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  Library Treaties Non-Proliferation Treaty, Proposed Language, April 15, 1997

Proposed language for inclusion in the report of the
Preparatory Committee

Submitted by Belarus

Nuclear-weapon-free zones

States parties recognize the growing importance and interest in utilizing the provisions of article VII of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which affirms the right of any group of States to conclude regional treaties in order to assure the total absence of nuclear weapons in

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1997 NPT Prep Com 

their respective territories.

States parties are convinced that the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at among the States of the region concerned, particularly in regions afflicted with international conflicts, enhances regional and global peace and security and, being conducive to the ultimate objective of achieving a world entirely free of nuclear weapons, is in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations and international law.

States parties confirm that nuclear-weapon-free zones constitute an important disarmament measure instrumental in strengthening the international non-proliferation regime in all its aspects.

States parties are inspired by the signing of the Treaties establishing the South-East Asian and the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones which, together with such zones already in existence for Antarctica, the South Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean, henceforth make the entire southern hemisphere free of the development, testing, deployment, stockpiling, transfer or use of nuclear weapons.

States parties call upon all the parties concerned to initiate and continue, wherever appropriate, bilateral and multilateral consultations aimed at promoting an exchange of views among them on the possible ways and means of enhancing their contribution to the process of regional and global nuclear disarmament and strengthening international peace and security through concerted efforts.

States parties are encouraged by the historic events of the past few years that enhanced the atmosphere of trust, mutual respect and partnership among European States as well as the prerequisites for practical implementation of the idea to free the world of nuclear weapons, in particular the withdrawal of tactical and strategic nuclear weapons from the territories of Belarus, Kazakstan and Ukraine and thus from the entire Central and Eastern European region, ranging from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea.

States parties acknowledge the important contribution made by Belarus, Kazakstan and Ukraine to the implementation of article VI of the Treaty through their effective efforts in nuclear disarmament and consistent fulfillment of their obligations under the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks and the Treaty between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Nuclear Missiles, and note with satisfaction the significant contribution of those States to the strengthening of the Treaty through enhancing regional and global security.

States parties underline the importance of establishing nuclear-weapon-free zones on the European continent as instrumental and conducive to further disarmament and welcome the intention of the interested European States to continue consultations aimed at further consolidating conditions conducive to establishing a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the centre of Europe.

States parties welcome the numerous previous endeavours and continuous post- war efforts by some Central and Eastern European States aimed at promoting the idea of a nuclear-weapon-free zone on their continent as a goal that is in complete consonance with the United Nations aspiration for a world without nuclear weapons.

States parties call on the nuclear-weapon States to refrain from any actions that might jeopardize the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and damage the perspectives of establishing new nuclear-weapon-free zones. It further calls on them to assist in every way possible in the establishment of such zones and to give early consideration to the signing of the relevant protocols once concluded, including undertaking to refrain from the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons against States parties to the treaty establishing the zone.

States parties urge all States of the region to declare solemnly that they will refrain from resorting to any means of acquiring nuclear weapons and from permitting the stationing on their territories or territories under their control of nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices. States parties request the Secretary-General to assist the countries concerned as well as all interested member States in their efforts to open up consultations and negotiations on issues related to the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in new regions.