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Year 2005 No. 75, May 25, 2005 ARCHIVE HOME JBBOOKS SUBSCRIBE

No to Military Doctrines Based on Possession of Nuclear Weapons!

Workers' Daily Internet Edition: Article Index :

No to Military Doctrines Based on Possession of Nuclear Weapons!

What Does Not Exist Cannot Proliferate

Cuba Affirms US Pre-emptive Doctrine Contradicts NPT

Non-Aligned States Call for Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, Binding Agreement They Will Not Be Used

Vietnam Calls for Achieving Nuclear-Weapons-Free World

CARICOM Demands Disarmament, Raises Concerns on Transport of Nuclear Materials in the Region

Supplement:
Shining a torch on the darker recesses of the "special relationship"

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No to Military Doctrines Based on Possession of Nuclear Weapons!

The proceedings of the 7th United Nations Review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) held in New York since May 2 is to conclude on May 27. At the meeting, the majority of countries demanded the five declared nuclear states – the United States, Russia, China, France and Britain – eliminate their nuclear weapons as required by the treaty. Statements by Malaysia, representing the Movement of Non-Aligned countries, by the Bahamas on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and Cuba, Vietnam, Iran and many others, all emphasised the serious concern among the world's people with the refusal of the nuclear states, especially the US, to eliminate nuclear weapons. 

These and others brought out that the nuclear powers have not fulfilled the unequivocal commitment to totally eliminate their nuclear arsenals, made during the 2000 UN Review Conference. Cuba added, "Everybody should be aware of the fact that the so-called 'strategic pre-emptive doctrine' [of the US] contradicts the letter and spirit of the NPT."

Malaysia stressed, "Pending the total elimination of nuclear weapons, efforts for the conclusion of a universal, unconditional and legally binding instrument on security assurances to non-nuclear-weapon States should be pursued as a matter of priority. The Non-Aligned Movement, whose members make up a large majority of the States Parties to the NPT, wishes to reaffirm the importance of achieving the total elimination of all weapons of mass destruction globally, in particular nuclear weapons." 

The large majority of states reiterated this demand for the elimination of nuclear weapons and for a legally binding instrument prohibiting the nuclear states from using nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states. As well, participants repeatedly emphasised the need for the full and non-selective implementation of all three pillars of the NPT – nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and the peaceful uses of nuclear technology. Iran in particular spoke to the rights of all countries, consistent with the treaty, to pursue peaceful uses of nuclear energy and technology.

The US has consistently acted to oppose these just demands of the vast majority of the world's countries and people. The US has systematically refused to eliminate any nuclear weapons and is now going forward with new weapons. Its nuclear first-strike policy is also in direct breach of the treaty. And while the US targets Iran for pursuing the peaceful use of nuclear energy at this time, the US itself just lifted a 30-year ban on reprocessing of nuclear materials. This is clearly a move toward war preparations using nuclear weapons. 

The US rejection of the views of the large majority of participants nearly prevented an agenda from being reached which would have ended the review. However, through intense negotiations, the majority succeeded in having an agenda which enables the review to be conducted in light of decisions and resolutions of previous conferences. This is specific reference to the general demand that the 13 points agreed to in 2000, including the elimination of nuclear weapons, be utilised. On this basis, the US failed in its effort to focus strictly on non-proliferation.

WDIE denounces the US hypocrisy on the issue of nuclear weapons. The US possesses the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons and is the only country to have used them, twice, in a great crime against humanity. It has now announced its "right" to use nuclear weapons against so-called rogue states. WDIE opposes Britain’s part in this Anglo-American crime against humanity, its close co-operation with the US on the deployment of and blackmail with nuclear weapons, and the British government’s stand that the monopoly over nuclear weapons must continue. WDIE condemns the Anglo-American stand that this monopoly gives them the wherewithal to interfere in the sovereign right of countries to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, and their military doctrine which threatens the peoples of the world with the use of nuclear weapons should they not submit to their dictates.

For the information of readers, WDIE is posting below the views of states party to the NPT presented at the UN Review, together with a link to reference material on the nuclear weapons collaboration of US imperialism and the British government.

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What Does Not Exist Cannot Proliferate

Foreign Ministers of Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa and Sweden*

When the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty came into force 35 years ago, the central bargain of the agreement was that non-nuclear-weapon states like us would renounce their right to develop nuclear weapons, while retaining the inalienable right to undertake research into nuclear energy and to produce and use it for peaceful purposes. In return, the five declared nuclear-weapon states would reduce and eventually eliminate their nuclear weapons. More recently, our countries formed the New Agenda Coalition to press for the world envisaged by the treaty, a world in which nuclear weapons would have no role. Our philosophy is that the world will be safe only when nuclear weapons are eliminated and we can be sure they will never be produced or used again.

