Go to Home Page
  Library Treaties Non-Proliferation Treaty, Turkish Statement, April 27, 1998

Statement from Mr. Reha Keskintepe

Mr. Chairman,

It has been confirmed that disarmament negotiations cannot take place in a vacuum; they are inevitably affected by the evolution of the international situation and by all the factors related to

Printer Friendly


international security. In considering the developments of the past few years it is easy to discern that today we face an international situation which is in many respects more favourable than the one that prevailed at the beginning of the decade. As a result it has been possible to successfully conclude major arms control treaties, such as the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), which have considerably strengthened international security. States Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), making good use of the propitious international situation, took a momentous decision when they indefinitely extended the NPT in 1995, thus contributing to a more secure and promising international environment. The resolutions adopted at the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference (NPTREC) have created the framework and set out principles and objectives in order for the States Parties to make further progress on both non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament. We are convinced that with collective efforts and cooperation of all States Parties, the strengthened review process will prove to be instrumental in achieving these goals. Turkey is fully committed to work constructively throughout this process and is prepared to make its contribution for a successful conclusion of the NPT 2000 Review Conference (Revcon)

Mr. Chairman,

At the first Preparatory Committee (Prepcom) held in New York last year we launched the strengthened review process. Although there seems to exist varying opinion as to the relative success of the first Prepcom, we believe that we succeeded in laying the foundations for a qualitatively different and improved review process. We established a framework which will allow us to continue our procedural and substantive work at its second session, with a view to making the necessary organisational arrangements and formulating a set of recommendations for the 2000 Review Conference. We have to consider now a number of important issues, such as the finalisation of the structure of the Prepcom report, financing of the Prepcom and of the Review Conference, and agreeing on the agenda and draft rules of procedure of the Review. I should like to stress, Mr. Chairman, that consultations on all these issues ought to be open-ended, so as to make sure that all delegations that wish to do so can fully participate in the discussions and make their contributions.

Mr. Chairman,

Since its inception Turkey has been an ardent supporter of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and its lofty goals of non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament. while strictly abiding by the provisions of the Treaty, we have consistently encouraged all countries to accede to it with a view to giving more vigour to the appeal directed to Nuclear Weapon States (NWS) for rapid and effective progress in the field of nuclear disarmament.

We are pleased to note that accession to the treaty has gradually grown over the years, and at present the NPT counts 186 States parties, which makes it the most adhered multilateral treaty. We welcome the eight recent accessions to the treaty. However, there are still a few states which for one reason or the other prefer not to join the non-proliferation regime. Here lies one of the major risks not only for the regime itself, but also for international peace and security in general. Unless and until the NPT enjoys universal adherence, States Parties would be exposed to different kinds of risks. I should like to mention one, which concerns the agenda agreed to at the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference, specifically the entry into force of the CTBT and the initiation of cut-off negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament. If we are to avoid jeopardizing support of States Parties to the NPT, we need to devote more time and energy to identify ways to promote universal adherence to the Treaty.

Mr. Chairman,

Since the 1995 Review and Extension Conference progress has been achieved on nuclear disarmament. As envisaged in the first item in the programme of action on nuclear disarmament in the Principles and Objectives, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty has been concluded in 1996. Turkey signed the CTBT on the day it was opened for signature and preparations are underway for its ratification. We contribute actively to the establishment of the CTBTO in Vienna arid we are making every effort to fulfil our commitments towards the International Monitoring System. As for the second item on the programme of action which involves the negotiation on a convention banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices, Turkey hopes that it will be possible in not too distant a future to start work on this issue in the Conference on Disarmament. Furthermore, the ratification of the START II Treaty by the Russian Federation parliament will be a welcome a step. Further reductions in nuclear arms as announced by the Presidents of the United States and the Russian Federation will also constitute very significant achievements and will go a long way towards nuclear disarmament.

Mr. Chairman,

With regard to Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones (NWFZs), Turkey has traditionally supported the establishment of such zones wherever possible and practically feasible. As the establishment of such zones has a direct bearing on the security of states within those defined regions and on the existing military balance, the desire for the establishment of NWFZs should necessarily come from all the states of the zone, and the principle of undiminished security should be strictly observed. Furthermore, presence or absence of other weapons of mass destruction, including chemical and biological weapons and the prevailing political atmosphere and developments in the region are relevant factors which are necessarily taken into consideration by states concerned.

