This record contains the original text of speeches delivered in English and interpretations of speeches delivered in the other languages. Corrections should be submitted to original speeches only. They should be incorporated in a copy of the record and be sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned, within 10 days of the date of the meeting, to the Chief of the Verbatim Reporting Service, Room C-178. Corrections will be issued after the end of the Conference in a consolidated corrigendum.
The meeting was called to order at 12.10 p.m.
The President: I apologize to all delegations for the delay in convening this meeting, but I assure them that it was for very good reasons. Consultations were taking place amongst delegations to ensure that our work should progress smoothly. We also commence a little after high noon to intensify the drama of the occasion.
Consideration of and action on proposals before the Conference
The President: In connection with agenda item 19 Decision on the extension of the Treaty as provided for in article X, paragraph 2 article X, paragraph 2, of the Treaty states as follows:
"Twenty-five years after the entry into force of the Treaty, a conference shall be convened to decide whether the Treaty shall continue in force indefinitely, or shall be extended for an additional fixed period or periods. This decision shall be taken by a majority of the Parties to the Treaty."
Representatives will recall that, at the 14th plenary meeting, it was decided that the deadline for the submission of proposals on the extension should be 5 May 1995 at 6 p.m. Three proposals were presented to the secretariat before the expiration of the deadline. These proposals are contained in documents NPT/CONF.1995/L.1/Rev.1, submitted by Mexico; NPT/CONF.1995/L.2, submitted by Canada on behalf of 103 States Parties and subsequently sponsored by 8 additional States Parties; and NPT/CONF.1995/L.3, submitted by Indonesia and 10 States Parties and subsequently sponsored by 3 additional States Parties.
All delegations have had time to consider these draft resolutions fully and I thank the sponsors for their initiatives. Meanwhile, the Conference has also been working on three other documents. These are: a draft decision on strengthening the review process for the Treaty, as contained in document NPT/CONF.1995/L.4; a draft decision on principles and objectives for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, as contained in document NPT/CONF.1995/L.5; and a draft decision on the extension of the Treaty, as contained in document NPT/CONF.1995/L.6.
These three documents are the end result of considerable discussion over long hours. Those discussions drew on the substance of draft resolution NPT/CONF.1995/L.1 and draft decision L.2 and L.3. I personally presided over those consultations, and I should like to thank sincerely all the delegations that contributed to them. Given the large number of delegations 175, to be exact participating in this Conference, it may not have been possible for every one of the delegations to be present at the consultations. However, representatives of the main political groups or the coordinators did attend them, and I have been assured that they have kept their respective memberships informed of the progress of work in the consultations.
Throughout the consultations, I enjoyed the fullest possible cooperation of all delegations, which displayed a constructive attitude towards seeking common ground on extremely complex issues. The atmosphere that prevailed has been excellent, and this has contributed to strengthening the spirit of the Treaty.
In conducting the consultations, I benefited also from the statements made by delegations during the general debate and from the individual meetings I had the pleasure of having with a large number of delegations. These views have been reflected in the documents. All this has contributed in ample measure to the three draft decisions before us which, I believe, together represent a fair and equitable balance of interests on the issues before us.
A word of explanation about the final paragraph of draft decision NPT/CONF.1995/L.5: it refers to the Final Declaration of the Conference. This will, of course, depend on what documents are eventually adopted as the final product of this Conference.
The documents before representatives provide, in my humble opinion, an excellent basis for an understanding on principles and objectives for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, the strengthening of the review process for the Treaty and for the extension of our Treaty. It is also clear that a majority exists in terms of Article X, paragraph 2, relating to the extension. This leads me to conclude that it will not be necessary to resort to a vote on the three draft decisions before us contained in documents NPT/CONF.1995/L.4, L.5 and L.6, as they command the general support of the Conference.
Accordingly, if I hear no objection, I will take it that the draft decisions may be adopted without a vote.
Draft decisions NPT/CONF.1995/L.4, NPT/CONF.1995/L.5 and NPT/CONF.1995/L.6 were adopted.
The President: We have thus completed action on the three draft decisions NPT/CONF.1995/L.4, NPT/CONF.1995/L.5 and NPT/CONF.1995/L.6.
As agreed during my consultations, it is my understanding that the sponsors of draft resolution NPT/CONF.1995/L.1/Rev.1 and draft decisions NPT/CONF.1995/L.2 and NPT/CONF.1995/L.3 will not pursue any action with regard to their proposals.
I should like to inform representatives that, in accordance with rule 24 of the rules of procedure, another draft resolution was submitted yesterday to the Conference. It is contained in document NPT/CONF.1995/L.8 and is sponsored by the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America. This draft resolution was made available in English to delegations this morning. The text in other languages will be distributed in the course of this meeting.
In light of my consultations, may I, under rule 24 which allows for the possibility propose to the Conference that it act on this draft resolution now, waiving the 24-hours requirement?
It was so decided.
The President: With the consent of the sponsors of the draft resolution, I should like to introduce a change in operative paragraph 1 of draft resolution NPT/CONF.1995/L.8. The amended paragraph will now read as follows:
"Endorses the aims and objectives of the Middle East peace process and recognizes that efforts in this regard, as well as other efforts, contribute to, inter alia, a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons as well as other weapons of mass destruction;"
It is my understanding that there is general agreement on draft resolution NPT/CONF.1995/L.8, as orally amended. I should like therefore to propose that we adopt this draft resolution without a vote.
Draft resolution NPT/CONF.1995/L.8, as orally amended, was adopted.
The President: I should now like to call on those representatives who have inscribed their names on the list of speakers for an explanation of their positions. I should like to remind delegations of the recommendation that those statements should not exceed seven minutes.
Mr. Hussamy (Syrian Arab Republic) (interpretation from Arabic): Kindly allow me to express my country's position on the documents adopted by the Conference. We should like our position to be set forth in the formal record of this meeting.
