Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Preparatory Committee, New York
April 2002

I Background

In 1995, the States parties extended the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty indefinitely and undertook to make every effort to achieve its universality. The Review Process of the Treaty was strengthened and Principles and Objectives to address the implementation of the Treaty were adopted. The Resolution on the Middle East was adopted as an integral part of the 1995 package.

In 1996, the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice concluded unanimously that: “There exists an obligation 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”.

The Final Document of the 2000 NPT Review Conference represents a positive step on the road to nuclear disarmament. In particular, nuclear-weapon States made the unequivocal undertaking to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals and agreed on practical steps to be taken by them that would lead to nuclear disarmament. To this end, additional steps were necessary to improve the effectiveness of the strengthened review process for the Treaty.

II Fundamental Principles

The participation of the international community as a whole is central to the maintenance and enhancement of international peace and stability. International security is a collective concern requiring collective engagement. Internationally negotiated treaties in the field of disarmament have made a fundamental contribution to international peace and security.

Unilateral and bilateral nuclear disarmament measures complement the treaty based multilateral approach towards nuclear disarmament. It is essential that fundamental principles, such as transparency, verification and irreversibility, be applied to all disarmament measures.

We reaffirm that any presumption of the indefinite possession of nuclear weapons by the nuclear-weapon States is incompatible with the integrity and sustainability of the nuclear non-proliferation regime and with the broader goal of the maintenance of international peace and security.

Irreversibility in nuclear disarmament, nuclear reductions, and other related nuclear arms control measures is imperative. A fundamental pre-requisite for promoting nuclear non-proliferation is continuous irreversible progress in nuclear arms reductions.

Each article of the Treaty is binding on the respective State parties at all times and in all circumstances. It is imperative that all States parties be held fully accountable with respect to the strict compliance of their obligations under the Treaty.

Further progress on disarmament must be a major determinant in achieving and sustaining international stability. The 2000 NPT undertakings on disarmament have been given and the implementation of them remains the imperative.

A nuclear-weapon-free world will ultimately require the underpinning of a universal and multilaterally negotiated legally binding instrument or a framework encompassing a mutually reinforcing set of instruments.

III Developments since the 2000 NPT Review Conference

To date, there have been few advances in the implementation of the thirteen steps agreed to at the 2000 NPT Review Conference. We remain concerned that in the post Cold War security environment, security policies and defence doctrines continue to be based on the possession of nuclear weapons. The commitment to diminish the role of nuclear weapons in security policies and defence doctrines has yet to materialise. This lack of progress is inconsistent with the unequivocal undertaking by the nuclear-weapon States to achieve the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals. In addition, we are deeply concerned about emerging approaches to the future role of nuclear weapons as part of new security strategies.

The Conference on Disarmament has continued to fail to deal with nuclear disarmament and to resume 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 devises taking into consideration both nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation objectives. The expectations of progress that resulted from the 2000 NPT Review Conference have to date not been met.

Although implementation of the CTBT’s international monitoring system has proceeded, the CTBT has not yet entered into force. There are no indications that nuclear-weapon States have increased transparency measures. Measures have been taken by one nuclear-weapon State to unilaterally reduce the operational status of its nuclear weapons systems. To date, there is no evidence of any agreed concrete measures to reduce the operational status of nuclear weapon systems.

There is no sign of efforts involving all of the five nuclear-weapon States in the process leading to the total elimination of nuclear weapons. On the contrary, there are worrying signs of the development of new generations of nuclear weapons. While welcoming the statements of intent regarding substantial cuts by the United States and the Russian Federation to deployed nuclear arsenals, we remain deeply concerned at the continuing possibility that nuclear weapons could be used. Despite the intentions of, and past achievements in bilateral and unilateral reductions, the total number of nuclear weapons deployed and stockpiled still amounts to thousands.

There is concern that the notification of withdrawal by one of the State parties to the treaty on the limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missile systems (ABM), the additional element of uncertainty it brings and its impact on strategic stability as an important factor contributing to and facilitating nuclear disarmament, will have negative consequences on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. It could also have grave consequences for the future of global security and create an apparent rationale for action based solely on unilateral concerns. Any action, including development of missile defence systems, which could impact negatively on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, is of concern to the international community. We are concerned about the risk of a new arms race on earth and in outer space.

The achievements and promise the bilateral START process held, including the possibility it offered for development as a plurilateral mechanism including all the nuclear-weapon States, for the practical dismantling and destruction of nuclear armaments, undertaken in the pursuit of the elimination of nuclear weapons, is in jeopardy.

In the United Nations Millennium Declaration, the heads of State and Government resolved to strive for the elimination of weapons of mass destruction, in particular nuclear weapons, and to keep all options open for achieving this aim, including the possibility of convening an international conference to identify ways of eliminating nuclear dangers.

We are concerned by the continued retention of the nuclear-weapons option by those three States that operate unsafeguarded nuclear facilities and have not acceded to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, as well as their failure to renounce that option.

There has been progress in the further development of nuclear-weapon-free zones in some regions, and, in particular, the movement towards freeing the Southern Hemisphere and adjacent areas from such weapons. In this context, the ratification of the treaties of Tlatelolco, Rarotonga, Bangkok and Pelindaba by all the States of the region, and all concerned States is of great importance. They should all work together in order to facilitate adherence to the protocols to nuclear-weapon-free zone treaties by all relevant States that have not yet done so. States parties to those treaties should be encouraged to promote their common objectives with a view to enhance cooperation among the nuclear-weapon-free zones and to working together with the proponents of other such zones. On the other hand, no progress has been achieved in the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones in the Middle East, South Asia and other regions.

