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  Library Treaties Non-Proliferation Treaty, EU Statement, 1999

Statement from Ambassador Dr. nther Seibert

Mr Chairman,

I have the honour to take the floor on behalf of the European Union. The Central and EasternEuropean countries associated with the European Union, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia,Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, the associated countryCyprus, as well as Iceland and Liechtenstein, EFTA countries which are members of the EuropeanEconomic Area, align themselves with this statement.

Let me start by extending to you, Mr. Chairman, our congratulation and best wishes on your

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assumption of the Chairmanship of this PrepCom. We are confident that your able leadership will successfully guide the important work of this Committee. We look forward to working with you and all the members of the United Nations Secretariat.

For the European Union the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons remains the cornerstone of the global non-proliferation regime and the essential foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament. In this spirit, we support and promote the implementation of the objectives laid down in the Treaty itself and in the decisions of the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference - the Decision on Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament and the Decision on Strengthening the Review Process for the Treaty - as well as in the Middle East Resolution. It is important that the Review Conference looks ahead as well as back when evaluating the implementation of the commitments resulting from the NPT. Therefore, the European Union is determined to make best use of the ongoing NPT review process in order to optimize the non-proliferation regime and to further nuclear and general disarmament. I trust that this objective is shared by the other States parties.

We continue to attach special importance to achieving universal adherence to the NPT in order to reinforce the global non-proliferation and disarmament objectives which are at the core of the Union's policy. We therefore welcome Brazil's accession to the NPT in September 1998 and urge those four States which have not yet done so to follow its example.

We reiterate our deep concern over the nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan soon after the second session of the Preparatory Committee. These tests have negatively affected the security environment in the region and run contrary to global efforts towards nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. However, the latest developments provide an opportunity to broaden the coverage of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament by using the international focus and pressure that resulted from the tests. The Union welcomes the resumption of dialogue between India and Pakistan and the summit meeting in Lahore on 20 February as an important step towards reducing tensions as well as confidence-building in South Asia. The Union fully supports the position of the international community, as contained inter alia in resolution 1172 of the UN Security Council, and continues to call upon both countries to meet all the goals set out in this resolution, including the cessation of the development of ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, and accession to the NPT as it stands.

We welcome the declared intention of India and Pakistan to accede to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty. We call upon them to do so without delay. We also welcome their readiness to participate in negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty at the Conference on Disarmament.

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The European Union is ready to contribute to efforts to promote non-proliferation and confidence-building in the South Asian region. To that end, the Council of the European Union on 26 October 1998 adopted a Common Position, which sets out the Union's objectives and possible contributions to encourage nuclear and ballistic missile non-proliferation, confidence-building and to prevent conflict in the South Asian region.

Mr Chairman,

Following a successful first session of the PrepCom, which set in motion the new strengthened review process for the Treaty, and in preparation for its second session, the European Union defined a Common Position on 23 April 1998 on how to contribute to a successful outcome of the 2000 Review Conference. Pursuant to the provisions of the Common Position, the European Union strove to help build consensus in the second session of the PrepCom. The Union regrets that the second session, in spite of the useful discussions on substantive and procedural issues, did not reach any formal decisions on recommendations to the third session.

During the first two PrepCom sessions, key issues on which there was general agreement were identified, and delegations put forward proposals on which we can build when striving to reach consensus in the preparatory work. The European Union is prepared to make a further constructive contribution to discussions of the various subjects, and we are ready to resume our active role in order to reach our common objective: a successful 2000 Review Conference.

As this PrepCom is the last one scheduled before the Review Conference it is essential that we start drafting the recommendations for the Review Conference as soon as possible and complete procedural preparations. We believe that the procedural preparations, which are indispensable for the successful start of the Review Conference, can and should be dealt with expeditiously. We should also complete the elaboration of recommendations on substantive issues for the Review Conference - aiming at the structure as well as taking stock of the implementation of the Treaty during the past five years - and start considering how, i.e. in which documents, the outcome of the Conference itself could be reflected. The European Union and other delegations have at previous sessions of the PrepCom already submitted possible elements of recommendations to the Review Conference for inclusion in the Chairman's Working Paper. Now is the time to reach a consensus on a final version of recommendations that take all legitimate interests and concerns into account.

