proliferation problem. In the defence field the third phase of the DGP's work will now focus on identifying areas in NATO's current military posture where progress has to be made to better counter the risks posed by proliferation. Thus, Alliance capabilities reinforce and complement international efforts to prevent the spread of WMD by demonstrating the Alliance's serious concern regarding proliferation."

Congressional Research Reports, January 1996

Each report costs $47, and can be obtained from Penny Hill Press, 6440 Wiscasset Road, Bethesda, MD20816, US, telephone +1 301 229 8229, fax 301 229 6988.

Nuclear issues

US Counterproliferation doctrine: issues for Congress, Order No. 94-734 ENR

North Korean nuclear controversy: defining treaties, agreements and terms, Order No. 94-752 F

Nuclear Weapons Proliferation: the role of security assurances in nonproliferation policy, Order No. 95-984

Pakistan and cutoff: US nonproliferation and foreign policy considerations, Order No. IB90149

Nuclear Non-Proliferation Policy Issues in the 194th Congress, Order No. IB91023

Nuclear proliferation: problems in the States of the former Soviet Union, Order No. IB91129

Strategic arms reduction treaties (START I & II): verification and compliance issues, Order No. IB91139

North Korea's nuclear weapons program, Order No. IB91141

Nuclear weapons in the former Soviet Union: location, command and control, Order No. IB91144

Chinese missile and nuclear proliferation, Order No. IB92056

Nuclear weapons testing and negotiation of a comprehensive test ban treaty, Order No. IB92099

Theater missile defense: issues for the 104th Congress, Order No. IB95012

Non-nuclear issues

Conventional Forces in Europe treaty - Russian attitudes and implications for US interests, Order No. 95-908 F

Nonlethal weapons and operations: potential applications and practical limitations, Order No. 95-974 S

News Review

Review compiled from reports appearing between 15 December and 15 January. The Review is an account of news reports and does not seek to put forward or reflect the views or claims of Dfax.

Reaction to fifth French test

The test - the fifth in a final series of either six or seven - took place at France's South Pacific Muroroa Atoll test site at 2130 GMT on Wednesday 27 December. The previous tests in the series took place on 5 September (20 kilotons), 1 October (110 kilotons), 27 October (60 kilotons) and 21 November (40 kilotons).

The fifth test produced a yield of 30 kilotons of high explosive, and caused a seismic shock registering, according to Australian seismologists, 5.3 on the Richter Scale.

The following summary of the welter of criticism produced by the test is representative rather than comprehensive.

Nuclear Weapon States


Defence Ministry spokesperson Yves Doutriaux, 28 December

"We are approaching the end of the campaign... France has already indicated that once this series of tests is over we will sign the comprehensive test ban treaty, which is being negotiated in Geneva and in which we are playing a decisive role..."

"All analyses show that there are no negative [environmental] effects... France has already invited the...IAEA...to send experts to the site as soon as the campaign of tests is over, as well as European Union experts."

Asked, on the same day, whether there would be one or two further tests, Doutriaux said:

"This element of uncertainty can be explained because it will depend on the results obtained from the tests already carried out. A decision will be taken in due course."

In Wellington on 28 December, after a meeting with France's Ambassador to New Zealand, Jacques le Blanc, New Zealand's Social Welfare Minister, Peter Gresham, claimed that "the ambassador said they had no intention of going beyond six tests..."

Alain Mauroy, Charge d'Affaires in Australia, 28 December, on the negative reaction to the test

"This is language that we heard from the very beginning so we are very much accustomed to that..."

Socialist Party National Secretary Pierre Guidoni, 28 December

"Everything indicates that this is a gross political error. It would be better for Mr Chirac not to persevere."

United Kingdom

Government spokesperson, 28 December

"It is a matter for the French."

United States

State Department spokesperson, 28 December

"The United States regrets this action and we continue to urge all nuclear powers, including France, to refrain from any further nuclear tests and to join in a global moratorium as we work to complete and sign a comprehensive test ban treaty in 1996."

South Pacific

16-State South Pacific Forum (SPF)

Forum Secretary General Ieremia Tabai, 28 December

"It is particularly unacceptable behaviour... Unfortunately, France has demonstrated through this latest test that there are no limits to its arrogance with regard to testing its nuclear arsenal."


