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14 October 2008 - "Nuclear Weapons" - H.E. Ambassador Eric Danon

Statement by H.E. Ambassador Eric Danon,Permanent Representative of France to the Conference on Disarmament in Genevaon belhalf on the European Union

Mr. Chairman,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union,

1. I speak on behalf of the European Union. The Candidate Countries Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia, and the EFTA country Iceland, member of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, align themselves with this declaration.

2. It cannot be denied that international security continues to be compromised and threatened, both globally and regionally, by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, and by the risk that non﷓State actors could gain access to such weapons. The discovery on a number of occasions of clandestine nuclear activities is matter of deep concern to the international community, as is the proliferation of ballistic missiles of increasingly great range. It is thus of the utmost importance that all existing disarmament and non﷓proliferation agreements are properly implemented and fully complied with.

3. The European Union is fully committed to maintaining, implementing and strengthening disarmament and non﷓proliferation treaties and agreements. Progress is needed in the field of disarmament and non﷓proliferation in accordance with the existing relevant international instruments and by negotiating new treaties, such as a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.

4. The NPT, based on the three mutually reinforcing pillars of non﷓proliferation, disarmament and the peaceful use of nuclear energy, represents a unique and irreplaceable framework for maintaining and strengthening international peace, security and stability. The Treaty remains the cornerstone of the global nuclear non﷓proliferation regime and also the essential basis for efforts to secure nuclear disarmament in accordance with Article VI and an important element in the development of peaceful uses of nuclear energy. In the face of the current risks in the area of international security, in particular the risks of proliferation, we are convinced that the NPT is now more important than ever. It is our duty to preserve and strengthen its authority and integrity and to that end the EU will continue to promote all the objectives contained in the Treaty.

5. The EU welcomes the satisfactory conclusion of the second session of the Preparatory Committee of the 2010 NPT Review Conference, held in Geneva from 28 April to 9 May, which allowed detailed debates to be conducted on all the questions on the agenda and solutions to be found to the main procedural questions for the continuation of the review cycle. The EU welcomes the fact that during the session the States Parties, including those which are nuclear weapons States, reaffirmed their common commitment to maintaining the integrity and authority of the Treaty. The EU Member States actively contributed to the discussions through their comments and proposals.

6. The EU will continue to work for the success of the current review cycle. It will endeavour to ensure that, in a balanced, effective, concrete and pragmatic manner, the 2010 Conference examines the means of stepping up international efforts to fight proliferation, continuing with disarmament and ensuring the responsible development of peaceful uses of nuclear energy by those countries which wish to develop their capacities in this area.

7. The EU remains fully committed, on the basis of its 2005 Common Position, which it confirms, to work to strengthen the international nuclear non﷓proliferation regime. The EU continues to support the Decisions and the Resolution adopted by the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference and the Final Document of the 2000 NPT Review Conference, while also taking account of the current situation.

8. The EU notes that serious proliferation challenges have emerged in recent years and calls on the international community to face them with conviction and to tackle resolutely any new challenge of this kind in the years to come.

9. We reiterate our support for an effective, universal non﷓proliferation regime based on the NPT and the IAEA’s international safeguards and we stress the need to strengthen that regime. We fully recognise States Parties’ inalienable right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Treaty. We are convinced that the development of civil nuclear energy programmes by those countries wishing to go down that road must conform strictly to the most exacting safety, security and non﷓proliferation standards and that it should strengthen the integrity of the disarmament and non﷓proliferation regime. We would recall, however, that the international community must at all costs prevent any redirection of civil nuclear programmes for the purposes of developing nuclear weapons.

10. In this connection, the EU emphasises the essential and unique role of the IAEA in monitoring States’ fulfilment of their nuclear non﷓proliferation undertakings. The IAEA’s system of international safeguards is the irreplaceable basis for verifying the global nuclear non﷓proliferation regime. The IAEA Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements and the Additional Protocols constitute the current verification standard. The EU considers the Additional Protocol to be an integral part of the IAEA Safeguards System and adherence to it should be considered an essential means of verifying the fulfilment of States Parties’ obligations under Article III of the NPT. We urge all States that have not yet done so to sign and bring into force their respective Safeguards Agreements and Additional Protocols. The EU Member States are also working within the NSG to ensure that the ratification of the Additional Protocol becomes a condition for the export of nuclear﷓related items and technologies.