First, concerning decisions NPT/CONF.1995/L.4, L.5 and L.6, the indefinite extension of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) means that the loopholes and shortcomings recognized by most States Parties to the Treaty shall henceforth be remedied entirely through the good faith of nuclear States Parties in the fulfilment of the obligations incumbent upon them under the provisions of the Treaty. However, regardless of the real reasons that prompted the majority of States to take the decision to extend the Treaty in this manner, unanimity or near-unanimity has clearly crystallized in the course of the deliberations within the Conference and its committees, as well as within the different regional groups, as regards the achievement of the universality of this Treaty needed to give it the credibility it requires in order to attain its objectives.
Accordingly, the Syrian Arab Republic believes that the clear failure to obtain the universality of the Treaty is a matter that cannot be merely accepted or left to be remedied by the good will of the States Parties. That would mean leaving nuclear weapons and programmes out of the international non-proliferation system and international control, particularly in the Middle East region, the security and stability of which are considered an essential component of international peace and security.
This Conference provided a unique historic opportunity an opportunity not heeded by Israel to accede to the Treaty and to participate with the other States of the region in transforming the Middle East into a region free of nuclear weapons and all weapons of mass destruction. The Syrian Arab Republic cannot therefore agree to the extension of the Treaty unless Israel accedes to the Treaty and agrees to subject its nuclear installations to the safeguards and inspection system of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The Syrian Arab Republic, which has underlined its concern for the security and stability of the region, was one of the first States to accede to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and has remained faithful to the commitments proceeding from the provisions of that Treaty for the past 25 years. The Syrian Arab Republic cannot accept Israel's remaining outside this Treaty, particularly when everyone knows that Israel does have an arsenal of nuclear weapons, that it continues to occupy large areas of its neighbours' territories, that it defies the resolutions of the United Nations, and that it behaves as if it were above international law.
This position on the part of Syria does not stem from our desire or intention to set aside the objectives of this Treaty. Rather, it stems from our absolute rejection of the existence of nuclear weapons in Israel's hands, which may threaten security and stability in the region and the world. This should be rejected by the international community also.
As for the decision on the draft resolution contained in document NPT/CONF.1995/L.8, despite the clear commitment of the Syrian Arab Republic to the peace process, despite its serious endeavours through bilateral talks to reach a just and comprehensive peace in the region, despite its call and long-standing proposal to transform the Middle East into a region free from all weapons of mass destruction, and particularly nuclear weapons, the Syrian Arab Republic cannot agree to this draft until and unless Israel accedes to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and until Israel places its nuclear installations under the safeguards system of the IAEA. In the absence of such action, the resolution will remain devoid of any meaning.
Mr. Abu Odeh (Jordan) (interpretation from Arabic): I should like to explain the position of my delegation as regards the resolution that has been adopted.
First of all, Jordan was one of the first signatories of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and Jordan has always been concerned that the Treaty should continue to play its important role in the maintenance of the regime of the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and the attainment of the lofty objectives of complete nuclear disarmament so that we may be able to achieve a world that is completely rid of such weapons.
Secondly, as regards the Middle East, Jordan believes that it would be difficult to achieve a global, just and lasting peace if Israeli nuclear installations remained and if they continued to be unsafeguarded. It is for this reason that, in accordance with what has been achieved with regard to peace, Jordan asks that Israel accede to the Treaty and that it place all of its nuclear installations under the control of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Thirdly, as I have stated, the danger that flows from the presence of Israeli nuclear installations that are not subjected to Agency control affects Jordan's life in two ways regional security and the pursuit of the peace process, on the one hand, and the security of the inhabitants of Jordan, which is linked to the existence of Israeli nuclear installations found close to places where Jordanians live, on the other.
Fourthly, Jordan's decision to participate in the adoption of draft resolution NPT/CONF.1995/L.3 is the expression of our concern that the Treaty continue to exist and reflects our desire for universality and the attainment of the noble objectives underlying the Treaty with a view to achieving a world completely free of nuclear weapons.
Fifthly, as regards draft resolution NPT/CONF.1995/L.8 on the Middle East, my delegation supported the draft resolution despite its lacunae and shortcomings, although Jordan would have liked it to contain a clear and unambiguous statement calling upon Israel to accede to the Treaty and to subject all its nuclear installations to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards.
However, this objective could not be realized during the negotiations and, in order to ensure peace in the region and the universality of the Treaty, we once again call upon Israel to participate in stopping nuclear weapons.
On behalf of my delegation, I call upon Israel seriously to work to facilitate the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East in order to strengthen peace in the region and in the world and to attain a world without nuclear weapons.
Sixthly, Jordan's decision does not mean that we are giving up our conviction that the best solution is to be found in draft decision L.3, but we have deferred to the wishes of the majority and have also recognized the positive elements contained in the President's package.
Mr. Agam (Malaysia): Let me at the outset, state categorically that the decision on the indefinite extension of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) does not have the consensus of the Conference. We would have preferred that a vote had been taken by secret ballot to enable States Parties to decide with their conscience. We believe that the outcome would have been different. Our position as comprehensively stated on 18 April 1995 remains.
Malaysia has consistently supported all actions and efforts towards complete and general disarmament. In this regard, we have always maintained the need to strengthen the non-proliferation regime to prevent horizontal and vertical proliferation, as well as undertake on an urgent basis tangible measures towards nuclear disarmament for all times. Like all peace-loving nations, we too desire the outlawing of nuclear weapons the most horrendous weapons of mass destruction invented by humankind to date. It remains our determination and resolve that nuclear weapons be outlawed in the same way that chemical weapons and biological weapons have been outlawed. The outlawing of these weapons of mass destruction would be a major contribution towards international peace and security.
Even as we speak today, 25 years after the signing of the NPT, stockpiles of nuclear weapons are far greater than when the NPT was originally signed. Two of the major nuclear-weapon States have a total of 40,000 warheads today, compared with 38,700 in 1970. The combined stockpiles of the other nuclear-weapon States have grown from 400 total warheads in 1970 to almost 1,200 today. The explosive power of two tons of TNT for every person on earth remains in the arsenals to haunt us, even as 1 billion people live in abject poverty and as the vast majority of humankind clamour for a development agenda. More than 1,200 tons of fissile material, the most dangerous substance on earth, remain stockpiled in nuclear-weapon States. With the cold war over, who are these warheads targeted at? What is their purpose and relevance today?
My delegation and other like-minded delegations have worked assiduously to ensure that the decisions that the Conference has today adopted provide a firm basis for monitoring and evaluating the performance of the nuclear-weapon States' compliance with the provisions of the Treaty, in particular, that of article VI. We and other like-minded countries had introduced, for inclusion in the draft final declaration and in the decision to principles and objectives, language that would firmly commit the nuclear-weapon States to taking specific nuclear disarmament measures. Regrettably, our efforts met with strong and determined resistance from the nuclear-weapon States and their supporters. Seemingly confident of numbers, the nuclear-weapon States rebuffed the publicly-shared need and desire for setting specific and time-bound objectives regarding such issues as the comprehensive test-ban treaty (CTBT), fissile material cut-off, elimination of nuclear weapons and effective review mechanism. We cannot in all conscience agree that our deliberations and this decision have advanced humanity's desire for an immediate end to nuclear proliferation and armaments and their ultimate elimination.
Numbers have been bandied about to cow those committed to non-proliferation and disarmament. Although the NPT itself provides options regarding extension, advocates of indefinite extension would have nothing else and would let nothing stand in their way. In reality, indefinite extension provides a carte blanche to the nuclear-weapon States and does not serve as an incentive towards universality. Indefinite extension justifies nuclear weapons and might be interpreted as legalizing nuclear-weapon States for eternity. Indefinite extension fundamentally weakens all efforts towards the elimination of nuclear weapons.
My delegation continues to believe that global peace and security will be best served not by an indefinite extension of the Treaty but by extension for fixed periods. In this context, we, together with a number of other countries, had introduced a draft decision for a 25-year rolling period. This would have in effect provided indefinite extension, and yet given the States Parties a legal basis to continue to review the performance of all parties, including the compliance of the nuclear-weapon States in particular with article VI. Any other decision would be tantamount to abandoning a historic moment to free ourselves from the nuclear-weapon blackmail and safeguard the interests of current and future generations.
Notwithstanding our disappointment, Malaysia remains committed to the NPT, to which we attach vital importance as an instrument to check nuclear proliferation in all its forms. We will work to ensure that the nuclear-weapon States Parties fully discharge their Treaty obligations and are accountable to all States Parties to the Treaty; indeed, to humanity itself.
Mr. Sha Zhukang (China) (interpretation from Chinese): The Conference has just adopted three important decisions. We have decided, without a vote, to extend the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) indefinitely, and we have adopted decisions on the principles and objectives for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament and on strengthening the review process for the Treaty. These positive results will have an important and far-reaching bearing on the future. We commend the untiring efforts and the spirit of compromise on the part of all States Parties. In this regard, the delegation of China would like to express its gratitude to the President of the Conference, Ambassador Dhanapala, who, with his outstanding talent and rich diplomatic experience, has fulfilled the important mission entrusted to him with distinction and has made a vital contribution to the agreement reached by the Conference. I should also like to thank the Chairmen of the various committees and the other members of the Bureau for their efforts towards the success of the Conference.
From the very beginning of the whole process, China has worked resolutely for the smooth extension of the Treaty and has strongly called for the adoption of the extension decision by consensus. China has made energetic efforts towards this end. It has been our firm belief that we, as States Parties, share the same objective of strengthening the Treaty and that there are more agreements than differences among us. The differences we have can be resolved through constructive cooperation. This has provided the basis for the agreement we have reached and has been true for the extension of the Treaty, as it will be for our future strengthening of the review and implementation of the Treaty. We hope that all States Parties will continue to be guided by the same spirit and that we can complete our work on the final declaration of the Conference.
The indefinite extension of the Treaty reaffirms its role in the new international situation. It also reaffirms the three objectives of the Treaty, namely, promotion of nuclear disarmament, prevention of nuclear-weapon proliferation and enhancement of international cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The other two decisions adopted by the Conference, for their part, manifest the fact that the strengthened and full implementation of the Treaty is conducive to the maintenance of international peace and security and represents the common demand and interest of all States Parties.
The NPT was concluded 25 years ago under the historical conditions then prevailing, and it has its limitations and defects. It is unbalanced in certain aspects. The results of the review and the decisions adopted by the Conference show that such limitations and defects can be redressed and rectified through continued progress in nuclear disarmament and enhanced cooperation between countries in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. In the course of the Conference various delegations put forward many suggestions on how to realize the objectives of the Treaty, and they will be a sound basis for an enhanced and comprehensive implementation of the Treaty. China stands ready to join all other States Parties in seeking effective ways to achieve the full implementation of the objectives of the Treaty and will make its own positive contribution to that end.
The prevention of nuclear-weapon proliferation is not an end in itself but an intermediate step towards the ultimate objective of the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. In our view, the unanimous decision on the indefinite extension of the Treaty reaffirms the Treaty's objective of nuclear disarmament and should in no way be interpreted as perpetuating the prerogative of the nuclear-weapon States to possess nuclear weapons. The nuclear-weapon States should fulfil their Treaty obligations for nuclear disarmament in good faith. A convention on the complete prohibition of nuclear weapons should be concluded, in the same way as were the Conventions banning all biological and chemical weapons, under which nuclear weapons will be completely prohibited and thoroughly destroyed under effective international supervision. This should be the primary objective of nuclear disarmament. In the meantime, we should conclude as soon as possible a comprehensive nuclear-test-ban treaty, a convention prohibiting the production of fissile materials for nuclear-weapon purposes, a treaty on the non-first-use of nuclear weapons and an international and legally binding instrument unconditionally assuring non-nuclear-weapon States and nuclear-weapon-free zones against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons. All these are essential to the strengthening of the effectiveness and functioning of the Treaty.
In order to realize the objective of the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons, it is necessary for the international community to make further efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. In this regard, China's policies have been clear-cut and consistent. China does not endorse, encourage or engage in nuclear-weapon proliferation. Nor does it assist any other country in developing nuclear weapons. In the field of nuclear exports, we adhere to the following three principles: first, such exports should be exclusively for peaceful purposes; secondly, the exports should be subject to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards; thirdly, such exports should not be retransferred to a third country without China's prior consent. At the same time, we believe that the prevention of nuclear-weapon proliferation should facilitate, rather than impede, the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and should contribute to safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of the developing countries in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. In preventing nuclear-weapon proliferation and utilizing nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, it is inadmissible to apply double standards.
China believes that the promotion of international cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, as one of the three objectives of the Treaty, should constitute an important element in fulfilling NPT obligations. It deserves the same attention as other provisions of the Treaty. We hope that the indefinite extension of the Treaty will further enhance exchanges and cooperation among countries in the field of peaceful uses of nuclear energy to benefit mankind as a whole.
Four weeks ago we came here with an important historic mission. Today, with the concerted efforts of each and every delegation, we have reaffirmed the validity and authority of the NPT. Furthermore, we have decided upon the principles, objectives and mechanism for strengthening the implementation and review of the Treaty. The indefinite extension of the NPT marks a new beginning. It is a call for redoubled efforts to realize the objectives of the NPT in all its aspects, with the goal of the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. Faced with the present historic opportunity, China stands ready to work unremittingly with all other States Parties for the early realization of a nuclear-weapon-free world.
Mr. Gambari (Nigeria): Once more, I have asked to speak to explain my delegation's position on document NPT/CONF.1995/L.6 on extension of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). We respect fully the sovereign right of each State Party to take a position on the extension options contained in article X.2 of the NPT. Therefore, Nigeria cannot stand in the way of the majority of the States Parties that opted for indefinite extension of the Treaty, but we hope sincerely that those States Parties will also be able to respect my delegation's dissenting opinion, based purely on principle.
Nigeria would like to place on record its inability to support the indefinite extension of the Treaty. We remain convinced and strongly believe that in their heart of hearts, and in a free and fair vote, several other States Parties will agree with our position that the best option is the 25-year rolling periods of extension with clearly defined objectives and a programme of action that would keep in focus the accountability of all Parties, nuclear as well as non-nuclear, in relation to the full implementation of their respective obligations under the Treaty.
My delegation believes that any decision on the extension of the NPT must be geared towards strengthening, not weakening, the Treaty, in the interests of international peace and security. In that regard, Nigeria is of the view that the decision to extend the NPT indefinitely without applying to that decision a time-bound programme of nuclear disarmament measures poses grave security risks for present and future generations. First, it removes the urge speedily to pursue negotiations to achieve nuclear disarmament. Secondly, it could very well undermine the goal of universality. Thirdly, it banishes to a remote future the goal of the complete elimination of nuclear weapons.
Furthermore, my delegation is deeply concerned that, as the deliberations of this Conference during the past four weeks have shown, nuclear-weapon States are reluctant to abandon their nuclear doctrines even in an international environment that is now less antagonistic to their security interests and, therefore, ill-suited to such doctrines.
Nigeria was the second signatory of the NPT but we are second to none in scrupulously and faithfully carrying out our obligations under the Treaty. Demonstrating our firm belief in the Treaty, we have also concluded a safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency.
At the regional level, my country and the other members of the Organization of African Unity have intensified efforts for the establishment of an African nuclear-weapon-free zone: an objective that is now within sight. Our actions stem from our country's conviction that an enduring structure of international security cannot be built on the possession of nuclear weapons.
Finally, in spite of our stated inability to support the option of indefinite extension, I wish to reaffirm my country's commitment to the objectives of the NPT and our belief in its viability as the cornerstone of the global non-proliferation regime. Nigeria will continue to cooperate fully with other States Parties in the effort to achieve the goals of the Treaty and a world that is completely free of nuclear weapons.
Mr. Nasseri (Islamic Republic of Iran): Ever since its inception, the Non-Proliferation Treaty has contributed to the cessation of the nuclear arms race and to the process of nuclear disarmament. Its operation has not, however, always been on a par with its objectives, and there have been persistent, major shortcomings that have stubbornly hampered the realization of the purposes of the preamble to and the provisions of the Treaty.
A large number of States Parties, therefore, were hesitant and sceptical when they came to this Conference and were deeply apprehensive about the decision on the manner in which the Treaty was to be extended. It is a known fact that a substantial indeed, a major diplomatic effort was therefore required by the nuclear States Parties and their principal allies to solicit support for the indefinite extension of the Treaty by any means possible. It is true that a majority was eventually achieved through that process, but nevertheless it left many principal quarters unconvinced. Even when support was expressed, reservations or conditions were often attached. That must have raised an alarm and given a signal that, without a firm commitment to the full implementation of the Treaty, its fate would be put at tremendous risk. As a result, the negotiations here followed a more serious course and led to the formulation of the package that has been presented today by the President and adopted at this plenary meeting without a vote.
The declaration on principles and objectives and the decision on the strengthening of the review process have been instrumental in avoiding a vote on the extension. They are part and parcel of the extension decision and have made possible to use the appropriate term the conditional indefinite extension of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Those who had perceived permanency as vital to their security concerns, national interests and political requirements now have the further obligation fully to respect those concerns, interests and requirements in the case of all others.
The basic ground rule in the negotiations was to concentrate on what unites us and not on what divides us. The declaration on principles and objectives was derived directly from the preamble to and the provisions of the Treaty, taking into account today's developments. All States Parties, therefore, are expected to be fully committed to the Treaty's implementation without any reservations. The Treaty's indefinite extension is closely linked to the accountability of nuclear-weapon States in particular, in respect of this set of principles.
With regard to the major themes of the declaration, we wish to reiterate these points: The fundamental objective of the Treaty will be seriously undermined unless universal adherence is achieved. In the Middle East, the Israeli nuclear threat must be checked. We therefore stress the commitment in the declaration to pursue that issue, as well as the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, as a matter of priority. On the basis of this agreement, a demand must be made upon Israel to place all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive safeguard agreements.
Every effort should be made to implement the Treaty in all its aspects to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Of course, that should not hamper in any way the peaceful use of nuclear energy. The declaration recognizes that with the end of the cold war international tension has eased and trust between States has been strengthened. Nuclear disarmament, on the basis of the text of the Treaty, is now substantially facilitated. The related undertaking should therefore be fulfilled with determination. In that context, the comprehensive test-ban treaty should be completed by next year; negotiations on the cut-off treaty should be pursued without delay; and complete elimination of nuclear weapons should become reality through the envisaged programme of action.
The agreement on security assurances is expected to lead quickly to the commencement of negotiations on an internationally, legally-binding instrument to assure non-nuclear-weapon States Parties to the Treaty against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons. The exercise of the inalienable right to develop, carry out research on, produce and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes should be assured for all parties without exception.
Undertakings to facilitate participation in all exchanges related to peaceful use should be fully implemented. Non-nuclear-weapon States Parties to the Treaty should receive preferential treatment on nuclear-related peaceful activities. Export controls should no longer be the exclusive domain of a limited group. All interested States Parties should be able to participate in the formulation of export controls, and those controls should become transparent.
The competent authority responsible for ensuring compliance with safeguards agreements is the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The concerns of States Parties regarding non-compliance should be directed, along with supporting evidence, to the IAEA for consideration, investigation, conclusion and decisions on necessary actions. States' own perceptions about non-compliance, therefore, are not merited unless verified by the IAEA.
Those are the commitments that have been made here, and we take it that they have been made in good faith. They will be made subject to rigorous assessment and evaluation in our review process, which will be reinitiated at the meetings of the 1997 Preparatory Committee, as has been decided.
Before I conclude, let me state that while we fully support the general thrust of the amended draft resolution NPT/CONF.1995/L.8 as, indeed, Israel should be compelled to accede to the NPT and to place its unsafeguarded nuclear facilities under full-scope IAEA safeguards in order that a Middle East nuclear-free-zone can be realized we express, in accordance with our principled positions in this regard, our reservations about references in the draft resolution to the Middle East peace process.
At this stage, I wish to join others who have spoken before me, Mr. President, in the firm acknowledgement of your immense contribution to the successful outcome of this exercise. Your diplomatic skill and vast knowledge and experience, along with your total dedication, played a major role in guiding us to an agreement. This, I am certain, is appreciated by everyone here. Our heartfelt appreciation is also extended to the Secretary-General of the Conference and his very able staff, who worked around the clock to ensure efficiency.
Mr. Lamamra (Algeria) (interpretation from French): Allow me first of all, Mr. President, to express the Algerian delegation's admiration for the outstanding human and professional qualities you have demonstrated in the conduct of the complex tasks of this Conference.
By depositing its instruments of accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) a few months ago, Algeria wanted to show its commitment to the collective work of nuclear disarmament and thereby contribute to the process of universalizing the Treaty. Through that act of faith, which took place at a crucial time, when the validity of the NPT was nearing expiration, Algeria wished to lend its support to responsible collective action aimed at making the NPT an effective nuclear-disarmament instrument and promoting the peaceful uses of atomic energy.
This shows the great hopes that my country, like many others, placed in this Conference, whose objective was, above and beyond the temporary issue of the Treaty's validity and extension, to proceed to an objective and exhaustive evaluation of the Treaty's 25 years of operation. Though it may not have fully lived up to all our expectations, the Conference has nevertheless furnished an opportunity for intensive and rich debate on all disarmament-related issues and nuclear non-proliferation. It has enabled us to reaffirm the validity of the Treaty's objectives and renew the commitments taken on under its provisions, in particular those concerning general and complete disarmament, the transfer of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes and the creation of nuclear-weapon-free zones. The arrangements made for the strengthening and improvement of the Treaty's review mechanism are a promising result, in that they will henceforth provide the States Parties with an opportunity to evaluate more regularly and more closely the progress achieved in the implementation of commitments undertaken under the provisions taken on under the Treaty.
In the especially important area of security assurances for non-nuclear-weapon States, the Conference has taken a welcome step forward by clearly opening up the prospect of concluding a binding international legal instrument on this subject, as the countries of the Non-Aligned Movement have consistently called for.
These results modest, but not inconsiderable take on more significance in the light of the commitments made here and at the highest level by the main nuclear Powers, which have solemnly affirmed that the permanence of the Treaty in no way means perpetuation of the atomic-weapon monopoly, but that it constitutes, rather, a pledge of diligent implementation of a nuclear-disarmament process with a view to the complete elimination of nuclear weapons.
Algeria takes note of these commitments. The perpetuity bestowed upon the Treaty today makes it possible to guarantee from now on the legal permanence and stability necessary for renewed action and, on the basis of the results achieved, for the promotion of a new dynamic ensuring that all the potential contained in this unique legal instrument will be fulfilled.
The responsibility of the nuclear Powers in the implementation of the results of our meetings on this subject is of primary importance, particularly for the purpose of banishing for ever any resort to the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon States. They have a similar responsibility with regard to the realization of the ultimate objective of the NPT, which remains the definitive elimination of nuclear weapons in the framework of a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control. Lastly, they have a responsibility in bringing about the conditions necessary for the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones, particularly in Africa and the Middle East.
In this regard, the Conference's call for the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, a region of tension, and the enshrinement of the achievement of the NPT's universality as an urgent priority for the future action of all States Parties are important, in that they address, with a heightened sense of responsibility, the concern and legitimate interests expressed by all the Arab States.
In that context, the Conference has added a fourth pillar to the results of its work by adopting a specific resolution on the entire problem of non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament in the Middle East, which is designated the favoured geopolitical area for an urgent and decisive breakthrough towards implementing the principle of the NPT's universality. The unequivocal statement of concern by all States Parties to the NPT, including the nuclear-weapon States, over the existence of Israeli nuclear facilities not under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards and the call for all States in the Middle East to accede to the NPT make it everyone's pressing obligation to get Israel to participate in non-proliferation and nuclear-disarmament endeavours.
