Allow me to associate myself with the congratulations already addressed to you on your election to the chair of the third session of the Preparatory Committee. My delegation is confident that under your wise and able leadership our deliberations will be successfully guided through its agenda. We assure you of our full cooperation in carrying out your responsibilities.
At this last Prepcom session before the 2000 Review Conference, we have a challenging and difficult task ahead of us. The third session, while building upon the results and drawing on the experience of the first two sessions, should finalize the preparations, paving the way hopefully to a successful Review Conference to be held next year here in New York .
The first two sessions launched the strengthened review process for the Treaty. We are sure that the framework established during the first and second sessions will help us to go ahead at the third session to achieve substantive progress both on procedural and substantive work concerning the forthcoming Review Conference in the year 2000.
The NPT has long proven to be a fundamental cornerstone of nuclear non-proliferation and has served the security and trade interests of the global community very well. It has also accelerated the international co-operation on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. States Parties extended the NPT indefinitely in order to consolidate the non-proliferation regime and make these gains permanent. Having secured this major goal, we need to redouble our efforts using the strengthened review process to achieve the universality of the Treaty. With the ratification of the NPT by Brazil in June 1998, 187 countries are now parties to the most widely adhered arms control treaty in existence.
On the other hand, there are still a few states which choose not to join the nonproliferation regime. Therefore, we should increase our efforts to convince them that universal adherence to the NPT can only bring international peace and security both at the regional and global level.
As previously expressed by my delegation on different occasions, since its inception my country has been an ardent supporter of the Treaty on the Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and its lofty goals of non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament. While strictly abiding by the provisions of the Treaty, we have consistently encouraged all countries to accede to the NPT in order to give more vigor to the appeal directed to Nuclear Weapon States for rapid and effective progress in the field of nuclear disarmament.
The nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan last year in a successive manner have once again revealed the importance of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and its entry into force pending the required accession of all of the 44 States.
My country has signed the CTBT on the day it was opened for signature. The Treaty has already been submitted to the Turkish Grand National Assembly for ratification. We hope that it will be ratified before the First State Parties Conference expected to be held in the fall this year.
In this context, I should also underline that an early commencement and rapid conclusion of negotiations on a universal; non-discriminatory and effectively verifiable Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) banning the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices is essential for nuclear non-proliferation. Since FMCT was one of the important objectives agreed by all NPT State Parties at the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference, we should all make every effort for its successful negotiations at the Conference on Disarmament as soon as possible.
The year which we have left behind has brought little positive touch to the global proliferation predicament which we all seek to bring under control, Today, as ever before, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery means is a growing tangible threat facing all our nations. Since our last meeting in Geneva, we witnessed new unfortunate missile tests in different parts of the world. As a country situated in a region which bears high risks of proliferation, we have followed these developments with deep concern. It is our sincere wish that these tests would not lead to a new arms race in the regions concerned. We call on all States who have not yet done so, to sign, ratify and implement all the international instruments dealing with non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery means.
With regard to the 1995 Conference's call for the establishment of additional nuclear weapon free zones by the time of the 2000 Review Conference, we support every initiative to set up such zones on the basis of arrangements freely entered into by the regional States concerned. In our view, nuclear weapon free zones, where appropriate, are important for nuclear nonproliferation and indeed serve as regional contribution to the efforts of strengthening global peace and security. We therefore welcome the support received by the initiative of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan to establish a NWFZ in Central Asia. We also hope that the efforts to establish such a zone in the Middle East, a region with which we have deep-rooted historical and cordial ties will result with success.
As will be recalled, during the 2. Preparatory meeting in Geneva last year, my country submitted a proposal on the physical protection of nuclear material. After long discussions, a paragraph was inserted to the Chairman's working paper No: 2 on this issue.
We believe that in, order to strengthen measures to combat illicit trafficking of nuclear materials, the State parties should invite all States to implement the IAEA's recommendations on the physical protection of nuclear material and should urge all States parties to undertake a review of the Convention on the physical protection of nuclear materials at the earliest time with the aim of strengthening and broadening its scope.
It is our wish to see this proposal to be included in the final report of our meeting. I would like to underline that consultations on this issue should be open-ended so that all delegations that wish to do so can fully participate in the discussions and make their contributions.
We are of the opinion that export/import control regimes continue to play a crucial role in preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction as well as dual use goods and materials used in the production of such weapons.
My country has already established at the national level the necessary export control system for nuclear and radioactive materials in accordance with her obligations stemming from various agreements and arrangements. This framework also meets the requirements of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to which Turkey is about to become a full member. It is also our intention to join the Zangger Committee as well as the Australia Group in the nearest future.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, my delegation looks forward to a productive Preparatory Committee meeting. We are prepared to working over the coming days with other NPT partners to achieve fruitful results.
Thank you Mr. Chairman.