STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
CLOSURE OF THE CONFERENCE
This recordd 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 9.05 p.m.
The President: As representatives are aware, consultations continued throughout today to finalize the work of the Drafting Committee, in which I was personally involved. It is my understanding that the Drafting Committee needs time to meet in order to finalize and adopt its report. Accordingly, I propose, if there is no objection, to suspend this meeting for an hour in order to allow the Drafting Committee to meet here, immediately following this suspension, for the adoption of its report.
It was so decided.
The meeting was suspended at 9.10 p.m. and resumed at 10.30 p.m.
Statement by the President
The President: I should like to inform the Conference that I have received a letter from the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Chile to the United Nations, stating that Chile has completed its parliamentary procedures to enable it to adhere to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. I welcome this wholeheartedly as this important decision taken by Chile has been done at the conclusion of the Conference which Chile attended as an observer.
Adoption of the report of the Drafting Committee and of the Final Document
The President: I now call on the Chairman of the Drafting Committee.
Mr. Strulak (Poland), Chairman of the Drafting Committee: I should like to introduce the report of the Drafting Committee, which the Committee has just adopted, as well as the draft Final Document of the 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons: organization and work of the Conference, which the Drafting Committee also adopted. I present it to you for adoption by the Conference.
The President: Delegations will understand that in view of the lateness of the hour it was not feasible for the secretariat to produce the report in all languages. The report is therefore only available in English and the other languages will follow as soon as possible. May I take it that the Conference wishes to take note of the report of the Drafting Committee as introduced by the Chairman of that Committee? If I hear no objection it will be so decided.
It was so decided.
The President: I should like to express my gratitude to Ambassador Tadeusz Strulak, Chairman of the Drafting Committee for his strenuous efforts to conclude the work of that Committee.
I turn now to agenda item 20 "Consideration and adoption of Final Document(s)". The Conference has before it a draft Final Document, document NPT/CONF.1995/DC/L.l/Add.1 as amended, which was by unanimous decision of the Drafting Committee transmitted to the Conference. It is my understanding that there is general agreement on this document. If I hear no objection I shall take it that the Conference wishes to adopt the Final Document?
It was so decided.
Conclusion of the Conference
The President: I now turn to the final business of the Conference, the concluding statements by delegations. The first speaker is the representative of Ukraine.
Mr. Hryshchenko (Ukraine): Yesterday, by taking the decision to extend the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) indefinitely, we inscribed the names of our countries in the book of history.
This decision, taken without objection, underscores months and years of scrupulous routine work by thousands of statesmen, politicians, diplomats and experts and definitely can be considered as a triumph of common sense over transient, short-lived political considerations.
The Conference reconfirmed that today nuclear weapons are more a relic of the past than the ultimate symbol of national pride, as many believed only a few years ago.
The recent accession to the NPT of Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and South Africa, which have voluntarily renounced nuclear weapons, significantly changed the dynamics of nuclear geopolitics and opened the way for new, far-reaching endeavours in the field of nuclear disarmament. But, by giving up nuclear weapons and joining the Treaty, Ukraine did not give its blessing to the eternal continuation of the existing right of official nuclear-weapon States to possess their nuclear arsenals. Moreover, we urge the nuclear-weapon States to follow our example and move towards the complete elimination of nuclear weapons in the shortest possible time.
Dragging out the process of nuclear disarmament for whatever reason would constitute a serious breach of the now strengthened and reinvigorated Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
We also hope that the strengthening of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the continuing process of nuclear disarmament will provide new incentives for the non-participating countries, which apparently have not yet abandoned nuclear ambitions, speedily to accede to the NPT as non-nuclear-weapon States.
By taking practical steps, Ukraine has clearly demonstrated to the whole world the consistent character of its policy in the field of nuclear disarmament. We are proud that our contribution to the strengthening of the non-proliferation regime has been highly commended by the international community. We shall continue to fulfil on an equal footing with the United States, Belarus, Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation our common obligations under the Treaty on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (START I) and, inter alia, continue the removal of all the nuclear warheads on our territory, inherited from the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, to the Russian Federation for elimination under our control.
At the same time, we expect the United States, the Russian Federation and the United Kingdom our partners in the trilateral statement of 14 January 1994 and in the 5 December 1994 Memorandum on Security Assurances in Connection with Ukraine's Accession to the NPT to comply fully with their relevant obligations and commitments under these documents.
Having eliminated the third largest nuclear arsenal in the world, Ukraine expects all the nuclear-weapon States that have not yet done so to join at the earliest possible time the multilateral negotiations on the reduction of strategic offensive weapons. We hope that this process will be initiated after the ratification of START II by the United States and the Russian Federation.
We are convinced that dedicated efforts aimed at balancing the rights and obligations of all the Parties to the NPT both nuclear-weapon States and non-nuclear-weapon States must follow the decision on the indefinite extension of the Treaty, since only the harmony of the fundamental interests of the Parties to the Treaty could guarantee its long-term durability and effectiveness.
From this perspective we view the decision to indefinitely extend the Treaty as an expression of confidence by the non-nuclear-weapon States in the nuclear-weapon States, which the latter should justify in the near future.
In this context, the full implementation by nuclear-weapon States of the provisions of the principles and objectives of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, adopted without a vote by the Conference, will be of the utmost importance.
One important element in balancing the interests of the nuclear-weapon States and non-nuclear-weapon States would be the achievement in the shortest possible time of an agreement on an international legal instrument on security assurances. Providing such assurances would erase the feeling of mistrust between the Parties to the Treaty and provide a new impetus to the negotiations on nuclear disarmament.
In this regard, I should like to recall the words of President John F. Kennedy, who said in his inaugural speech:
"Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate."
The delegation of Ukraine urges all the Parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty to follow this wise advice, and, building on the success of our Conference, to move steadily towards the goal of global security and stability based on universal adherence to the non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament principles we all reconfirmed yesterday and today.
Mr. Quiros (Peru) (interpretation from Spanish): The Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Peru, Ambassador Ponce Vivanco, has asked me to read out the statement he had intended to deliver tonight, Mr. President. It is as follows:
"The unflagging diplomatic skills you have shown throughout the proceedings ending today have made it possible to extend indefinitely the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), despite valid differences of opinion on specific issues, an important result Peru has sought determinedly since 1993.
"However, Peru believes that if this outstanding effort to establish and strengthen international law is to have genuine significance, the international community must, above all, continue to instil a real commitment to the idea that treaties and arbitral awards are to be respected and that the legal order and peace and security of peoples will be secured only when the principle pacta sunt servanda is the sole inspiration for the international conduct of all States, given that each month brings new surprising kinds of conflict and different forms of violence and disorder at the present stage of history.
"We welcome the fact that the ultimate objective of non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament has prevailed as a standard for relations between States. If we want to consolidate this reality once and for all, we now have to face up to our legal and moral obligation fully to implement the Treaty. This is an urgent and priority task and needs a firm commitment on the part of all States Parties to the Treaty, above all the nuclear Powers, in accordance with the letter and the spirit of the Treaty.
"With a renewed feeling of trust and solidarity we have adopted two important documents on principles and objectives and a further document on strengthening the review process for the Treaty. These will be of fundamental importance in the new phase opened up by this Conference. Peru is already looking forward expectantly to the Review Conference due to be held in the year 2000 and to the preparatory process scheduled to begin scarcely two years from now, in 1997. We firmly hope that by then, there will be full compliance with the agreements contained in the declaration of principles and objectives. We will work actively to that end in Geneva, New York and in any other competent forum.
"It is also essential that we ensure, without delay, that all countries fully participate in the Treaty: the continued existence of nuclear capacity which does not come under the safeguards system of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is a nagging threat. We are convinced that the agreements reached at this Conference will help us to reach this goal.
"I should now like to refer to the case of Latin America and the Caribbean. As we all know, we have been able to create the first densely populated nuclear-weapon-free zone on the planet, equipped with necessary safeguards as set forth in a legally binding document signed by the five nuclear Powers. The region also possesses the political will to move forward towards the establishment of a zone free of all weapons of mass destruction and linked, in so far as possible, with existing nuclear-weapon-free zones in order to make the entire southern hemisphere into such a zone.
"However, Latin America still faces the problem of conventional weapons and the establishment of machinery to control and reduce military expenditure in cases where it exceeds the legitimate needs of national defence. For these reasons Peru considers that non-proliferation in Latin America and the Caribbean should also be extended without delay to include conventional weapons.
"Because of its destabilizing effects, the illegal arms traffic must be halted and international machinery to ensure transparency in international arms transfers must be strengthened. For that reason we have firmly supported the extension of the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms to include national stockpiles and local arms production as well as universal participation. This will build trust, which is the basis of friendship and dialogue among States."
Mr. Wisnumurti (Indonesia): I am profoundly honoured and privileged to speak on behalf of the non-aligned countries at the concluding session of this historic Conference. It was 25 years ago that the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) came into force. In the intervening time, its effectiveness in stemming proliferation and its role in creating an international norm in achieving that objective has been universally acclaimed. Beyond doubt, the Treaty has codified the interests of a vast majority of States, indicating an abiding commitment to its validity.
As the single most important piece of legislation to have come out of disarmament negotiations, it has given legitimacy to the non-proliferation regime. For the great majority of States it is the only instrument to stem proliferation. For these reasons, the NPT has made a major contribution to nuclear-arms limitation. However, the non-aligned countries are also acutely aware of its shortcomings. It is undeniable that the Treaty has imposed asymmetrical obligations. There has been a growing concern that intensified efforts are needed to remove the very real danger of the proliferation of these weapons, both vertical and horizontal. The question of unhindered access to civilian uses of nuclear energy has also assumed increasing prominence.
It is against this backdrop that the non-aligned countries welcomed the convening of the Review and Extension Conference of the NPT. It afforded an unparalleled opportunity to engage in the assessment and appraisal of the workings and functioning of the Treaty.
For the past three weeks we have deliberated and vigorously addressed all aspects of the NPT, whose ramifications for the critical interests of all States Parties are all too self-evident. In that process we have also thoroughly examined our options and assiduously sought a common position on the manner of review, on effective measures to promote the implementation of the provisions of the Treaty and on its extension so that it advances rather than congeals the disarmament agenda.
The NPT has today reached an important stage in the onward march of our efforts to achieve the objectives contained therein. In these endeavours the non-aligned countries have made significant contributions to the work of the Conference which have led to the adoption without a vote of three important decisions. These three decisions namely, decisions on the principles and objectives for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, on strengthening the review process for the Treaty and on the extension of the Treaty are of equal importance and constitute a package.
It is regrettable, however, that the Conference has failed to adopt a final declaration, one of the important expected results of the Conference. The divergence of views, especially in assessing and reviewing the implementation of the Treaty, are too substantial for the reaching of a common ground. It is our sincere hope that this unfortunate development will not constitute a preview of what will happen in the Preparatory Committee meetings and the Review Conferences which we all are agreed to strengthen.
It is, however, the fervent hope of the non-aligned countries that as a result of the decisions taken by this Conference the inequalities inherent in the Treaty concerning disarmament, peaceful uses of nuclear energy and other aspects will be forthrightly addressed.
Our priorities now include further reductions in nuclear weapons, arresting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, ensuring peaceful applications, detecting non-compliance wherever and whenever it occurs and thereby maintaining the regained momentum of support for the NPT generated by the Conference.
Assuring the orderly flow of badly needed technology for the developing countries without leading to weapons proliferation is an issue of great importance to the non-aligned countries. What is needed is a formula for cooperation involving greater willingness by the developed nations to meet the needs of developing countries for science and technology for peaceful purposes.
We cannot allow our determination to waver. Let us renew that determination in fulfilling the solemn commitments that we have undertaken. Let this Conference give new impetus to our combined efforts for a world without nuclear arms, for global peace and security, for greater and generalized prosperity. We all know that the stakes are high and much depends on the efficacy and outcome of our efforts and our will to accommodate and compromise in order to arrive at a common ground. It is the unanimous view of the non-aligned countries that we have achieved all this and, indeed, much more.
These attainments were greatly facilitated by your patience, Mr. President, and by your perseverance, by your indefatigable energy, your skilful handling of the complex issues, your gentle prodding of the delegates towards flexibility and compromise and, above all, your deep and abiding commitment to the cause of disarmament. The confidence which we all reposed in you has been fully borne out by the successful conclusion of what is admittedly a difficult and complex task. We are for ever indebted to you.
Let me also avail myself of this opportunity to convey our sincere thanks to the secretariat and to all those with responsibility for the Conference for their dedication and their contribution.
Mr. Earle (United States of America): This Assembly has just completed the most important multilateral arms control conference in history. Its successful outcome, I should like to say at the outset, is due in large part to you, Sir, President Dhanapala, your well-tested patience, your diplomatic adroitness, your personal leadership and your unstinting devotion to build and then mobilize a consensus decision-making process. On behalf of the United States delegation and for my own part, I heartily and sincerely congratulate you. I also congratulate the tireless and professional members of the Secretariat and the able members of the Sri Lankan delegation who have assisted you and contributed so very much to the positive outcome of the Conference.