We welcome the steps taken by states to conclude further NWFZ treaties since 1995, especially the initiative launched by Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan to establish a NWFZ in Central Asia. We pledge our frill support to this laudable initiative and encourage all Nuclear Weapon States to work constructively towards the realisation of the zone. It is our considered view that tangible security gains will accrue to the whole of Eurasia as and when it is brought to a successful conclusion.

Mr. Chairman,

The 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference adopted three decisions and the resolution on the Middle East. We attach great importance to each of these documents. Turkey enjoys deep rooted historical ties with the Middle East and promotes cordial relations with all the countries and peoples of the region. As we approach the 21st century the need for lasting arrangements for peace and stability in the Middle East is higher than ever m the international agenda. However, today, instability and uncertainty appear to dominate the political scene and the developments in the region. In this respect, the region seems to be lagging behind the positive evolution in international peace and security. It is not my intention to attempt to analyse the causes of this undesirable situation, but just to draw attention to the fact that such circumstances are hardly conducive to the establishment of a zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. We note with concern that not only one but a number of states in the Middle East region have not adhered to one or the other Treaty dealing with weapons of mass destruction. Therefore, it seems to us disingenuous to single out any one country for the lack of progress on the establishment of such a zone. Since it closely affects Turkey's security, we are closely monitoring developments pertaining to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems. At the same time, Turkey will continue to deploy every effort in the political field, to facilitate progress in addressing the proliferation issue in the Middle East. We also urge all states not yet party to the NPT or to other treaties dealing with weapons of mass destruction to accede to them at the earliest possible date.

Mr. Chairman,

The Conference on Disarmament (CD) has recently established, for the duration of the 1998 session, an ad hoc committee to negotiate with a view to reaching agreement on effective international arrangements to assure Non-Nuclear-Weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons. The mandate of the ad hoc committee also stipulates that these arrangements could take the form of an internationally legally binding instrument. We welcome the decision to re-establish the ad hoc committee on negative security assurances, and hope that early progress can be made.

Mr. Chairman,

Turkey has always alleged that a strengthened safeguards system should be universal. The new approach by the Nuclear Weapon States has contributed towards the universalization of the system. We understand that the nuclear safeguard problems in Asia and the Middle East still hamper the countries with item specific agreements to join this growing universality concept. Nevertheless, we consider them a part of this system and look forward to their adherence to the 93+2 Programme. Overall, it can be said that the adoption of the 93+2 Programme (Additional Protocol) opens a new chapter in safeguards history, a chapter that will bear witness to the broad implementation of the strengthened safeguards system. A new challenge now confronts the Agency and its member states. The immediate objective will be to ascertain that such implementation has been put in place by the time of the NPT 2000 Review Conference.

We believe that nuclear export/import control measures play an important rote in preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Article IV of the NPT, which enables States to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, must be implemented in conformity with the non-proliferation obligations set out in Articles I and II of the Treaty. Turkey has signed a full scope safeguards agreement with the IAEA, ratified the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material Convention, and voluntarily participates in the IAEA's universal reporting system. The Government of Turkey has established a national export-import control system related to nuclear and radioactive materials, including ionizing radiation generating equipment. A regulation for establishing a Nuclear Material Accounting and Control System has entered into force in 1997. In this context, Turkey considers the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) as one of the essential tools for achieving universal non-proliferation goal. We have therefore officially applied to the NSG for full-membership, and in order to fulfil our future obligations in accordance with the Group's Guidelines and implementations, we are formalizing our preparations at the national level.

Mr. Chairman,

In conclusion I would like to underline the following:

Turkey is a State Party to the NPT as well as to the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. Turkey has signed the CTBT and also is a partner of the Wassenaar Arrangement and the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). Turkey does not possess chemical and/or biological weapons and, apart from the nuclear umbrella of the NATO Alliance, does not possess nuclear weapons and has no intention to acquiring them in the future. Within the framework of these treaties and arrangements, we take our commitments very seriously and expect nothing less of other states.

The NPT has long proven its value in safeguarding international peace, strengthening the security of States and promoting international cooperation on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. In 1995, States Parties extended the NPT indefinitely in order to consolidate the non-proliferation regime and make these gains permanent. Having secured this major goal, we need now to redouble our efforts, using the strengthened review process, to achieve the universality of the Treaty. We believe that the present international situation is conducive to making good progress on all aspects of the Treaty.