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  Library Treaties Non-Proliferation Treaty, American Statement, April 27, 1998

Statement from Norman A. Wulf

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. First, I congratulate you on your selection as Chairman of this second Preparatory Committee meeting for the 2000 NPT Review Conference. My delegation has every confidence that your experience and knowledge will help ensure a constructive and successful meeting, and the United States will do what it can to assist your efforts to that end.

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U.S. VIEWS ON THE 2000 NPT REVIEW PROCESS

When the decision on "Strengthening the Review Process for the Treaty" was agreed in 1995, there was consensus among parties that the enhanced review process should facilitate efforts to achieve the hill implementation of the Treaty and should result in a review process that was "qualitatively different" from the past. The first Preparatory Committee took a "qualitatively different" approach by establishing a process for in-depth consideration of substantive issues. It is the expectation of my delegation that this second Preparatory Committee will continue examining substance as a key part of that process. Accordingly, my delegation has come to this meeting fully prepared to discuss all NPT issues.

Although the United States expects this Preparatory Committee meeting to devote most of its time to addressing substantive matters, my delegation is mindful that the Preparatory Committee must also make the necessary procedural preparations for the Review Conference. There are procedural issues which must be addressed by this meeting if we are to ensure effective preparation for the Review conference. We hope this meeting will effectively ~d constructively address these procedural issues.

Last year's session of the Preparatory Committee was viewed by most as a useful and positive start to the 2000 NPT Review Conference process. The United States supported the outcome of the first Preparatory Committee meeting, both in terms of its organization and its product. We look forward to working with others here to see this second Preparatory Committee meeting build on the results of the first. We believe that the use of "issue clusters" corresponding to the three Review Conference Main Committees remains a sensible way to organize our substantive discussion during the Preparatory Committee. Importantly, the "issue cluster" approach reinforces a balanced consideration of all treaty issues, which the U.S. continues to view as essential to a strengthened review process.

The United States supported the First Preparatory Committee's "Chairman's Paper" and believes it provides a good basis for our work as we look to fulfill the Preparatory Committee's mandate to "consider principles, objectives, and ways to promote the hill implementation of the Treaty.. and to make recommendations thereon to the Review Conference." My delegation believes that the Preparatory Committee's efforts at its first meeting to begin to identify areas of agreement on key issues, in combination with the retention of the comprehensive compilation of other proposals and documents that came forward at the first session, were important and useful achievements. We believe that our efforts these next two weeks could usefully be dedicated to expansion and enhancement, if possible, of the "agreed statements" section of that paper.

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE NPT

Mr. Chairman, the United States is firmly committed to the NPT and has as its overriding objective for the 2000 NPT Review Conference process to ensure that the Treaty regime remains a strong and integral part of the international security system.

The NPT is fundamentally a treaty that enhances the security of all its parties through its establishment of a global norm against proliferation; whatever else may be sought or achieved in the name of the NPT, we should bear in mind the reality that all NPT parties are far better off with this Treaty than without it. Mr. Chairman, the United States hopes that, as this Preparatory Committee carries out its work, parties will avoid actions that would undermine or erode the role of this important Treaty.

In addition to its role in preventing the spread of nuclear weapons, the NPT promotes technical cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy under effective international safeguards, and serves to promote nuclear disarmament. The "triad" of NPT objectives are mutually reinforcing and cannot be considered in isolation. For that reason, the United States has called for a balanced approach to addressing issues during both the preparatory phase of our work as well as at the Review Conference, The United States also continues to support a process that is guided first and foremost by the Treaty itself; which is the source of our obligations and from which the review process emanates. We, of course, have other documents to assist and inform our work, most notably the 1995 NPT Conference decision on "Principles and Objectives," which represents timely views of NPT parties on measures to achieve the full implementation of the treaty.