The decisions undertaken by the Conference reflect the exhaustive efforts and the collective will of the international community. No single group of States and no single set of interests prevailed. Historians who review our efforts will note that our diplomatic compromises have been skilful, our language carefully chosen, and our decisions not without controversy.
Nevertheless, those historians will also note that States Parties made these historic decisions because fundamentally the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) serves the interests of its Parties, but more important, of all mankind. Moreover, they will note that the Treaty's contribution to international peace and security grew in importance after our decisions were made.
Our foresight to make the Treaty permanent is in effect a "gift" to future generations and it will long overshadow the differences or the reservations that may have arisen during our deliberations in these past four weeks.
When Vice-President Gore spoke from this podium to the Conference in April, he stated that the indefinite extension of the NPT without conditions would reduce the uncertainty that often leads States to develop weapons or to preserve their options to do so. With the decisions of the Conference, we have greatly reduced the potential for that climate of uncertainty. The Conference has definitively endorsed the authority of the NPT, and it has underlined the intention of the international community to strengthen, make universal, and extend the principles and objectives of non-proliferation. What lies ahead now is not only to reduce uncertainty regarding proliferation but to commit ourselves to the certainty of a safer and more secure world. Having adopted these principles, we must, with the good faith and pragmatic idealism that we have shown here this week, move towards the full implementation of the lofty objectives we have set for ourselves and our successors.
The United States Government is resolutely committed to do its part to support the non-proliferation regime and the terms and obligations of all the articles of the Treaty. In the short run this will mean redoubling our efforts to achieve a comprehensive test-ban treaty and a fissile-material cut-off agreement. But at the same time we will be exploring ways to move beyond the significant reductions to which we are committing ourselves in the START I and START II Treaties. We will not we cannot walk away from this process.
The 1995 Review and Extension Conference decided to extend the NPT indefinitely, to adopt a set of Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation, and to create an enhanced Review Process.
These decisions give us a framework for our future efforts and guiding principles by which we can judge our success. We are committed to them and it is particularly satisfying that the impetus for two of these decisions the Principles and the enhanced Review came from a recent adherent to the NPT, South Africa.
While the Conference was unable to complete a final document, the review process was comprehensive, thorough and frank. As past reviews have demonstrated, there are a few issues on which we cannot reach easy accord and on some of these we have been unable to reconcile the differences.
On the other hand, the review revealed large areas of agreement as well. We have agreed to give Conference endorsement to the International Atomic Energy Agency's "93+2" plan for strengthened and cost-effective safeguards. We have also endorsed the value of increased cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, including particularly the safe and efficient utilization of nuclear energy. And we have agreed to pursue the creation of more nuclear-weapon-free zones, universal adherence to the NPT, and the early attainment of a comprehensive test-ban treaty.
Finally, let me stress that the outcome of the Conference is in fact a significant victory for all the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. On 1 March 1995, President Clinton noted that the United States believes that nothing is more important to international security than the achievement of the indefinite extension, without conditions, of this Treaty. In that view we associated ourselves with an overwhelming majority of the Parties to the Treaty. We understand that every sovereign nation at this Conference rendered an historic judgement; we are hopeful that all States Parties will now work towards the Treaty's ultimate goal: a world without nuclear weapons.
Mr. Rodrigo (Sri Lanka): The past four weeks have been critical ones, and you, Mr. President, have succeeded in presenting us with a package held together, if not with the bright ribbons of consensus, then certainly with the cords of realism that signify collective accession to the undeniable fact that the NPT must continue in force indefinitely as the fundamental international basis for non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament.
The documents adopted yesterday without a vote provide the political, legal and institutional framework for what could be an enduring system of security that could serve us far into the future. Sri Lanka's statement in the general debate, which expressed cautious optimism that a consensual approach to the extension of the Treaty was both essential and possible, has now been vindicated. We owe you, Mr. President, a major debt of gratitude for what you have helped us all to achieve. That achievement is all the more remarkable considering the number of participants involved in the process and the complexity of differing, often conflicting, concerns that participating delegations to the Conference wished to reconcile.
All delegations share in the conclusions reached yesterday as you, Mr. President, observed dramatically around high noon. The celebrated Western film "High Noon" concluded with the victors quitting town, leaving the vanquished prone dead in the dust.
Today, however, we are concluding a major international conference and we are not watching the end of a Western movie. The delicate balances that have been achieved in the Conference documents which you, Mr. President, will transmit to Heads of State should be a triumph in which all of us can share. What is important is a sense of identification by all in the conclusions reached. All delegations have indeed contributed to those conclusions.
At least three resolutions or decisions representing varying perceptions on the past record of the NPT and its future were before us. They were all advocated with conviction. They illustrate the complexity of the concerns the Conference had to confront. What is remarkable is that the delegations concerned did not insist on pushing their prime positions to a vote, choosing instead to submit patiently to a collective examination of the multiplicity of issues involved. That that choice was made is itself significant. Compromises had to be made in the process, and the costs of such compromises in terms of individual national interests for many delegations are probably quite heavy. These must be respected. They are as much a part of the final outcome as those points that prevailed.
The precise nature of the conclusions and their impact will continue to be discussed. The decisions on the extension of the Treaty affirm the need for full compliance with all its provisions. Whatever the assessment of the Treaty's performance has been over the last quarter century, we are now at the point, in a sense, of a fresh beginning. The world today is different to that which prevailed in the 1960s, and the prospects for genuine international cooperation are universally acknowledged as being far more favourable. The attainment of the goal of the complete elimination of nuclear weapons should thus be rightly an objective that is less distant and less difficult today. Simply put, the clear message that emerged yesterday was a firm "yes" to the indefinite extension of the Treaty, and an equally clear "no" to the indefinite extension of nuclear weapons into our lives.
The decisions we have taken to strengthen the review process of the Treaty are aimed not at casting doubts on the Treaty or weakening its thrust, but, rather, at providing a standing institutional framework to ensure that the purposes of the preamble and the provisions of the Treaty are being realized.
Some concerns articulated in the last few weeks have not found expression in the documents to the satisfaction of all delegations. However, the strengthened review mechanism we adopted offers a satisfactory framework within which to consider all issues that lie in the future implementation of the Treaty.
We must, however, express regret that it was not possible, largely due to time constraints tonight, to reach agreement on the draft declaration. We need to benefit from this experience by learning that the strengthened review process agreed on will need to be fully utilized to build confidence among States Parties.
The principles and objectives enunciated in document NPT/CONF.1995/L.5 provide the basis to explore these and other issues seriously, in a genuine climate of cooperation. These include issues such as those concerning the Treaty's lack of universality, one of its major shortcomings. The resolution contained in document NPT/CONF.1995/L.8 is important in this regard.
We have together taken a historic decision extending the NPT for an indefinite period. That this was possible without resort to a decisive vote should not breed complacence. Much remains to be done to ensure the verifiable implementation of the Treaty, to prepare the way for an eventual nuclear-weapon-free world in which all States can concur. Our work together has, in this sense, only just begun.
Mr. Sannikau (Belarus): The most important Conference of this year is nearing completion. A very intensive period of multilateral, regional and bilateral negotiations and consultations in preparation for the Review and Extension Conference, and at the Conference itself has yielded the results which my country has hoped for and worked for. Yesterday, by adopting three decisions of vital importance for the Non-Proliferation Treaty, States Parties created a new disarmament and security environment, thus establishing a solid basis for further common efforts aimed at strengthening international peace and security.
By adopting yesterday the decision on indefinite extension of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, together with the decisions on strengthening of the review process and principles and objectives of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, the Conference has consolidated the legal basis for non-proliferation, established a viable mechanism for implementing the spirit and the letter of the Treaty, and outlined areas of concerted actions of all States Parties.
Belarus has on many occasions stated its views on priorities in nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, and we were satisfied to see them reflected in the decisions of the Conference, although we cannot conceal our frustration over the failure of the Conference to adopt the final declaration, despite all the efforts exerted.
The target date set by the Conference for the completion of the negotiations on a comprehensive test-ban treaty (CTBT) is a very important factor for the work of the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. In our view, this Conference has created the necessary conditions for concluding a solid Treaty, truly comprehensive in its scope and internationally verifiable.
There have been specific examples of actual disarmament in the period between the last Review Conferences. Under different circumstances and in different ways, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and South Africa have chosen to renounce nuclear weapons and acceded to the Non-Proliferation Treaty as non-nuclear-weapon States.
From the very beginning of its movement towards independence, Belarus clearly stated its position on nuclear weapons and led the way in nuclear disarmament on the territory of the former Soviet Union. Together with Kazakhstan and Ukraine, Belarus has contributed to the process of the elimination of nuclear weapons. Having become a Party to START I, Belarus is scrupulously observing its obligations under this formerly bilateral Treaty. Nuclear disarmament of a non-nuclear-weapon State has turned out to be a difficult process, which creates political and economic problems, demands substantial financial and human resources and is not necessarily appreciated by all. Nevertheless, Belarus is firmly committed to nuclear disarmament, supports all the efforts in this regard and will do everything possible and necessary for further steps in this direction.
In this connection, it was encouraging to learn about the resolve of President Clinton and President Yeltsin to see START II ratified this year. We hope not only that this goal is attainable, but that the long-awaited talks on START III are within the reach of the two States.
The Conference decision on principles and objectives mentioned, inter alia, the possibility of developing a legal international document on security assurances for non-nuclear-weapon States Parties. In our opinion, it might be a necessary measure, provided that it is regarded as an interim step towards the complete elimination of nuclear weapons.
Belarus has suffered severely from nuclear consequences, and unfortunately understands only too well the lethal danger of nuclear weapons or nuclear accidents. That is why we have a strong policy as regards non-proliferation and are trying to consolidate our own non-nuclear-weapon status, to prevent any attempts to use Belarus as a transit territory for fissile-material smuggling. That is one of the reasons for our proposal to consult on the creation of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Europe.
In conclusion, the Conference has created a new international security reality that has to be accepted and safeguarded. The Conference has also created a momentum that has to be preserved and further developed.
Mr. Fostervoll (Norway): We should not permit our failure to adopt a final document to overshadow the remarkable results that were achieved. Yesterday we ensured the permanency of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and agreed on a set of principles and objectives for non-proliferation and disarmament. A structure has been established for an improved and strengthened review process that will enable us to focus more sharply on the specific issues of Treaty obligations and implementation. These decisions are of historic significance. They provide us with better tools with which to shape a safer world. They have the full support of my Government. We owe this success, Mr. President, to your efforts, skill and dedication.
We adopted yesterday a programme of action for nuclear disarmament, the draft of which was contained in the document on principles and objectives. We agree with the measures it contains and the priorities it indicates for the years ahead. In 1997 we shall meet again to review the progress made. By then a comprehensive treaty banning all nuclear tests should have entered into force, and an agreement to halt the production of fissile material for weapons purposes should be near its conclusion. We look forward to new efforts to strengthen security assurances to non-nuclear States, if possible in the form of a legally binding instrument.
We welcome the renewed commitment by all nuclear-weapon States to the determined pursuit of systematic and progressive efforts towards nuclear disarmament, as reflected in the decision on principles and objectives for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. In the course of the continued and comprehensive disarmament process in the years ahead, it will be a major challenge to ensure secure and environmentally safe handling of huge amounts of weapons-grade plutonium, highly enriched uranium and other toxic substances. We must also ensure internationally accepted standards for the safe management and handling of radioactive waste from civilian as well as military-related activities and installations. The management of disarmament is a new challenge affecting us all.
Permit me to draw attention to the interrelationship between nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction. As my country currently holds the chairmanship of the Commission preparing for the implementation of the chemical weapons Convention, I would like to express concern at the slow pace of ratification, and would urge all States that have not yet done so to conclude their ratification process as soon as possible so that the Convention may enter into force at the earliest possible date.
In conclusion, I believe we should acknowledge that no single legal instrument or political agreement is sufficient to halt nuclear-weapons proliferation. The most important barrier to the proliferation of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction is the establishment of an international political order that makes such weapons irrelevant. International cooperation to resolve regional and local conflicts is indispensable in this regard. Confidence, stability and cooperation should replace distrust, tension and uncertainty in relations between States.
Mr. Gorita (Romania): Allow me, on behalf of the Eastern European group of States Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), to express our satisfaction that this historic Conference is coming to an end with positive results. The decision on the indefinite extension of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the decision on principles and objectives for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament and the decision on strengthening the review process for the Treaty, constitute a valuable outcome and a solid foundation for future achievements in the field of arms control and disarmament, and an important contribution to international peace and security.
To a very large extent, Mr. President, this outcome of the Conference is due to your exceptional qualities: leadership, competence, diplomatic skill, patience and painstaking effort in guiding our work. We are deeply grateful to you.
We would also like to express our appreciation and thanks to all those who contributed to the success of the Conference: the Bureau; the secretariat, under the able guidance of the Secretary-General of the Conference, Mr. Prvoslav Davinic; the non-governmental organizations that have been so actively following and supporting our efforts; and many others.
The States Parties to the NPT members of the Eastern European group strongly believe that the 175 participants in the Conference have every reason to be satisfied with the success of our common efforts, confident as they are in the further pursuit of endeavours aimed at nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.
Mr. Park (Republic of Korea): I would like to join other delegations in expressing deep appreciation to you, Mr. President, for having guided this historic Conference to a fruitful conclusion. We pay tribute to your excellent leadership, which provided the kind of sensitive and professional touch that was required for reaching a solution to the complex issues and challenges of the Conference. I have no doubt that this sentiment is shared by all my colleagues in this forum.
My delegation welcomes the decision on the indefinite extension of the Treaty, adopted at this Conference yesterday without a vote. That historic moment was an unmistakable expression of mankind's desire to build a more stable world through the permanence of the Treaty.
While applauding the historic decision on the issue of extension, my delegation considers it unfortunate that we were unable to adopt a final declaration. It is our sincere hope that the pending issues that we have been so arduously working on will be satisfactorily resolved as soon as possible.
The set of decisions which we collectively took yesterday should be considered an initial step towards ensuring a world free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. In this sense, we are convinced that the objectives of the Treaty can truly be attained when the nuclear-weapon States remain committed to nuclear disarmament through the full implementation of article VI.
Notwithstanding the significant cuts which have been made in the nuclear arsenals of the nuclear-weapon States during the past 25 years, we urge these States to make systematic and progressive efforts to reduce nuclear weapons with the ultimate goal of their total elimination. At the same time, my delegation sincerely hopes that the other two decisions of the Conference on the principles and objectives for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament and on strengthening the review process for the Treaty will properly address the legitimate concerns of the non-nuclear-weapon States regarding fairness and equity.
In order to secure the universality of the Treaty, we once again call upon those countries which have not yet acceded to the Treaty to join at an early date. The international community should exert every effort to achieve this objective as a top priority.
My delegation is encouraged to see that there is a strong desire further to strengthen efforts aimed at the enhanced effectiveness and efficiency of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards system. I am confident that the momentum gained at this meeting will lead to the early realization of the "93+2" programme.
I would like to stress that the future shape of the NPT will greatly depend on the degree to which we are able to promote international cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. With regard to the export control system, it is expected that reinforced transparency will lead to greater opportunities for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
We believe that preferential treatment should be given to the non-nuclear-weapon States Parties to the Treaty and that, accordingly, the transfer of nuclear technology should be ensured for those non-nuclear-weapon States which faithfully comply with the IAEA safeguards agreement.
My delegation notes with regret that one delegation has decided not to participate in the adoption of the document of the Conference. Taking this opportunity, my delegation would like to reiterate its hope that the DPRK, as a responsible State Party to the NPT, will contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the NPT by fully complying with the IAEA-DPRK Safeguards Agreement under the Treaty.
In conclusion, the Republic of Korea would like to reiterate its full commitment to the aspirations and vision of the international community to build a nuclear-free world through the faithful implementation of the Treaty, which we agreed yesterday to extend in perpetuity.
Mr. Sha Zhukang (China) (interpretation from Chinese): Having worked intensively for more than 20 days, we are nearing the end of the Conference. This has been a Conference with achievements. We unanimously adopted the decision to extend the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), a decision on the principles and objectives for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, a decision on strengthening the review process for the Treaty, and a resolution on a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East.
It is regrettable that we have not agreed on a final declaration, but our efforts to draft such a declaration were not futile. Through consultations, we have enhanced mutual understanding and identified our differences, which has set a course and provided a basis for future reviews.
This is a Conference of historic significance. Nuclear weapons first appeared 50 years ago, ushering humanity into the nuclear age. The entry into force of the NPT 25 years ago marked the beginning of efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation. Today, as we approach the turn of the century, we have achieved the seamless extension of the Treaty and solemnly reaffirmed its three objectives: nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The extension of the Treaty should give new momentum to efforts towards nuclear non-proliferation, a comprehensive ban on and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons, and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
The Conference owes its success to the concerted efforts and cooperation of all the States Parties to the Treaty. Although our positions and points of views differ on some matters, we share the common objective of strengthening the Treaty. The Conference also owes its positive outcome to the unflagging efforts of its President, Mr. Dhanapala, who, with his outstanding talent and rich diplomatic experience, has fulfilled with distinction the important mission with which history has entrusted him and has made a vital contribution to the agreements reached at the Conference. The Chinese delegation offers him its particular thanks. We also wish to thank the Chairmen of all the Committees and the other members of the Bureau for their important contributions to the Conference. We express our gratitude to the staff of the Secretariat, including the translators and interpreters, under the leadership of the Secretary-General of the Conference, Mr. Davinic, who have provided reliable support services to the Conference.
Humanity is approaching the twenty-first century. While reviewing the past and looking to the future, we find ourselves still faced with the lofty mission of achieving the objectives of the Treaty in all its aspects, with the final goal of a comprehensive ban on and complete destruction of nuclear weapons. China is ready to contribute, along with all the other States Parties, its unremitting efforts for this purpose.
Mr. Kisliak (Russian Federation) (interpretation from Russian): The historic Review and Extension Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is coming to an end. In the view of the Russian delegation, difficult but extremely important and necessary work has been done by all delegations to achieve agreement in one of the pivotal areas of our time. They have seen to it that joint efforts will be pursued to ensure stability, to preserve civilized rules of behaviour in a nuclear century, and to establish the necessary conditions for the process of nuclear disarmament and broad cooperation in the area of nuclear energy as a whole and for its development.
The decision has been taken that the NPT, which has withstood the test of time and has established what are now almost universally recognized norms of international law designed to contain the threat of the spread of nuclear weapons, will remain in force indefinitely. In this connection, I should like to draw attention to the joint statement by the President of Russia, Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin, and President Clinton of the United States published in Moscow on 10 May. Both Presidents appealed to our Conference to make the Treaty permanent and reaffirmed their countries' commitments under article VI of the Treaty to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to nuclear disarmament, which continues to remain their ultimate goal.
The Presidents also stated their intention to cooperate closely to achieve the wider goals of non-proliferation, including improving implementation of their commitments to cooperate with other Parties to the Treaty on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy while at the same time carrying out their commitments to eliminate the threat of proliferation. We shall steadfastly abide by these decisions.
We include the decision on the principles and objectives for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament and the decision on strengthening the review process of the Treaty on the list of major achievements. Unfortunately, however, we note that it did not prove possible, for the Conference to agree to a text of a Final Declaration on the implementation of the Treaty during the period since the fourth Review Conference.
However, in our view, an enormous amount of work has been done in terms of meshing approaches to and harmonizing assessments of nearly all the key provisions of the Treaty. Russia was prepared to go on working on the Declaration but we all ran out of time before we could conclude it. Even so, a good basis has been established for further cooperation between States Parties towards the full implementation of the Treaty.
On behalf of the Russian delegation, I should like to thank you, Mr. President, for your great professionalism and your energetic leadership of our work, which, to a great extent, were responsible for making it possible to unite all delegations and take these historic decisions on 11 May without a vote, despite the many and well-known nuances in all our positions regarding them.
On behalf of the Russian Federation, I should like to express our gratitude to the delegation of Canada for its contribution in putting forward the idea and the corresponding draft for the decision on an indefinite and unconditional extension of the Treaty, which, from the very outset, the Russian Federation supported.
We also express our gratitude to all the other sponsors of our joint draft. We are grateful too to the sponsors of other drafts different from the one originally proposed by Russia for their willingness to seek agreed decisions, for their flexibility and realism and for the consensus that united us all in this most important decision to extend the Treaty indefinitely.
We should like also to express our gratitude to the secretariat and to our Secretary-General, without whom it would have been impossible for this forum to work effectively.
Mr. Butler (Australia): Mr. President, Australia is deeply grateful to you. Your leadership in the President's consultations and your management of the proceedings of this Conference have been outstanding. We also thank the Secretariat for its great work for the Conference.
History was made in this Hall yesterday with the decision to give the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) an indefinite life. That decision, and the accompanying decisions to strengthen the review process and adopt a set of Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, was to the credit of all States Parties. It was crucial to the maintenance of international peace and security and, through its strengthening of the implementation of the Treaty, to the continuing pursuit of a world free of nuclear weapons.
We also warmly welcome the adoption of the Depositaries' resolution on universal membership of the Treaty, focusing on the Middle East. The goal of universal membership has been an underlying theme for successive NPT review conferences and one for which Australia and many other States Parties have worked long and hard. In 1995, only a handful of countries remain outside the Treaty, and this attests to the enormous importance accorded to the NPT by the international community. Of the 185 States Members of the United Nations, 178 are Parties to the NPT; and of these, 175 States participated in this Review and Extension Conference. There has never been a Conference of States of this size.
Decisions taken by such an overwhelming majority of the world's nations send the clearest possible message to those small number of States only 12, and shrinking in number that remain outside the Treaty, particularly those that operate unsafeguarded nuclear facilities in regions of tension. Such States cannot afford to, and should not, ignore the call from this Conference to become part of the non-proliferation regime, to accede to the NPT and to place their facilities under IAEA safeguards.
Australia shared the disappointment of many States that more progress towards nuclear disarmament was not possible during the long years of the cold war, particularly during the first 25 years of the Treaty's life. But this trend has been reversed in recent years. It needs to be promoted. The decisions taken on 11 May make this clear: it is of the greatest importance that all Parties to the NPT reaffirm their commitment for all time to prevent nuclear proliferation and to work on a programme of action for nuclear disarmament, with the eventual goal of a world free of nuclear weapons.
Australia has never accepted that an indefinitely extended NPT would in some way legitimize the status of the nuclear-weapon States for ever. That would be not only unacceptable but simply wrong. It does not reflect what article VI of the Treaty states. With the Treaty extended indefinitely, the obligation on all States, but particularly the nuclear-weapon States, to pursue nuclear disarmament has now become one from which there is no escape. Thus it is not only our hope but our expectation that the Principles and Objectives adopted by this Conference will consolidate progress to date, promote accelerated progress in disarmament negotiations currently under way, and result in additional early steps, in particular a permanent end to nuclear testing by 1996.
This Conference has also undertaken a substantial review of the Treaty's operations. We regret that it did not prove possible for the full measure of that review on this occasion to be reflected in the Final Documents of this Conference. Australia has always taken the NPT review process very seriously and strongly endorses the decision by this Conference to strengthen that process in the future.
The Conference has produced highly worthwhile outcomes in both the Principles and Objectives document and in the work of the Main Committees, and these include support for ongoing work to strengthen the Treaty's verification mechanism; the IAEA safeguards system; endorsement once and for all that all new supply of nuclear material to non-nuclear-weapon States Parties to the Treaty must be on the basis of their having accepted full-scope IAEA safeguards; promotion of measures to ensure a secure environment for trade and cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy; endorsement of the vital role of the Security Council in ensuring compliance with non-proliferation obligations; and endorsement of the value of regional non-proliferation arrangements such as the South Pacific Nuclear-Free-Zone in our own region.
The Conference also dealt with the concerns of States Parties about nuclear safety, waste management and the transport of nuclear material, the latter being of particular concern to small island States.
My delegation is proud to have participated in this event, a defining moment in contemporary history. As partners in this Treaty, we share a collective responsibility to strengthen its operations, to prevent proliferation, to strive for disarmament and for universal membership. By extending the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) indefinitely and by making key changes that were necessary, strengthening its review mechanism and defining our common objectives for the future by doing these things, we have discharged our common obligations in the best way we were able to do at this time. We have answered those who question whether, with indefinite extension, nothing would change. It has and it will.
Mr. Mayor (Switzerland) (interpretation from French): At the culmination of a Conference which included exceptional participation by States, a Conference which provoked enormous interest and great hopes but also scepticism in our countries and in public opinion, we can leave with a feeling that our mission is accomplished.
To be sure, not all the problems were resolved. It would have been desirable this evening for us to have adopted a final document on consideration of the treaty summing up the results of our detailed discussions, our conclusions on the operation of the Treaty and our recommendations on its future. But we have achieved together, through consensus and without adverse confrontation that would have threatened the credibility of the Treaty, an objective that we share, namely, maintaining a strong non-proliferation regime whose duration is ensured. We have consolidated international norms and we have finally renewed, if not spelled out, commitments whose implementation cannot be postponed indefinitely.
My delegation particularly welcomed the initiatives undertaken by South Africa and Mexico. Numerous elements of these initiatives correspond to the views of Switzerland which, from the outset, hoped that the decision for extension would be accompanied by brief and precise texts which recall and strengthen the principles, mechanisms and fundamental commitments of the parties to the Treaty.