Mr Chairman,

Let me at this point offer some thoughts on the main aspects relating to the NPT's implementation

- aspects that, in our opinion, should be dealt with in a structured and balanced way.

Following the successful conclusion of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty in 1996, one of the measures called for in the 1995 Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, the European Union has been active in promoting the early entry into force of this Treaty and its universality. We will be equally active when it comes to contributing to the forthcoming conference provided for in article 14 of the Treaty. The Union welcomes the fact that 152 countries have signed and 34 have ratified the CTBT. All the member states of the European Union signed the CTBT on the day of its opening for signature. Since then, 11 of them, including the nuclear-weapon States France and the United Kingdom, have ratified it and all the others have initiated national ratification procedures.

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We call on all states to sign and ratify this important Treaty, especially those of the 44 states whose ratification is needed for the Treaty to enter into force, but which have not yet ratified it. We particularly call upon the nuclear-weapon States China, the Russian Federation and the United States to ratify it as soon as possible as their ratification is not only necessary for the entry into force of the CTBT, but would also stimulate the ratification process. With a view to the situation in South Asia after the nuclear tests in May 1998 we urge India and Pakistan to sign the CTBT and move to ratify it. The European Union underlines its frill support for the efforts of the Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO to establish the Treaty's verification regime in a timely and effective manner.

Another major and equally important step envisaged by the action programme of the Principles and Objectives Decision is, in the view of the European Union, a convention banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, the cut-off treaty. In our view such a treaty constitutes a second major step towards the achievement of both the nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament objectives envisaged in the document on principles and objectives. The European Union therefore urges all member states of the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva to re-establish without delay the ad hoc committee to negotiate a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable cut-off treaty.

The European Union shares the opinion that systematic and progressive efforts by the nuclear-weapon States to reduce nuclear weapons globally need to be pursued with determination with the ultimate goal of eliminating these weapons and achieving general and complete disarmament under Strict and effective international control. The fact that the START II Treaty has still not entered into force is a source of deep disappointment and concern. The European Union urgently calls upon the Russian Federation to ratify the Treaty without further delay, and urges the Russian Federation and the United States to take all possible steps to ensure that this Treaty enters into force. This would be an important step in the overall efforts towards nuclear disarmament, as it would give new momentum to the nuclear disarmament process and enable the immediate opening and rapid conclusion of negotiations on a START III Treaty, as envisaged in the Helsinki declaration of March 1997 by Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin. The EU also recalls the unilateral commitment made by these two countries at the end of the Cold War regarding the withdrawal and elimination of short-range and tactical nuclear weapons and emphasizes the importance of their full implementation.

Security assurances are considered by many states as a corollary to their agreement not to acquire nuclear weapons. We welcome the assurances given by the nuclear-weapon States in this regard, endorsed in UN Security Council resolution 984 in 1995. Such assurances are also an important part of treaties on nuclear-weapon-free zones. Nevertheless, in line with the Principles and Objectives Decision of 1995, further steps should also be considered to assure non-nuclear-weapon States parties to the NPT against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons. These steps could take the form of an international legally-binding instrument. In this respect, the Union stresses the importance of establishing an ad hoc committee on security assurances within the Conference on Disarmament.

The creation of nuclear-weapon-free zones, on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at between the states in the region concerned, is widely recognized as an important element for strengthening global and regional peace and security, and considered to be a valuable complementary instrument to the NPT. The Union once again reiterates the importance it attaches to such zones, as well as to the establishment of zones free of all weapons of mass destruction. We welcome the progress made so far, especially towards establishing a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia at the meeting in Bangkok in July 1998. We hope that this project will soon be finalized. We encourage the members of the South East Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone and the nuclear-weapon States to continue their efforts to reach agreement on ways of enabling the nuclear-weapon States to sign and ratify the Protocol to that Treaty. We look forward to the entry into force of the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty, Treaty of Pelindaba, at an early date.