At their meeting this month in New York as part of the five-year review conference called for in the treaty, the signatories will have a timely opportunity to scrutinise what efforts are being made by the nuclear-weapon states – Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States – in fulfilling their obligations to eliminate their nuclear arsenals.

For our part, we remain concerned about their unsatisfactory progress. At the review conference five years ago, the nuclear-weapon states made an "unequivocal undertaking to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals". This goal is all the more important in a world in which terrorists seek to acquire weapons of mass destruction. Indeed, the nuclear-weapon states should acknowledge that disarmament and non-proliferation are mutually reinforcing processes: What does not exist cannot proliferate.

It's true that challenges to the treaty are being made by those who would defy or undermine its rules against proliferation – the review conference will need to address concerns that have arisen in recent years about proliferation in various countries. It's also true that the possession of weapons by the declared nuclear powers is no excuse for other nations to develop their own nuclear arsenals.

But challenges also come from fears that existing nuclear arsenals will be extended or modified rather than destroyed. They come from any member that seeks to diminish previous undertakings. They come from any member whose approach fails to reflect the careful balance of the treaty. While nearly 190 countries are now parties to the treaty, the New Agenda Coalition continues to call those states that remain outside
India, Israel and Pakistan – to join as non-nuclear weapon states, thus achieving universality.

In his recent report "In Larger Freedom", the United Nations secretary general, Kofi Annan, pointed out that "the unique status of the nuclear-weapon states also entails a unique responsibility, and they must do more, including but not limited to further reductions in their arsenals and pursuing arms control agreements that entail not just dismantlement but irreversibility". We call on these states, which are also permanent members of the Security Council, to seize this opportunity for leadership to help strengthen the treaty as the cornerstone of international security.

We welcome the statement by President George W Bush on the 35th anniversary of the entry into force of this treaty in which he reaffirmed the "determination of the United States to carry out its treaty commitments and to work to ensure its continuance in the interest of world peace and security". We have taken at face value such commitments to the treaty.

Proliferation is a threat to the whole international community. All states have an interest and a responsibility to work together to remove that threat. Forging common cause is as much the responsibility of the nuclear-weapon states as it is for the rest of us. The New Agenda Coalition for its part will be playing a constructive role in ensuring a strong outcome to the review conference, an outcome that makes a difference especially in removing the threats of proliferation and the continuing existence of huge arsenals of nuclear weapons.

* Celso Amorim is the foreign minister of Brazil. Ahmed Aboul Gheit is the foreign minister of Egypt. Dermot Ahern is the foreign minister of Ireland. Luis Ernesto Derbez Bautista is the foreign minister of Mexico. Phil Goff is the foreign minister of New Zealand. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma is the foreign minister of South Africa. Laila Freivalds is the foreign minister of Sweden.

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Cuba Affirms US Pre-emptive Doctrine Contradicts NPT

Wenceslao Carrera Doral, Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Environment, Republic of Cuba

Mr. President, 

We would like to commend you on your election and we sincerely wish you success in your work. Cuba fully joins the statement made by the distinguished Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia on behalf of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries. 

The Cuban Government deposited its instrument of adhesion to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) on 4 November, 2002. The decision of adhering to this international treaty goes beyond our national interests and it is a proof of our political will and the commitment of the Cuban State to the promotion, strengthening and consolidation of multilateralism and international treaties on disarmament. Likewise, it is a contribution to the efforts to safeguard the United Nations Organisation and preserve peace and security worldwide, in spite of the fact that the strongest nuclear power in the world maintains a policy of hostility against Cuba which does not exclude the use of armed force. 

Cuba had reservations in relation to the NPT, on account of considering it a discriminatory multilateral mechanism where States have unequal rights and commitments. Only 2.7% of all States Parties in the Treaty conserve the doubtful "privilege" of possessing nuclear weapons. Cuba considers that such a "privilege" shall not be eternal. States that possess nuclear weapons are forced, in compliance with the Treaty's provisions and jointly with other States Parties in it, to develop negotiations favouring nuclear disarmament. 