The Declaration of Principles which, to a great extent, takes into account the concerns that my delegation voiced at the beginning of the Conference, opens up prospects and will serve to measure progress and to stimulate efforts to achieve all the goals of the Treaty. It is quite clear that the decision taken yesterday must not be the indefinite extension of the status quo, particularly as regards the prerogatives of the nuclear Powers.
Mr. President, if our Conference has been able to fulfil its objective, it is largely thanks to your commitment, your courage and your subtlety. Many other protagonists also deserve congratulations, but you clearly have pride of place.
May our efforts be crowned with success, not only today, but also tomorrow and beyond, when the need will arise for all parties to hold fast to the commitments they have renewed and to pass on to concrete action for rapid progress on the way leading to the complete elimination of nuclear weapons.
Sir Michael Weston (United Kingdom): Mr. President, on behalf of the Western Group, I should like to express our deep thanks and appreciation for the way in which you have conducted this Conference. You have made possible a remarkable achievement: agreement on extension of the Treaty with a renewed sense of purpose and commitment from all its Parties. The Treaty will continue in force indefinitely, thus permitting the full realization of all its aims: non-proliferation, disarmament and the promotion of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. I am certain that this achievement would not have been possible without your skilful leadership. Your determined sense of purpose and your patient efforts to identify those elements which unite us were an inspiration to us all. You had the courage to set yourself the highest possible goal and to keep to it. I am glad that we all had the courage to follow you. I am confident that no one could have done a better job and that history will give you credit.
While pleased that the Conference decided without a vote to extend the Treaty indefinitely, the Western Group regrets that time did not permit us to reach agreement on the review of the Treaty. For our part, we were ready to continue the search. We attach great importance to the review process. We contributed fully both to the debate and to the drafting exercise. We also attach importance to the agreement reached yesterday on strengthening the review process for the Treaty. We fully support this and we will play our full part in the future, as we have in the past and on this occasion.
I should also like to express my Group's deep thanks and appreciation for the work of the team from the secretariat which has assisted the President throughout this Conference. Its members too have demonstrated enormous dedication and a great capacity for hard work and, even more remarkably, they have done so with great good humour. I should specifically like to mention Secretary-General Davinic, Ms. Hoppe, Mr. Fraser, Ms. Ikegaya and Ms. Ng. But I know that there were many others whose roles were equally important in ensuring the efficiency and effectiveness of the team.
Finally, and again on behalf of the Western Group, I should like to emphasize that we believe that the decision to extend the Treaty without a vote owes much to the spirit of cooperation among the various regional groups. It is this which has brought success to our efforts. Mr. President, hard-working members of the secretariat and distinguished colleagues, thank you.
Mr. Elaraby (Egypt) (interpretation from Arabic): The Conference has concluded its work on the review and extension of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. My delegation had hoped indeed expected that on this occasion the Conference would succeed in adopting a final declaration and would agree on a consolidated, uniform draft of the reports of the Committees so as to reflect the importance of this session. The final outcome was however very disappointing. The Conference failed to adopt a final declaration but did adopt the reports of the three main Committees. Despite the fact that this is not the first time that the Conference has failed to issue a final declaration, and although the Conference decided yesterday to strengthen the review mechanism, we had high hopes that we would begin its implementation today by adopting the final declaration of the Conference.
It seems that some people mistakenly believe that, because the Conference took a decision on the extension of the Treaty, it had achieved its objective. I hope that that mistaken notion does not apply to the success of the Conference in achieving its objectives regarding future efforts on disarmament in general.
In its opening statement at the beginning of the Conference, in an attempt to send out the right signals, Egypt called for a link between the review process on the one hand and the extension of the Treaty on the other. If the NPT is to continue to fulfil its role, the nuclear-weapon States, no less than the non-nuclear-weapon States, will be obliged to comply with the Treaty. The result of the Conference, and the fact that we have not agreed to such a review, raises serious concerns as to whether the nuclear-weapon States will fulfil their commitments, especially after the indefinite extension of the Treaty. This result emphasizes our stance, which is to oppose the indefinite extension of the Treaty, as we said in our statement to the Conference yesterday.
I should like to point out that this failure could have a negative impact regionally, which would strengthen the arms race in areas of tension. That would in turn lead to the escalation of regional problems. The Conference was interested in the regional aspect and yesterday called for all the countries of the Middle East to accede to the Treaty, for Israel's nuclear installations to be subjected to international supervision and for the Middle East to be a nuclear-weapon-free zone, a zone free of weapons of mass destruction.
Now that the Treaty has been extended and though the work of the Conference on the review process has been impeded, we hope that all Parties to the Treaty will consolidate their efforts to implement what we agreed on yesterday as soon as possible.
On behalf of Egypt, I call on all Parties to look to the future, to work together to strengthen the Treaty and to achieve universality so as to provide credibility and to save humanity from the scourge of nuclear weapons.
In conclusion, Mr. President, my delegation would like to extend to you our profound thanks for all your efforts to achieve consensus. You conducted the work of this Conference in admirable style. I should like also to thank the Secretary of the Conference and the members of the Secretariat for their remarkable efforts throughout the Conference.
Mr. Errera (France) (interpretation from French): Yesterday I had the opportunity, on behalf of the European Union and associated countries, to speak of our satisfaction at the major decision taken by the Conference and of the debt of gratitude that we owe you, Mr. President.
As the Conference draws to a close, allow me, again, speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated States, to express the thoughts that the culmination of our work has inspired. We regret that it did not prove possible to adopt a final declaration containing a shared assessment of our consideration of the Treaty. We regret it all the more as three of the Committees were chaired by members of the European Union or associated States, who spared no effort to achieve that end. This Conference was also a Review Conference and that role was carried out in a spirit of professionalism. It allowed for a general debate on all aspects of the Treaty.
In the course of our work, differences were highlighted, but they were also clarified and sometimes they were reduced. We were thus able to recognize that on many major points we have shared interests, our approaches are closely related to one other, and sometimes they converge. Those points of convergence allowed us to adopt the decision on the principles and objectives for non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament. Those same points of convergence very quickly made possible an agreement on the need to strengthen the review process in the future.
It is true that we lacked the time to finalize all the documents relating to the review, but we should not draw negative conclusions. Perhaps we did not succeed in reaching full agreement on the assessment of the past, but we achieved basic agreement on the prospects for the future. We are united, individually and collectively, in implementing the Treaty in all of its aspects, including non-proliferation, the peaceful uses of atomic energy, and disarmament.
We wanted to provide ourselves with a means to achieve this, with clearly stated principles and objectives and a renewed and strengthened review process. If our decisions yesterday demonstrated that there was basic agreement on giving the Treaty the permanence it lacked, they also attested to our common will, equally strong, to continue to assure its implementation in a new world.