Acting Prime Minister Kim Beazley, 28 December

"I strongly condemn the latest French nuclear test...which sends the worst possible message for the New Year to the people of the South Pacific... I call on the French government to make a fresh start to 1996 by immediately ending its nuclear weapons test[s]... [The tests are] completely contrary to the undertaking the French government gave at the [NPT] Review and Extension Conference in May to exercise utmost restraint...""

Acting Foreign Minister Gordon Bilney, 28 December

"It seemed to me outrageous France should have paid regard to the pre-Christmas spirit in Paris and the strikes and all, but were paying absolutely no regard to the universal opinion in this part of the world that no more nuclear testing should take place..."

New Zealand

Prime Minister Jim Bolger, 28 December

"France is its own worst enemy... Its reputation in the Pacific is at an all-time low. When the tests are over it will have to rebuild its credentials in the region. It has a long way to go..."

Social Welfare Minister, Peter Gresham, 28 December

"The [French] ambassador said they had no intention of going beyond six tests. I made the point that would be one test too many... If they are going to make some gesture which indicates that they have a recognition of international pressure, then it is the last test that they should cancel."



Environment Minister Martin Bartenstein, 28 December:

"[The test is] very regrettable and totally incomprehensible. Coming four days after Christmas, a festival of peace, this test seems to me to be particularly misplaced."


Statement by Foreign Minister Niels Helveg Petersen, 28 December

"Once more it is with great regret that I hear of a new French nuclear test. Let us hope that this was the last one... At the same time I would like to express the realistic hope that 1996 will be the year in which a global treaty banning all nuclear tests for ever will be signed... We must ensure the world's atomic powers stop all tests."

The Netherlands

Foreign Ministry statement, 28 December

"[France] remains deaf to all appeals for a stop to these tests..."


Statement by Foreign Minister Lena Hjelm-Wallen, 28 December

"It is very regrettable that France chooses to end the year with a new nuclear test. As we now move into 1996, I hope that a comprehensive test ban treaty will soon be a reality. France has agreed to sign such an agreement, which will prohibit nuclear testing forever..."

Pauline Green, Leader of the Socialist Group in the European Parliament, 28 December

"He [Chirac] is trying to rub people's noses in the fact that at the season of goodwill he can defy international opinion and order fresh nuclear tests."

Other reaction


Foreign Ministry statement, 29 December

"The test indicates adverse actions to France's purported intention of exercising 'utmost restraint' as proclaimed at the [April-May 1995 NPT Review and Extension] conference. Furthermore, it ignores the wishes of the people in the South Pacific and its environmental consequences."


Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama, 28 December

"France has said it would stop nuclear tests once it signs the nuclear test ban treaty. But it should stop them right now because the tests have no meaning whatsoever."

Chief Cabinet Secretary Koken Nosaka, 28 December

"France should accept the resolve of the international community reflected in a resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly which called for an end to nuclear weapons testing... France said it would conduct one more test, but 'enough' is the call of the world."


Foreign Ministry statement, 29 December

"The Philippines continues to hope that even at this late stage, France will reverse her direction. The Philippines once again calls on France to heed international opinion and desist from pursuing further nuclear testing."

South Africa

Foreign Ministry statement, 28 December

"South Africa shares the international concern over the continued testing of nuclear weapons and again strongly urges France to terminate its nuclear testing programme... South Africa reiterates its belief that the cessation of nuclear testing by France would serve to further illustrate France's stated commitment to the conclusion of [a CTBT]...to the international community..."

South Korea

Foreign Ministry statement, 28 December

"The government deeply regrets that France pushed ahead with its fifth nuclear test this year against the opinion of [the] international community..."

ASEAN Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone signed

On 15 December, on the second and final day of its Heads of State and Government summit in Bangkok, Thailand, the 7 members of the Association of South East Asian States (ASEAN) - Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam - plus three other states in the region (all ASEAN members-in- waiting) - Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar - signed a treaty designed to establish the region as a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (NWFZ).

The main features of the Treaty - the South East Asia Nuclear- Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ) - are summarised in Documents and Sources.

After the signing, Philippines President, Fidel Ramos, said "we have helped secure a less anxious future for peoples throughout Southeast Asia... This treaty will be ASEAN's and Southeast Asia's contribution to the cause of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and to the tranquillity of our region". And Indonesia's President Suharto observed:

"It is heartening to note that after long and painstaking efforts, we have now been able to finalise the Treaty... I am fully confident this treaty constitutes a significant instrument for further enhancing peace and stability in the region."

