EXPRESSION OF SYMPATHY IN CONNECTION WITH THE BOMB ATTACK AT OKLAHOMA CITY
GENERAL DEBATE (continued)
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The meeting was called to order at 3.15 p.m.
EXPRESSION OF SYMPATHY IN CONNECTION WITH THE BOMB ATTACK AT OKLAHOMA CITY
1. The PRESIDENT expressed to the people and Government of the United States the sympathy of the delegations of States participating in the Conference, in connection with the terrorist attack on the previous day at Oklahoma City.
2. Mrs. ALBRIGHT (United States of America) thanked the delegations of States participating in the Conference for their expressions of sympathy and their offers of assistance.
GENERAL DEBATE (continued)
3. Mr. GRAHAM (New Zealand) said that the non-proliferation Treaty had achieved its main objective since it had helped to prevent the horizontal proliferation of nuclear weapons. He commended the wisdom of such States as Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and South Africa which had abandoned an existing nuclear capability and acceded to the Treaty, which currently had 178 States Parties.
4. That success, however, should not obscure the fact that, until very recently, progress in disarmament had been much more disappointing and the arms race had been allowed to accelerate for some 20 years. There was no doubt that if the decision on the future of the Treaty had had to be taken in 1990, it would have been difficult to decide in favour of an indefinite extension.
5. However, during the past five years, the armaments race had stopped, agreements on the reduction of nuclear arsenals by two thirds had been concluded and negotiations on a comprehensive nuclear-test-ban treaty had progressed. The Conference was therefore opening in a propitious climate and the Parties should take the opportunity to ensure that there was no turning back from the present course of disarmament.
6. Clearly, the declared nuclear-weapon States had a particular responsibility. New Zealand expected them to accelerate the negotiations on a comprehensive nuclear-test-ban treaty, which it hoped could be completed before the end of 1995, which marked the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the United Nations.
7. However, New Zealand noted with concern that one nuclear-weapon State was continuing to conduct tests and another was contemplating the resumption of testing. While welcoming the active participation of China and France in negotiations on a comprehensive test-ban treaty, he hoped that they would do nothing to jeopardize the early conclusion of those negotiations.
8. Progress had also been made in the area of the production of fissile materials for the manufacture of nuclear weapons with the establishment by the Disarmament Conference of an ad hoc committee to deal with that question. The negotiations would certainly be lengthy and difficult, but an agreement would be an important step towards a situation in which the total elimination of nuclear weapons could be negotiated. The Conference of the Parties to the Treaty should commit themselves to the negotiations, as they contributed to the fulfilment of the obligations undertaken by the nuclear-weapon States under article VI of the Treaty.
9. With regard to the Treaty of Rarotonga, under which a nuclear-weapon-free zone had been established in the South Pacific in 1986, his delegation appealed to the signatories strongly to endorse the objectives of that Treaty, and it urged all nuclear-weapon States to accept the obligations set out in the Protocols to the Treaty. Russia and China had already signed Protocols II and III, and it was to be hoped that the United States, the United Kingdom and France would soon be in a position to accept them too, as well as the Protocol relating to the stationing of nuclear weapons in territories of the South Pacific for which they were responsible.
10. Turning to the question of security assurances, he welcomed the announcements made recently by the five nuclear-weapon States and the decisions taken by the Security Council. The time had come to negotiate an instrument setting out the assurances to non-nuclear-weapon States pending the elimination of those weapons. New Zealand urged the rapid re-establishment of the Ad Hoc Committee on negative security assurances, which would provide a forum for negotiations.
11. Much of the progress made in nuclear disarmament in the past few years had been the result of bilateral negotiations. New Zealand had warmly welcomed the START I and START II agreements, but it would also hope that all five nuclear-weapon States would indicate how they intended to continue the process of nuclear disarmament. It would not be enough to adopt a convention banning the military production of fissile materials. Efforts should also be made to negotiate a verifiable agreement banning the production of nuclear weapons and putting an end to vertical proliferation. The United States and Russia had stated that their bilateral arms race had ended, and therefore the situation seemed favourable for further progress.
12. Concluding his remarks on article VI, he expressed the hope that the final document adopted by the Conference would reflect the importance of the issues he had mentioned. That document should provide for the strengthening of other fields of activity covered by the Treaty, such as trade and cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and the safeguards system. It should thus endorse the work undertaken by IAEA since 1990 to strengthen its safeguards system, particularly under Programme 93 + 2; reiterate the principle, adopted by the Parties in 1990, that the non-nuclear-weapon States should not receive nuclear supplies unless they agreed to make all their nuclear operations subject to IAEA safeguards, and provide guidance in respect of the management of fissile materials resulting from the dismantling of nuclear weapons.