U.S. EFFORTS IN SUPPORT OF THE NPT

In my remaining time, I will seek to outline some of the numerous practical steps--unilateral, bilateral, and multilateral--that the United States has taken to affirm its commitment to the NPT. A number of these steps have been taken since the conclusion of the first Preparatory Committee meeting. Given the constraint of time, I will not mention every step, but I have attached to my statement a "Fact Sheet," which provides a more comprehensive outline of U.S. actions illustrating the scope of the U.S. commitment to a robust NPT regime.

A. U.S. SUPPORT FOR NUCLEAR NON-PROLIFERATION

The United States believes that the spread of nuclear weapons would undermine the security of all nations and that the NPT plays a critical role in preventing such spread. The NPT, by establishing a global norm of nuclear non-proliferation, is one of the most important treaties of all time. The number of states with nuclear weapons remains low--far lower than forecast in the 1960's--because of the NPT. The Treaty has given the parties confidence in the non-nuclear intentions of its neighbors; and it has reduced the risk of nuclear conflict.

1. Universal Adherence to the NPT

The United States has continued to promote universal adherence to the NPT. Eight additional states have joined the NPT since May 1995, and in June 1997, Brazil announced its intention to join the Treaty. The continued growth in NPT membership since 1995 demonstrates that the world is coming ever closer to a truly universal nuclear non-proliferation regime, and that making the NPT permanent "'as the right decision for attracting more parties to the Treaty.

The United States continues to encourage all non-NPT parties to join the Treaty as soon as possible. In regions where the NPT is not yet accepted, the United States has urged non-NPT parties to exercise restraint in their nuclear programs and to consider regional approaches that can decrease the risk of nuclear weapons proliferation.

2. Promoting Full Compliance with the NPT

The United States has worked with other nations in encouraging full compliance with the key nuclear non-proliferation requirements of the NPT. We have supported efforts by the IAEA Board of Governors and the United Nations Security Council in addressing serious instances of noncompliance with the NPT. U.S. law and policy call for the imposition of strong unilateral measures against NPT panics who violate the Treaty through noncompliance.

The United States believes that the development of comprehensive nuclear export controls is one measure that has greatly facilitated the ability of NPT Parties, and nuclear weapon states in particular, to meet their obligations under the Treaty. In that context the U.S. continues to place great importance on the work of the Zangger Committee, which has published guidelines for the interpretation of Article III.2 of the NPT.

3. Strengthening the NPT Safeguards System

The United States strongly supports the establishment of a strengthened and cost-effective IAEA safeguards system, including an increased capability to detect undeclared nuclear materials and activities, and the incorporation of new technologies to enhance effectiveness and efficiency.

In May 1997, the United States joined with other members of the IAEA Board of Governors in approving a Model Protocol for strengthening IAEA safeguards. The Protocol, along with other recent strengthened safeguards measures, is a necessary and important contribution to the international safeguards system.

Last week, the United States concluded its negotiations with the IAEA on an additional Protocol to its Safeguards Agreement. I am pleased to announce that the United States plans to present this Protocol to the June meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors for approval. The United States calls upon all states to cooperate in the implementation of the new strengthened safeguards system. We note with satisfaction that, as of the end of the March 1998 IAEA Board of Governors, eight States (Armenia, Australia, Georgia, Jordan, Lithuania, Philippines, Poland, Uruguay) have signed protocols with the IAEA. We congratulate Australia for being the first state to have its protocol enter into force.

4. Support of Nuclear Weapon-Free Zones

The U.S. supports the establishment of nuclear weapon-free zones, on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at among the states of the region concerned, that meet our longstanding criteria. The U.S. is a Protocol Party to the Treaty of Tlatelolco and, in 1996, signed the protocols to the South Pacific and African nuclear weapon-free zone treaties. We continue to work with the signatories of the South East Asia Treaty to remove those obstacles currently preventing our signature of the protocol. In all, nearly 100 non-nuclear weapon states are now eligible for our legally binding negative security assurances.