Thailand's Prime Minister, Banharn Sipla-archa, said he hoped the Treaty would "contribute towards the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty at the global level". Sipla-archa added:

"The conclusion of SEANWFZ comes at an opportune time, as the international community is pushing for a comprehensive nuclear test ban as well as a reduction and the elimination of all nuclear weapons."

Malaysia's Prime Minister, Mahatir Mohamed, also stressed that the Treaty should be seen as a movement towards a global ban on nuclear weapons. Mahatir contrasted ASEAN's position with the current policies of the nuclear-weapon states:

"How can the world ever be free of nuclear weapons if some cannot even agree to stop testing or perfecting these weapons? ASEAN should put its collective weight to campaign for the total and complete elimination of all nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction... We call upon all nuclear weapon states to eliminate their stockpiles of nuclear weapons in accordance with their obligations under the [NPT]...and to conclude a credible and comprehensive test ban treaty as a vital requirement of world peace and security."

Notwithstanding this sense of satisfaction and achievement, the signing was overshadowed to a degree by US unease over the scope of the Protocols to the Treaty, by which the nuclear-weapon states would abide by the terms of the Treaty and provide security assurances never to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against its signatories. On 15 December, US State Department spokesperson Glyn Davies detailed US reservations:

"We've explained to the ASEAN states...that the latest text of the treaty and protocol provided top us doesn't quite meet all of our fundamental concerns. These concerns must be addressed if ASEAN wishes the US to give serious consideration to signing the protocol...

One of the significant issues...is the inclusion of what are called exclusive economic zones and continental shelves in the zone which we believe is inconsistent with internationally recognized high seas freedom of navigation and overflight...

To the extent that the treaty imposes security obligations on non- treaty parties without consent in areas where those high seas freedoms exist, we find that the treaty is inconsistent with the UN Law of the Sea Convention. ...

Another concern involves the precise nature of the legally binding negative security assurances, which the protocol parties are expected to provide. ...

...what we'd like to see in the language is clarity that states should not be able to receive the benefits of the treaty without themselves joining it, accepting its obligations and acting in accordance with international law. Basically, it imposes these obligations on us without our being a party to the Treaty."

The other nuclear-weapon states are apparently in some sympathy with US reservations. China's reservation does not concern restrictions on freedom of navigation of ships armed with nuclear weapons, but rather implications for the status of the disputed Spratly Islands, claimed by China and four ASEAN states. However, according to reports, ASEAN officials have made it clear that the summit's adoption of the Treaty text does not preclude amendment of the protocols. Speaking hours before the signing, ASEAN's Secretary-General, Ajit Singh, expressed confidence that the problem would be resolved: "The mood is a very confident one... We have had some exchanges of views [with the nuclear-weapon states] in the run-up to the meeting. Those discussion will continue after the signing..." Indonesia's Foreign Minister, Ali Alatas, also speaking on the day of the signing, was even more accomodating:

"The treaty is there to stay but perhaps in the protocol, which is purely for the nuclear countries, we can find a way in which reservations can be entertained. We hope so. I cannot say of course with certainty... You must not forget that the signing of these kinds of treaties always took many, many years [Editor's note: in this case, 12 years]... We will continue to have talks with them. We have been trying to meet their misgivings."

Specifically, Alatas addressed China's concern over the Spratly Islands: "If that is the misgiving of China, China should not be worried. Perhaps China could make a statement saying that their signing the protocol, adhering to the treaty's principles, in no way should be interpreted as relinquishing its position of total sovereignty over the islands or something to that effect."

Viet Nam's Prime Minister, Vo Van Kiet, and Philippines' President Ramos used their addresses to the signing ceremony to urge the nuclear-weapon states to come on board. Vo Van Kiet stated: "Over the past fifty years since the dropping of the nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the nuclear menace has threatened mankind's existence... It is our hope that the countries outside the region, especially the nuclear powers, will respect Southeast Asia's aspiration and commitment...[and] guarantee not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons and to fully and early implement comprehensive denuclearisation..."

Ramos stated:

"Let us urge the nuclear powers to accede to the protocol...[which addresses their] legitimate concerns and interests, [and] encourage them to remain faithful to the letter and spirit of the treaty."