13. On that point, New Zealand welcomed the United States decision to put excess fissile material under IAEA safeguards and the efforts made by the States of the former Soviet Union to deal with nuclear materials in their territory. On the other hand his country was very concerned at reports of trafficking in nuclear materials. Effective national systems of control and accountancy were needed and, at the international level, there should be cooperation enabling that problem to be solved. Greater transparency was also needed in all matters relating to the management of plutonium and highly enriched uranium.
14. He felt that the Treaty would be considerably strengthened in the fields he had mentioned if the Conference reached agreement on each of those issues and on the progress to be made under article VI. In conclusion, he recalled that when the General Assembly had adopted the Treaty in 1968, his country had made it clear that the Treaty should not be regarded as an isolated measure. That position remained unchanged and, while hoping that the Treaty would soon become universal, New Zealand looked forward to the day when a world without nuclear weapons became a reality.
15. Mr. PETERSEN (Denmark) endorsed the statement made by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of France on behalf of the European Union and the six Eastern European States associated with the Union, and said that he was in favour of an indefinite and unconditional extension of the Treaty.
16. Denmark believed that the amount of disarmament undertaken should not obscure the fact that the risks of proliferation had increased and that international control was needed more than ever before. Although imperfect, the Treaty had none the less scored many successes, since 178 States had become signatories, the number of nuclear-weapon States had not grown and the fact that the Treaty was now close to universality was increasing the pressure on States that not yet become Parties to it.
17. Referring to the delicate balance between nuclear-weapon States and non-nuclear-weapon States established by the Treaty, he said that, at the Conference which they had held in 1990 in the shadow of the cold war, the parties had been unable to reach a consensus. Since then, considerable progress had taken place in disarmament and the 1995 Conference was meeting under much more favourable auspices.
18. The commitment made by the United States with regard to the banning of nuclear-weapon tests, which Denmark itself had long urged, was particularly laudable. His delegation hoped that the ongoing negotiations would soon be concluded. It also awaited with impatience the fulfilment of the promises that further reductions would be made in the nuclear arsenals following the START Treaties, and the elaboration of a treaty to cut off the production of fissile materials. It would follow closely the work of the Conference on Disarmament on those questions, in particular regarding verification measures in connection with the comprehensive nuclear-test-ban treaty and the elaboration of a convention to cut off the production of fissile materials.
19. On the question of the international safeguards system, he said that the obligation of States parties, under article III of the Treaty, to conclude safeguards agreements with IAEA could allow of no exception. He therefore urged all non-nuclear-weapon States which had not yet done so to place all their nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards. Various States parties to safeguards agreements had failed to meet their commitments in recent years, thereby posing challenges to the safeguards system. Such challenges were unacceptable and the Conference must react by endorsing new measures to strengthen the safeguards system.
20. Similarly, the maintenance of effective export control measures was essential and the guidelines established by the Nuclear Suppliers Group constituted an important element in the international non-proliferation regime. Denmark encouraged all States to apply them. Illicit transfers of nuclear material had recently emerged as a threat to the effectiveness of the safeguards system. Such transfers placed demands on the producing States to impose stricter export controls. In that connection, Denmark welcomed the United States decision to place its excess fissile material under safeguards. Other producers should be encouraged to do the same.
21. It was important to be ambitious. Denmark's ambition was to help to create a consensus in favour of the indefinite extension of the non-proliferation Treaty. If a vote were to be taken, it should be an open vote, in accordance with the democratic principles of political accountability. The decision on extension must in no way be held hostage to the review process. A good and thorough review, however, would undoubtedly work in favour of indefinite extension.
22. Mr. RAVELOMANANTSOA-RATSIMIHAH (Madagascar) said that, since it had regained its independence, Madagascar had paid the greatest attention to all matters relating to world peace and international security. It had, for instance, been among the first 62 States to sign the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which it had ratified on 10 August 1970.
23. The Treaty, which should be universal and to which more than 170 States had already acceded, was an important achievement for the whole international community and it must be carefully preserved. It was, in effect, the only international instrument which entailed disarmament commitments on the part of the nuclear Powers. It also provided a framework for exchanges in the field of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
24. On the basis of that achievement, many countries, in particular developing countries, would be able to receive increased assistance from IAEA in various fields which were important to the enhancement of the well-being of their people, including medicine, agriculture and the environment.
25. As a result of the considerable progress achieved in the field of arms control and disarmament since the end of the cold war, the Conference was being held under favourable auspices. Madagascar hoped that those developments would lead to the early adoption of a treaty establishing a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Africa.
26. With regard to security assurances, the initiatives taken in that connection - in particular the adoption on 11 April of Security Council resolution 984 (1995) - showed that the nuclear Powers were prepared to take into account the legitimate concerns of the non-nuclear-weapon States.
27. The progress which had been achieved should not, however, obscure the fact that the threats of proliferation had not disappeared: the alarming existence of stockpiles of fissile materials opened the way for an evolution which was all the more dangerous in that the world was witnessing a resurgence of regional ambitions and terrorism; the control and verification system of IAEA had shown its limitations; the non-nuclear-weapon States remained without sufficient security assurances; and the transfer of civilian nuclear technology had not kept pace with the expectations of the developing world. In the face of those challenges, the provisions of the Treaty must be strengthened. That would be in the common interest of all States, both nuclear-weapon and non-nuclear-weapon.
28. The continuity of the Treaty, the adoption of practical measures to ensure the implementation of its provisions, the attainment of its objectives and the balance of contracted obligations were elements which would give it renewed vigour and make nuclear disarmament more dynamic. The commitment of the parties, in particular with regard to article VI, would strengthen the conviction that the Treaty would serve the interests of collective security. In order to give greater force to the Treaty, it was essential to adopt a comprehensive nuclear-test-ban treaty in the near future, and to elaborate a legally binding instrument which would provide security assurances for non-nuclear-weapon States and would be binding also on States which were not parties to the Treaty. It was also important to establish a schedule for the elaboration of an agreement prohibiting the production or stockpiling of fissile materials for the manufacture of nuclear weapons.
29. With regard to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, cooperation must be strengthened through the regulation of transfers of technology within the framework of the IAEA safeguards system, the effectiveness of which Madagascar hoped would be enhanced. An appropriate financial contribution should support the transfer of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes to the developing countries which were parties to the non-proliferation Treaty.
30. The non-proliferation Treaty had admittedly not yet attained the desired level of perfection but, since the nuclear Powers had made a commitment to pursue negotiations in good faith with a view to nuclear disarmament and had adopted Security Council resolution 984 (1995), States should take advantage of the exceptionally favourable international context to give the Treaty the permanent status which would promote progress towards its universality.
31. Mr. MAYOR (Switzerland) welcomed the fact that the non-proliferation Treaty was almost universal and that, since the Fourth Review Conference in 1990, some 30 additional States, including two nuclear Powers, two countries which had had military nuclear programmes and three countries which were successors to a nuclear Power, had acceded to it.
32. In assessing the situation with regard to the Treaty, several aspects should be considered. As far as horizontal non-proliferation was concerned, the success achieved was relative. The alarmist predictions that there would be some 20 nuclear States by the end of the century had not come true, but India, Pakistan and Israel had since acquired a military nuclear capacity. In Africa and Latin America, there had been favourable developments, since those two continents should soon become nuclear-weapon-free zones. In the Middle East, the situation was less encouraging, but it was to be hoped that, within the framework of the peace process which had been going on for some time, the Egyptian and Israeli proposals regarding the establishment of a denuclearized zone in the region could be implemented.
33. With regard to vertical non-proliferation and disarmament, the results obtained were clearly less conclusive. The two nuclear super-Powers had admittedly agreed to make substantial reductions in their arsenals, but the number of warheads was almost the same as 25 years earlier and their effectiveness was much greater.
34. The Conference would provide an appropriate opportunity for States to reaffirm their commitment to eliminate weapons of mass destruction within a specific time-frame. In the absence of further progress in that field, the delicate compromise reached between the nuclear-weapon and non-nuclear-weapon States during the negotiation of the Treaty would be imperilled. It was in the interests of all countries that the START II Treaty should be speedily ratified and put into force. It was also necessary that nuclear weapons should be dismantled in a safe manner and that the resulting fissile material should be placed under international control. It was important to ensure that such material could never again be used for weapons production.
35. The cut-off in the production of fissile material for explosive devices would be a valuable supplement to the dismantling of existing weapons. In that regard, Switzerland welcomed the establishment by the Conference on Disarmament of an ad hoc committee with the mandate to negotiate a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. It hoped, however, that that mandate had not been adopted merely to pacify States with an eye to the current Conference, but testified to the desire to obtain speedy results.
36. The negative security assurances were another field in which the non-nuclear-weapon States remained dissatisfied. The nuclear Powers should undertake, unconditionally and unambiguously, and in the context of a multilateral treaty, never to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against States which had renounced them. The absence of such assurances provided arguments to those who viewed the non-proliferation Treaty as inequitable.
37. It was encouraging that negotiations for a comprehensive nuclear-test-ban treaty had begun in 1994 in the context of the Conference on Disarmament. However, Switzerland was disheartened by the lack of progress achieved to date and considered that the idea of providing for exceptions to the general prohibition was incompatible with the spirit of article VI. Whatever the motives and arrangements for such exceptions, it would leave lingering doubts over the will to ensure that nuclear tests would never again take place.
38. The example of Iraq having demonstrated the need to strengthen the system of safeguards, Switzerland welcomed the fact that IAEA had taken specific measures promptly and that it was no longer satisfied with simple, regular inspection of declared installations.
39. Switzerland had never doubted the need to establish a sound and reliable non-proliferation regime. That was why it had immediately ruled out the option of extending the Treaty for a single additional period. The choice between the other two options (indefinite extension and several renewable additional periods) had been a difficult one, since each of the two formulas presented undeniable advantages and would in principle be acceptable. The option of unconditional extension for an indefinite period seemed, in current circumstances, to be the most suitable means of gathering the support needed for a strong non-proliferation regime. It was essential that the decision to extend the Treaty should be taken speedily and with a sizeable majority, since a weak majority would not augur well for the future of the Treaty.
40. Switzerland's vote would, however, be accompanied by the earnest hope that the nuclear Powers would fully honour their pledges and would give tangible signs without delay of their will to eliminate nuclear weapons. Switzerland hoped that, before the review conference in the year 2000, treaties on the complete prohibition of nuclear tests and on a cut-off in the production of fissile material for explosive devices would be in force. Furthermore, the five nuclear Powers would need to have reached agreement on a timetable for progressive and substantial reductions in their arsenals.
41. Mr. WIN MRA (Myanmar) said that the Treaty had undoubtedly curbed nuclear proliferation. Without it, the number of nuclear-weapon States would have been much greater. Those achievements had been somewhat undermined, however, by the size of nuclear arsenals. Yet nuclear non-proliferation was not an end in itself; it was but one step towards complete cessation of the nuclear-arms race and, ultimately, general and complete disarmament. The obligations of the nuclear-weapon States in that regard were clearly stipulated. It was encouraging that the two major nuclear Powers had started to dismantle their installations and destroy their nuclear warheads, but the current Conference should provide an opportunity for them to commit themselves anew to the elimination of nuclear weapons within a reasonable time-frame.
42. With regard to horizontal non-proliferation, the Treaty was a resounding success: the non-nuclear-weapon States parties had faithfully fulfilled their obligations by renouncing their sovereign right to possess nuclear weapons. That sacrifice should not, however, deprive them of their inalienable right to develop the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, provided that their nuclear activities were subjected to the IAEA safeguards system.
43. Although there were now over 170 States parties to the Treaty, it was not yet truly universal. In his delegation's view, scrupulous observance by the nuclear-weapon States of their Treaty obligations would strengthen the credibility of the Treaty and would encourage those States which had not yet done so to accede to it.
44. The security of non-nuclear-weapon States was no less important than that of a nuclear-weapon State. Until nuclear weapons were eliminated, the former were entitled to effective security assurances against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons. To be effective, those security assurances must be in the form of a legally binding international instrument. The basis for such an instrument could be the draft protocol to the Treaty on security assurances submitted by some 12 States, including Myanmar, at the Conference on Disarmament. Security Council resolution 984 (1995) did not obviate the need to conclude an international and legally binding instrument.
45. Nuclear-weapon States and some other States had recommended an indefinite and unconditional extension of the Treaty. Many non-nuclear-weapon States, including Myanmar, did not share that view. They felt that the third option of rolling fixed periods of credible length with a strong review mechanism was the most appropriate option. It would be constructive to work out a modified version of that option by building into it an appropriate decision-making mechanism to move from one fixed period to another. His delegation would pursue that matter further during the Conference in order to work out, together with like-minded countries, an appropriate modality for that option.
46. However, a decision on the extension of the Treaty should be preceded by an extensive review of the Treaty and progress in crucial areas such as nuclear disarmament, a nuclear-test ban, security assurances, a ban on the production of fissile material and access to nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
47. Myanmar, which had acceded to the Treaty in 1992, had just signed the IAEA safeguards agreement. It attached great importance to the global nuclear non-proliferation regime, and considered that the decision to be taken by the Conference concerning the extension of the Treaty must be acceptable to all States parties.
48. Mr. Fostervoll (Norway), Vice-Chairman, took the Chair.
49. Mr. JOKONYA (Zimbabwe) said that non-nuclear-weapon States, in acceding to the non-proliferation Treaty, had done so in the sincere belief that the nuclear-weapon States would scrupulously honour their obligations. Yet over the 25 years of the Treaty's existence nuclear arsenals had continued to grow, without the non-nuclear-weapon States having had either any mechanism or leverage with which to bring pressure to bear on the nuclear-weapon States.
50. The current Conference was the only chance the non-nuclear-weapon States had to evaluate the progress made, to strengthen the provisions of the Treaty and to prevent the legitimization and institutionalization of the dichotomy between nuclear "haves" and "have-nots".
51. Some States parties had conducted a relentless campaign for an indefinite and unconditional extension of the Treaty. It was premature to take such a decision, which might lead to a perpetuation of current imbalances and would erode the voice of non-nuclear-weapon States in nuclear disarmament matters.
52. In common with many others, his delegation supported an extension of the Treaty, but only after it had been transformed into an action-oriented instrument. To that end the review process should identify specific objectives for future years, in particular an immediate cessation of the nuclear arms race, the conclusion and implementation of a nuclear-test-ban treaty, a legally binding commitment on security assurances, and the conclusion of a non-discriminatory and universally applicable treaty banning the production and stockpiling of fissile material for nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices.
53. Promises were not guarantees, and it was hard to see how the non-nuclear-weapon States could be reassured by mere statements of intent, since the nuclear-weapon States had very reluctantly adopted a watered-down Security Council resolution on security assurances. Nuclear-weapon States had an obligation, within the framework of a binding legal instrument, to provide unconditional security assurances on the non-use or threat of use of nuclear weapons against States which had renounced such weapons. They should also respect the international accords that had given birth to nuclear-weapon-free zones and should fully support denuclearization initiatives.
54. With regard to the extension of the Treaty, Zimbabwe questioned the intentions of nuclear-weapon States and other developed countries that made constant reference to indefinite and unconditional extension, whereas the Treaty referred only to indefinite extension.
55. The fact that 178 States were parties to the Treaty was by no means an indication that the Treaty in its present form should be made permanent. It demonstrated, rather, that the international community was firmly convinced of the need for nuclear disarmament and in due course total and general disarmament.
56. Restricted measures outside IAEA safeguards should not be used as tools to impede the peaceful use in some countries of nuclear technology for civilian purposes. It was vital for all States parties to the Treaty that had signed the IAEA safeguards agreement to have unobstructed access to nuclear technology.
57. Zimbabwe, like others, was fully persuaded that there should be no hurry to immortalize an inadequate treaty. Rather, the opportunity presented by the Conference should be used to strengthen the provisions of the Treaty and make good its deficiencies. He trusted that the conclusion of their deliberations would ensure that each and every State, large or small, nuclear or non-nuclear, had a decisive say in the deliberations on the prospects for nuclear disarmament.
58. Mrs. RODRIGUES (Mozambique) said that the end of the cold war offered an opportunity to reaffirm the support of the international community for a treaty which for more than 25 years had been an important instrument in preventing the spread of nuclear weapons. For its part, Mozambique, since its accession to independence, had fought for a world free of nuclear weapons where peace would reign. From the outset Mozambique had incorporated in its Constitution the principle that Africa should be a nuclear-weapon-free zone and the Indian Ocean a zone of peace. The Treaty had become quasi-universal, which meant that most countries in the world were committed to the ideal of non-proliferation, and that non-nuclear-weapon States were voluntarily refraining from acquiring nuclear weapons.
59. For that reason Mozambique supported an indefinite extension of a treaty which had proved its value and effectiveness. The discussion on the duration of the Treaty did not, however, address the heart of the matter. The main concern was, rather, the inequalities and imbalances reflected in the Treaty. For it to become a credible and effective instrument for peace and disarmament it would be necessary, in the view of Mozambique and most other non-nuclear-weapon States, for a number of conditions to be met, namely, the attainment of complete and general nuclear disarmament, the conclusion of a comprehensive test-ban treaty, the adoption of positive and negative security assurances in a legally binding instrument, and respect for the international legal instruments creating nuclear-weapon-free zones.
60. The nuclear non-proliferation regime was not an end in itself. Article VI of the Treaty, which called for negotiations in good faith leading to the cessation of the nuclear-arms race and the conclusion of a comprehensive disarmament treaty, had remained largely unimplemented. Similarly, a comprehensive test ban remained elusive despite the fact that its importance was universally recognized and even if the ongoing negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament were encouraging.
61. As far as security assurances were concerned, Mozambique welcomed adoption by the Security Council of its resolution 984 (1995), which, together with Security Council resolution 255 (1968), constituted a welcome initiative on the part of the nuclear-weapon States. Nevertheless the resolution fell short of providing the assurances demanded by the non-nuclear-weapon States, in particular those in the non-aligned movement.
62. Regarding the work of the International Atomic Energy Agency, she expressed the support of her country for an institution which had proved to be the best instrument to promote international cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Her delegation urged the nuclear-weapon States to take specific steps in that domain, in compliance with articles IV and V of the Treaty. In that regard she congratulated the Republic of South Africa, a neighbouring country, for having given up its nuclear-weapon capability and thereby enhanced not only the stability of southern Africa but also confidence throughout the continent.
