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  Library Treaties Non-Proliferation Treaty, Egyptian Statement, May 10, 1999

Statement from Mounir Zahran

Mr. Chairman,

 At the outset I would like to extend to you the congratulations of the delegation of Egypt on the occasion of your assumption of the Chairmanship of the Third Session of the Preparatory Committee of the 2000 NPT Review Conference. I am confident that your wide professional experience will lead us to a successful conclusion.

Mr. Chairman,

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Since you have devoted two sessions to an exchange of views among delegations on their vision regarding the expected products of the 2000 Review Conference, I find it pertinent to address first the fundamentals of Egypt's position vis-a-vis the nuclear non-proliferation regime in general for a better comprehension of the pillars that govern Egypt's views on what is required to be achieved by the 2000 Conference, and consequently the responsibilities of all States Parties to the Treaty.

In Egypt's assessment, the nuclear non-proliferation regime constitutes in itself a transitional step towards the complete and comprehensive elimination of nuclear weapons leading to a world free from such weapons under strict and effective international control. This objective will only be attained by renouncing selective policies and outdated strategies and doctrines which depend on concepts of nuclear deterrence.

Despite the elapse of almost thirty years after the entering into force of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and despite its indefinite extension in 1995, the world is far from achieving the principles and objectives of the Treaty. Despite some slight progress among the nuclear-weapon-States on the unilateral and bilateral levels to reduce their nuclear arsenals, and contrary to the intentions and expectations that led to the conclusion of the Treaty, the world is still immensely burdened with huge arsenals of nuclear weapons, stockpiled by The Five Nuclear-Weapon-States, and regrettably this has proliferated to other States that have seen in the non-fulfillment of the Nuclear-Weapon-States of their obligations in the field of nuclear disarmament a valid pretext and incentive to conduct nuclear tests and thus the commencement of the production of nuclear weapons. This misfortune poses a core question over the extent of the efficiency of the Non-Proliferation Treaty in achieving its fundamental objectives, namely halting the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and equally the extent of the responsibility of the Nuclear-Weapon-States in this regard.

Mr. Chairman,

Egypt has previously stated prior to the indefinite extension of the Treaty in 1995, that the decision to extend the Treaty had to be dependent on the progress achieved in the review process, and that decision should be taken after the universal adherence to the Treaty by all States without exception nor selectivity or double standards, an objective that remains unfulfilled. Thus, it was, and indeed still is clear that the 1995 extension would have not been achieved without reaching a comprehensive package consisting of three decisions and a Resolution on the Middle East. This package has solely paved the way for the indefinite extension of the Treaty, especially as this has occurred before reviewing the implementation of the provisions of the Treaty due to the insistence of the Nuclear-Weapon-States, and after the failure of achieving final documents in the traditional fashion.

Mr. Chairman,

Stemming from these facts, and based on the fact that the first and second Preparatory Sessions did not reach consensus on what to forward to the 2000 Conference, new facts and lessons (earned have arisen and could be reflected in the following two points:

1. The review process of the Treaty, in the wake of its indefinite extension, should be based only on the Treaty but should also take fully into consideration the decisions and the Resolution that have constituted the 1995 package. Attempts to select parts of the package and to shy away from other parts will only lead to a renewed failure.

2. The review process should be conducted according to the 1995 decision on the strengthening of the review process, especially paragraph 7, in which it is stated that the process should look forward as well as backward and evaluate the results of the period under review, including the implementation of undertakings of the States Parties under the Treaty, and identify the areas in which, and the means through which progress should be sought in the future. In our view, this approach necessitates that the important issues should be dealt with in subsidiary bodies to the main committees of the review conferences.

Mr. Chairman,

It is evident from the above-mentioned that the Non-Proliferation Treaty is in dire need of a substantively comprehensive review to regain its credibility and integrity as the cornerstone of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime.

The negative developments and realities that prevailed in the global arena and that have definitely endangered the credibility of the Treaty, characterized in the recently conducted nuclear tests and the continued refusal of Israel to adhere to the Treaty and its ongoing defiance to the repeated calls of the international community to adhere to the Treaty and to place all its nuclear facilities under the full-scope safeguards of the IAEA, these negative developments and realities will not be remedied nor redressed by pursuing shallow approaches that do not seriously deal with the core of these cases that endanger not only the continuity of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime, but also international and regional peace and security.

Mr. Chairman,

The delegation of Egypt clearly calls for the adoption by the 2000 Review Conference of a comprehensive review document that would include a futuristic vision based on the brave tackling of the negativities of the past. A strive towards the adoption of a new decision on renewed principles and objectives for nuclear non-proliferation without the adoption of a comprehensive review document will only diminish the importance of the Treaty as the cornerstone of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime, and will induce further evasion from fulfilling obligations and commitments, especially those of nuclear-weapon-States.

Mr. Chairman,

I would like to emphasize the importance that the Third Preparatory Committee reach an agreement on all the draft recommendations to be forwarded to the 2000 Review Conference. In this regard, I would like to refer to the contents of the working paper presented by the NAM and its pragmatic approach in addressing related issues to the Treaty, as well as the 1995 package. We consider it important for inclusion in the draft recommendations of the Preparatory Committee. Similarly, the delegation of Egypt, along with the other Arab delegations, will submit two separate working papers on the implementation of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East.

In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, pursuant to your recommendation, the delegation of Egypt will make its views well known on all related issues to the NPT and the 1995 package in the context of the clustered debate.

Thank you.