Cuba regrets that such obligation established by the NPT itself has not been fulfilled. On the contrary, there have been real setbacks in the nuclear disarmament process. Nuclear powers have not been able to fulfil the unequivocal commitment to totally eliminate their nuclear arsenals, made during the 2000 Review Conference. 

As a States Party to the NPT, Cuba's position of principle remains unchanged. Our country's decision is to work from the inside of the Treaty to impulse our priority in terms of disarmament: to attain the total elimination of these devastating weapons. For many, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons constitutes an end in itself. For Cuba, it is only a step in the path towards nuclear disarmament. 

Cuba has always stated that military doctrines based on the possession of nuclear weapons are unsustainable and unacceptable. New strategic defence doctrines of the United States and NATO, their international security concepts based on the promotion and development of military alliances and nuclear deterrence policies, even expanding the scope of the right to use or the threat to use force in international relations are concerning events for all humanity, particularly for poor and non-aligned countries. Everybody should be aware of the fact that the so-called "strategic pre-emptive doctrine" contradicts the letter and spirit of the NPT. 

Avoiding the disastrous consequences of the use of nuclear weapons as a result of the implementation of doctrines like the aforementioned and the correction of NPT vices of origin and of its selective and discriminatory nature, will only be possible when negotiating a multilateral Convention, which follows a comprehensive approach, including components of disarmament, verification, assistance and co-operation to achieve the nuclear disarmament goal. Cuba is ready to start those negotiations immediately and considers that the Disarmament Conference is the appropriate framework, as it is the only multilateral negotiation forum on disarmament. 

Mr. President, 

Although the Republic of Cuba joined the NPT in 2002, the Cuban Government never planned to develop or possess nuclear weapons. Our defence plans have never been based on the possession of nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction. The principles inaugurated with the Socialist Revolution that triumphed in 1959 are diametrically opposed to everything contributing to their existence. 

Cuba's only interest in nuclear energy is related to its peaceful use, under the verification of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In this regard, we will continue to defend decisively the inalienable right of all States to devote, under no conditions, to research, production and use of nuclear energy with peaceful means and to receive, under no discrimination, transferences of material, equipment and scientific and technological information to such ends. 

Likewise, we will continue to fulfil each and every obligation as a States Party to the NPT. Among them, we highlight the coming into force of the NPT Safeguards Agreement of Cuba with IAEA and its Additional Protocol since June, 2004. 

Mr. President, 

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons lies on three main pillars: non-proliferation, disarmament and co-operation on the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Cuba rejects the selective implementation of the NPT. Questions related to nuclear disarmament and the peaceful use of nuclear energy cannot continue to be neglected, while horizontal non-proliferation is privileged. 

Discussion and documents resulting from the 7th Review Conference shall reflect an adequate balance among the three NPT pillars. The review of the implementation of Article VI should be given top priority. This Conference is an exceptional opportunity to reaffirm and enhance the unequivocal commitment of those States possessing nuclear weapons to eliminate in a transparent, irreversible and accountable manner all of their nuclear arsenals. It is also an opportunity for all NPT States Parties to assume new goals in order to reach this objective. 

On the other hand, as necessary steps are taken to achieve nuclear disarmament, priority should be given to the beginning of negotiations to conclude a universal, unconditional and legally binding instrument, by means of which States possessing nuclear weapons commit themselves not to use or threat to use these kinds of weapons against other States that do not possess them. This Review Conference should necessarily comment on this question. 

Mr. President, 

Cuba is concerned by the actual deterioration the multilateral disarmament machinery has faced during the last years, mainly due to the unilateral and obstructionist attitude of the main nuclear power. This power acts on the fringes of law, infringes International Law and multilateralism which has supported peace for more than 50 years; it also disregards all multilateral treaties on disarmament and arms control adopted during the last century, especially those relevant to weapons of mass destruction. 

Outside the traditional disarmament machinery, new initiatives with dangerous consequences are attempted to be imposed, initiatives like the so-called the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), allegedly aimed at fighting the threat of terrorism with weapons of mass destruction. In fact, the so-called PSI is nothing but a non-transparent mechanism of selective composition which violates fundamental principles of International Law and of the UN Charter, like those of States' sovereignty, non-interference in States' internal affairs, non-use or threat to use force against States' territorial integrity and sovereign equality among States. The PSI also violates fundamental regulations of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. 

These sorts of initiatives are a detriment to multilateralism and international co-operation. They are aimed at dismantling and changing current international disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation treaties and bodies, which the great majority of States are part of. Cuba shares the concern for the risky linkage between terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. Nevertheless, this scourge cannot be faced by means of a selective and discriminatory approach that only fights horizontal proliferation and pays no attention to vertical proliferation and disarmament. The total prohibition and elimination of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, will be the only guarantee that these do not fall into the hands of terrorists. 

Any manifestation of terrorism shall be fought without double standards. One cannot go around the globe crowing about an alleged crusade against international terrorism, including the one involving the use of weapons of mass destruction, while harbouring with impunity notorious, abominable and confessed terrorists in a country's national territory, which entitles itself as the leader of such crusade. It is impossible to eliminate international terrorism, if some terrorist actions are condemned while others are silenced, tolerated or justified. 

Cuba favours the creation and strengthening of an international coalition of all States against the use of weapons of mass destruction by terrorists, but such effort shall be undertaken by means of international co-operation, within the framework of the United Nations and relevant international treaties. 

Cuba is firmly convinced that respect for the principles of International Law and the UN Charter is the only feasible guarantee for international peace and security. The world shall be regulated by a collective security system based on co-operation, offering full guarantees for all. This system cannot be substituted by the law of the jungle and doctrines or initiatives which constitute a violation of the letter and spirit of the UN Charter. 

Thank you very much.

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Non-Aligned States Call for Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, Binding Agreement They Will Not Be Used

Syed Hamid Albar, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia, on behalf of Non-Aligned States

After congratulating Brazilian Ambassador Sergio de Queiroz Durate as President of the 7th NPT review, and offering full support for the success of the proceedings, Malaysia's Foreign Minister, speaking on behalf of all the non-aligned states, continued:

Mr. President,

The NPT is at a crossroads, with its future uncertain. The historic compromise reached 37 years ago between nuclear-weapon States and non-nuclear-weapon States over disarmament, proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear technology remains unfulfilled. Today as we meet, the stress is on proliferation, rather than disarmament in good faith. The lack of balance in the implementation of the NPT threatens to unravel the NPT regime, a critical component of the global disarmament framework. Speaking at the 1995 Review and Extension Conference, Malaysia had expressed deep concerns over indefinite extension as we feared that it was a carte blanche to the nuclear-weapon States. Ten years later, our fears have not been assuaged. The nuclear-weapon States continue to believe in the relevance of nuclear weapons, despite a globalised and interconnected world. The nuclear-weapon States and those States remaining outside the NPT continue to develop and modernise their nuclear arsenal, threatening international peace and security. We must all call for an end to this madness and seek the elimination and ban on all forms of nuclear weapons and testings as well as the rejection of the doctrine of nuclear deterrence.

Mr. President,

The last Review Conference was held in the spring of 2000 and Final Document was adopted. The nuclear-weapon States gave an unequivocal undertaking then that they would accomplish the total elimination of nuclear weapons and would commence negotiations in this regard without delay. In September of the same year, world leaders gathered at the Millennium Summit. In the Millennium Declaration, they, inter alia, resolved to strive for the elimination of weapons of mass destruction, particularly 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.

In the last five years, a lot has happened. Concerns have been raised about weapons of mass destruction, in particular nuclear weapons. We all have concerns about nuclear non-proliferation, both vertical and horizontal. We all have fears about nuclear terrorism; we fear for the possibility of individuals or groups and other non-State actors getting their hands on nuclear explosive devices and using them for terrorist activities. We all continue to have nightmares for so long as there is the continued existence of nuclear weapons, and humanity has called for their total elimination. At the same time, we want to preserve the inherent right to peaceful uses of nuclear technology including energy. This NPT Review Conference should rightly serve to take care of our concerns, allay our fears and reduce our nightmares. This month presents us with the challenge as well as the opportunity of making the Treaty and its review process work, for now and in the future.

Mr. President,

At this current review process, the Group of Non-Aligned States Parties will be guided by the decisions taken at the XIII Conference of Heads of State or Government of NAM that was held in Kuala Lumpur in February 2003 and the XIV Ministerial Conference of NAM in Durban in August 2004. It is important to note that both the Summit and the Conference, while addressing the wide-ranging ramifications of nuclear weapons and related issues, have affirmed that multilateralism and multilaterally agreed solutions, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, provide the only sustainable method of dealing with the multiplicity of disarmament and international security issues. The NPT review process provides for that multilateral approach. We must take full advantage of it at this Review Conference. [...]