We also remain committed to the Resolution on the Middle East adopted by the 1995 Review Conference and to its frill implementation. We therefore continue to support efforts to establish a zone free from all weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems in the Middle East and, to this end, call upon all states in the region which have not yet done so to accede to the NPT as well as to the Chemical and Biological Weapons Conventions as soon as possible.

Mr Chairman,

In 1997 the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency adopted a Model Protocol aimed at strengthening the effectiveness and improving the efficiency of the Agency's safeguards system by increasing its ability to detect undeclared nuclear activities. On 22 September 1998 three additional protocols to the three relevant safeguards agreements were signed by the European Union's member states, i.e. the thirteen non-nuclear-weapon States and the two nuclear-weapon States of the EU, the United Kingdom and France, as well as the European Atomic Energy Community and the IAEA. We will make every effort to conclude our ratification procedures in time for the NPT Review Conference in the year 2000. The Union continues to support the verification role of the IAEA and attaches great importance to the universal conclusion of the Model Protocol. The Union continues to support the verification role of the IAEA and attaches great importance to the universal adoption of the measures provided for in the Model Protocol in accordance with the Foreword to that document. The Union calls on all NNWS to conclude comprehensive safeguards agreements with the IAEA as well as additional protocols to these agreements on the basis of the Model Protocol with the IAEA as soon as possible and to ratify them without delay.

The European Union reaffirms the importance of the statement in the Decision on Principles and Objectives that fissile material withdrawn from military use to peaceful nuclear activities should, as soon as practicable, be placed under IAEA safeguards, and welcomes the efforts already made to set up a verification mechanism and the further measures envisaged in the framework of the bilateral talks between the United States and the Russian Federation including a verification mechanism under ~ auspices of the IAEA. The Union also welcomes the decision by a number of states to adopt a set of guidelines for the management of plutonium in all peaceful nuclear activities. The Union wishes to underline the importance of each State party with nuclear materials in its territory maintaining and improving its own arrangements for nuclear materials accountancy, safety and physical protection, applying the appropriate internationally-agreed standards. In this context, the European Union welcomes the steps taken by the United Kingdom, with the support of the IAEA, to increase cooperation on and implementation of the programme for Preventing and Combating Illicit Trafficking in Nuclear Materials, and underlines the importance of participation in the programme being extended.

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Mr Chairman,

The European Union considers that the existing systems of export controls in the nuclear field are a necessary corollary to technical cooperation for peaceful uses and should be further improved. It is essential that exporting states assume their responsibilities and take measures to ensure that exports of sensitive materials, equipment and technologies are subject to an appropriate system of surveillance and control. The European Union remains convinced that, as stated in the Principles and Objectives Decision of 1995, transparency in export control regimes should be promoted within a framework of dialogue and cooperation among all interested States parties to the Treaty. The Union considers that the transparency activities of the export control regimes are an essential element to ensure greater general understanding both of the necessity for export controls and also of the needs and views of developing countries seeking advanced technology. In this spirit the Union has given its frill support to the transparency activities of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and played a major role in the organization of the two NSG transparency seminars. The NSG transparency seminar, 8-9 April 1999 in New York promoted successfully the dialogue between regime members and non-members and broadened the awareness of proliferation risks for nuclear weapons.

The EU supports the inalienable right of all the parties to the Treaty to develop the research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, without discrimination and in complete conformity with Articles 1 and 2 of the Treaty.

For four months the IAEA has been unable to carry Out inspections in Iraq. As a result, it is unable to provide any assurance pursuant to the mandate entrusted to it by Security Council resolutions. The EU deplores this situation and is awaiting the results of the talks of the panel in New York, which has been entrusted with making recommendations to the Security Council on how to reestablish an effective disarmament/ongoing monitoring and verification regime in Iraq, taking relevant Security Council resolutions into account.

Safeguards implementation in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea remains the subject of considerable concern to the EU. At the last meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors in March 1999 the EU again expressed its deep concern that the Agency could not fulfil its task due to a lack of cooperation by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

We once more strongly urge the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to fully comply with its commitments under the NPT and strictly observe IAEA safeguards. We underline the need for improved cooperation with the IAEA.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman