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  Library Treaties Non-Proliferation Treaty, South African Statement, May 10, 1999

Statement from the South African Delegation

NEW YORK

Check against delivery 10 May 1999

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Mr Chairperson,

As this is the first time that my delegation is taking the floor, may I extend our congratulations to you on your assumption of the Chair of the Third Preparatory Committee Meeting for the year 2000 NPT Review Conference. We also extend our congratulations to the other members of the Bureau.

Mr Chairperson,

"Decision 1" at the 1995 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review and Extension Conference on "Strengthening the Review Process of the Treaty" has not achieved its full potential. It is possible, but in my view would be counter productive, to enter into a protracted debate about the reasons for this. It is also possible, although I would argue that we do not have sufficient time, for us to use this opportunity, which you have created for us, to enter into a protracted philosophical debate about what the 1 'Strengthened Review Process" means. South Africa believes that we would be best served by utilising this opportunity to seek and achieve agreement on what we want to have as the outcome for this phase of the "Strengthened Review Process", or, in other words, what the product of our work will be. By following such an approach we would not only achieve concrete meaning to the 1995 decisions, but we should also not forget that we will be in a position to continue refining the "Strengthened Review Process" in the future until it meets all of our expectations.

Mr Chairperson,

My delegation has been concerned at the slow rate of progress which has been demonstrated by the previous two PrepComs held in New York and Geneva respectively. In part, we see this as being a consequence of the lack of clarity and agreement on what the final products of the work of both the Preparatory Committee and the 2000 Review Conference should be. Many may view the achievement of such clarity and agreement as being a little late -- four years after the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference -- but let us agree

"better late than never".

By utilizing the NPT itself as our lodestar and the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference decisions as our yardstick for measuring the implementation of the Treaty in the period under review we will build confidence in the regime. A regime which comprises the full package of decisions and resolution adopted in 1995. That is, the "Strengthening of the Review Process for the Treaty" decision; the "Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament" decision; the decision to indefinitely extend the Treaty itself; and the resolution on the Middle East. It was no coincidence that the decisions at the 1995 Review and Extension Conference were taken in the order which they were -- the taking of the one was dependent on the decision on its predecessor. This is a fact which cannot be denied. To do so would not only undermine the outcome of the 1995 Conference but, as I have already implied, it would undermine confidence in the regime as a whole. Mr Chairperson

From South Africa's perspective the "Strengthened Review Process" decision is very clear -- not only in its meaning but also in its language -- as to what it is expected of us to accomplish and produce. Paragraphs 4 and 6 of the "Strengthened Review Process" decision clearly define the PrepCom's purposes -- which are four-fold -- as being:

    (a) "... to consider principles, objectives and ways in order to promote the full implementation of the Treaty, as well as its universality";

    (b) "... to make recommendations thereon (i.e. on principles objectives and ways in order to promote the full implementation of the Treaty, as well as its universality) to the Review Conference. These include those identified in the Decision on Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament adopted on 11 May 1995";

    (c) To make recommendations to the Review Conference on the establishment of subsidiary bodies ~ within the respective Main Committees for specific issues relevant to the Treaty, so as to provide for a focused consideration of such issues"; and to

    (d) 'I... make the procedural preparations for the next Review Conference."

Simply put, the PrepCom should therefore not only focus its consideration on the "Principles and Objectives" adopted in 1995 so as to promote the full implementation of the Treaty and its universality, it must also consider new "principles and objectives", as well as "ways", in order to promote these objectives. Having completed its consideration of the 1995 "Principles and Objectives" and of new objectives, principles and ways, the PrepCom is then directed to make recommendations thereon to the Review Conference for its consideration and decision. Thirdly, the PrepComs should consider and make recommendations on the establishment of subsidiary bodies to the respective Main Committees so as to allow for focused consideration of specific issues relevant to the Treaty. And finally, they are also directed to make the procedural preparations for the Review Conference.

The functions of the Review Conference are three-fold and are defined in paragraph 7 of NPT/CONF.1995/32/DEC.l:

    (a) They should "look .. back" and "evaluate the results of the period they are reviewing, including the implementation of undertakings of States parties under the Treaty";

    (b) They "should look forward... (and) identify the areas in which and the means through which, further progress should be sought in the future"; and

    (c) They should "also address specifically what might be done to strengthen the implementation of Treaty and to achieve its universality".

Simply put, Review Conferences, must conduct their traditional review function, and they should identify future areas and the means by which (i.e. "ways") further progress should be sought in the implementation of the Treaty. In doing this work the Review Conferences must specifically address what might be done to strengthen the implementation of the Treaty and to achieve its universality.