Mr. President, I wish to call upon all States Parties, nuclear-weapon States and non-nuclear-weapon States, to recognise the importance of the full and non-selective implementation of the Treaty in nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and the peaceful uses of nuclear technology – the three pillars of the Treaty. The Non-Aligned States Parties remain fully convinced that the NPT is a key instrument in the efforts to halt the vertical and horizontal proliferation of nuclear weapons and an essential foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament. The NPT seeks to ensure a fair balance between the mutual obligations and responsibilities of the nuclear-weapon States and that of the non-nuclear-weapon States under the Treaty. 

The indefinite extension of the NPT does not imply the indefinite possession by the nuclear-weapon States of their nuclear weapons arsenals. If we, the States Parties, want to curtail the proliferation of nuclear weapons, we must also be prepared to accept that the total elimination of nuclear weapons is the only absolute guarantee against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons. Pending the total elimination of nuclear weapons, efforts for the conclusion of a universal, unconditional and legally binding instrument on security assurances to non-nuclear-weapon States should be pursued as a matter of priority.

The Non-Aligned Movement, whose members make up a large majority of the States Parties to the NPT, wishes to reaffirm the importance of achieving the total elimination of all weapons of mass destruction globally, in particular nuclear weapons. We remain convinced that nuclear weapons pose the greatest danger to mankind and the survival of civilisations. We further reaffirm the need for all States to fulfil their obligations in relation to arms control and disarmament and to prevent the proliferation in all its aspects of weapons of mass destruction. The ultimate objective of the efforts of States in the disarmament process should remain that of general and complete disarmament. While recognising recent moves by nuclear-weapon States that could lead towards disarmament, we reiterate our deep concern over the slow pace of progress in this regard.

The NPT also provides for the development of peaceful uses of nuclear technology. The Group of Non-Aligned States Parties reaffirms the inalienable right of States Parties to the NPT to engage in research, production and use of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes without discrimination. The free, unimpeded and non-discriminatory transfer of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes must be fully ensured. Nothing in the Treaty should be interpreted as affecting this right. 

Nuclear-weapon States, in cooperation among themselves and with non-nuclear-weapon States, and with States not Parties to the Treaty, must refrain from nuclear sharing for military purposes under any kind of security arrangements. There should also be total and complete prohibition of the transfer of all nuclear-related equipment, information, material and facilities, resources or devices and the extension of assistance in the nuclear, scientific or technological fields to States that are not Parties to the Treaty, without exception.

There have been a number of recent efforts aimed at strengthening the non-proliferation regime. But it must be recognised that any effort to stem proliferation should be transparent and open to participation by all States. Access to material, equipment and technology for civilian purposes should not be unduly restricted.

Another important component of the NPT is the contribution of nuclear weapon-free zones towards attaining the objective of global disarmament. All efforts aimed at establishing nuclear weapon-free zones should be supported. We welcome the convening and outcome of the recent Conference of States Parties and Signatories of Treaties that Establish Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones held in Mexico City from 26 to 28 April 2005.

Mr. President,

Rather than risk the unravelling of the NPT, we should as responsible members of the international community continue to seek ways and means to ensure that the NPT remains a true cornerstone for global peace and security. In this connection, we should renew with vigour our collective efforts towards the accession of the remaining three non-State Parties which possess nuclear weapons.

Finally, Mr. President, the Group of Non-Aligned States Parties to the NPT hopes that its views and recommendations contained in the omnibus Working Paper and the other Working Papers will be given serious consideration by all States Parties to the NPT. We have gathered in New York to deliberate on many important issues; to chart the course for a better and safer world for our future generations. We must not miss the opportunity. I assure you that Malaysia and all the other States Parties from the Group of Non-Aligned States Parties will not want to let that opportunity go by. We will be constructive, as we expect others would.

I thank you, Mr. President.

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Vietnam Calls for Achieving Nuclear-Weapons-Free World

Le Luong Minh, Ambassador to the United Nations, Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Mr. President,

The Delegation of Vietnam fully associates itself with the Statement made by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia, His Excellency Hamid Syed Albar, on behalf of the Group of Non-Aligned State Parties to the NPT.

Mr. President,

The NPT was concluded on the basis of the balance of interests between the states which have nuclear weapons and those which do not have and commit not to acquire them. The three pillars on which the Treaty rests, namely non-proliferation, nuclear disarmament and peaceful uses of nuclear energy are equally essential. 