11. We would once again draw attention to the potential implications for international peace and security of withdrawal from the NPT. The contributions and discussions during the first and second sessions of the Preparatory Committee of the 2010 NPT Review Conference have proved to be very useful. We call for the adoption, during this review cycle, of measures to discourage withdrawal from the Treaty and to deal with the consequences of a withdrawal from the Treaty, including through the suspension of nuclear cooperation. We are also continuing to work towards universal accession to the NPT and call on those States not yet party to the NPT to join the Treaty as non﷓nuclear﷓weapon States.

12. Moreover, the European Union confirms its commitment to strong national and internationally coordinated controls on exports to complement our obligations under the NPT and it supports the strengthening of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). The EU calls on the NSG and the Zangger Committee to share their experiences with controls on exports with non﷓member countries in order to meet the new challenges connected with the increase in world trade in nuclear﷓related items.

13. The EU attaches great importance to the fight against terrorism and supports all measures designed to prevent terrorists acquiring nuclear, biological and chemical weapons or connected materials, their means of delivery and radiological material. UNSC Resolution 1540 and the subsequent Resolutions 1673 and 1810 play a crucial role in this respect. We salute the efforts of the IAEA in the prevention of nuclear terrorism, in particular through the Nuclear Security Fund, which the EU continues to support. We also support the activities of the IAEA which make it possible to exercise better control over nuclear and radioactive material and to improve Member States’ capacity to detect and react to illegal trafficking in nuclear material and other radioactive material. The EU calls on all States that have not yet done so to sign and ratify the Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism and the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) and the amendment thereto.

14. The EU welcomes the initiative launched by the Director General of the IAEA to discuss multilateral approaches to the fuel cycle. The IAEA must be the driving force behind these discussions. The EU feels that it is time to finalise concrete measures in this area. Balanced multilateral mechanisms would contribute significantly to allaying recipient countries’ concerns regarding the security of supply, by facilitating access to nuclear fuel and associated services, lessening the need to invest in complex and costly fuel cycle technologies and reducing concerns about proliferation and nuclear safety. The EU welcomes the proposals made thus far, in particular those supported or brought forward by some of its Member States. The various proposals are welcome. The European Union stresses the importance of proposing solutions which meet the needs of States wishing to develop peaceful uses of nuclear energy while favouring the greatest possible safety and security. The European Union is currently examining closely the possibility of making a financial contribution to the ambitious project for a fuel bank, under the aegis of the IAEA, begun by the NGO Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI). This project represents a first stage in the implementation of a train of thought begun some time ago, which is worth pursuing further. The European Union would like to participate in the framing of specific parameters for this bank.

Mr Chairman,

15. Iran’s nuclear programme represents an important challenge to the non﷓proliferation regime. For more than 20 years Iran has been concealing a series of clandestine nuclear activities and is carrying out enrichment and heavy water activities while at the same time developing a medium﷓range ballistic missile programme.

16. In adopting sanctions resolution 1835 on the Iranian nuclear programme on the basis of Article 41 of Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Security Council again sent a firm message to Iran expressing the international community’s determination. We deplore Iran’s persistent failure to comply with the requirements of the Security Council and the IAEA Board of Governors by refusing to suspend enrichment, to shed full light on its past and present activities, and to grant the IAEA the access and cooperation demanded by the latter to resolve the outstanding questions mentioned in its reports, in order to restore confidence. The EU is particularly concerned by the last report from the IAEA Director General on 15 September; it shares the Director General’s "serious concern" when Iran fails to reply to questions about possible activities in relation to the design and manufacture of nuclear weapons. We urge Iran to comply with the demands of the Security Council and the IAEA, including the suspension of enrichment and reprocessing activities and all heavy water projects. The EU remains committed to finding a negotiated solution rapidly on the nuclear dossier and we reaffirm our firm commitment to a dual approach. We urge Iran to open the way to negotiations by complying with UNSC Resolutions 1737, 1747, 1803 and 1835. We reiterate our support for the proposals put to Iran in June 2006 by the Secretary﷓General and High Representative of the European Union and developed further in a revised offer delivered to Iran on 14 June.