B. U.S. SUPPORT FOR PEACEFUL USES OF NUCLEAR ENERGY

1. Enhanced Transparency in Export Controls

The United States supports the continuing efforts of the multilateral export control organizations to make their work as transparent as possible, responding to the call in the 1995 NPT Conference decision on 'Principles and Objectives." In October 1997, the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) sponsored a seminar in Vienna on Transparency in Export Controls. The United States supported this seminar and believes that it usefully enhanced what we view as an already highly transparent export control regime.

We recognize that there is interest in further transparency efforts and we are prepared to support follow-on transparency activities, including possible regionally focused efforts.

2. Increasing Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy

Over the past year, the United States has continued to support peaceful nuclear cooperation efforts through its contribution to the IAEA technical cooperation programs. The United States remains the largest contributor to the IAEA's technical cooperation efforts.

In addition to its cooperation through the IAEA, the United States maintains bilateral "sister laboratory" arrangements with Argentina, Egypt, Ghana, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Thailand, and it is pursuing such an arrangement with Costa Rica.

In 1997, the United States brought into force agreements for nuclear cooperation with Argentina and South Africa. Agreements with Brazil, Kazakhstan, and Switzerland have been negotiated, signed, and are awaiting final approval. An agreement with Ukraine was initialed on March 6,1998.

C. U. S SUPPORT FOR ARTICLE VI

     Article VI of the Treaty states:

     Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on      effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to      nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict      and effective international control.

The United States remains firmly committed to meeting this obligation. It should be evident to all that, with the improved international security environment since the end of the Cold War, has come a cessation of the nuclear arms race. Beyond halting the arms race, the United States has demonstrated a strong commitment to nuclear disarmament and to the elimination of nuclear weapons as an ultimate goal. This past year the United States has continued to promote measures that, in the words of President Clinton, represent "important steps on the road to a world that is free of nuclear weapons.

1. Strategic Arms Reductions Treaty (START) Process

The United States continues to make steady progress to implement the START I Treaty. Both the United States and Russia have reduced their strategic nuclear warhead levels below those limits that were required to be met by December 1997. Both are almost two years ahead of schedule in meeting the limits that are not required to take effect until December 1999. As of January 1998, the United States had eliminated more than 900 heavy bombers and missile launchers, which carried over 4,000 accountable warheads. We are nearly three-quarters of the way to full realization of planned eliminations under the START I Treaty.

START II will achieve even deeper reductions in strategic nuclear forces and will enhance strategic stability by eliminating the most destabilizing weapon Systems; that is, land-based intercontinental ballistic missile systems with multiple warheads. Once START II has been fully implemented, the United States will have reduced its strategic nuclear forces by two-thirds from Cold War levels.

During their 1997 Summit Meeting in Helsinki, Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin pledged to begin negotiations on START III immediately after START II enters into force. While formal negotiations have not begun, the United States and Russia have reached an understanding on targets for reductions under START III and have agreed that START III will be the first strategic arms control agreement to include measures relating to transparency of strategic warhead inventories and the destruction of strategic nuclear warheads. START III will also include measures to promote the irreversibility of deep reductions.

On September 26.1 997, the United States and Russia signed agreements that will help promote Russian ratification of START II, including a Protocol to START II extending its implementation until December 31, 2007. The U.S. and Russia also exchanged letters legally codifying the commitment 0 deactivate by December 31,2003, the strategic nuclear delivery' vehicles that will be eliminated under START II. This measure will help ensure that START II's security benefits are realized in roughly the same time period as originally envisioned under the Treaty. The two sides also signed several agreements that will help to enhance the viability of the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, a step that has fundamental significance for the strategic arms reduction process.

2 Multilateral Disarmament Measures

     (a) Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)

On September 24 996, the United States became the first nation to sign the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty. Conclusion of a CTBT was expressly called for in the 1995 NPT Conference decision on Principles and Objectives," and its completion fulfilled a decades-long goal of the NP-r community.