In this spirit, and in the hope that an NPT strengthened politically by this Conference will become a universal and effective instrument for disarmament and for qualitative and quantitative non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, as well as a powerful vehicle for promoting the uses of nuclear technology for development, Algeria, which has resolutely worked in favour of a consensus outcome that would rally our differing positions around a common commitment to the Treaty, would like to see that all States Parties redouble their efforts to ensure that the four agreements this Conference has reached will become historic milestones on the path towards a world forever free of nuclear weapons.
Mr. Errera (France) (interpretation from French): On behalf of the European Union and its associated countries Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, I welcome the decision we have taken.
And why should we applaud this decision? Because, in the weeks just past, we have seen a sense of solidarity over the Treaty grow with each passing day. The high level of participation, the impressive number of countries that have chosen to accord the Treaty the permanence it used to lack and our common will to expand further what might have been merely a simple majority all show how committed we are to our common asset, the NPT.
We have always been sure that the future of the Treaty should override our differences and even our divisions. However, success was not guaranteed. We are happy that success has been achieved. We are happy that each and every one of us has shown a keen sense of responsibility, thus enabling us to arrive at the important decision we have just taken.
And what will this decision mean in practice? We have not only ensured that the Treaty will be permanent; we have also strengthened the international non-proliferation norm. We have thus helped increase the confidence between States without which there could be no development of the peaceful uses of nuclear technology nor any further progress towards disarmament. The decisions we took on strengthening the review process for the Treaty and on the principles and objectives for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament will help us ensure better implementation of the Treaty.
In so doing, we have just assured the future of the non-proliferation regime. This is also our best opportunity to get the accessions we need to make the Treaty universal.
And to what can we attribute our success? Firstly, to the active participation of all delegations and also to their readiness to take into account the constraints and the imperatives that obtain for each delegation, and also their aspirations, in order to arrive at compromise solutions, including solutions to issues on which positions used to be very far apart. The European Union, for which the extension of the NPT was a priority objective, unreservedly committed itself to this, and it is pleased to have contributed to our common endeavour, in particular by carrying out the specific responsibilities that were entrusted to some of its members under the Treaty review process.
We welcome the initiative by the delegation of the Republic of South Africa and applaud the role it has played not only within the context of the policies we have defined but also in the spirit of dialogue that has characterized our work.
However, our success is attributable primarily to you, Mr. President: you showed us the way and guided us. Under your authority we managed to overcome our differences. It was your exceptional talent that enabled us gradually to bring together the various elements of the decisions we have taken. And it was the moral authority you exerted throughout this Conference that created the confidence that made it possible to bring together such diverse countries. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
The task we have just completed was entrusted to us 25 years ago by men and women who were unaware of the context in which this decision would be taken, but who counted on the wisdom of our assembly. I believe that we have proved worthy of the trust they placed in us.
Mr. Jele (South Africa): At the very outset, my delegation would sincerely like to pay a warm and well-deserved tribute to you, Mr. President, for the momentous decisions we have just adopted. Your commitment and sense of purpose provided the inspiration and direction we needed for our work. Your sensitive and skilful handling of the serious matters before this Conference has also ensured the smooth progress and final success which we are all now able to celebrate.
This remarkable achievement was made possibly only through the deep commitment, flexibility and genuine spirit of conciliation and compromise of each delegation at this Conference. That is why it has been possible, through constructive dialogue and negotiations, to formulate and agree to the decisions just adopted. They reflect the collective desire of all States Parties to promote nuclear disarmament, and emphasize the urgent need to achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world. Our decisions provide us with an interlinked and realistic framework to enable us all faithfully to discharge our obligations and reach the goals enshrined in the Treaty as soon as possible.
We earnestly hope that all States Parties and particularly the nuclear-weapon States will dedicate themselves to the central task of fulfilling the aspirations of their peoples and humanity as a whole to rid the world of the threat of mass destruction. If the commitment of our decisions is followed by concrete action, it will encourage those States that have so far not done so to accede to our Treaty.
On 10 May 1994 the people of South Africa and millions of people the world over rejoiced at the successful transition to a democratic order and the inauguration of our Government of National Unity under President Nelson Mandela. This democratic transformation constitutes, for our people, the firm foundation for peace for which they have yearned for generations.
On 25 May 1994 the United Nations Security Council met to lift the mandatory arms embargo against South Africa, which was imposed in 1977 under the terms of the provisions of Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations because the prevailing system of government in our country and the actions carried out by that Government constituted, demonstrably, a threat to international peace and security. In that solemn meeting our Deputy President, Thabo Mbeki, firmly committed our country, as a Member of the United Nations and as a responsible citizen of the world, to living up to its obligations. He also said that democratic South Africa was determined to discharge its responsibilities in an effort to secure peace for ourselves and the peoples of the world.
As our Foreign Minister indicated at the beginning of this Conference, we see the fundamental objective of promoting peace and security as constituting an integral part of our commitment to democracy, human rights, sustainable development, social justice and environmental protection. It is in this context that we are evolving our policy on non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament with a view to achieving the total elimination of all nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.
South Africa believes that the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) should not be placed in jeopardy and that the review and extension process should strengthen not weaken the non-proliferation regime. As our Foreign Minister made clear, we hold the view that the security of individual countries, like our own, and of the international community as a whole would be severely jeopardized if the NPT were weakened. We also place importance on the fact that the NPT is the only international instrument on nuclear disarmament to which all five nuclear-weapon States are bound.
This is why South Africa took the decision to support, in principle, the indefinite extension of the Treaty. We were, however, concerned that proper checks and balances should be put in place to ensure that the objectives of the Treaty are translated into reality, because we share the belief that the inequality inherent in the Treaty, as well as the criticism of provisions regarding disarmament, peaceful uses and other aspects of the Treaty, should and must be addressed.
