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  Library Treaties Non-Proliferation Treaty, Joint Statement, April 28, 1998

Statement from Delegations at the Preparotory Committee for
the Review Conference

1. As the Nuclear Weapon States party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America believe it is appropriate and useful in connection with the

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Second Preparatory Committee for the 2000 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty to express our shared views on issues relating to the implementation of the Treaty.

2. We welcome the fact that since the indefinite extension of the Treaty's duration on 11 May 1995, the Treaty has been strengthened by the almost universal adherence to it. It will be further strengthened when Brazil has implemented the declared and very welcome intention of its Government to accede to the Treaty at the earliest possible date.

3. It is the responsibility and obligation of all States to contribute to the relaxation of international tension and to the strengthening of international peace and security. We underscore the important and tangible progress achieved in the area of nuclear disarmament and reaffirm our determination to continue the pursuit by the nuclear-weapon States of systematic and progressive efforts to reduce nuclear weapons globally, with the ultimate goal of eliminating those weapons, and by all States of general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.

4. The opening for signature of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty on 24 September 1996, and its signature on that day by all of us, was a major achievement by the international community. We strongly support the earliest ratification of the Treaty by all States, in particular by those whose ratification ensures its entry into force. To this end France and the United Kingdom have already ratified the Treaty. In addition we are all fully supporting the work of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organisation. We call upon all States to contribute to the success of this Treaty.

5. We also reaffirm our readiness for the immediate commencement and early conclusion of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on a non-discriminatory, universal and internationally and effectively verifiable convention banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, a goal contained in the Decision on Principles and objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament and as its second step, following the completion of the CTBT negotiations.

6. Such a treaty will cap the fissile material stockpiles available for use in nuclear weapons and, by adding new constraints, will strengthen the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and will constitute a significant step towards the eventual achievement of nuclear disarmament.

7. We encourage all States Parties to the NPT to fulfil this shared commitment set forth in the Decision on Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament. We also stress the importance for the States which are not yet parties to the NPT to join negotiations on a fissile material cut-off treaty in accordance with the 1995 statement of the Special Coordinator of the Conference on Disarmament and the mandate contained therein.

8. In connection with our determined pursuit of systematic and progressive efforts to reduce nuclear weapons globally, we welcome

- the agreements reached in New York in September 1997 between the Russian Federation and the United States of America with a view to facilitating the entry into force of the second Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty and the subsequent negotiation of a third Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty;

- related steps to place under IAEA verification as soon as practicable fissile material withdrawn from weapons programmes by the nuclear weapon States concerned in the process of nuclear weapons reductions and designated by those States as no longer required for their defence purposes and to identify appropriate strategies for the management of such material, with a view to making the process of nuclear reduction irreversible; and, in this context, the trilateral initiative involving the Russian Federation, the United States and the IAEA, to address technical, financial and legal aspects of the application of IAEA verification to weapons-origin fissile material;

- the other steps being taken by us in this area.

9. We also welcome and encourage overall progress towards general and complete disarmament, as provided for in Article VI of the NPT, for which all States Parties share responsibility.

10. We emphasise the importance of the faithful adherence of all States Parties to their respective non-proliferation obligations under the NPT and Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaties. We reaffirm our conviction that the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones, on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at among the States of the regions concerned, enhances global and regional peace and security. We recall the security assurances we have provided to the parties to these treaties which now number nearly 100 countries. Moreover, we are working with the signatories of the South East Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty to remove those obstacles currently preventing the nuclear weapon States from signing the Protocol to that Treaty. We supported the re-establishment of an Ad Hoc Committee on "Effective international arrangements to assure non-nuclear weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons" in the Conference on Disarmament, as part of the decision adopted by the Conference on 26 March 1998.

11. We welcome the adoption on 15 May 1997 by the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency of a Model Additional Protocol containing measures which, when implemented, will strengthen the effectiveness and improve the efficiency of the safeguards system as a contribution to global nuclear non-proliferation objectives.

12. We urge all States which have not yet done so to start early negotiations with the IAEA and to conclude their Additional Protocol negotiations in accordance with this model as soon as possible. We also note that at the IAEA's Board of Governors meeting in May 1997 all of us made commitments to negotiate Additional Protocols or other legally binding agreements incorporating those measures provided for in the Model Protocol that each of us has identified as capable of contributing to the non-proliferation and efficiency aims of the protocol and as consistent with our obligations under Article I of the NPT.

13. We welcome the development and emphasise the importance of peaceful uses of nuclear energy which is used increasingly in many sectors of the economy, not just for the production of electricity but also for the improvement of the health and welfare of mankind.

14. Nuclear security is a fundamental issue. The acceptance by States of safeguards under Article III.1 of the NPT is a key requirement. The work of the Zangger Committee in setting guidelines for the implementation of Article III.2 of the NPT is also important. Moreover, both support the peaceful development of nuclear energy.

15. We remain determined to increase nuclear security and reinforce our joint efforts to prevent and combat illicit trafficking in nuclear materials. In this regard, we evaluate positively the implementation of the relevant decisions of the 1996 Moscow Summit.

16. We attach importance to the full implementation of Article IV of the NPT. In this context we reaffirm our commitment towards cooperation in the field of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in conformity with Articles I, II and III of the Treaty and following up the Decision on the Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament.

17. Every effort should be made to ensure that the IAEA has the financial and human resources necessary in order to meet effectively its responsibilities in the areas of technical cooperation, safeguards and nuclear safety. The Agency should also be encouraged to intensify its efforts aimed at finding ways and means for funding technical assistance through predictable and assured resources.

18. We reaffirm the absolute necessity of nuclear safety and the need to pursue research to ensure ever greater safety in the future, including in the field of waste management in order to ensure that nuclear waste does not become a burden for future generations.

19. We emphasise the importance of transparency in the development of nuclear energy, particularly regarding safety.

20. In recognition of the value of the NPT to global security and conscious of our obligations under the Treaty, we will continue to work together for the success of the preparatory process and the 2000 Review conference and on related issues.