As we are starting the substantive work of the Conference, my Delegation deems it necessary to reiterate the fundamental view that for the NPT to remain firm, that balance of interests between States Parties needs to be maintained and all those three pillars need to be strengthened. Any continued absence of an equal treatment of vertical and horizontal aspects of non-proliferation will only push us further away from a world free from nuclear weapons, which is the final objective of the Treaty. All States Parties are obliged to live up to their commitments to implement their obligations under the Treaty, the decisions and resolutions of the 1995 Review and Extension Conference and the provisions contained in the Final Document of the 2000 Review Conference.

Mr. President,

A thorough review would tell us that the situation concerning the implementation of the Treaty in many aspects is not a rosy one. Implementation has been uneven. While the non-proliferation regime has been strictly observed by the overwhelming majority of more than 180 non-nuclear-weapon States, disarmament has not enjoyed the level of emphasis placed in an unbalanced manner by nuclear-weapon States on non-proliferation, thus has witnessed more negative than positive developments. 

Article VI of the NPT clearly stipulates that the nuclear-weapon States have the obligation to carry out negotiations in good faith with a view to reducing and finally eliminating nuclear weapons. The decision in 1995 to extend the Treaty indefinitely was based on the commitment by the nuclear-weapon States to fulfil their obligation under this Article and in fact, at the 2000 Review Conference, the nuclear-weapon States did give an unequivocal undertaking that they would do so. 

With the limited progress we see in the reduction in the number of deployed nuclear weapons, the rest of the disarmament picture is bleak. Thousands of nuclear weapons still exist, many on alert status, this in the context of the increasing danger of nuclear weapons falling into the hands of the terrorists. Negotiations on a fissile materials cut-off treaty are yet to resume. The Conference on Disarmament remains idle. And, while the International Court of Justice has passed a verdict on the legality of the threats of use of nuclear weapons, we are alarmed by the emergence of new security doctrines giving even a broader role to nuclear weapons. This situation is jeopardising the authority and the relevance of the NPT. It is urgent for our Conference to arrive at measures to overcome the present deadlock. The Conference on Disarmament must be allowed to do its work and we join the call for an international conference on nuclear disarmament.

Mr. President,

Having voluntarily opted not to acquire nuclear weapons, the non-nuclear-weapon States have the legitimate right to receive security assurances from nuclear-weapon States. Regrettably, while such assurances are essential to promote the confidence of the non-nuclear-weapon States, and thus strengthen the NPT, conditions are being attached to such assurances. Pending the total elimination of nuclear weapons, early conclusion of a universal, unconditional and legally binding instrument on security assurances to non-nuclear-weapon States is an earnest demand, which our Conference should pay adequate attention.

Mr President,

The Conference on Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones which took place just last week in Mexico reaffirmed the conviction in nuclear-weapon-free zones as an important nuclear disarmament measure. Since the conclusion of the Extension Conference, the 1995 Bangkok Treaty and the 1996 Palindaba Treaty creating nuclear-weapon free zones in Southeast Asia and Africa respectively have been concluded. The declaration of Mongolia's nuclear-weapon-free status and the commitments made at Tashkent in February 2005 by the five Central Asian States to establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia should also be mentioned. Altogether, today over 100 states have signed nuclear-weapon-free zone treaties. This is an encouraging situation. We must continue efforts to implement the resolution adopted by the 1995 NPT Review Conference on making the Middle East a zone free of nuclear weapons. One of the most important factors determining the effectiveness of the treaties establishing such nuclear-weapon-free zones is the signing by the nuclear-weapon States of their protocols. We continue to call upon them to do so. 

The Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone symbolises the attempts of the countries of the Southeast Asian region to advance the cause of peace and stability in the region and nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament as a whole. As a state party to the Treaty, we welcome China's readiness to sign its Protocol and reiterate our wish to see all the five nuclear weapon States sign it together.

Mr. President,

The NPT in its Article IV and the Statue of the IAEA do provide for the right of State Parties for technical co-operation among themselves and for technical assistance to States Parties which are developing countries. As I mentioned above, peaceful uses of nuclear energy is one of the three important pillars of the NPT, which deserves equal treatment. We share the concerns over the tendency to apply undue restrictions on exports of material, equipment and technology for peaceful purposes to developing countries and call for their removal. While supporting and commending the IAEA's work in ensuring compliance, we believe there should be and can be more balance in its resources for safeguards and those for technical assistance.