South Africa believes that the decisions we have just adopted entitled "Principles and objectives for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament" and "Strengthening the review process for the Treaty" are a means whereby these expectations and criticisms can be addressed. We believe that they can fulfil the role outlined by our Minister, and South Africa therefore feels able to support the indefinite extension of the NPT.
We now have a stronger Treaty and a yardstick by which we can measure the non-proliferation and disarmament achievements of all States Parties. South Africa sees the decisions as representing the beginning and not the end of a new journey towards the achievement of all the goals and obligations of the NPT.
We hope that all States will faithfully implement our joint decisions and act without any reservation, qualification or conditionality, so that we can transform our vision of a nuclear-weapon-free world into an early reality. If the positive and constructive political will demonstrated in the corridors and meeting rooms of the United Nations over the last four weeks is reproduced in the capitals of the world we shall have the necessary firm basis for success.
We believe that the Conference has fulfilled the expectations of the international community. We have not failed. But it is now up to individual Governments, which over the next five years will determine whether we enter the next century with the real prospect of creating a world free of nuclear weapons. They must not fail us.
Mr. Elaraby (Egypt) (interpretation from Arabic): I should like at the outset to extend to you, Mr. President, the sincere thanks and appreciation of the delegation of Egypt for your skilful leadership and your valuable contributions, which have helped to ensure the results that have been achieved today.
Now that the Conference has demonstrated majority support for, and has adopted, its four decisions those on the extension of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT); on the principles and objectives for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament; on strengthening of the review process; and on the Middle East my delegation would like, on the instructions of its Government, to put clearly on record the position of Egypt.
First, Egypt, while supporting the Non-Proliferation Treaty, being committed to its provisions and seeking to promote the objectives of the Treaty as a main pillar of stability and international peace and security, believes that the method used to achieve its indefinite extension was neither the best nor the most successful and that it may have negative consequences. In that regard, Egypt believes that the four decisions adopted today, considered as a package, reflect the interests and priorities of the parties to the NPT. We should like to reaffirm the importance of the Treaty's continued validity, of commitment to its principles and of the speedy realization of its objectives, as well as the need to give special priority to the Middle East to ensure accession to the Treaty by all States of the region and the declaration of the Middle East as a nuclear-weapon-free zone.
Secondly, Egypt's support for the aims and objectives of the Treaty stems from a firm belief in the need to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons, with a view to the total elimination of those most destructive devices, as well as from a firm conviction that the possession of nuclear weapons by any State in the Middle East constitutes a threat to the security of all States of the region and could have serious regional and international consequences to say nothing of the imbalance in regional and international affairs due to lack of even-handedness in their treatment.
Thirdly, concerned about promoting the principles of the Treaty, and in support of the implementation of its provisions and objectives, we as Parties should face up to the weaknesses and deficiencies in the implementation process. Here, I should like to begin by mentioning that the Treaty does not yet enjoy universality. There has been much delay in the implementation of the nuclear disarmament process under article VI of the Treaty. There is no provision in the Treaty for any security assurances for non-nuclear-weapon States nor is there any provision in Security Council resolutions 255 (1968) and 984 (1995) for any safeguards or assurances which provide protection to non-nuclear-weapon States. It is also important to increase the efficiency and enhance the inspection regime of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
In addition, there are imbalances between the rights and obligations of nuclear States and those of non-nuclear States despite the fact that the Treaty has been in force for 25 years. There is no doubt that all States Parties to the Treaty, and nuclear States in particular, are required to seek a remedy for the deficiencies and weaknesses of the Treaty in order that, through the strict implementation of its provisions and the principles adopted in our decisions today, its objective of universality can be fully realized.
In the absence of the universality of the Treaty the dangers posed by the proliferation of nuclear weapons will persist and will increase as time goes on. The Middle East region at present bears witness to a situation that perpetuates those dangers because of Israel's unclear nuclear capabilities, which are not subject to international supervision. That imbalance is not acceptable. Serious regional and international attempts must be made to correct it as soon as possible.
Consequently, as is known, Egypt presented its proposal for the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East region based on its clear vision of what is needed and required to establish peace and security in that sensitive region. President Mubarak's 1990 initiative outlined the need to establish a zone free of weapons of mass destruction, and the Middle East has taken into account recent developments at both the regional and the international level. In this regard I should like to state that the decision on the Middle East adopted by the Conference recently, which was sponsored by the three depositary States of the Treaty as a clear indication of its importance, is based essentially on the achievement of the universality of the Treaty. It calls on all parties in the Middle East, but first and foremost on Israel as the only State possessing nuclear facilities not subject to IAEA safeguards, to achieve the main objective and it stresses the importance of taking the necessary steps speedily to free the Middle East of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction. This decision is a step in the right direction but requires the adoption of the necessary measures for its implementation.
The continued suspicion of the proliferation of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East threatens to bring on a regional arms race, with all that that entails, including the negative message that it sends to the Parties to the Treaty namely that their accession to the Treaty has not helped to establish their peace and security against the nuclear threat and it would therefore rouse suspicion about the nuclear capabilities of Israel. That is how we in the region feel.
We therefore call upon the Security Council to shoulder its obligations and to declare the Middle East region a nuclear-weapon-free zone in accordance with the provisions of the Charter and within the context of the statements made at the summit meeting of the Security Council held in 1992 and its resolutions in that regard.
We will also work, in the committee on arms limitation in the Middle East, to intensify efforts and take tangible steps in that area, which is of primary interest for the security of the region and the world as a whole.
The option of the indefinite extension of the Treaty before the realization of its universality ignores the important fact that it represents a request to States, in particular those in the Middle East region, to fulfil indefinite obligations in respect of the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, without similar obligations being placed on Israel. That perpetuates a structural imbalance in rights and duties and endangers national, regional and international peace.
From our understanding of the history of the region it is clear that the indefinite extension of the Treaty does not accord with our view of how a new Middle East, free from tension and weapons of mass destruction, could be established, nor does it accord with our view of a proper relationship between peoples and States of the region. Therefore Egypt cannot support the indefinite extension of the Treaty in those circumstances and has opted for a definite extension of the Treaty. For the Treaty to be indefinite, it should be universal and without discrimination between the Parties.