On 3 January, it was reported that ASEAN and US officials would be meeting to discuss the issue in Bali, 11-12 January. On 13 January, US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Winston Lord, on a tour to the region which included the Bali discussions, repeated his government's view that the protocols would have to be changed. Speaking in Bangkok, Lord said:

"Our principal concern is the application of this free zone to the continental shelf and the economic zones... This does have to do with navigation, it does have to do with assurances that can be made. ... Clearly, for us to be comfortable, and I suspect for the other nuclear powers, we're going to have to work out some way to make some adjustments. ... If this treaty is to take on even greater significance, it should have the support [and] adherence of the nuclear powers..."

US-North Korea Accord: Reactor deal signed

In New York on 15 December, North Korea and the Korean Peninsular Energy Development - KEDO - signed an agreement detailing the provision to North Korea of two light-water reactors (LWRs). Agreement in principle had been reached as part of the October 1994 Framework Agreement between North Korea and the United States. KEDO - consisting of US, South Korean and Japanese officials - was subsequently established to oversee implementation of the accord.

The 15 December agreement was signed at KEDO Headquarters by North Korea's ambassador-without-portfolio, Ho Jong, and KEDO Secretary General Stephen Bosworth of the US State Department. Under its terms, the two 1,000 megawatt reactors, anticipated to cost between $4-5 billion, will be built near the coastal port town of Sinpo in South Hamgyong province. Construction of the first reactor - of US design and origin but South Korean designation - is expected to begin in Spring 1996, with a date for completion set for 2003. The second reactor is expected to become operational five or six years after this.

The agreement clarifies divisions of financial burden: initially, KEDO will pay for the reactors, a training simulator, and infrastructural support (principally port and road facilities in and around Sinpo); North Korea will pay for the new power transmission grid it will require, and a facility to process fuel rods from the new reactors. Following the construction of the first reactor, North Korea will be expected to pay back KEDO over a 17-year period. The repayments will be interest free, and the first payment will be deferred for three years.

In addition, the agreement confirms that all radioactive material produced by the reactors will be monitored and inspected by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The day following the New York signing, a 15-member team of experts and officials from KEDO left for North Korea, to inspect the Sinpo site. It was expected to remain until 16 January.


United States

Chief negotiator Stephen Bosworth, 15 December

"There are no winners and losers in this negotiation. Both sides have won."

For White House reaction, see Documents and Sources.

North Korea

Chief negotiator Ho Jong, 15 December

"This is a political project, not an ordinary commercial project. So before we can talk about any economic benefit, we must clearly understand the enormous investment made earlier."

Statement by Foreign Ministry spokesperson (carried on North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA)), monitored in Tokyo on 17 December

"As the agreement was signed, though a little bit late, KEDO can break ground for the construction of LWRs and new progress can be expected in the implementation of the framework agreement between the DPRK and the United States. ... We have frozen our nuclear activities in accordance with the framework agreement ever since it was published... If the United States and KEDO promote the LWR project as schedule[d] on the principle of simultaneous action, we will continue to fulfil our obligation - [a] nuclear freeze."

South Korea

Foreign Ministry statement, 15 December

"We welcome it as [a] foundation being laid to carry out the light- water project... We appreciate that the agreement reaffirms our two basic, long-standing principles: the supply of the South Korean standard nuclear plant to North Korea and South Korea's central role in the light-water reactor project. ... This agreement will provide the international legal framework within which North Korea should comply with all the obligations of the Geneva Framework Agreement... In order for the project to be smoothly carried out, participants in the project are to fully cooperate and it is also crucially important for North and South Korea to resume dialogue at the earliest date possible, as was agreed in the US-North Korea accord signed in October last year."

Senior official Choi Dong, 15 December

"The agreement obligates the North to carry out promises made in the Geneva accord in connection with nuclear transparency..."

