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13 May 2010 - NPT - Subsidiary Body II: "Regional issues, particularly those relating to the Middle East and the implementation of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East" - Statement by Mr. Frédéric Mondoloni, France’s governor on the International Atomic Energy Agency board

(Unofficial translation)

Mr. President,

France had the opportunity to express its views, within the framework of the Main Committee II, on regional issues, in particular the regional proliferation crises which undermine our capacity to achieve the objectives of the Treaty and which are a serious threat to regional and international peace and security. The European Union also expressed its views, and in this respect I fully support the statements made by Spain on behalf of the EU within the Main Committee as well as within the framework of this subsidiary organ’s work.

I would like to go back over these issues in more detail within the framework of this subsidiary body’s work by firstly addressing the issue relating to the implementation of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East.

Here, I would like to vigorously reaffirm France’s commitment to the Resolution adopted by the 1995 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review and Extension Conference on establishing a Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems. France is convinced that the implementation of this Resolution by all States concerned would allow progress to be made towards lasting peace in the Middle East.

Since the Resolution was adopted, France has actively contributed to creating the right conditions for achieving the objectives of the 1995 Resolution.

— It does this through its strong commitment to promoting stability in the region. The "Union for the Mediterranean," which was launched on France’s initiative, thus adopted, at its first Summit in 2008, a Final Declaration reaffirming the intention of all Parties to work towards establishing a mutually and effectively verifiable Middle East zone free of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems.

— It also does this by ensuring that all States Parties to the NPT comply with their nuclear non-proliferation commitments. We welcome the steps taken by Iraq and Libya in this direction. I can only reaffirm my country’s grave concern, as shared by our European partners, with respect to Iran’s behavior, which jeopardizes the security and stability of the region, the non-proliferation regime and our collective security. If we do not manage to resolve the Iranian issue then we run the risk of seeing a wave of proliferation in the region, which would put an end to our common objective of a Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems.

As the Director General of the IAEA pointed out at the opening of the conference, other countries are under investigation by, or arousing the interest of, the IAEA. We urge them to cooperate fully with the Agency and to comply fully with their international obligations in order to remove any doubts with regard to their past or current activities.

— France also contributes to the implementation of the 1995 Resolution through its unwavering support for the universalization of the main non-proliferation instruments - beginning with the NPT - within the framework of its bilateral relations with the countries in the region and within the relevant multilateral forums. In particular, it urges all States in the region to immediately accede to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, in particular those listed in Annex II, whose ratification is vital for the entry into force of the treaty, to the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Biological Weapons Convention, the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, the Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation and the IAEA Additional Protocols. We welcome, in this respect, the conclusion in 2005 of the comprehensive safeguards agreement by Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia, and of an Additional Protocol by Libya. These are positive steps. In addition, we encourage all the countries concerned, in particular the signatory States, to ratify the Pelindaba Treaty, which entered into force last year. I reaffirm that France is party to all the relevant protocols of this treaty.

— Lastly, France strongly urges all States in the region to take an active part in the upcoming negotiations of a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty. Once this Treaty enters into force, it will extend verification to States that have not placed all their nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards. Pending the signature of the Treaty, France urges all States concerned that have not yet done so to declare an immediate moratorium on the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons, and to place the largest possible number of their nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards.

There is a topic that could help build confidence in the region, by allowing the countries concerned to address the challenges of climate change, development and energy security together: civil nuclear energy cooperation. As President Sarkozy reaffirmed at the Conference on Access to Civil Nuclear Energy held in Paris on March 8 and 9, 2010, France is ready to cooperate in the area of civil nuclear energy with all countries that comply with their international commitments and contribute to establishing a suitable environment for developing civil nuclear energy under the best conditions regarding non-proliferation, safety and security. I want to remind you that France has signed eight such cooperation agreements with countries in the region, and other agreements are planned.

Mr. President,

France would like the 2010 NPT Review Conference to give new impetus to the implementation of the 1995 Resolution.

The NPT Review Conference should pave the way for achieving the objectives of the 1995 Resolution by 2015, in parallel to the political efforts needed to ease tensions and resolve the sources of conflict. This progress should focus, in the short-term, on the following 6 areas:

1) Having the countries in the region accede to and implement the main instruments for fighting nuclear proliferation: place new facilities that are not yet under them under IAEA safeguards, adopt IAEA Additional Protocols and ratify the CTBT;

2) Having the countries in the region accede to and implement the main instruments for fighting the proliferation of other weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems;

3) Having all States in the region adopt practical measures to prevent proliferation: effective export controls, criminalization of proliferation acts in accordance with Resolution 1540, suppression of proliferation financing, securing of nuclear and radioactive materials;

4) Resuming discussions between States in the region on confidence-building measures;

5) Intensifying international and regional efforts to respond firmly to proliferation crises threatening the region;

6) Developing regional cooperation on civil nuclear energy in conjunction with the IAEA.

We must do everything to accelerate the full implementation of the 1995 Resolution. France is ready to examine all relevant proposals during the Review Conference in order to reach an accepted decision aimed at taking concrete measures in this direction.

Mr. President,

I cannot end this speech on regional issues without addressing the situation in North Korea; since 2005 it has conducted two nuclear tests and test-fired several ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons. The international community unanimously condemned these serious threats to international peace and security. In its resolutions 1718 and 1874, the Security Council reaffirmed this country’s obligations: the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantling of its nuclear program. The sanctions adopted were strengthened by the European Union through a stricter embargo and heightened financial vigilance on North Korean organizations. We will tolerate neither Pyongyang’s headstrong nuclear ambitions, nor its nuclear proliferating activities in cooperation with other countries, particularly in the Near and Middle East.

Mr. President,

France wants to assure you of its full support and cooperation with respect to your efforts to ensure that our work leads to the recommendation of concrete measures capable of guaranteeing real progress, particularly with respect to the implementation of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East.

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