Mr Chairperson,

As indicated at last years PrepCom and expressed in the working paper submitted on 4 May 1998 and produced as NPT/CONF.2000/ PC.II/17, South Africa's maintains its belief that for the Strengthened Review Process to be successful, for the expectations which surrounded the outcome of the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference to be met (at least in part), and to accomplish the tasks which have been given to it, the Preparatory Committee would at least have to prepare the following four documents, which can include annexures, for submission to the year 2000 Review

Conference:

- Document 1 Recommendations on principles, objectives

    and ways aimed at the full implementation of the Treaty, as well as its universality. This document would follow the same format and structure of the 1995 Principles and Objectives, developing those elements upon which we are able to find agreement. These recommendations would form the basis for further negotiation and refinement at the Review Conference, and for the adoption of a set of 2000 Principles and Objectives. The intention is not that these should replace or be a renegotiation of the 1995 Principles and Objectives, an approach which would have the potential of weakening the achievements reached in 1995, but would rather be in addition to the 1995 agreement.

    It should be pointed out here that the contents of the "Principles and Objectives" cover the full range of the provisions and obligations of the NPT. The document is accordingly divided into 8 sections: A Preamble, Universality, Non-proliferation, Nuclear disarmament, Nuclear-weapon-free zones, Security assurances, Safeguards, and Peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Under these headings there are two different types of provisions. Statements of general or continuing principle which it was envisaged would be relevant at the time of adoption as well as into the future, and statements of objectives which identified certain

    specific goals which should be striven for in the period until the next Review Conference. While differing in nature both types of provisions are intended to set realizable targets which can be reported upon, measured and evaluated. The primary area of attention of the Preparatory Committee should therefore, in South Africa's view, be to consider and develop updated statements of objectives and ways which identify certain specific goals which should be striven for in the period until the Review Conference in 2005. Whilst we may be able to strengthen and tighten the general or continuing principle language, we should not be averse to duplicating those statements which remain of continuing validity.

- Document 2 : Recommendations on the establishment of

    subsidiary bodies to be established within the respective Main Committees for specific issues relevant to the Treaty, so as to provide for a focused consideration of such issues.

- Document 3 Recommendations on specific proposals or

    initiatives to be considered by the Review Conference. Possible recommendations which may be developed here are steps envisaged in the Principles and Objectives or in the Resolution on the Middle East, but may also be new initiatives launched during the preparatory process. An example of such a new initiative could be a proposal for the adoption of a security assurance protocol to the NPT.

    - Document 4 Conference.

Mr Chairperson,

The procedural arrangements for the Review

Given the functions of the NPT's Review Conference within the strengthened review process which I have outlined earlier in my statement, the Review Conference should be focused on producing two documents:

    - Document 1 : A 2000 Principles and Objectives which would be negotiated on the basis of the recommendations prepared by the PrepCom and on inputs received at the Review Conference. The document should look forward and identify the areas in which, and the means through which, further progress should be sought in the full implementation of the Treaty in the future, with specific reference to the next review period. The document should also address specifically what might be done to strengthen the implementation of the Treaty and to achieve its universality.

    Owing to the nature of the document (i.e. setting the agenda for the implementation of the Treaty) it will be necessary that a consensus should exist on its content and adoption at the Review Conference. The nature of the

    document also dictates that it should be relatively concise.

    Document 2 A Final Declaration which should look back over the period under review, evaluating the results of the period it is reviewing, including the implementation of the undertakings of the States Parties under the Treaty.

    Owing to the nature of this document and given the differences of interpretation which might exist on issues under review (as has been demonstrated at previous Review Conferences) it will be necessary for a consensus to exist on its adoption, but not necessarily on all of its content. In areas where it may prove to be impossible to reach agreement on an issue under review the document could contain statements reflecting the differences in interpretation or understanding.

Mr Chairperson

South Africa's Foreign Minister Alfred Nzo stated at the 1995 Conference that many countries have, with good reason, been critical about the failures and the delays to fully implement the NPT and that "so as not to draw these issues into the debate about the continued existence of the Treaty, it is desirable that the review process provided for in Article VIII(3) should be strengthened". The PrepComs from 1997 onwards are therefore the test to show whether we have achieved the goals which were identified in 1995 and whether the "deal" which was struck in 1995 still continues to hold the confidence of all the Treaty's States parties. Although our progress has been slow thus far, we must now make best use of the two weeks at this PrepCom to refocus our efforts and fully utilise the potential inherent in the 1995 Conference decisions.

Mr Chairperson,

My delegation has provided a revised version of the working paper which we circulated at the 1998 PrepCom meeting in Geneva on the issues which I have addressed in this statement to the Secretariat for distribution. We hope, and believe, that this Working paper will assist us in achieving agreement on this important matter.

Mr Chairperson,

South Africa will be taking up the substantive issues of the NPT in its participation in the nuclear disarmament, safeguards and peaceful uses of nuclear energy clusters, as well as in the specific time which has been made available for the consideration of nuclear disarmament, the fissile material treaty (FMT), and the 1995 Middle East Resolution.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.