Concerns rise over India nuclear stance

In mid-December, media speculation (New York Times, 15 December; Washington Post, 16 December) suggested that India may be preparing to explode a nuclear device at the Pakoran research facility in the Rajastan desert. India has only conducted one device before - the 1974 self-designated 'peaceful nuclear explosion' in the atmosphere above the desert. The reports were promptly and strongly denied (derided, for instance, as "speculative and baseless" by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee), but levels of concern, particularly in Pakistan, failed to abate. One reason for this may be the apparent recent hardening of India's line over the conclusion of negotiations for a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), with the government urging a more explicit linkage between a test ban and subsequent progress towards complete nuclear disarmament. According to a Foreign Ministry official quoted on 8 January:

"We don't think it [the test ban] should be seen separately from the question of nuclear disarmament...[by which we mean] total nuclear disarmament."

Concern over Indian government policy is being exacerbated by the stridently pro-nuclear weapons stance (see Nuclear Proliferation News No. 37, 15 December) of the opposition BJP (Bharatiya Janata - Indian People's Party), and the implications for the CTB negotiations for a BJP victory in the April General Election.

On 9 January, Pakistan's Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, said: "The world community must put India on notice not to proceed with plans for detonating another nuclear device... We have taken into consideration the possibility and will have a measured and considered response...". Speaking in Islamabad, on the eve of a visit to Japan, Ms Bhutto added:

"We hope the day will never arise when we have to use our knowledge to make and detonate a device and export our technology... India must be restrained if the sub-continent is to be saved."

The US also expressed concern over the reports. On 15 December, State Department spokesperson Glyn Davies said:

"We've seen the reports that...there might be preparations underway. ...We are concerned that if there were to be an explosive test by India it would be a dramatic departure from India's own long-standing position against testing.

We're opposed to testing...in any non-nuclear state, including India. India is not, formally speaking, according to the NPT, a nuclear state. Any such tests would be a setback to disarmament efforts internationally - disarmament efforts which India itself has championed."

It was into this controversy that Canada's Prime Minister, Jean Chretien, flew, visiting India and Pakistan as the first part of his Asian tour. Chretien arrived in India on 9 January to the backdrop of reports in India (Indian Express, 8 January) suggesting Canada was "pressurising" India to drop any objections to the speedy conclusion of a CTB.

Whatever the private discussions, Chretien limited himself to public statements of unity with India in the fight against proliferation. On 11 January, however, he urged one important change of policy on India: "[we] hope that India will find a way out to be able to accept the NPT". On 14 January, a joint statement by the Prime Minister and his counterpart P.V. Narasimha Rao, stressed that "[b]oth countries have a long-standing and deep dedication to the ultimate objective of nuclear disarmament".

Visiting Islamabad, Chretien heard (14 January) from Prime Minister Bhutto of the strength of her government's unease over not just the possibility of a second test but India's ongoing missile programme:

"Pakistan cannot remain immune to the relentless pursuit of missile development in our neighbourhood... We will work with Canada to prevent the proliferation of...weapons of mass destruction in our region. But the regime of non-proliferation must be equitable and non-discriminatory."

India is currently developing a missile - the Privthi - with a range of between 150-250 kilometres, believed to be capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

START II/ABM developments in the US

As of mid-January, the US Senate had still to ratify the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) II, and the Administration and Congress remained locked in a dispute over the Financial Year (FY) 1996 Defense Authorization Bill, part of which seeks to clarify the extent of US political and financial commitment to ballistic missile defences (BMD) and the 1972 US-Russia Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty. The two issues are linked, particularly in the minds of Russian leaders and legislators, as the prospect of Russia ratifying START II is widely considered to be significantly dependent on US adherence to the severe BMD restrictions of the ABM Treaty. In any event, the Duma, Russia's Parliament, may not decide on ratification until after the June 1996 Presidential elections.


Despite strenuous Administration efforts, START II was not ratified by the Senate before the end of the year. It was debated at length on 22 December, but no vote was taken. Although there is overwhelming support for the Treaty in Congress, some senior Republican figures are seeking a fuller debate. They include the Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Jesse Helms (Republican - North Carolina), who some of his critics claim is trying to use ratification as a bargaining chip in his efforts to see the disbandment of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA), and the Chair of the SASC, Strom Thurmond (Republican - South Carolina).

On 11 January, Secretary of State Warren Christopher spoke with Russia's new Foreign Minister (replacing Andrei Kozyrev), Yevgeny Primakov. Both Christopher and Primakov were reported to have stressed the importance of both START II and the ABM Treaty.

Editor's note: Congress ratified START II on 26 January. See next issue for details.

