The European Parliament,

– having regard to its previous resolutions on nuclear disarmament, testing and non-proliferation,

A. welcoming the joint statement of 9 June 1998 by the Foreign Ministers of Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Slovenia, South Africa and Sweden, entitled, ‘Towards a nuclear-weapon-free world: the needs for a new agenda’, a group also known as the New Agenda Coalition (NAC),

B. welcoming the broad diversity of this coalition of countries, crossing as it does traditional lines of co-operation, and also welcoming the eight countries’ initiating a multilateral debate at the highest level of government on such an important and urgent issue,

C. noting that the United Nations’ First Committee passed the NAC resolution on 13 November 1998, with 97 votes in favour, 19 against and 32 abstentions,

D. concerned by both the continued retention of nuclear weapons by a few and the nuclear aspirations of others, and reasserting its call for a nuclear-weapon-free world,

E. noting that this timely initiative, which includes two EU Member States and one associate member, reflects the post-Cold War redefined security environment and sets a path towards constructive engagement discussions on the subject of nuclear disarmament,

F. emphasising that the UN resolution does not propose actions that contradict any existing EU, NATO or national policies, and supports existing policies regarding inter alia the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the US-Russia START process and nuclear-weapon-free zones,

1. Calls upon the EU Member States to support the NAC initiative and to vote in favour of it in the General Assembly in December;

2. Calls on those countries that possess nuclear weapons to fulfil their commitment to disarm by virtue of Article VI of the NPT;

3. Calls also on the non-nuclear weapon members of the NPT to fulfil their treaty commitments i.e. not to receive, manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices;

4. Calls on states outside of the NPT to immediately, and unconditionally, accede to the treaty and to place all fissionable materials under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards;

5. Underlines the importance and the necessity of further improving existing verification procedures with a view to ensuring effective compliance by all states concerned, including the allocation of appropriate funding;

6. Requests that those countries opposing the UN resolution make clear their objections by specifically naming the paragraphs in question;

7. Calls upon all Member States of the EU to undertake discussions on the subject of taking nuclear forces off their current high-sensitivity alert procedures, also known as de-alerting, as highlighted in the Canberra Commission report of 1996;

8. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Foreign Ministers of the NAC and the United Nations Secretary General.