17. The European Union continues to support the Six Party talks process and the aim of denuclearisation of North Korea, in accordance with Security Council Resolution 1718. The EU stresses the importance of rapid and complete fulfilment of the commitments set out in the Joint Statement of 19 September 2005. The EU calls on the DPRK to comply fully with Security Council Resolutions 1695 and 1718 and with its obligations under the Non﷓Proliferation Treaty, including implementation of its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA. The EU would recall the DPRK’s obligation not to engage in sensitive exports leading to proliferation. We had been particularly concerned by the announcement by North Korea that it was restarting its reactor at Yongbyon. We welcome the recent agreement between the United States and the DPRK on the resumption of the disabling of its nuclear facilities. This constitutes a step forward on the way towards the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of DPRK.

We hope that the Six Party talks will enable progress to be made on implementing the agreement of February 2007. The EU will continue to contribute to the denuclearisation process, in particular by means of a Joint Action adopted by the Council in November 2007 to support the IAEA in its activities to monitor the shutdown of nuclear reactors in North Korea.

18. The EU has noted with concern the statement by the Director-General of the IAEA of 25 April 2008 about allegations concerning an undeclared nuclear reactor in Syria. It welcomes the fact that the IAEA decided to carry out, at the end of June, investigations into this and calls on Syria to cooperate fully with the Agency so that it can fulfil its mandate in satisfactory conditions. The European Union is looking forward to the IAEA’s report of its inspections.

19. The EU stresses the need to work for general disarmament. Non﷓proliferation, disarmament and arms control, together with confidence, transparency and reciprocity are vital aspects of collective security. We welcome the nuclear disarmament measures taken in the two EU nuclear﷓weapon States and their initiatives in this area. The EU invites the international community to work to promote specific and realistic initiatives on disarmament, by urging in particular:

-  the universal ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and the completion of its verification regime, and the dismantling as soon as possible of all nuclear testing facilities in a manner that is transparent and open to the international community;
-  the opening without delay and without preconditions of negotiations for a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons, and the introduction of an immediate moratorium on the production of such material;
-  the establishment of confidence and transparency measures by the nuclear powers;
-  further progress in the current discussions between the United States and Russia on the development of a legally﷓binding post﷓START arrangement, and an overall reduction in the global stockpile of nuclear weapons in accordance with Article VI of the NPT, in particular by the States which possess the largest arsenals;
-  the inclusion of tactical nuclear weapons, by those States which have them, in their general arms control and disarmament processes, with a view to their reduction and elimination;
-  the start of consultations on a treaty banning short and medium﷓range surface﷓to﷓surface missiles;
-  the accession to and implementation by all of the Hague Code of Conduct;
-  and, over and above this, mobilisation in all other areas of disarmament.

20. The EU attaches the greatest importance to the entry into force as soon as possible of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and the completion of its verification regime. Renewed momentum towards the entry into force of the Treaty is perceptible, and we must reinforce it, especially with a view to the 2010 NPT Review Conference. The EU welcomes the recent ratifications of the CTBT by Colombia, Malaysia, Barbados, the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic and Palau. We repeat our call to all States which have not yet done so, and particularly the nine States in Annex II to the Treaty, to sign and ratify the Treaty unconditionally and without delay. We continue to actively support the Special Representative of the States which have ratified the Treaty in his work of promoting universal accession to it.

21. Pending the entry into force of the Treaty, we call on all States to uphold a moratorium and desist from any action which is contrary to the obligations and provisions of the CTBT. Furthermore, the EU urges the States concerned to dismantle as soon as possible all their nuclear testing facilities in a manner which is transparent and open to the international community.

22. The EU also calls on the States which have signed or ratified the Treaty to pay all their contributions to the CTBT Preparatory Commission on time and without conditions. In addition to fulfilling its financial obligations, the EU is supporting the CTBT in areas such as training, capacity building and enhancing the performance of the global verification system.