ABM Treaty

US and Russian officials have been working - in the forum of the ABM Treaty's Standing Consultative Committee (SCC) - to try to agree permissible testing and deployment of BMD against theatre range ballistic missiles, and in November their discussions were reported to be making progress (see Nuclear Proliferation News No. 37, 15 December 1995). However, the degree of BMD advocated by the Republican Party - comprehensive coverage of the US against ballistic missile attack (National Missile Defence - NMD), and which they have been attempting to see incorporated into the Defence Authorization Bill, would be almost guaranteed to bring these discussions, and therewith the ABM Treaty, to an abrupt termination.

It was to forestall this eventuality that President Clinton vetoed the Bill on 28 December. The President also objected to a section on control of US troops involved in UN operations. The vetoed BMD/ABM language set 2003 as the target date for deployment of a NMD, 'multi-site' system.

On 4 December, Bob Bell, of the National Security Council (NSC), wrote to Democrat Senator Sam Nunn (Georgia), the senior Democrat member on the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), condemning the proposed language:

"In my judgment, the proposal is substantially inconsistent with administration policy concerning US missile defense and the ABM Treaty and goes well beyond the flexibility the administration could extend..."

Specification of a target date was defended by SASC member Trent Lott (Republican - Mississippi) on 11 December:

"If you call for a deployment with no date...you have nothing."

Also in December, a US Army report, entitled '[An] evolutionary approach to National Missile Defense', made the sweeping claim that it could foresee deployment of a single-site BMD system which will "provide defense of all 50 states against ICBM attack". A single-site-system would not, it is argued, abrogate the terms of the ABM Treaty.

On 1 December, the Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) Director of Congressional Affairs, Joanne Isham, wrote to Democrat Senators Dale Bumpers (Arkansas) and Carl Levin (Michigan) arguing that ballistic missile proliferation did not pose a serious threat to US security, now or in the foreseeable future. Isham wrote:

"The intelligence community believes it extremely unlikely any nation with ICBMs will be willing to sell them and we are confident that our warning capability is sufficient to provide notice many years in advance of indigenous development."

According to Senators Bumpers and Levin, quoted on 12 December, Isham's letter provides "critical information because it clearly opposes the belief that ballistic missiles launched by North Korea and other rogue states pose a threat to the US".

Editor's note: On 22 January, the 2003 target date was removed by the Congressional 'Conference' seeking to reword the Bill to the President's satisfaction - see next issue for details.

IAEA report on Iraq

On 15 January, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in a report presented to the UN Security Council, expressed undimmed concern about the capacity and desire of Iraq to acquire nuclear weapons. However, it also expressed confidence that it was now in a position to detect any serious movement by Iraq towards utilising this disturbing potential.

The report was drawn up following an October 1995 IAEA inspection to numerous facilities in Iraq. The visit was directly inspired, and informed, by the claims of Lt. General Kamal Hussan, a senior Iraqi military commander who defected to Jordan in August 1995.


"Iraq has developed or otherwise acquired many of the technologies required to produce deliverable nuclear weapons. ...

Adequate provisions are now in place in Iraq to detect the resurgence of a capability to produce significant quantities of nuclear-usable material... Vigilance is necessary to prevent the direct acquisition of nuclear weapons-usable material by Iraq in view of the low signature associated with the assembly of a nuclear device. ...

It is now clear that the original planning of the nuclear weapons programme had the objective of producing a small arsenal of weapons with the first device being produced in 1991. ...

[The] IAEA has removed from Iraq all existing research reactor fuel, and hence any in-country source of quickly available heavy enriched uranium..."

Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) developments

The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) was signed in January 1993. It constitutes a permanent, total ban of all chemical weapons.

On 11 January, Ian Kenyon, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Committee for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, gave an upbeat assessment of the chances of the Treaty entering into force in 1996. For entry into force to take effect, 65 ratifications need to be registered. As of 11 January, 47 of the 160 signatories to the Treaty had ratified it. Among those states not yet to have ratified are Russia and the US. Kenyon expects these states to want to be among the initial 65 ratifiers, and predicts that the overall progress towards that number will hasten their accession.

Speaking of the prospects for US and Russian ratification, Kenyon said: "In both places they assured us that their commitment to ratify wads as strong as ever". However, as Kenyon ruefully added: "The...convention never appears at the top of the burning issues that have to be considered by these governments".

Kenyon concluded that it would be realistic to expect entry into force within the next six months.