The CTBT essentially eliminates the possibility of a future Cold War-type arms competition, as it constrains the development of more advanced nuclear weapons by the nuclear weapon states. In this way. the CTBT will also enhance the START process and help us further reduce the roles of and risks associated with nuclear weapons.

The United States is committed to securing the CTBT's entry into force at the earliest possible time, and in September of last year President Clinton transmitted the CTBT to the U.S. Senate for advice and consent to ratification.

     (b) Fissile Material Production Cutoff Treaty (FMCT)

The United States strongly supports efforts to initiate negotiations on a fissile material production cutoff treaty (FMCT), as President Clinton affirmed in his January 1998 remarks to the Conference on Disarmament (CD). The United States continues to believe that an FMCT is an important nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation step which virtually all members of the international community have endorsed, including in the 1995 "Principles and Objectives" decision document. The U.S. would note that of the three items endorsed by the 1995 NPT "Principles and Objectives" decision as important in the full realization and effective implementation" of Article VI -- that is, CTBT, FMCT, and systematic and progressive efforts to reduce nuclear weapons -- FMCT, regrettably, is the only one on which no progress has yet been made. The U.S. hopes this situation will be rectified and that FMCT negotiations in the CD will soon begin on the basis of the 1995 Shannon Report and the mandate contained therein.

OTHER DISARMAMENT EFFORTS

In considering the progress being made toward nuclear disarmament, the START treaties represent what can be called "classic examples" of efforts to reduce nuclear weapons. Since the end of the Cold War, however, the scope of what can --and should--be viewed as 'progress" in nuclear disarmament has changed dramatically. U.S. efforts toward this goal are not limited to bilateral treaties addressing warheads and delivery Systems; today, the United States has underway a range of programs and other measures that together make an extensive and invaluable contribution to nuclear disarmament through: (1) reducing the roles of, and risks associated with, nuclear weapons; (2) modifying the U.S. nuclear force posture to rationalize it with post-Cold War security realities; and (3) ensuring that nuclear material declared excess to defense needs is never again available for weapons use.

A. CESSATION OF PLUTONIUM PRODUCTION FOR NUCLEAR WEAPONS

On September 23 of last year, the United States and Russia signed the "U.S.-Russian Plutonium Production Reactor Agreement," which entered into force immediately. All plutonium production reactors in the U.S. and Russia must be shut down and all will be subject to bilateral inspection activities. Together, the U.S. and Russia will work to convert by the year 2000 Russia's three plutonium-production reactors that remain in operation so that they no longer produce weapon-grade plutonium.

As a practical result, this agreement marks the first time that the United States and Russia have placed limits on materials available for warheads themselves, and also represents a new stage in U.S.-Russian cooperation to regulate and verify nuclear materials, to limit their use in weapons, and to increase transparency. It also reinforces and builds upon the unilateral U.S. commitment not to produce fissile material for nuclear weapons.

B. REDUCTION AND ELIMINATION OF TACTICAL NUCLEAR WEAPONS

The United States has continued to implement the 1991-1992 Presidential Nuclear Initiatives to reduce non-strategic nuclear forces. All non-strategic nuclear weapons have been removed from surface ships, multipurpose submarines, and land-based naval craft. In addition, several non-strategic nuclear weapon modernization programs have been terminated. The U.S. air-delivered tactical bomb stockpile has been reduced by 60 percent, and all excess tactical bombs have been eliminated. Overall, 90 percent of the U.S. non-strategic nuclear stockpile has been eliminated. Moreover, all surface warships no longer have the capability to deploy nuclear weapons. All nuclear artillery, short-range tactical missile warheads, and nuclear depth bombs have been eliminated or will have been by 1999.