23. The EU attaches a clear priority to the negotiation, without preconditions, in the Conference on Disarmament, of a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices (FMCT), as a means to strengthen disarmament and non﷓proliferation. This is a priority that is ripe for negotiation. The EU stresses the importance of the Conference on Disarmament as the single multilateral forum available to the international community for negotiations on disarmament. The EU is encouraged by the interactive informal debates that took place during the 2008 annual session. The EU has indicated that it could accept proposal 1840 as it stands, and has thus demonstrated its good will and its determination to find a way out of the current stalemate. We call on all delegations to show flexibility and responsibility and to join the consensus on that proposal. Pending the entry into force of an FMCT, the EU calls on all States to declare and uphold a moratorium on the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, and to dismantle their production capacity. We welcome the fact that four nuclear﷓weapon States have decreed such a moratorium.

24. The EU backs the continuation of nuclear disarmament, in accordance with Article VI of the NPT, and welcomes the reduction in strategic nuclear weapons and their means of delivery since the end of the Cold War, and the significant measures taken by two Member States of the Union in this respect. We stress the need for an overall reduction in the global stockpile of nuclear weapons in accordance with Article VI of the NPT, in particular by the States which possess the largest arsenals. In this context, we recognise the principle of irreversibility which must underpin all measures in the area of nuclear disarmament and arms control, as they contribute to establishing and upholding international peace, security and stability, taking these conditions into account. We are pursuing efforts to secure transparency as a voluntary confidence﷓building measure to support further progress in disarmament. The EU welcomes the increased transparency shown by some nuclear﷓weapon States on the nuclear weapons they possess and calls on others to do likewise.

25. Whilst welcoming the reductions in nuclear weapons deployed and their means of delivery under the START and SORT Treaties, the European Union notes that these treaties will expire in 2009 and 2012 respectively, and urges the need for further progress. In this respect, the EU is encouraged by the discussions in progress between the United States and Russia on the development of a post﷓START arrangement, and welcomes in particular the recent announcement following the meeting in Sochi that they will work towards a legally binding instrument.

26. The EU also calls on all States with non﷓strategic nuclear weapons to include them in their general arms control and disarmament processes with a view to their reduction and elimination. It also stresses the importance, for the purposes of nuclear disarmament, of the programmes for the destruction and elimination of nuclear weapons and the elimination of fissile material under the G8 Global Partnership.

27. The EU recognises the high value of the existing legally﷓binding security assurances, provided by the Protocols to the agreements creating nuclear﷓weapon﷓free zones, and of the unilateral declarations by nuclear﷓weapon States, noted by Security Council Resolution 984/1995 and reaffirmed on several occasions, notably at the 6th NPT Review Conference, to non﷓nuclear﷓weapon States on the use of or threat of use of nuclear weapons. Positive and negative assurances can play an important role in the NPT regime and can act as an incentive to forego the acquisition of WMD. We are committed to promoting further consideration of security assurances.

28. The EU continues to attach great importance to the development of internationally recognised nuclear﷓weapon﷓free zones (NWFZ), established on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at among States of the regions concerned, as elaborated in the guidelines adopted by the UNDC in 1999. Nuclear﷓weapon﷓free zones enhance regional and global peace and security and are a means of promoting nuclear disarmament, stability and confidence. We welcome and support the signing and ratification by the nuclear﷓weapon States of the relevant protocols to the NWFZ treaties, following completion of the necessary consultations. We hope that outstanding issues concerning nuclear﷓weapon﷓free zones can be resolved through detailed consultations, in accordance with UNDC guidelines and with the agreement of all parties involved.

29. The EU remains committed to the full implementation of the resolutions on the Middle East adopted by the Security Council and the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference. The EU calls on the States of the region to establish an effectively verifiable zone free of nuclear weapons, as well as other weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. We call on all the States of the region that have not yet done so to accede to the NPT, and to the conventions banning biological and chemical weapons, and to conclude with the IAEA a Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement and an Additional Protocol.

Mr Chairman,

30. We must work together and be united to make the world a safer place. The EU calls on all States to work for disarmament, in accordance with Article VI of the NPT, and to make the non﷓proliferation regime more effective.

Thank you, Mr Chairman.

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