Every one of us here must be convinced of the determination of the European Union and the associated States to preserve the vitality of this shared asset, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The announcement this evening of Chile's accession, which the European Union and associated States welcome, is yet another proof of this. That accession bears witness to the pursuit of progress towards the universality that each of us here so desires.
The President: This brings us to the end of the concluding statements, and also to the end of the work of the Conference.
Statement by the President
The President: The States Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) have had a truly unique encounter with history. We have emerged from that tryst with our Treaty not merely extended indefinitely but greatly strengthened by the solidarity of its adherents participating in this Conference in their total commitment to the objectives of the Treaty, to the need for its universality and with a collective determination to achieve the goal of the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. A historic Conference has therefore ended with a historic agreement.
We have concluded the work of the 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the NPT with some momentous decisions. That it was possible to arrive at these decisions without a vote is indeed a vote of confidence in the political and security regime underpinned by our Treaty, which is the only global security compact with near-universal membership. I do not wish to impose my interpretation in regard to the nature or the content of the agreement reached. It is nevertheless my duty as the President of the Conference to highlight the significance of our collective achievement and the need for all States Parties to consolidate and implement these important decisions.
It is also important for us all to remember always that there were no winners or losers in this Conference: it was the Treaty that won. No one delegation and no one group brought us within reach of that success. All delegations and all groups contributed to the success we all achieved for the Treaty and for ourselves. There is therefore no reason for smug complacency about the past performance of States Parties to the Treaty. There is still less room for any relaxation of our pursuit of the prevention of the proliferation of nuclear weapons, the achievement of the complete elimination of those weapons through their prohibition and the promotion of cooperation in the field of the peaceful use of nuclear energy. It is less important to debate what is legally binding and what is politically binding. What is more important is that through delicate and painstaking negotiations the States Parties were able to craft a balanced and forward-looking agreement that they are committed to implementing in a systematic and progressive manner.
They will also periodically review and evaluate the implementation of the package of principles and objectives, together with the provisions of the Treaty. This review and evaluation process will be ongoing, regular and action-oriented. The institutional infrastructure required to operationalize this process has also been put in place. All these elements of the agreed package represent a framework to further the objectives of the Treaty regime, the endurance of which is essential for the future security order of the world.
The strengthened review process that we have established will now ensure a sharper focus on review conferences of the future and their preparatory committees. These forums of rigorous accountability will play a more crucial role in the operation of the Treaty than ever before. As States Parties to the Treaty, we have to ensure that we make maximum use of this mechanism of accountability in the fulfilment of the undertakings in the Treaty.
Our Treaty has been rendered permanent by our actions at this Conference. The permanence of the Treaty does not represent a permanence of unbalanced obligations, nor does it represent the permanence of nuclear apartheid between nuclear haves and have-nots. What it does represent is our collective dedication to the permanence of an international legal barrier against nuclear proliferation so that we can forge ahead in our tasks towards a nuclear-weapon-free world.
I want to highlight the unmistakable message emanating from this Conference: non-proliferation and disarmament can be pursued only jointly, not at each other's expense. Delegations voiced their strong support for the Treaty as a legal basis for achieving non-proliferation and disarmament. The final output of our Conference encapsulates those sentiments and provides a political, legal and institutional framework for translating them into reality in a verifiable, progressive and systematic manner. As President of the Conference, I urge all States Parties now to proceed with dispatch to implement this important package.
In my opening statement, in accepting the honour of presiding over this historic Conference, I said that we had a historic opportunity of making a statement against the possession and use of nuclear weapons for all States for all time. That statement has been made, and it will be heard in the world and reverberate for years to come. The final realization of the objective of nuclear disarmament will prove the wisdom of our Conference decisions.
In emphasizing the importance of the results achieved, let me not minimize the concerns and differences that we have had to take cognizance of. That would not be fair to those delegations that have made genuine compromises; nor would it be in the interests of the Treaty. However, the very fact that the delegations were willing and able to address frankly their fundamental security concerns and negotiate viable compromises within the context of the Treaty is a reaffirmation that the Treaty has indeed become a truly broad-based security framework.
Despite the absence of a final declaration because of lack of time and lack of agreement on certain parts of the reports of the Main Committees, especially Main Committee I, the three Main Committees were able to develop general agreement on several crucial questions dealing with disarmament, non-proliferation, safeguards, negative security assurances and peaceful uses of nuclear energy. These will provide invaluable inputs in the implementation of the decisions of this Conference, in particular in the strengthened review process.
Multilateralism and the consensual approach have prevailed over parochial and divisive politics. The painstaking process of enlarging the area of agreement through consultation and compromise was ultimately more fruitful than proselytization with pieces of paper. One month of hard work and complex negotiations has brought about a political package that points to an incremental way forward in non-proliferation and disarmament. The objectives and principles on non-proliferation and disarmament, together with the strengthened review process, which are intricately bound up with the decision on the extension of the Treaty, represent a pathfinder for a nuclear-weapon-free world.
Over the past 25 years non-governmental organizations have performed valuable services for the Non-Proliferation Treaty in encouragement, ideas, public support and advocacy of further progress towards the goals of the Treaty. I should like to pay them a sincere tribute for their dedication.
The expertise and resources of non-governmental organizations are being increasingly integrated into various facets of human endeavours within and among States, including in the context of the United Nations. Arrangements for communication between non-governmental organizations and NPT parties should therefore be improved. For that purpose, consideration might be given to the possibility of having a presentation of one to two days to delegates by non-governmental organizations, in written and oral format, which would encourage maximum exchange of ideas between non-governmental organizations and delegates during the Preparatory Committee meetings and at Review Conferences. The Centre for Disarmament Affairs could take on the organization of these improved contacts.
Let me, before concluding, thank the Chairmen of the Main Committees, the Vice-Presidents and the other officials for the support and advice they gave me in the management tasks of this Conference. I should also like to thank the Secretary-General and his diligent staff for the splendid job they have done under difficult conditions. Let me also thank the conference services staff and interpreters and all the other Secretariat staff whose services were invisible but indispensable. Above all, I should like sincerely to thank all delegations who have given me unreserved support and encouragement for my efforts at seeking agreement. All of you inspired me in my convictions about the need for a consensus approach to decision-making. I should like, therefore, to express my deepest gratitude to all delegations for the support, flexibility and cooperation extended to me at all times.
Closure of the Conference
The President: I declare the 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons closed.
The meeting rose at 12.25 a.m. on Saturday, 13 May 1995.