63. The foundations of the Non-Proliferation Treaty lay in the symmetric obligations imposed on both nuclear and non-nuclear-weapon States parties. That was why Mozambique supported extension of the Treaty and maintenance of the mechanisms provided for in article VIII, paragraph 3.
64. Mr. ELIASSON (Sweden) said that the main responsibility of the States participating in the Conference was to reaffirm that all nuclear weapons must be eliminated from the face of the earth, in the spirit of the preamble to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The limitless destructive character of nuclear weapons made nuclear disarmament a moral imperative.
65. The Treaty contained the only contractual commitment by nuclear-weapon States to negotiate in good faith on nuclear disarmament. It embodied the pledges by almost all other nations to forgo nuclear weapons. Sweden had renounced the nuclear-weapon option in 1969, having concluded that its own security would be strengthened, and not weakened, if it refrained from acquiring nuclear weapons. That commitment to the goals of the Treaty was supported by the nation as a whole, which welcomed the quasi-universality of the Treaty, which was thus raised to the level of general international law.
66. There had been encouraging developments since the 1960s, when the Treaty had been negotiated. First, the feared emergence of at least 20 nuclear-weapon States had not occurred. Secondly, since 1990, more than 30 States had acceded to the Treaty, and with the accession of China and France in 1992, all the declared nuclear-weapon States were parties. Thirdly, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, which had Soviet nuclear weapons in their territories, had acceded to the Treaty as non-nuclear-weapon States. Lastly, threshold States had given up the nuclear option. South Africa had set an historic example.
67. The non-proliferation regime had three main objectives. The first was to prevent the further spread of nuclear weapons. The NPT had an excellent record in that respect. Even States which were suspected of having nuclear ambitions were not encouraging speculation that they possessed clandestine nuclear weapons. Instead, they were claiming that they would not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons, or that their nuclear programmes were peaceful. Those States should follow the example of South Africa. In connection with the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones, Sweden welcomed recent positive developments regarding the Treaty of Tlatelolco and the question of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Africa.
68. The second objective of the Treaty was international cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The third was, of course, nuclear disarmament. In other words, the NPT was a key to both nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament. The three objectives were mutually reinforcing and should be actively pursued together.
69. Turning to the question of nuclear disarmament, he said that progress had been distressingly absent for a long time in that area. However, START I had been concluded and START II should soon enter into force. That would provide a basis for further disarmament involving all nuclear-weapon States. There had also been recent security assurances given by the five nuclear-weapon States, and a resolution had been adopted on that subject by the Security Council. Those unilateral declarations could form a basis for a multilateral treaty on negative security assurances, and could be further developed into declarations of no first use of nuclear weapons.
70. Sweden also saw encouraging signs in the negotiations at the ongoing Geneva Conference on Disarmament regarding a comprehensive nuclear-test-ban treaty. It was of vital importance for all the States involved in the negotiations to reach agreement before the end of 1995. Sweden appreciated the nuclear-test moratorium being observed by all but one of the nuclear-weapon States. It expected the moratorium to continue until it could be replaced by a treaty banning nuclear tests for ever. The Conference on Disarmament had decided to start negotiations on a treaty on the cut-off of production of fissile weapons materials. Existing stockpiles should also be the subject of those negotiations. Despite all those positive developments, it was still necessary for the delicate balance between commitments to nuclear non-proliferation and to disarmament within the NPT to become a reality.
71. The report entitled "Our Global Neighbourhood" (A/50/79), presented by the Commission on Global Governance, stated: "The international community should reaffirm its commitment to progressively eliminate nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction from all nations, and should initiate a ten to fifteen year programme to achieve this goal." There was no reason to accept the existence of nuclear bombs, when the international community had agreed to ban the others weapons of mass destruction - the chemical and biological weapons. It was reasonable to demand a specific time schedule for nuclear disarmament, along the lines of the START Treaties.
72. With respect to the work of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Sweden urged all States to ensure that the Agency was provided with the resources needed to fulfil its verification task in accordance with the NPT. It endorsed the new measures proposed to strengthen IAEA safeguards. It called for urgent progress towards the separation of military and non-military nuclear activities and facilities in all non-nuclear-weapon States.
73. On the question of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, Sweden recognized the Treaty's contribution to the elimination of the technological gaps between the developed and the developing countries. Preferential treatment should be given to non-nuclear States that were parties to full-scope safeguards agreements with IAEA. Nuclear suppliers had agreed on criteria for technology transfers based on the principle that recipient States should have safeguards agreements with IAEA. Such arrangements did not prevent such States from acquiring and developing nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. It was of fundamental importance to strengthen nuclear safety and radiological protection. Since the 1990 Review Conference, initiatives had been taken to improve the safety of power reactors in Eastern and Central Europe and in the former Soviet Union. Since that should be a priority task, Sweden urged all States to ratify the IAEA Nuclear Safety Convention. It was gratified by progress made in the preparation of a convention on the management of radioactive waste.