C. NUCLEAR WEAPON DETARGETING AND DE-ALERTING MEASURES

Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has taken numerous steps to reduce the alert posture of its nuclear forces. As of May 1994, the United States decided it would no longer target any country with its strategic nuclear forces. This action was taken not only as a confidence-building measure. but also to illustrate the improved security environment in the post-Cold War era.

D. FISSILE MATERIAL TRANSPARENCY EFFORTS

Since September I 996, the United States has unilaterally removed approximately 226 metric tons of fissile material from its nuclear stockpile and has voluntarily pledged to make this excess fissile material available for IAEA safeguards. Twelve metric tons of this excess material is now under IAEA safeguards to ensure that this material is never again used for weapons purposes. Twenty-six metric tons has been committed for inspections by the end of 1999, and an additional 52 metric tons of excess material is being readied for international inspection.

In addition, the United States is working with the IAEA on a verification experiment on the downblending of weapon-grade high enriched uranium (HEU). Only uranium that has been highly enriched can be used for nuclear weapons, and once HEU has been blended down to low enrichment levels, its most appropriate use is for power reactors. This experiment, which began in December 1997 and will conclude by July 1998, will help to demonstrate the irreversibility of nuclear disarmament.

The alternative to use of high-enriched uranium for nuclear weapons is use of separated plutonium. Two alternatives have been identified for long-term disposition of excess separated plutonium--mixing the plutonium with low- enriched or natural uranium and burning the resulting mixed fuel in power reactors or mixing the plutonium with other waste products so that it would be at least as difficult to re-separate this plutonium as it would be to separate plutonium from spent reactor fuel. Pursuit of whichever alternative is eventually chosen will not only require large sums of money but also lengthy periods of time. Meanwhile, the separated plutonium will require storage. The United States is working with the IAEA to incorporate international safeguards features into the design for the planned storage facility for excess plutonium at the Savannah River Site.

in addition, the United States, the Russian Federation, and the IAEA commenced a "Trilateral Initiative in September 1996, to address the unique challenges of providing assurances that fissile material withdrawn from weapons programs is not returned to the defense stockpile. The Trilateral Initiative has to date resulted in programs to consider IAEA verification of weapon-origin fissile material; to address the scope and objectives of IAEA verification; and to develop approaches and technologies to support IAEA inspections.

Mr. Chairman, the steps outlined above are illustrative of the numerous measures the United States has taken in support of the nuclear disarmament process. The United States wants its NPT partners to recognize and understand the relationship between this range of "non-classic" arms control measures and the nuclear disarmament process. To that end, my delegation has come to this Preparatory Committee meeting prepared to provide detailed information about U.S. efforts in support of nuclear arms control and disarmament. In doing so, we hope not only to promote greater transparency and an enhanced understanding of efforts underway, but also to illustrate the complexities and difficulties of the nuclear disarmament process.

I look forward to providing further details on U.S. actions to support its Article VI obligations during the structured debate sessions. Inasmuch as Article VI of the NPT speaks not only of the goal of nuclear disarmament, but also of general and complete disarmament, the United States hopes that the Preparatory Committee's structured debate sessions will give due attention to the numerous and important non-nuclear arms control and disarmament efforts underway, as well. Such measures, including the Chemical Weapons Convention and efforts to seek early agreement on a BWC Protocol, make important contributions to enhanced international security, which will bc vital to the effort to achieve the elimination of nuclear weapons.

CONCLUSION

Mr. Chairman, my Government is committed to all aspects of the NPT and to taking the steps necessary to contribute to its full implementation. The strengthened review process can and should serve the interests that I believe all of us share in protecting and preserving the integrity and vitality of this critical arms control agreement. The United States will work with others to make the most of this opportunity. We will do this with an eye to maintaining realistic expectations about what can be achieved and to ensuring that our actions and goals are consistent with the purpose and mandate of the treaty review process. My delegation looks forward to a productive Preparatory Committee meeting and to working over the coming days with other NPT parties present here toward that end.