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The 2000 NPT Review Conference (RevCon)
Statement by the Representative of Mexico, Ambassador Antonio de Icaza, to introduce the working paper on nuclear disarmament in Main Committee I, on behalf of the delegations of Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa and Sweden.

26 April 2000

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Mr. Chairman, 

1. I am pleased to introduce the document entitled "Nuclear Disarmament" as the identification of areas in which and the means through which further progress should be sought in the future regarding the obligations Under Articles I, II and Vl and the purposes of the corresponding preambular paragraphs of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to achieve nuclear disarmament. 

2. This Review Conference gives us the opportunity to renew our commitment with the purposes of the preamble and the provisions of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. It will also allow us an in-depth review of the degree of compliance by the States parties of the decisions adopted in 1995, and to reiterate the continued validity of these commitments. 

3. On the basis of this Treaty the great majority of States have entered into legally binding commitments not to receive, manufacture, or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, and the Nuclear Weapon States have entered into legally binding commitments to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective nuclear measures. 

4. In 1995 we believed that the achievement of nuclear disarmament would be substantially facilitated by the easing of international tensions and that confidence between States would be enhanced. Therefore, a new era based upon international cooperation would commence, and a Programme of Action was agreed to reach the full implementation of Article Vl of the Treaty. 

5. The 1996 international Court of Justice Advisory Opinion strengthened that commitment by affirming that an obligation exists to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects Under strict and effective international control. 

6. We must admit that, since then, events in the field of disarmament and international security have not been encouraging: the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty is far from attaining the number of ratifications needed to enter into force and no possibilities of accelerating the ratification process are in sight; the commencement of negotiations of a fissile material treaty faces serious difficulties and negotiations on a legally binding instrument on negative security assurances are at a standstill. 

7. We have not witnessed the necessary political will on the part of some States parties to fulfil their obligations Under the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The systematic and progressive efforts of the nuclear weapon States parties have fallen short of the 1995 Review and Extension Conference requirements. Other measures to achieve a nuclear weapon free world have not been identified much less acted on. It is clear that the international non-proliferation regime faces a difficult moment, whereas the Treaty confronts a credibility crisis. 

8. We need a Universal Treaty. We are concerned by the fact that three States operate unsafeguarded nuclear facilities and keep their nuclear weapons options open and have still not acceded to the Treaty. 

9. We are also concerned that nuclear weapons continue to be central to the security policies and the cornerstone of strategic concepts. Nuclear doctrines are being reaffirmed. Only by lessening the importance of those weapons in security policies, will the strategic stability be strengthened and the elimination of nuclear weapons achieved. 

10. We want to stress once more that the indefinite extension of the Treaty does not legitimize the indefinite possession of nuclear weapons. 

Mr. Chairman, 

11. We need to move with determination to the full realization and effective implementation of the purposes and all the provisions of the Treaty. With that objective in mind, the New Agenda includes a set of concrete measures with the goal of achieving a nuclear weapon free world in a foreseeable future. 

12. We stress the importance that the five nuclear weapon States make a new and unequivocal Undertaking to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals and, in the course of the forthcoming review period 2000-2005, engage in an accelerated process of negotiations and to take steps leading to nuclear disarmament to which all States Parties are committed under Article Vl. 

13. The United States of America and the Russian Federation must undertake to complete the ratification procedure of the Treaty on Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (START II) so that full and effective implementation of the Treaty can proceed and to commence without further delay negotiations on START III with a view to its early conclusion. 

14. The five nuclear weapon States must Undertake with determination the process of elimination of their nuclear arsenals and therefore, and in this context they should implement a set of interim measures. 

15. These measures include, among others, to adapt their nuclear policies and postures so as to preclude the use of nuclear weapons; to de-alert and remove nuclear warheads from delivery vehicles; and, to reduce tactical nuclear weapons and to proceed to their elimination as an integral part of nuclear arms reductions. 

16. These set of measures also include the need for a greater transparency with regard to their nuclear arsenals and fissile material inventories. We believe that it will be necessary to further develop the trilateral initiative between the United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the International Atomic Energy Agency, so as to include all five nuclear weapon States in similar arrangements and to ensure the irreversible removal of fissile material from nuclear weapons programmed. 

17. The principle of irreversibility in all nuclear disarmament, nuclear arms reduction and nuclear arms control measures, should be applied. 

18. We call on States parties that have not yet done so, to sign and ratify, unconditionally and without delay, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and, pending its entry into force, to observe moratoria on nuclear tests. 

19. We reiterate the Urgency of commencing without delay negotiations on a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, taking into account both nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament objectives, and pending its entry into force, the observation of a moratorium on the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. 

20. We are convinced that nuclear disarmament must be subject to multilateral consideration. Therefore, we call for the establishment in the Conference on Disarmament, of an appropriate subsidiary body with a mandate to deal with nuclear disarmament. 

21. We consider that the extension and establishment of nuclear weapon free zones, on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at among States of the regions concerned, especially in regions of tension, such as the Middle East and South Asia, are significant contributions to a nuclear weapon free world. 

22. Furthermore, we agree on the importance of the negotiation and conclusion at an early date of an internationally legacy binding instrument to effectively assure non-nuclear weapon States party to the Treaty. 

23. In order to have a genuine nuclear non-proliferation regime, it must be Universal. The members of the New Agenda initiative for Nuclear Disarmament call upon those States parties that have not yet done so, to adhere Unconditionally and without delay to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and to take all necessary measures required by adherence to that instrument as non-nuclear weapon States parties. 

Mr. Chairman, 

24. This Review Conference may be our last best opportunity to advance nuclear disarmament. The members of the New Agenda initiative for Nuclear Disarmament are proposing a set of practical and achievable measures that can be implemented and which will contribute to a more secure planet. Based on our initiative, we Urge States parties to the Treaty to strengthen the non-proliferation regime.