74. The final part of his statement would be devoted to the question of the extension of the Treaty. To reach a fair and just decision on that question, the international community should compare commitments with actual achievements. In accordance with article VI of the Treaty, all nuclear-weapon States had undertaken to pursue negotiations in good faith on the cessation of the nuclear-arms race, nuclear disarmament, and general and complete disarmament. In 1995, all declared nuclear-weapon States were parties to the Treaty, and substantial progress had been made in the field of disarmament. The States concerned should establish a specific time schedule for the implementation of disarmament measures. The NPT provided for review conferences every five years. They would serve as future checkpoints to ensure that the commitments of States parties were honoured.
75. There was a question as to what would happen if the Conference failed to extend the Treaty indefinitely. According to the Commission on Global Governance, all nations, whether they possessed nuclear weapons or not, stood to gain from indefinite extension. Failure to extend the NPT indefinitely could seriously compromise the credibility of the non-proliferation regime itself. It could also lead to rapid and uncontrolled proliferation of nuclear weapons. Lastly, it could cause nuclear Powers to undertake unilateral action to prevent proliferation.
76. The international community must not let the Treaty run the risk of expiring. It was of fundamental importance that the commitments to disarmament should be embodied in an international Treaty to which most States had acceded, and that substantial further results should be registered. Uncertainty about the future of the Treaty would not facilitate nuclear disarmament, but might well endanger results that were within reach. Elimination of nuclear weapons was not a technical matter for experts, but a matter of values. After thorough consideration, Sweden had come to the conclusion that the NPT should be extended indefinitely.
77. Ms. MENON (Singapore) said that even though the cold war had ended, the spectre of nuclear proliferation continued to hang over the international community. It was therefore timely that States should come together to review the Treaty aimed at preventing proliferation, and to decide on its future.
78. Singapore supported an indefinite extension of the NPT. It was the only international treaty aimed at containing nuclear proliferation, a goal that was one of the cornerstones of global security. The Treaty was too important to be put under the risk of termination. It provided the best available framework for cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Despite its shortcomings in some areas, it had been successful in containing the spread of nuclear weapons.
79. Singapore agreed that the Treaty should be strengthened. It was not convinced, however, that giving it a limited life-span was the best way to do so. On the contrary, the uncertainty surrounding a limited extension could jeopardize the progress that had already been made in the field of disarmament. It was essential to build up a comprehensive and effective disarmament regime that would ensure a secure and stable environment. At the same time, there was an urgent need for greater efforts by the nuclear-weapon States to meet the objectives of the NPT and to demonstrate unequivocally their resolve.
80. Those States were obligated, under article VI, "to pursue negotiations in good faith" with a view to disarmament. They must make a clear commitment to pursue that goal and redouble their efforts to work towards the early conclusion of disarmament treaties and conventions that would complement the NPT regime, such as a comprehensive test-ban treaty and an agreement on the cessation of production of military fissile materials, and to make declarations providing security assurances to non-nuclear-weapon States. In that connection, his delegation was encouraged by the adoption, on 11 April 1995, of Security Council resolution 984 (1995) concerning security assurances. It had also noted with satisfaction the individual declarations on security assurances made earlier that month by the five nuclear Powers.
81. With regard to article III, his delegation supported all measures to enhance the effectiveness of the IAEA safeguards system. The Conference should look at ways to strengthen the verification of compliance with the Treaty and to promote confidence-building. His delegation would also like to see the establishment of a strong periodic review mechanism to ensure that all parties met their obligations under the Treaty.
82. Mr. Dhanapala (Sri Lanka) resumed the Chair.
83. Mr. VONDRA (Czech Republic) said that, for a quarter of a century, the non-proliferation Treaty had played an irreplaceable role as a barrier against further proliferation of nuclear weapons. When the Treaty had been negotiated in 1968, nuclear weapons had already been added to the arsenals of certain countries and, throughout the cold war era, vertical proliferation of nuclear weapons had continued unabated, posing a serious threat to international security. Nevertheless, the Treaty had proved its effectiveness and viability and had helped to check proliferation. The number of States parties was growing and, in the preceding five years, 39 States, including two nuclear-weapon States and a number of technologically advanced countries, had acceded to the Treaty.
84. His delegation strongly believed that the international community should continue to support the Treaty and that the best way to do that was to make it permanent. There was a need for a permanent guarantee against nuclear proliferation, even if the risk of a global nuclear holocaust had been reduced. Some countries, especially those in areas of tension, might be tempted to acquire nuclear weapons.
