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  Library Treaties Non-Proliferation Treaty, Cluster 2 EU, May 14, 1999

Cluster 2

NEW YORK

13 May 1999

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PERMANENT MISSION OF GERMANY TO THE UNITED NATIONS
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GERMAN EU PRESIDENCY WEBSITE: www.germany-info.orgJUNIEU.htrn GERMAN MISSION TO THE UN HOMEFAOE-. www.germany-info.orgJUN/index.blm

Introductory Remarks

1. Mr Chairman, I have the honour to take the floor on behalf of the European Union. The Central and Eastern European countries associated with the European Union (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia), the Associated Country Cyprus as well as Norway, EFTA country member of the European Economic Area, align themselves with this statement.

2. In this statement, the EU will focus on non-proliferation and safeguards and related issues, but in particular on certain significant achievements and developments that have taken place since the last Prepcom. Regarding nuclear-weapon free zones, I would like to refer to the EU's support already made clear in its statement in the debate of Cluster 1.

Strengthened Safeguards System

3. In the statement made on behalf of the European Union during the General Debate, reference was made to the 15 May 1997 decision of the Board of Governors of the IAEA to adopt a Model Protocol additional to existing safeguards agreements.

4. The European Union strongly supports this decision of the Board of Governors, which is consistent with paragraph 11 of the decision on Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament of 1995. The measures contained in the model protocol, once implemented, will lead to a substantial strengthening of the effectiveness and improvement of the efficiency of the IAEA's safeguards system and increase its ability to detect undeclared nuclear activities. The information provided by States under the Protocol will give the Agency a more complete picture of nuclear activities, at the same time the Agency will have new powers to be able to check the completeness and correctness of that information.

5. The European Union strongly supports the aim of strengthening the IAEA's safeguards system. As a concrete demonstration of its political will, the EU and its member States made an early start to negotiations with the IAEA on the three additional protocols to the three relevant safeguard agreements - one which covers the thirteen NNWS in the EU, and one each for the United Kingdom and France. On 8 June 1998, the Council of the European Union authorised the Commission to conclude the three additional protocols between the EU Member States, the European Atomic Energy Community and the IAEA. The agreements were signed on 22 September 1998 during the IAEA general conference. We will make every effort to conclude our ratification procedures in time for the NPT Review Conference in the year 2000.

6. The conclusion of the Additional Protocols for the European Union represents a major step towards the implementation of the strengthened safeguards system.The Additional Protocols were among the first to cover significant civil nuclear facilities encompassing the whole of the fuel cycle.

7. In addition, the Protocols for the UK and France were among the first such agreements concluded by nuclear weapon States, in fulfillment of the commitments given by them to the special meeting of the Board of Governors in May 1997.

8. We very much welcome the fact that by now forty States have concluded Additional Protocols and that five Protocols are in force. We continue to support the verification role of the IAEA and attach great importance to the universal adoption of the measures provided for in the Model Protocol in accordance with the Foreword to that decision. We call on all States to conclude Additional Protocols as soon as possible and to rati~ them without delay with a view to the earliest possible implementation of the strengthened safeguards system.

9. The European Union also welcomes and supports the repeated statements by the Director-General of the IAEA that implementation of an integrated safeguards system is a matter of the highest priority. The Secretariat of the IAEA, in consultation with IAEA Member States, has begun so far in two expert meetings to examine how new and existing safeguards approaches can best be integrated. The new measures must not simply be regarded as an addition to the existing system. In that context we also welcome the Director General's reiterated commitment to pursue efficiency within cost neutrality, and the recognition that States having subscribed to the Additional Protocol should benefit from a reduction in the volume of routine activities carried out by the Agency.

DPRK

10. One issue of particular concern for the EU is that, since the last Prepcom, no progress was achieved in the implementation of safeguards in the DPRK. The European Union once more strongly urges the DPRK to forthwith respond to the strong concerns expressed by members of the Agency by complying with its safeguards commitments and giving the fullest co-operation to the Director General.

11. In the last Prepcom, as well as in the IAEA General Conference last year and the March board of governors, we expressed our deep concern that the Agency could not fulfil its task due to a lack of cooperation by the DPRK. The Agency cannot even provide assurance that all the required information pertaining to the evaluation of the DPRK's initial declaration of nuclear activities has been preserved. We have repeatedly asked the DPRK to urgently address this matter, but, despite efforts by the Agency to continue its discussions with the DPRK, there was regrettably no tangible improvement in the situation.

Iraq

12. As referred to in my General Statement, the IAEA has, for five months, been unable to carry out inspections in Iraq. As a result, it is unable to provide any assurance pursuant to the mandate entrusted to the Director General by Security Council resolutions. The EU deplores this situation and is awaiting the results of the consultations of the UNSC on the basis of the report of the panel in New York, which has been entrusted with making recommendations on how to re-establish an effective disarmament/ongoing monitoring and verification regime in Iraq, taking relevant Security Council resolutions into account.

Initiatives on excess weapons material

13. The European Union reaffirms the importance it attaches to the safe and effective management of fissile nuclear material designated by each nuclear weapons State concerned as no longer required for defence purposes. In this respect, the European Union welcomes the further elaboration of the Trilateral Initiative of the United States, the Russian Federation and the IAEA as a step towards the objective of paragraph 13 of the Principles and Objectives Decision for nuclear fissile material transferred from military use to peaceful nuclear activities to be placed under safeguards as soon as practicable. We would encourage the participants to continue in their efforts and look forward to further reports of progress in the Board of Governors of the IAEA.

14. The EU welcomes the programmes promoted by G8 countries and others concerning the safe and ecologically sound disposition of plutonium no longer required for defence purposes. It draws particular attention to the MOX programme involving France, Germany and Italy as well as the Netherlands' programme with Russia.

Plutonium guidelines

15. The European Union welcomes the agreement reached in December 1997 among a group of nine countries, including the five nuclear weapons States and two other Member States of the European Union, on a set of Guidelines for the Management of Plutonium in all peaceful nuclear activities. Since the confirmation of that agreement, national strategies for the management of civil plutonium have been published by all the participants and their respective national holdings of civil plutonium are now published annually.

Conclusion

16. The year since the last Prepcom has seen significant progress in the field of non-proliferation and safeguards. The European Union is firmly committed to continuing to play its part in this ongoing effort and we hope and expect to be able to report further positive developments at the year 2000 Review Conference.