Mr President,

The NPT has played a vital role in preventing proliferation of nuclear weapons but its future is at stake. With the developments of the past years, we find ourselves at a critical juncture, where we have to decide whether to move forward to regain the relevance of the NPT or to let the confidence of States Parties in the Treaty continue to erode. We need a responsible, balanced and fair approach to bring us out of the present situation. The NPT can only remain firm if all its three pillars are strengthened. Total elimination of nuclear weapons and a nuclear-weapons-free world must be the objectives guiding our actions in and out of this Conference. I can assure you, Mr. President, that as a non-nuclear-weapon State, a party to the NPT, a party to the Treaty on the Southeast

Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone, one of the initial signatories of the CTBT and a member of the Conference on Disarmament, proceeding from its foreign policy of peace, Vietnam will continue to be guided by such noble objectives. In your efforts to ensure success of the Conference, you can count on the fullest co-operation of my Delegation.

I thank you all for your attention!

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CARICOM Demands Disarmament, Raises Concerns on Transport of Nuclear Materials in the Region

Paulette Bethel, Ambassador to the United Nations, Commonwealth of The Bahamas, on behalf of CARICOM

Mr. President,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the members of the Caribbean Community [CARICOM] that are members of the United Nations. CARICOM delegations congratulate you, Mr. President, and the other members of your Bureau, on your election to guide the work of this critically important Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. We express our confidence in your abilities to steer our work to a successful conclusion and pledge our full support and cooperation in this regard.

Mr. President,

This Review Conference is faced with a daunting task, as we meet to assess the progress made in implementing the commitments undertaken at the 2000 Review Conference, and to chart the way forward in furthering the purposes and goals of the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. CARICOM States reaffirm their commitment to the implementation of the NPT, and we call on all States Parties to the NPT, and in particular the five declared nuclear weapon States to fully implement their obligations under Article VI of the Treaty, and the commitments made at the 2000 NPT Review Conference, including the unequivocal undertaking given by them at that Conference. All present here recall the optimism that emanated from that conference, with the adoption of the Final Document and the 13 practical steps agreed by all States Parties to implement Article VI of the Treaty and paragraphs 3 and 4(c) of the 1995 Decision on 'Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament'.

Yet, five years later, that optimism has waned in the face of the very limited progress made in implementing those practical steps. CARICOM calls on all States to reaffirm their commitment to the implementation of those measures in pursuit of the goal of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Our failure thus far to agree on an agenda and programme of work for this Review Conference is cause for concern, and we urge all States to engage constructively in this regard. As we are all well aware, other parts of the international disarmament machinery have become stalemated due to divergences of view. We cannot allow the NPT, which remains the cornerstone of the nuclear non-proliferation regime, to follow suit. The NPT's near universality should continue to be a source of optimism and a sign of common ground in seeking to eliminate the spread and use of nuclear weapons.

While the international community has recently turned its attention to the very real danger of the acquisition and use of nuclear weapons by non-state actors, including terrorists, CARICOM would caution that this preoccupation should not detract from our agreed goal of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Rather, the international community should seek to ensure that existing obligations are fulfilled, while new threats and challenges are addressed effectively.

Mr. President,

CARICOM's commitment to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation is embodied in the participation of all of its Member States in the Treaty of Tlatelolco. It is a source of immense satisfaction to CARICOM States that the Treaty of Tlatelolco commands universal adherence in Latin America and the Caribbean, and has thus created the world's first nuclear weapon free zone in a densely populated region. We encourage other States engaged in discussions to create nuclear-weapon-free zones to continue to move those processes forward in pursuit of the important goal of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

In this context, CARICOM States were pleased to participate in the Conference of States Parties and Signatories of Treaties that establish Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones, held in Mexico, from 26 — 28 April, 2005. CARICOM pays tribute to the Government of Mexico for its initiative and leadership in convening this Conference, and welcomes the Declaration adopted by the Conference as an important contribution to our discussions. As States parties to the treaties establishing nuclear-weapon-free zones, we have a compelling interest in ensuring full implementation of the provisions of the NPT, and will do our part to move this goal forward.

Mr. President,

The elimination of the testing of nuclear weapons remains a critical element in the overall process of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. To this end, CARICOM states call for a renewed commitment to promoting the entry into force, and the implementation of both the letter and the spirit of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty [CTBT]. As we are all aware, the entry into force of the CTBT has yet to occur, due to the absence of prompt signature and ratification of the CTBT by those states whose ratification is required for its entry into force. We applaud the work of the Provisional Technical Secretariat of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organisation [CTBTO] in promoting the entry into force of the treaty. In our region, we are pleased that The Bahamas is the latest CARICOM state to sign the CTBT. We also welcome the conclusion of the cooperation agreements between the CTBTO and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean [OPANAL] and the Association of Caribbean States [ACS].