IV The Way Ahead

We remain determined to pursue, with continued vigour, the full and effective implementation of the substantial agreements reached at the 2000 NPT Review Conference. That outcome provides the requisite blueprint to achieve nuclear disarmament.

Multilaterally negotiated legally binding security assurances must be given by the nuclear-weapon States to all non-nuclear-weapon States parties. The Preparatory Committee should make recommendations to the 2005 Review Conference on the modalities for immediate negotiations on this issue. Pending the conclusion of such negotiations, the nuclear-weapon States should fully respect their existing commitments in this regard.

The nuclear-weapon States must increase their transparency and accountability with regard to their nuclear weapons arsenals and their implementation of disarmament measures.

Further efforts by nuclear-weapon States to effectively reduce their nuclear arsenals unilaterally are required. Formalisation by nuclear-weapon States of their unilateral declarations in a legally binding agreement including provisions ensuring transparency, verification and irreversibility is essential. Nuclear-weapon States should bear in mind that reductions of deployments are a positive signal but no replacement for the actual elimination of nuclear weapons.

Nuclear-weapon States should implement the NPT commitments to apply the principle of irreversibility by destroying the nuclear warheads in the context of strategic nuclear reductions and avoid keeping them in a state that lends itself to their possible redeployment. While deployment reduction, and reduction of operational status, give a positive signal, it cannot be a substitute for irreversible cuts and the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

Further reductions of non-strategic nuclear weapons should be a priority. Nuclear weapon States must live up to their commitments. Reductions of non-strategic nuclear weapons should be carried out in a transparent and irreversible manner and to include reduction and elimination of non-strategic nuclear weapons in the overall arms reductions negotiations. In this context, urgent action should be taken to achieve:

  • further reduction of non-strategic nuclear weapons, based on unilateral initiatives and as an integral part of the nuclear arms reduction and disarmament process;
  • further confidence-building and transparency measures to reduce the threats posed by non-strategic nuclear weapons;
  • concrete agreed measures to reduce further the operational status of nuclear weapons systems; and to formalising existing informal bilateral arrangements regarding non-strategic nuclear reductions, such as the Bush-Gorbachev declarations of 1991, into legally binding agreements.

Nuclear-weapon States must undertake the necessary steps towards the seamless integration of all five nuclear-weapon States into a process leading to the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

We underline the importance and urgency of signatures and ratifications to achieve the early entry into force of the CTBT without delay and without conditions. This gains additional urgency since the process of the installation of an international system to monitor nuclear weapons tests under the CTBT is more advanced than the real prospects of entry into force of the treaty. This is a situation not consistent with the idea of elaborating a universal and comprehensive test ban treaty.

In the interim, it is necessary to uphold and maintain the moratorium on nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions pending entry into force of the CTBT. The strict observance of the CTBT’s purposes, objectives and provisions is imperative.

The Conference on Disarmament should establish without delay an ad hoc committee to deal with nuclear disarmament.

The Conference on Disarmament should resume 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 consideration both nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation objectives.

The Conference on Disarmament, as the single multilateral negotiating forum, has the primary role in the negotiation of a multilateral agreement or agreements, as appropriate, on the prevention of an arms race in outer space in all its aspects. The Conference should complete the examination and updating of the mandate contained in its decision of 13 February 1992, and to establish an ad hoc committee as early as possible.

The international community must redouble its efforts to achieve universal adherence to the NPT and to be vigilant against any steps that would undermine its determination to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Those three States [India, Pakistan and Israel] which are not yet parties to the NPT, must accede to the Treaty as non-nuclear weapon States, promptly and without condition, and bring into force the required comprehensive safeguards agreements, together with the additional model protocol, for ensuring nuclear non-proliferation, and to reverse clearly and urgently any policies to pursue any nuclear weapons development or deployment and refrain from any action that could undermine regional and international peace and security and the efforts of the international community towards nuclear disarmament and the prevention of nuclear weapons proliferation.

The Trilateral Initiative between the IAEA, the Russian Federation and the United States must be implemented, and consideration should be given to the possible inclusion of other nuclear-weapon States.

Arrangements should be made by all nuclear-weapon States to place, as soon as practicable, fissile material no longer required for military purposes under IAEA or other relevant international verification.

International treaties in the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation must be observed, and all obligations flowing from those treaties must be duly fulfilled.

All States should refrain from any action that could lead to a new nuclear arms race or that could impact negatively on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

V The Strengthened Review Process

The Preparatory Committee should deal with the procedural issues necessary to take its work forward but also with matters of substance as was decided in the 1995 and 2000 outcomes, and to ensure that the issues of substance deliberated upon are recorded in the factual summary of the Preparatory Committee.

The Preparatory Committee should substantively focus on nuclear disarmament so as to ensure that there is a proper accounting in their reports by States of their progress in achieving nuclear disarmament. Accountability will be assessed in the consideration of these reports that the States parties agreed to submit. The Preparatory Committee should consider regular reports to be submitted by all States parties on the implementation of article VI and paragraph 4(c) of the 1995 Decision.

The strengthened review process envisioned in the 2000 NPT Final Document concerning the implementation of the Treaty and Decisions 1 & 2 as well as the Resolution on the Middle East adopted in 1995 should be fully implemented.

These reports should be submitted to each session of the Preparatory Committee. The reports on article VI should cover issues and principles addressed by the thirteen steps and include specific and complete information on each of these steps (inter alia, the number and specifications of warheads and delivery systems in service and number and specifications of reductions, dealerting measures, existing holdings of fissile materials as well as reduction and control of such materials, achievements in the areas of irreversibility, transparency and verifiability). These reports should address current policies and intentions, as well as developments in these areas.