The US Congress is expected to begin its debate on ratification on 30 April. Consideration of the issue has been delayed in Russia by the December Parliamentary elections.

The US is currently destroying - by incinerating - parts of its massive stockpile of chemical weapons at Johnston Island in the Pacific. Russia, which has expressed doubts about US destruction techniques, is wrestling with the technical and financial burdens of trying to store its stockpile, in preparation for their destruction, at an estimated cost of around $3.5 billion, once the CWC takes effect. Under the terms of the Treaty, destruction of weapons by a signatory State must commence no later than two years after that State's ratification.

Kenyon, referring to the problems of storage and destruction, noted:

"Chemical weapons are much cheaper to make than to destroy. When they were made, no one was thinking of this: they all thought that one day these things would be used".

Landmines conference opens

On 15 January, the Review Conference of the Inhumane Weapons Convention opened in Geneva. The Convention was signed in 1980 and entered into force in 1983. It currently has 50 States parties, with seven others reportedly expected to join shortly.

The main item on the Conference agenda was the prospect for banning or controlling landmines. In Vienna last October, a ban on anti-personnel laser weapons had been agreed, but progress on the landmines issue had disappointed many. The outcome of the week- long meeting will be featured in the next issue.

The Convention currently bans the indiscriminate use of landmines in conflicts between states. While some States Parties (some estimates say 16, others 21) and many non-governmental organisations (NGOs) would like to see significant movement at the Review Conference towards a complete ban on all landmines - which is also the objective of the European Parliament and the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) - delegates from some of the world's major powers were at pains to dampen such expectations. The limited results of the Vienna meeting were blamed by some on the vested interest of major landmines producers, among them China and India.

The head of the US delegation, Michael Matheson, was quoted as saying on 15 January that, while a total ban remained a US objective, it was not "a realistic outcome [to expect] at this conference". Matheson added:

"I think all delegations will be working on intermediate solutions... There are very few major military powers that would consider the possibility of a ban on all anti-personnel mines. So it's not a serious negotiating possibility... But we are determined to take action to at least minimise the effect of those devices on the civilian population in the interim before there can be a total elimination."

Much of the Conference's deliberations on the issue were expected to be devoted to technical discussions of various devices that could be fitted to the mines to get them to self-destruct or deactivate after a specified time period. Again according to Matheson: "we have been able to record considerable progress towards resolution of some of these technical issues".

The Chair of the Conference, Sweden's Johan Molander, said he favoured a complete ban, but added: "however, that solution is not acceptable today to the majority of States, even if by the count of the ICRC [International Committee of the Red Cross] there are 21 countries in favour of a total ban".

Opening the Conference, the UN Secretary-General, Dr Boutros Boutros-Ghali, sounded a perhaps remarkably upbeat note:

"A final agreement on crucial questions such as extending the scope of application to civil conflicts and strict limitation on the use and transfer of these arms, is within reach."

A further meeting will be held in Geneva in April (opening 23 April) to consider adopting proposals put forward.

On 11 January, Germany announced an indefinite extension on its ban on the export of all anti-personnel mines. A three-year ban had been introduced in July 1994. In a statement, German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel argued that "[t]his decision is an important contribution to overcoming a dangerous legacy of military conflicts". Kinkel added:

"We shall campaign there [in Geneva] for a comprehensive and far- reaching strengthening of the mine protocol... It is high time to tackle a growing threat to thousands upon thousands of civilians, which has already taken on horrific proportions..."

Those 'horrific proportions' - an estimated 110,000,000 mines in 64 countries, mainly in Africa and Asia, causing an estimated 20,000 civilian casualties a year - were underlined by Cambodia's request, made on the same day as the German announcement, for $40 million to be urgently provided so that it can maintain an adequate mine-clearance programme. Speaking in Washington, Ieng Mouly, Cambodia's Minister of Information and Head of the Government's Mine Action Centre, said he was asking for assistance from a number of countries including Australia, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, the UK and the US. Cambodia is littered with an estimated 10 million mines. As Mouly graphically stated the problem:

"If this ecological disaster created by man is not resolved, mines in Cambodia will be cleared limb by limb, foot by foot."

Despite the saturation levels of mines in the country, Mouly added that "[w]e still need to convince our military to destroy stockpiles of landmines".

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