Mr. President, CARICOM States are particularly committed to the issue of nuclear safety. To this end, all Members of CARICOM have concluded Safeguards Agreements with the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA], and the process of signing Additional Protocols has begun in the Region.

However, the most important nuclear safety issue for CARICOM States remains the transboundary movement of radioactive materials. CARICOM was particularly heartened by the endorsement, by the 2000 Review Conference, of the IAEA regulations for the safe transport of radioactive materials. The transshipment of nuclear waste through the Caribbean Sea, and the concomitant threat to the environmental and economic sustainability of the small island developing states of the region, remains a grave concern to CARICOM. CARICOM States have consistently voiced their concerns in this regard in numerous fora, including the General Assembly, and explicit reference was made to this issue in the Mauritius Strategy adopted by the International Meeting to review the Implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, held in Mauritius in January of this year. In this context, CARICOM States also welcome the inclusion of language reflecting these concerns in the Declaration adopted by the Conference in Mexico.

In this context, CARICOM welcomed the 2000 Review Conference's explicit recognition of the concerns of small island developing states and other coastal states with regard to the transportation of radioactive materials by sea, and viewed this as an acknowledgement of the responsibility of the international community to protect the marine space of en route coastal states from the risks inherent in the transport of these materials. We are particularly encouraged by the ongoing efforts of the IAEA in this regard, including the adoption of the Code of Practice on the International Transboundary Movement of Radioactive Waste, and the annual resolution adopted by the IAEA General Conference on Measures to Strengthen International Cooperation in Nuclear, Radiation and Transport Safety and Waste Management. We call on all States to fully implement these instruments, including the call for states shipping radioactive materials to provide assurances to potentially affected States that their national regulations take into account IAEA Transport Regulations, and to provide relevant information relating to shipments of such materials. CARICOM States recognise the need for safety and security relating to these shipments and the right of States under Article IV of the NPT to benefit from the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. However, we affirm that these considerations should not be inimical to the sustainable development of other states, and reaffirm that nuclear energy should be harnessed only for peaceful purposes in the service of global development.

In addition to the provision of information regarding the shipment of radioactive materials, CARICOM States continue to call for the establishment of a comprehensive regulatory framework to promote state responsibility with respect to disclosure, prior informed consent, liability and compensation in the event of accidents. While we appreciate the steps undertaken by States to prevent the likelihood of accidents, we cannot overstate the damage that would be done to the ecosystems of our countries, and the potentially catastrophic impact on our vulnerable economies should an accident occur.

CARICOM States remain ready to engage in constructive dialogue with the relevant States in this process, in order to improve our mutual understanding, to build confidence and to enhance our communication, as we seek to take the necessary steps to ensure the sustainability and safety of the small island States of our region.

Mr. President,

CARICOM countries are pleased with the recent adoption by the General Assembly of the International Convention for the suppression of acts of nuclear terrorism. With the adoption of this convention, after a process of long and arduous negotiations over several years, the United Nations Member States are demonstrating the political will to meet current challenges in the disarmament and non-proliferation arena. We concur with the Secretary General in his most recent report presented to the General Assembly that "progress in both disarmament and non-proliferation is essential and neither should be held hostage to the other". The conclusion of this International Convention on nuclear terrorism also provides, in our view, momentum for Member States to now turn their attention to the early completion of a comprehensive convention to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

Mr. President,

Nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation are challenges that remain unique to this period of human history and development. Without real commitments to progressively eliminate nuclear arsenals, and prevent the proliferation of nuclear technology for non-peaceful purposes, we run the risk of nullifying all of the commitments that we as Member States have made over the previous decade for social, economic and human development. That risk, combined with the continuing menace of nuclear conflagration, is unacceptably high. We remain convinced that nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation are in the best interests of global humanity, and thus CARICOM will do its utmost to support the NPT as a critical instrument for the reduction and ultimate elimination of nuclear weapons. We must remind ourselves that there can be no backtracking on commitments, and that we must live up to the obligations freely undertaken. For its part, CARICOM remains ready to live up to its obligations, and calls on all States to do the same.

Thank you.

Article Index



Supplement

US-UK nuclear weapons collaboration under the Mutual Defence Agreement:

Shining a torch on the darker recesses of the "special relationship"

By Nigel Chamberlain, Nicola Butler and Dave Andrews

BASIC Special Report 2004.3

June 2004

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