Mrs. Kurokochi (Japan): Before presenting the views of Japan on the decisions that have just been taken, I should like, on behalf of my delegation, to express my sincere appreciation for the skilful and efficient manner in which you, Sir, have been guiding this 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The accomplishments of this Conference, particularly the three important decisions that have been taken, should be a source of great encouragement to all of us gathered here. I thank you, Mr. President, for your leadership in the realization of our shared objectives.
As was reiterated by Mr. Yohei Kono, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, in the statement which he delivered at the outset of this Conference, Japan has consistently stressed the importance of promoting steady and realistic disarmament measures with the goal of ultimately eliminating nuclear weapons. Moreover, he emphasized that the basic framework of nuclear non-proliferation must be consolidated and that, towards that end, the indefinite extension of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons should be decided according to the general will of the States Parties.
Japan thus heartily welcomes the decision taken without a vote to extend the NPT indefinitely. This will enhance the stability and credibility of the Treaty and, in so doing, make a genuine contribution to the peace and prosperity of the world.
My delegation is also gratified by the concurrent decisions on strengthening the review process for the Treaty and on the principles and objectives for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, as a means of ensuring nuclear non-proliferation, promoting nuclear disarmament, and promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
The Japanese delegation heartily welcomes these decisions. It considers that the following positions of the Government of Japan are reflected in the principles and objectives for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.
First, all States not party to the NPT should seriously consider the decision of the States Parties to extend the Treaty indefinitely, and should themselves accede to it at the earliest date.
Second, all nuclear-weapon States should make serious efforts to reduce their arsenals with the ultimate goal of eliminating nuclear weapons. Japan attaches great importance to the nuclear disarmament section of the principles and objectives for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, which includes a call for the systematic and determined efforts of the nuclear-weapon States to reduce nuclear weapons with the ultimate aim of eliminating them.
Third, no States should conduct nuclear testing, as such tests would undermine the significance of the decision to extend the NPT indefinitely.
The NPT has been extended indefinitely. The principles and objectives, which provide guidance for the implementation of the Treaty, have been formulated. The mechanism to enhance and strengthen the review process has been established. Japan sincerely hopes that in the years ahead this very significant achievement will serve as a foundation for ongoing efforts and steady progress toward the realization of our ultimate objectives.
Mr. Westdal (Canada): What have we done? What does it mean? What difference will it make? Why did it happen? What now? It is my honour briefly to answer for Canada.
Mr. President, under your leadership, we have exceeded expectations (most of our own included), confounded sceptics and listen up given a world aching for it some very good news.
We together, all 175 States Parties of us, have achieved a goal Canada has long sought: permanence with accountability, without division, without a vote, as one.
With our extension decision, we have given our Treaty's norms and obligations a powerful, new dimension: permanence. Make no mistake. We have thus enshrined new values, a perceptible step forward. The world is a safer place today. And we are a finer bunch.
With our decision on reviews, we have made ourselves all of us, not alone the weapon States more deeply accountable for the custody of our Treaty's values and the fulfilment of its obligations. We will have to keep all these promises we have made. We will visit the dentist four years out of every five. We will focus more sharply on the hard, specific issues of Treaty fulfilment and practical implementation.
With our decision on principles, we made a template. We will have much new. We now have a programme of action toward the eventual complete elimination of nuclear weapons. We are to pursue it systematically, progressively. We will have a complete test ban by next year. We will soon be hard at work to cut off fissile material production for weapons. And we will have stronger safeguards - eventually for all States Parties, treated equally. We will have new hope for legally binding security assurances, more transparency in export controls, wider peaceful uses, and, if our best efforts are good enough, human and financial resources for the IAEA to do its growing, vital work.
With all this, we have made non-States Parties very lonely. And we have made the weapon States and the world begin to think hard anew about the future of nuclear weapons, to think hard about how to get rid of them. Permanent values not temporary, uncertain provisions have today joined the forces of nuclear disarmament. Now, the real, enduring pressure begins.
All this good happened today, at last, because we built trust, the only foundation for security. And because our diverse paths converged, in time, because we found common ground and made common goods. And won big for all the people of the world.
We are for ever in your debt, Mr. President. We got you within reach; you grasped the prize for us all. Thank you. Your work here will grace fair records of our age. And, on this day of harvest, we thank many others: the Bureau and the Secretariat, who helped all this happen, day and night; the non-governmental organizations, who tried to keep us honest, and may now be as surprised as they are deeply rewarded by their success. We thank those distinguished practitioners of our field they know who they are who have long kept the faith and deepened ours. And we thank the co-sponsors of the permanence we all came to value. They stuck together and built momentum. And their ranks include many who came when the coming was not easy.
I thank those States Parties who later joined Canada and our co-sponsors, linking their cause to ours, adding flesh to the bare bones we drafted, giving life to the agreement we all together achieved. I single out South Africa, whose principles, skill and dedication made all the difference, made all this possible. I will not cite others but I pay tribute to the courage of many. Some who joined in our unity had real, fair reservations. Some face regional problems not yet solved. Some have had to take account of the perspectives and concerns of those who look to them for leadership. Some have found our process and our products awkward. But all have been welcomed. All are essential partners in our achievement. Those who made our unity possible in the final, decisive stage have bridged the larger gaps. They have made the longer leaps of faith. We thank them all and must redeem their pledge.
What now, beyond some sleep, and home, and families? Now, the completion of our review, to which we return this afternoon. Now, the vigilance and hard work of implementation. Now the work with fresh hope to build the global values we know we need to reach our goal: compassion, restraint, the honour of compromise in the peaceful resolution of disputes. Now, life with new values and more, just pride.
Let it be said of us all, Mr. President, and of you first. In New York this long month now passed, we seized our chance. We shared here a great, common victory for the better angels of our nature. We should let it set them free.
The meeting rose at 1:50 p.m.