85. Major changes had occurred in the world in recent years. The two super-Powers, which had previously confined themselves to mere arms control measures, had begun to make significant reductions in their nuclear arsenals. France and the United Kingdom had scaled down their nuclear-weapon programmes. Four of the five nuclear Powers had been observing a moratorium on nuclear testing for some time.
86. The experience had been that nuclear cooperation had not been unduly hampered by the Treaty; if anything, such cooperation had developed too liberally, affording some States the opportunity to develop their own nuclear-weapon programmes. He underlined the importance of the control activities of IAEA, especially its safeguards, which played a crucial role in the implementation of the non-proliferation Treaty. The discovery of clandestine nuclear-weapon programmes in certain countries highlighted the importance of improving and strengthening safeguards.
87. His country, which had a long tradition of peaceful use of nuclear materials, which offered technical assistance and training to a number of countries in the field of nuclear physics and chemistry and which generated 30 per cent of its electricity at nuclear power plants, was convinced that reliable safeguards did not interfere with the peaceful use of nuclear energy but, on the contrary, created conditions for its wider and safer use. His delegation would like the verification activities of IAEA to be more stringent and nuclear exporters to take additional measures in that regard. His country was prepared to cooperate with IAEA in developing and implementing effective measures to prevent illicit trafficking in nuclear materials.
88. His delegation firmly supported the indefinite and unconditional extension of the Treaty. Even so, it recognized the desirability of additional nuclear-arms control measures, namely, the early achievement of a comprehensive test-ban treaty and a ban on the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices. His delegation welcomed the efforts of the Conference on Disarmament. Although it participated in the Conference only as an observer, it contributed to the work of its group of governmental experts and had offered to make available a highly sensitive seismic station for verifying compliance with the future comprehensive test ban.
89. On the subject of security assurances to non-nuclear-weapon States, his country had voted in favour of resolution 984 (1995), adopted unanimously by the Security Council on that matter. He also noted with satisfaction that important measures had been taken in the field of nuclear disarmament, especially in recent years. The START I Treaty, when fully implemented, would lead to a significant reduction of American and Russian nuclear arsenals; it was to be hoped that the START II Treaty would be ratified soon and that further measures of nuclear disarmament would be agreed upon. Another encouraging development was the fact that for the first time in history serious negotiations on a comprehensive test-ban treaty had been initiated in Geneva with the participation of all the nuclear-weapon States. Far from hindering efforts to work out such a treaty, the extension of the non-proliferation Treaty would create a climate more conducive to the conclusion of a test-ban treaty and the adoption of further nuclear disarmament measures.
90. As to progress at the regional level, he welcomed the decision taken by the Government of South Africa to forgo its military nuclear potential and to accede to the non-proliferation Treaty. It was also encouraging that Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan had decided to accede to the Treaty as non-nuclear-weapon States. He noted with satisfaction Cuba's decision to accede to the Treaty of Tlatelolco, thereby helping to strengthen the nuclear-weapon-free zone in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the solemn commitments given by Argentina and Brazil to renounce any intention of acquiring nuclear weapons.
91. His delegation associated itself fully with the statement made by France on behalf of the European Union and, in particular, the conclusion that what was expected of the States parties was the consolidation of the non-proliferation regime and the confirmation of the disarmament process. His country therefore favoured extending the non-proliferation Treaty indefinitely and unconditionally.
92. Mr. GERVAIS (Côte d'Ivoire) said that the 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons should serve to consolidate the important progress made over the preceding 25 years and to reinforce the achievements made in the area of nuclear disarmament. The primary task was to confirm the new spirit of peace that had emerged in a world which for decades had lived under the threat of thermonuclear war. It was also a matter of adopting a hopeful measure reflecting the aspirations of the entire international community for a new culture of peace.
93. The current international political situation offered a unique opportunity to put an end to the nuclear-arms race. Africa, for its part, on which a heavy toll had already been taken by history, was participating fully in efforts under the auspices of the Organization of African Unity and the United Nations to promote the signing of a treaty to make the African continent a nuclear-weapon-free zone. His country had made peace one of its guiding principles and supported that objective without reservation. It intended to sign the treaty in question which should reinforce the non-proliferation Treaty through a solemn step inspired by article VI.
94. His country believed that the only way to dispel the threat of a nuclear holocaust was for States to accede to the non-proliferation Treaty, as 178 had already done, and to strengthen the provisions of the Treaty which dealt with cooperation, in particular those in article V concerning the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. In addition, it saw a need to extend the Treaty indefinitely and considered that the declarations on security assurances recently made in the Security Council by certain nuclear-weapon States were useful commitments which should be reinforced in the context of a Treaty whose permanence was ensured.
The meeting rose at 5.45 p.m.